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Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves

FJAG

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That's really sad to hear. 26 Fd trained every second weekend during the year so for the RSS I instituted a schedule that gave every Monday off. This meant we'd have a training weekend with only the Monday off and every second weekend was a three-day one. On real long weekends we made it a four-day weekend. The guys and their families liked that as it gave everyone a regular schedule to go by (and luckily in our case everyone's kids were out-of-school age and left home - mine on the other hand were still tiny and pre-school.) I can't say I knew the other RSSOs in the District as I was in Brandon and everyone else in Winnipeg and there was very little collective training except in the summer when I was locked down in Shilo as the CI for the Area and National arty school.

The only other RSSO I ever knew well was the one for the Camerons in Winnipeg when I went through law school and he was a keener who was heavily into training ( a bit too airbornish, rangerish and light infantry gung-hoish for my liking but good nonetheless)

In those days the RSS leadership was a bit loose with no real connection to any regular force units or formations. My boss was the last of the serving Reg F Queen's Own Rifles majors and very good at letting you have your head if you demonstrated performance. You would think with the more structured divisional system these days that someone would grab the RSS, as a group, by the short and curlies and bring them into line. If they don't then we don't have anyone to blame but ourselves.

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OldTanker

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I was RSS with the SALH 78-81. I had a regular staff of myself (Ops and Training), Armd WO (Training), Clerk Sgt (Arm) and Armd MCp (storesman). We absolutely deployed on training events with the unit. I would mentor the OC, the WO would mentor the SSM and the MCpl would assist the SQMS. For various reasons we seldom saw the CO in the field. The challenge we had was to mentor but not take over. Sometimes we were successful, sometimes not, but we certainly were in the field whenever the unit was. I'm not sure this was consistent throughout the Area but both my WO and I were young and keeners and frankly enjoyed being in the field with the soldiers. Maybe if I was a bit older (and wiser?) I wouldn't have felt the same. I have no idea why or how things have changed since then.
 

daftandbarmy

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I was RSS with the SALH 78-81. I had a regular staff of myself (Ops and Training), Armd WO (Training), Clerk Sgt (Arm) and Armd MCp (storesman). We absolutely deployed on training events with the unit. I would mentor the OC, the WO would mentor the SSM and the MCpl would assist the SQMS. For various reasons we seldom saw the CO in the field. The challenge we had was to mentor but not take over. Sometimes we were successful, sometimes not, but we certainly were in the field whenever the unit was. I'm not sure this was consistent throughout the Area but both my WO and I were young and keeners and frankly enjoyed being in the field with the soldiers. Maybe if I was a bit older (and wiser?) I wouldn't have felt the same. I have no idea why or how things have changed since then.

A great example of how it's supposed to work. Thanks!

And as for your AWOL CO.... :)

Mad How Dare You GIF by Film Riot
 

Halifax Tar

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I've been led to believe in the Combat Arms world the RSS positions aren't usually filled by the keen or talented. More than once in conversation I've been told those extra regimental positions are for those out of the running for key leadership positions within the cap badge.

I know we struggle to get storesman/sup techs/MMTs into those RSS positions as they have a habit of abusing the reg force people.
 

Eaglelord17

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I've been led to believe in the Combat Arms world the RSS positions aren't usually filled by the keen or talented. More than once in conversation I've been told those extra regimental positions are for those out of the running for key leadership positions within the cap badge.

I know we struggle to get storesman/sup techs/MMTs into those RSS positions as they have a habit of abusing the reg force people.
1000% accurate on the last part. Part of this though is the fact they are used to abusing Class A and B personnel usually knowing if the individual doesn't do all the extras they demand of them they won't give them another contract or those Class A days. Reg Force pers are harder to abuse as they lack those same powers, though it can happen all the same.
 

dapaterson

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As a commanding officer, I saw magnificent, dedicated Reg F personnel going above and beyond; I administered remedial measures to others; I saw the CAF medical system refuse to endorse posting a Reg F member unfit field, unfit office to the SPHL; I saw Reg F personnel not needed on exercise show up anyways because they wanted to participate; and I have seen (since I left command) Reg F members retire in the area of the unit and immediately component transfer back to the unit because of their experience.

