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Military bases struggling with personnel shortages, internal review finds

medicineman

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Maybe I'm totally off base with this as I'm drawing my information from when I worked at a certain training institution as well as friends who worked for CFRG.

I was told we weren't really allowed to screen for mental health issues any longer. At least not in a way that would actually reveal underlying issues. We don't screen for fitness so I don't find it particularly difficult to envision us not really doing a vigorous mental health assessment. Perhaps I am totally off base though? Given that you and BA are actual med pers, I probably am. Maybe we are allowed and are just bending the rules? Who knows.

They do make you take the TSD-PI, which apparently is supposed to assess your personality suitability for military service.


Let me read it and get back to you. Thanks for the share.
My eldest did apparently have to do the personality test as part of the testing.

As for the training institution you speak of, I worked there in a clinical capacity - yeah, there were a lot of folks that obviously ticked the boxes they wanted people to see and then managed to get through with a free degree on permanent TCats OR were incredibly messy administrative burdens...and or both in a few cases.

I'm speaking from my time doing recruit and later, PHE medicals on people. Funny how I could tell (and would confront people) when it was obvious they were not reading what they were ticking Yes/No to on the questionnaires.

I personally think that people should provide a copy of their provincial pharmacy dispensing information and their medical records if applying - having that chart would actually speed up some of the RMO backlog, as what's happened and is happening could be followed in the notes. Drug dispensing also shows what they've been getting, duration, time last filled, etc. It's like the drug use information sheets - it's almost like people don't realize we were reading that with their questionnaires...much like the person in the ER that tries telling me they haven't had "X or Y" meds when I have a copy of their provincial dispensing record, and often a record of their past ER visits. It would make life easier for both the applicant and the system IMHO.

Medicineman said it better (and responded quicker) and from a more recent clinician POV. This paper from a CFC student (a GDMO) may be of interest about the process, pros/cons, and some suggestions for improvement.

UNDECLARED MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS AMONG CAF APPLICANTS: CAN APPLICANT MENTAL HEALTH SCREENING BE IMPROVED?
https://www.cfc.forces.gc.ca/259/290/318/305/brockway.pdf

Interesting paper - and funnily enough, we shared ideas.

MM
 

blacktriangle

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VAC isn't structured to serve the Modern Veteran. It was setup and it's programs were conceptualized to serve a type of Veteran that no longer exists. The entire organization needs to be torn down and restarted from scratch. The amount of horror stories I read everyday on social media and elsewhere about VAC is damning but no longer surprising.

My big takeaway from all of this is that nobody is going to help anyone of us when the chips are down. It's up to us to help ourselves out or help other Veterans out. I don't think any of these existing organizations do really anything particularly worthwhile for us either.

We basically need an entirely new organization with it's own mandate. A club so to speak, like the RCL, but one that actually serves the modern Veteran and doesn't just suck our money away.

I am envisioning a club that operates as a professionally managed investment fund of sorts. The purpose of this fund would be to make money but then use that money to better the lives of its membership. Members would receive dividends, a portion of profits would be reinvested and a portion would be set aside to pay for veterans programs and initiatives. I would much rather pay in to something like this than the mess dues we presently pay.
Great post. I like the idea of the professionally managed investment fund. You should write that idea up. I know the CAF has a pension, but as others have said, not everyone can or should make it to that point. I think I read somewhere on here that the average veteran serves for 14 years? I would have much rather my mess dues been invested all these years, or at the least donated to a military/veteran's cause that isn't a sub-par drinking establishment.

And on the topic of burn-out, I can definitely see it. Lots of people never seemed to be able to deploy, go on ex, or work shift schedules. This meant others had to pick up the slack disproportionately (often with little or no recognition), and eventually were no longer able or willing to put up with it so others could live the good life. In my experience, many of the people that avoided all the "military" stuff are still in...it was the other group of people who ended up releasing or being released. And the cycle continues, or so I'm told...
 

dapaterson

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Fourteen years is based on a seven percent attrition rate. Years ago when I was deep into the data, there were four main exit points in the Reg F.

First, at the end of their initial three year engagement. People moving on after their first contract. (With variable initial engagements, this is more difficult to suss out of the data without access to the whole, massive dataset; I was only looking at releases by years of service).

Second, at the nine year point. Most officers were brought in on nine year terms and there was a separation pay at that point.

