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RCN to introduce new Conduct Policy and new Alcohol Policy

George Wallace

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Chief Stoker said:
Honestly George, I think the total ban at sea will increase instances of binge drinking as seen in other dry navies. The problem here is the lack of leadership and looking after ones winger to keep him out of the sh*t. I think we lost that and this is the result.

I agree.  I have already seen that in the Army as far back as the '80's, with ALL ranks.  Once you start treating the troops, of all ranks, like children, they start to behave like children when the strings are loosened. 

Two things come to mind:
1.  The alcoholic will always find a way to find their booze.  There are programs and regulations in place to treat this problem. 
2.  When you treat all the troops like children, and then give them down time; a long weekend on an Army Exercise or a port call in the Navy, you will see them behave like children in a candy store. 
 

Monsoon

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Chief Stoker said:
Honestly George, I think the total ban at sea will increase instances of binge drinking as seen in other dry navies. The problem here is the lack of leadership and looking after ones winger to keep him out of the ****. I think we lost that and this is the result.
It's just window dressing; virtually no one was drinking at sea to begin with, except at banyans already approved by the COs. Certainly none of the incidents cited as prompting this review had anything to do with drinking at sea (WHITEHORSE or any of the many more egregious cases).

The real substantive change was alluded to only briefly in the summary - a so-called "First Night Protocol". There's no explanation of what that means, but at first glance it would seem to suggest some sort of plan to deal with first nights alongside in foreign ports (i.e. confine everyone onboard, give them a beer, a movie and a solid night's sleep before letting them hit the town the next day). If that's the case, it'll be interesting to see if the "protocol" will involve extending foreign ports on deployment by a day to make up for the lost liberty time. Somehow, I suspect not.
 
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jollyjacktar

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Chief Stoker said:
No but just one more thing to be pissed off at.
 

And that, is something the organization doesn't need at this time either.  They keep twisting tails and the bleed will turn into a bleed out with people they can't afford at either end of the scale.  Lots of kids getting fed up as well as those of us who are 10/30.  They seem to be hell bent on extracting every ounce of enjoyment that was to be found in the Navy these past few years.  I've had a belly full of the cut here and there.  They don't seem to give a shyte anyhow, at least from where I view things.
 

NavyShooter

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Interesting developments, and some interesting discussion on the ship about it today.

Concern over the 'first night in' when visiting foreign ports, discussion about pricing, the 'what next' factor, the inevitable discussions about straw and camels.

I have my doubts that this will result in a cascade of release or CT's.  Folks will get up in arms, grumble, and then realize that we're actually paid pretty well for what we do.  Think back to when smokes went from duty-free prices to regular prices....and when smoking was banned inside the ship....did some people pull pin and get out?  For sure.  Not a lot, and I suspect that's what we'll see here.

When I was interviewed for the Formation MS position in 2007, a point similar to this came up, so this has been in the wings for a long time, perhaps the Whitehorse incident was the trigger, but the gun was already loaded.

NS
 

Navy_Pete

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So if beer/liquor is the same price on board as ashore, why socialize in the sausage party messes at all?  I can see more people running ashore the first night and doing stupid sh*t then just having a few beers and getting confined to the ship due to the combination of exhaustion/alcohol.

This won't be the single factor, but one more 'cut' contributing to overall dissatisfaction in being in the navy for those close to the line already.
 

Jarnhamar

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Seems like drinking is a pretty big deal in the Navy.  Does the navy set up an environment where drinking every day is the norm?
 

Infanteer

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There Army moved away from freely available alcohol in the field (save special occasions like a smoker) over a decade ago.  We survived.  So will the Navy.
 

devil39

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Infanteer said:
There Army moved away from freely available alcohol in the field (save special occasions like a smoker) over a decade ago.  We survived.  So will the Navy.

Yup....but anyone who thinks that the Army is as much fun today as it was in the '80s or '90s (or 60's or 70s?) would be lying.....or maybe they weren't around then.... 
 
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jollyjacktar

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Infanteer said:
There Army moved away from freely available alcohol in the field (save special occasions like a smoker) over a decade ago.  We survived.  So will the Navy.
Yes, and we'll have some of the same problems the Army does too when they get around booze.  I was with 1CMBG before beer went away and I was in Wainwright for Maple Guardian etc in 09 for Roto 7 to the end and saw the effects of a sudden access drinks.  Cutting it off can only make it worse for some when they get their mitts on it.  We see it with the USN all the time.  The Army doesn't have all the answers, nor does the RCN for that matter.  We'll survive, yes, but there will be some headaches that come with it.
 

Infanteer

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devil39 said:
Yup....but anyone who thinks that the Army is as much fun today as it was in the '80s or '90s (or 60's or 70s?) would be lying.....or maybe they weren't around then....

I dunno, I'm having fun.  So are my troops.  Things change, and you don't necessarily need to be buzzing to have fun.

jollyjacktar said:
Yes, and we'll have some of the same problems the Army does too when they get around booze.  I was with 1CMBG before beer went away and I was in Wainwright for Maple Guardian etc in 09 for Roto 7 to the end and saw the effects of a sudden access drinks.  Cutting it off can only make it worse for some when they get their mitts on it.  We see it with the USN all the time.  The Army doesn't have all the answers, nor does the RCN for that matter.  We'll survive, yes, but there will be some headaches that come with it.

Agreed.  Binge drinking is the real problem, and I think that it occurs regardless of whether guys can have 1 or 2 per night or not.
 
