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Military looks at foreign recruits to boost ranks

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jollyjacktar

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Full story and info graphics at story link below

Military looks at foreign recruits to boost ranks
Review underway to consider lifting citizenship requirement for Canadian Armed Forces
Kathleen Harris · CBC News · Posted: May 25, 2018 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: 2 hours ago


Canada's military is considering lifting a longstanding citizenship requirement as a way to boost its numbers.

Right now, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) offers waivers to foreign nationals only in exceptional cases — to individuals on international military exchanges, for example, or to candidates who have specialized skills in high demand.

That citizenship requirement is now under review.

"In line with the government of Canada's objective of raising the numbers of Forces personnel, there are currently initial discussions to review the possibility for foreign nationals' recruitment beyond skills applicants," Byrne Furlong, spokeswoman for Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, wrote in an email. "It is too early to mention anything about any results or conclusion of such review‎."

DND spokesman Maj. Alexandre Munoz said the existing Skilled Military Foreign Applicant program is open to any foreign applicant with a specialized skill set that would reduce training costs or fill particular needs — a trained pilot or a doctor, to cite two examples.

Only two foreign nationals were accepted into the Forces last fiscal year.

"It is understood that many foreign nationals and permanent residents have applied to join the CAF, but the majority have been refused as they do not meet IRCC guidelines and requirements," Munoz said in an email.

Lifting the Forces' citizenship requirement would be a sharp departure from Canada's traditional recruitment practices and could open the doors to applications from thousands of permanent residents.

Vancouver immigration lawyer Zool Suleman said he supports the change. He argues that recruitment should be based on capability, not on whether the candidate is a citizen or on the path to become one.

Recruit based on ability

"I think people can be tested and examined in terms of security and ability and should be able to serve if they want to serve," he said.

"If you are loyal to Canada, if you have lived here a short time but you really understand what Canada is about and you really want to serve this country in that way, I don't understand why permanent residents should not be allowed to serve."

Other countries — the U.S. among them — allow non-citizens to serve, with certain restrictions on the positions and ranks they can hold.

"Green card holders have always been welcome to serve and (are) a key component of our military team," said U.S. Department of Defence spokeswoman Major Carla Gleason in an email. "Expedited citizenship is offered to service members who have completed initial training and 180 days of consecutive honourable service."

The British army also welcomes citizens of Commonwealth countries into its ranks, while the French Foreign Legion recruits soldiers from countries around the world.

While the CAF recently has seen a modest increase in the number of military personnel, it is still struggling to reach full strength, falling about 2,000 short in regular-force members and 5,300 in reservists.

Matthew Overton, executive director of the Conference of Defence Associations Institute and a retired brigadier-general who commanded the Forces recruiting group, said there are potential benefits and risks to allowing foreign nationals to join the Canadian Armed Forces.

"It's not simply that it will be opening a door to more people who can do jobs in the Forces. It's going to come with some complexity that we're not used to dealing with on a regular basis," he said.

"So we'd have to really think about that and be prepared to deal with some of those issues on a case-by-case basis with those individuals, to think about what that means."

Equity targets

In 2016, the RCMP scrapped its citizenship requirement, allowing permanent residents who have lived in Canada more than 10 years to apply. The goal was, in part, to boost diversity in the ranks.

Lifting the citizenship requirement could help meet the military's equity targets, which aim to have an Armed Forces composed of 25.1 per cent women, 3.5 per cent Indigenous people and 11.8 per cent visible minorities.

The current Forces makeup is 15.4 per cent women, 2.8 per cent Indigenous and 8.2 per cent visible minorities, though some choose not to not self-identify as belonging to one of the targeted groups.

Overton said there are benefits to increased diversity which could be enhanced by opening recruitment to permanent residents.

"Be aware of the individual and their circumstance, as we would be with looking at anyone for the Armed Forces, and take advantage of the opportunities, of the skills, knowledge sets and some of the understandings that they bring with them that would help Canada do a better job in influencing the world," he said.

In June 2014, the Conservatives established a new program that allowed foreign nationals who served with the Forces to apply for fast-tracked citizenship. According to figures provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, 98 applicants out of 109 have been approved to date.

Of those applicants, 56 were from England; the remainder came from a long list of countries, including Australia, Germany, Hungary, Singapore, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and the U.S.

CBC's Journalistic Standards and Practices

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/caf-military-foreign-recruits-1.4675889
 

Remius

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There is a whole pool of qualified types that this would allow us to tap into.
 