Third was at the twenty year point, when folks were entitled to an unreduced 40% annuity.

Fourth was at the 25/27 year point for NCMs/officers respectively.


In a perfect world, Terms of Service are gates to keep the institution moving, keeping those the institution wishes to retain and providing support for others to leave. Retention should be selective - in some ways, the more desperate someone is to stay in, the more reluctant the CAF should be to keep them. If someone has no other options, are they really the best and brightest that the CAF wants in its more senior positions?
 

dimsum

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Retention should be selective - in some ways, the more desperate someone is to stay in, the more reluctant the CAF should be to keep them.
If we are to change mindset to that model, we'll have to made SCAN seminars mandatory (which I'm sure everyone will love) and/or institute the US-style "up or out". I'm not a big fan of "up or out" since some people are really good at their job and should stay there.

Also, I'd feel sorry for anyone (recruiters, especially) trying to explain the change to the public. I can already imagine people saying "the military will send you to war, then fire you." Hell, they do it now.
 

dimsum

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Logistik Unicorp for DEU items is a success story, I'd like to see it expanded for any next to skin items and field/sailing/flying uniforms as well.
To a point, I agree. However, deployed units should also have some operational uniforms and stuff as well, in case of wear/tear or unforeseen issues.

At home though? Get your uniforms issued via Logistik.
 

Quirky

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The Canadian Forces area on reddit makes for some pretty interesting observations.
Reddit posts offer a different perspective and I get the feeling many members are bitter and think the CF owes them something. The issues that plague the CF are no secret and have been around since I joined in the early 2000s. PLD that makes no sense, decade-long postings in isolated locations, broken VAC system etc etc. Even with all these known problems people still joined and they are shocked when they see it first hand. I did over a decade in a place I didn’t particularly like, but I made the best of it and didn’t come into the unit bringing everyone else down with negativity. Releasing was always in the back of my mind but the pros, for me anyway, outweighed the negatives.

Change in the CF doesn’t happen overnight and considering what’s going on in the real world, having a guaranteed paycheque despite any lockdown is huge. I take all our problems with a grain of salt as it’s essentially irrelevant unless you are in a position to enact change. Life is too short to care about things you have zero control over.
 

PuckChaser

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To a point, I agree. However, deployed units should also have some operational uniforms and stuff as well, in case of wear/tear or unforeseen issues.

At home though? Get your uniforms issued via Logistik.
That's what I meant. We could significantly reduce the lines at Base Clothing (and move those MMTs into more critical roles) by providing most dress of the day uniforms via Logistik Unicorp. There would then be a higher level mechanism (perhaps at CJOC J4) as you suggest to have operational stock pushed to theatres as part of the Activation Team and sustainment flights.
 

Jarnhamar

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Reddit posts offer a different perspective and I get the feeling many members are bitter and think the CF owes them something.
Agreed. The weird thing is it seems like people are joining the CAF like that. They're bitter already, have this expectation that tall CoC's are unsupportive garbage, they're going to get PTSD on their first deployment and their upcoming VAC claims will be delayed or denied. Mind blowing.
 

dimsum

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Agreed. The weird thing is it seems like people are joining the CAF like that. They're bitter already, have this expectation that tall CoC's are unsupportive garbage, they're going to get PTSD on their first deployment and their upcoming VAC claims will be delayed or denied. Mind blowing.
...and everyone joining the RCAF will be posted to Cold Lake for their career.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Well in the 80's there was a good chance of spending most of your career in Shilo if you went artillery.
 

dimsum

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Well in the 80's there was a good chance of spending most of your career in Shilo if you went artillery.
Definitely.

However, we don't even have most of our fleets in Cold Lake. It's like saying everyone in the Army will get posted to Shilo, even Van Doos.
 

dapaterson

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Ah, Shilo, spent 10 years there from 84-85.
Sounds like a paraphrase of Harry Chapin's comment about Watertown NY (just outside Fort Drum): "I spent a week there one afternoon..."
 

mariomike

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Sounds like a paraphrase of Harry Chapin's comment about Watertown NY (just outside Fort Drum): "I spent a week there one afternoon..."
Did a summer concentration there a long time ago. Don't remember much of the town, but training at Fort Drum was interesting.
 
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FJAG

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The thing about Shilo was if you were married with kids it was a great base to live on; if you were single ... not so much.

🍻
 
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