Being posted to a Res F unit can be extremely rewarding - how many other jobs can you have when, as a relatively junior person, your boss only shows up once a week and trusts you to do your work, with minimal supervision?
 

OldSolduer

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Being posted to a Res F unit can be extremely rewarding - how many other jobs can you have when, as a relatively junior person, your boss only shows up once a week and trusts you to do your work, with minimal supervision?
In order to be successful it helps if the incoming RSS people know people already in the unit and th CoC is engaged with the Reg Force unit that person came from.
 

MilEME09

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What tended to happen was, over time, the really good reservists burned out and just couldn't keep delivering all the training and leading all the exercises/ courses anymore because they had jobs, school, and families, and being away every weekend (which is entirely possible what with training, courses and other things going on) was just too much.
Seeing this heavily right now after this past summer. Every instructor that went to teach this summer has thrown in the towel , and the handful left are now triple hated.
 

FJAG

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FJAG

"My boss was the last of the serving Reg F Queen's Own Rifles majors and very good at letting you have your head if you demonstrated performance."

Awful Werry. Miss him. A great mentor.
That's him. He gave me the best, most concise and clearest terms of reference I ever received in any job:

"If there's a reservist who know how to do the job then let him do it; if no reservist knows how to do the job but someone is willing to do it then teach him how and let him do his job; and if there's no one who knows how to do the job and no one is willing to learn then you do it"

Every year we held a live fire exercise at the end of March in Shilo. I kept a hundred rounds 105 in my pocket for that just in case and Werry got me all unexpended 105 left lying around in all of Mil Area Prairie which was usually around another 600 rds of all natures. Pretty much doubled our annual allotment. Nothing gunners like more than sending bricks downrange.

IMHO that sums up RSS to a tee.

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Haggis

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My unit was generally pretty lucky with our RSS. Yes, we had some oxygen thieves and others who's first reply to any question or suggestion to move training beyond the "wash-rinse-repeat" IBTS was "No!". We also had a few who really moved the yardsticks and helped plan and lead some exceptional unit-level training and participated in unit social life.
 

daftandbarmy

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My unit was generally pretty lucky with our RSS. Yes, we had some oxygen thieves and others who's first reply to any question or suggestion to move training beyond the "wash-rinse-repeat" IBTS was "No!". We also had a few who really moved the yardsticks and helped plan and lead some exceptional unit-level training and participated in unit social life.

We had one RSSO who, as soon as he took over, dove into the databases and surfaced with a series of accusations, questioning the qualification levels of all the Officers and SNCOs. He came across as disrespectful, confrontational and almost crusader like.

Of course it was a massive flinch, and he was proven wrong, but never apologized.

It was a wonderful way to introduce yourself to a new regiment. Not.
 

FJAG

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We had one RSSO who, as soon as he took over, dove into the databases and surfaced with a series of accusations, questioning the qualification levels of all the Officers and SNCOs. He came across as disrespectful, confrontational and almost crusader like.

Of course it was a massive flinch, and he was proven wrong, but never apologized.

It was a wonderful way to introduce yourself to a new regiment. Not.
Yeah. But he was infantry, right?

🙂
 

Rifleman62

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Wayne Eyre bio extract: "As a staff officer, LGen Eyre has served with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles......"
 

daftandbarmy

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I know Wayne fairly well. I'm thinking he probably had a huge hand in training the Rifles. Rifleman62 probably has a better insight than I.

I have no doubt.

I'm just finding it a paradox that we don't assign Reg F trainers, even though they might be the most experienced people in the unit, to the Reserves.

We just post in Reg F Staff Officers and NCOs who, if they're keen, manage to deliver some training, most probably at their own risk, and contrary to their primarily assigned task: sitting in offices and pushing paper, or pixels. :)
 

Brad Sallows

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Return-on-investment of full-time training cadres assigned to units mustering handfuls of effectives seems low. The first problem is to increase the size of the units. Britain has more high-population hubs than Canada. How many Canadian metropolitan areas do we have capable of drawing enough recruits?
 
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