Edward Campbell

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jollyjacktar said:
Full story and info graphics at story link below

 
Canada's military is considering lifting a longstanding citizenship requirement as a way to boost its numbers.


I don't know how to define longstanding, but when I enlisted (1960) there was no citizenship requirement for other ranks and officers had to be 'British subjects.' We had some excellent officers and downright superb non-commissioned officers from a variety of countries and backgrounds ... including recent (15 years ago, then) enemies. 

 

PPCLI Guy

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E.R. Campbell said:
I don't know how to define longstanding, but when I enlisted (1960) there was no citizenship requirement for other ranks and officers had to be 'British subjects.' We had some excellent officers and downright superb non-commissioned officers from a variety of countries and backgrounds ... including recent (15 years ago, then) enemies.

I joined as a Landed Immigrant (1980), and at the time I had not even applied for citizenship. 
 

Jarnhamar

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This is a great idea
Canada's military is considering lifting a longstanding citizenship requirement as a way to boost its numbers.

Right now, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) offers waivers to foreign nationals only in exceptional cases — to individuals on international military exchanges, for example, or to candidates who have specialized skills in high demand.

That citizenship requirement is now under review.

"In line with the government of Canada's objective of raising the numbers of Forces personnel, there are currently initial discussions to review the possibility for foreign nationals' recruitment beyond skills applicants," Byrne Furlong, spokeswoman for Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, wrote in an email. "It is too early to mention anything about any results or conclusion of such review‎."


http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/caf-military-foreign-recruits-1.4675889



Remove citizenship from a requirement to join the military.

I can think of some Canadian citizens who just returned from combat who probably have a lot of friends overseas still with combat experience  who can come to Canada and join the CAF. Think of the money we'll save with training  :nod:

But really i guess that's one way to get our numbers up.
 

Altair

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Jarnhamar said:
This is a great idea



Remove citizenship from a requirement to join the military.

I can think of some Canadian citizens who just returned from combat who probably have a lot of friends overseas still with combat experience  who can come to Canada and join the CAF. Think of the money we'll save with training  :nod:

But really i guess that's one way to get our numbers up.
Americans do it.

France as well
 

mariomike

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Altair said:
Americans do it.

France as well

For reference to the discussion,

List of militaries that recruit foreigners
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_militaries_that_recruit_foreigners

 

Jarnhamar

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Altair said:
Americans do it.

France as well


Can I presume you support Canadians open carrying AR15 rifles around town and people accused of crimes being considered guilty until proven innocent?
 

Remius

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Jarnhamar said:
Can I presume you support Canadians open carrying AR15 rifles around town and people accused of crimes being considered guilty until proven innocent?

Huh?
 

Jarnhamar

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mariomike said:
For reference to the discussion,

List of militaries that recruit foreigners
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_militaries_that_recruit_foreigners

Most of those countries seem to have significant requirements such as a willingness to become a citizen, recruiting from certain allied countries, certain time lived in a country, reading and writing proficiency.

Given our government's actions with returning Canadian terrorists I have a suspicions our foreigner recruiting requirements would be fairly open.

With our messed up recruiting and school system is recruiting foreigners a good answer to alievate our numbers problem? If we can't get an english kid from Ottawa vetted and trained in a reasonable amount of time how would we handle someone from Djibouti?

I just met a young soldier who finished his basic training and will be on PAT platoon for 11 months before his trade course starts.
 

Underway

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Jarnhamar said:
Most of those countries seem to have significant requirements such as a willingness to become a citizen, recruiting from certain allied countries, certain time lived in a country, reading and writing proficiency.

Given our government's actions with returning Canadian terrorists I have a suspicions our foreigner recruiting requirements would be fairly open.

With our messed up recruiting and school system is recruiting foreigners a good answer to alievate our numbers problem? If we can't get an english kid from Ottawa vetted and trained in a reasonable amount of time how would we handle someone from Djibouti?

I just met a young soldier who finished his basic training and will be on PAT platoon for 11 months before his trade course starts.

The training system isn't recruitings problem.

As for foreign entanglements, the security clearance process takes about a year or longer for members that are from "sketchy" places, many times those people have their citizenship before we can validate their security clearance (just to reliable, not even secret!) as it takes so long. 

It took one person I know an Afghan Vet and UK armoured soldier 3 years to get into the Militia because he had to get his citizenship.  There is no reason he couldn't just walk across and do his trades training (he switched to RCA from armoured) aside from that issue.  For previous NATO service members it should be easy.  There are plenty of marriages and movement of people.