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jollyjacktar

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I believe binge drinking is going to be more of a problem if adults are muzzled most of the time.  Yes, I agree there are some (and they are a small minority) that have a problem with handling their booze regardless of it being available on a small regular basis or on an unregulated opportunity such as decompression or foreign ports.  The bad apples should get properly dealt with by their respective CoC should they cross the line.  I don't buy into the mob punishment mentality that is a common theme in the military.  Treat everyone like adults and usually they will respond in kind.  Those that don't, get spanked.

If you make something taboo then it will be abused harder than if it's not.  That is human nature.  Command will as I said, on occasion, rue this decision when it blows up in their face and onto CBC ala the Whitehorse.  And it will happen one day.  We'll be just like the Yanks in port, especially if the booze is as expensive or more so than downtown.  No-one will want to stick on board and will take it downtown.

This will I am sure make some decide to leave.  To some it will be another burr under the saddle blanket of enjoyment that will add to their reasons as to why it's becoming less fun.  And believe me, the Navy has been steadily whittling away on the fun factor for a number of years now bit by bit.  Will it make for a better Navy?  :dunno:  I do hope so for the institution's sake as they seem to be hell bent on pissing folks off with things like Spec Pay for Stokers etc. 

I'm in a shore posting at present and if the gods are kind will be moving on to civilian life next year so I don't have a dog in the fight, per se.  I don't get hammered at sea, and have no issue with the locks on while in the box but this is a another burr under my saddle blanket to go with the others.

 

George Wallace

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devil39 said:
.....or maybe they weren't around then....

That about says it.  They weren't around, so have no idea what they are missing.  It seems that in the late '80's and into the '90's the trend to take all the fun out of a dirty job, and make it just a dirty job happened.  I don't know the numbers or stats, but it seemed like a lot of good people were taking Releases in the late '90's into 2003 or so.  That compounded the situation of all the Retiring pers from the '60/70's.
 

McG

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I don't see why denying a couple drinks per day is required.  That being said, if not having that daily drink or two requires somebody to binge drink the next time there is alcohol, then that individual may have a problem.  Under previous rules, was there a limit on the number of drinks an individual could have on any given day?

I have heard of other recent incidents of fairly significant shenanigans involving senior leadership and alcohol requiring involvement of investigators from outside the ship to resolve, and I gather from comments in this thread that alcohol incidents are not uncommon problems.  It would seem the Navy has reached the point where it feels that it must cause a cultural correction within itself.

Where a unit's culture of discipline (potentially including deportment, bearing, military routine, conduct, etc) is eroded, I have heard my sergeant major observe that the correction requires one to "go ugly early."  Parades/roll-calls, inspections and enforcement of rules increases while freedoms, exceptions, and liberties are constrained .... at the unit level it can be a lot like imposing a junior career course daily routine less the classes.  However, it needs to be communicated that the "ugly" is a path to a cultural correction and it needs to be communicated what criteria must be achieved to see a lessening of the hyper-regimented routine.

If the Navy has decided to make an internal cultural correction, I am not aware that the end state has been clearly articulated.  It does appear that the intent is to stay "ugly" forever and there is no light at the end.
 

SeaKingTacco

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Let's see if I have this straight:

Ship gets in massive crap alongside; embarrasses RCN and gets recalled to Canada. Check.

Commanding Officer, XO, Coxn disciplined? Nope.

Beer and wine no longer available at sea for entire fleet. check (that was always problematic for me as aircrew, anyway, but it is always nice to have the illusion of choice)

Alcohol now more expensive. Check. That should keep everyone onboard and under the supervision of the duty watch, instead of downtown  ::)

More mandatory briefings and training to attend. Check.

Now, after spending even more time at sea, and fewer port visits (where we all stand 1 in 3 duties anyway, regardless of the actual  threat or workload), the first night in we will now be restricted to the ship for our own protection? I am responsible for a crew and multi-million dollar helicopter, but cannot be trusted to make good decisions in port? Do I have that about right?

I am routinely dealing with aged ships and antique helicopters; substandard and over-crowded living conditions as we pack ever more people into the ships and yet, me, deciding to have a beer or two is the problem?

Maybe, just maybe, it is not me or the rest of the ship's company who is the real problem here. My experience has always been that if you treat people like children, you will reinforce childlike behaviour. Once you have a fleet full of children, your talent will walk.

This whole policy is a study in failure of command at all levels. Jesus wept.
 

devil39

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George Wallace said:
That about says it.  They weren't around, so have no idea what they are missing.  It seems that in the late '80's and into the '90's the trend to take all the fun out of a dirty job, and make it just a dirty job happened.  I don't know the numbers or stats, but it seemed like a lot of good people were taking Releases in the late '90's into 2003 or so.  That compounded the situation of all the Retiring pers from the '60/70's.

Yup....next will come a decade of arguing with your risk adverse boss as to why your troops should be allowed into town when you are out of the country on a dry exercise...and looking for a bit of fun and adventure....

Please...let's be more like the US Army and Navy.... Clearly they are the standard to achieve!!

We used to be a mission command Army and CF....not so much any more
 

Stoker

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Nothing we can do about it now anyways. While I don't like the policy change, I stand behind the COC on this decision and we'll see how it goes.
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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SeaKingTacco said:
Commanding Officer, XO, Coxn disciplined? Nope.

......and there is the crux of the problem right there.  The friggin' Glee club mentality just keeps making *us* more and more of a joke.....

* those who, like me, are long gone but still believe in the institution.*
 
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jollyjacktar

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Chief Stoker said:
Nothing we can do about it now anyways. While I don't like the policy change, I stand behind the COC on this decision and we'll see how it goes.
When they make sense, I do too.  Not this time though. 

I expect I'll be reading how well it fails to go in the Chronicle Herald one day down the road too.  Hopefully I'm wrong, but I fear I'm not.
 
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