Canada also pays way higher for its positions than just about everyone but Australia for the most part.  You don't think there will be a "brain drain" on the UK once we get this up an running?  I once had a full section of UK soldiers asking me about opportunities in the CA because the pay and benefits were better.  They were from various commonwealth islands in the pacific and sent much of their paychecks home to their families, like is common for those places where job opportunities are scarce.

Combine that with a "you earned your citizenship" system and you have a winner.  One of the issues with the CAF (and Canada in general) is that we fail to make an impact on new Canadians who have their own ideas about military service related to the culture of where they came from.  What could be a better education for new Canadians then joining and serving their new country?  In the future I see more voters paying attention to military issues from those communities.

I can really see this as a winner, especially for the Reserve units.
 

Remius

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Jarnhamar said:
Americans do it, France as well.

Association fallacy.

Well if some countries make something work it might be worth looking into.  You linking open carry or whatever else make sure no sense in the context of the discussion.  At all.  Your rebuttal argument above at least provided context.
 

Jarnhamar

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Remius said:
Well if some countries make something work it might be worth looking into.  You linking open carry or whatever else make sure no sense in the context of the discussion.  At all.  Your rebuttal argument above at least provided context.

It did provide some exceptionally astute context didn't it? Thanks.
 

Jarnhamar

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[quote author=Underway]
The training system isn't recruitings problem.[/QUOTE]

But both are the Canadian Forces problem and both are contributing to our shortcomings and retention issues.


As for foreign entanglements, the security clearance process takes about a year or longer for members that are from "sketchy" places, many times those people have their citizenship before we can validate their security clearance (just to reliable, not even secret!) as it takes so long. 
I think I'm going on 4 years waiting for my security clearance.

I can really see this as a winner, especially for the Reserve units.

I'm not sold it's a good idea but I'm open to being wrong. You brought up good counter-points.
I still think we need to fix our recruiting and training system before we even consider something like this.

 

FJAG

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Underway said:
. . .
As for foreign entanglements, the security clearance process takes about a year or longer for members that are from "sketchy" places, many times those people have their citizenship before we can validate their security clearance (just to reliable, not even secret!) as it takes so long. 
. . .

That's a good point but can be dealt with.

When I first joined the Militia in 1965 as a gunner I had no problem enrolling and I was pretty much medicaled and sworn in the night I showed up. (Yup. That's how it worked then) I was a naturalized Canadian citizen being an immigrant from Germany. Security clearance never came up though.

When I transferred to the regular army as an officer candidate in 1969, however, and while I quickly received a security clearance of "Confidential", my clearance to "Secret" took some two years (which in those days was a very long time indeed) as there were relatives that I had living in East Germany that had to be checked out.

:cheers:
 
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jollyjacktar

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On my last tour at KAF l had numerous Americans come up to me and ask how they could join the Canadian Army.  I too think it's ludicrous, Underway, that we don't accept fellow Commonwealth/NATO service personnel with open arms and minimal hassle.
 

dimsum

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jollyjacktar said:
On my last tour at KAF l had numerous Americans come up to me and ask how they could join the Canadian Army.  I too think it's ludicrous, Underway, that we don't accept fellow Commonwealth/NATO service personnel with open arms and minimal hassle.

What were the reasons that the Americans wanted to jump ship?
 
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jollyjacktar

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Dimsum said:
What were the reasons that the Americans wanted to jump ship?

The general theme seemed to be (in their opinion) we were better treated, better paid, shorter tours, liked Canada and felt there were more opportunities, IRRC.

I do remember a conversation l had on the boardwalk with an American Army Capt.  We were comparing HLTA, pay, rotation ops tempo, resigning bonus etc.

He said they had to use their annual for leave from in Theatre, were flown back to their home base and no third location.  He was very jealous when l gave hom our options.  As for resigning, he had "re-upped" and his bonus was $50K, which he fervently hope would come in while he was there as it would be tax free.  I told him l had signed IPS just before leaving Canada.  I explained it would take me to age 55, his eyes goggled and he asked what kind of bonus l received for that kind of commitment.  I laughed and said l got to keep my job.  He thought l was insane.  ;D
 

garb811

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The MP Branch used to exchange officers with RMP; I can think of two RMP officers off the top of my head who rolled over to us on completion of their exchange.  The last one isn't that far in the past, I'm thinking less than 10 years.

Is anyone tracking when the citizenship requirement was actual instated?
 
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