Maybe we're seeing another unintended consequence of unification. We have a set of personnel policies that are CF wide but the modern needs of the Army, Navy, Airforce, Cyber community, etc. are all different and may need to attract different people with different incentives.
The Army can probably accept rapid turnover of a significant portion of its combat arms trades as there are lots of positions that can be filled by fit, young men and women in a Regiment and we don't necessarily need them all (or even want them all) to remain in the Army until CRA.
The RCAF on the other hand invests a lot of time and money into its techs and pilots and wants to keep them as long as possible so may require a whole different set of incentives in order to keep them.
Standardized policies across a non-standardized organization might save some administrative costs, but is likely creating a situation where the "happy medium" set of policies designed to fit all members equally ends up pleasing nobody.
The problem is, how do you put the unification genie back in the bottle?
The highlighted bit, I think, goes to @FJAG
and his peculiar fascination with the reserve. Young, fit, Canadians are consumables with limited shelf lives. They are in limited supply and they have a best before date. We have a limited window of opportunity to harvest them and they are skittish.
Once we have them it costs money to convert them into useable weapons. Some of them, a very few, will find immediate employment in their trained capacity. Some of them, a smaller number, will want to hang around in the service. A still smaller number will be worthy of promotion to higher ranks. The vast majority will end up wasting on the shelf with skills that might come in handy for the government at some point but aren't necessary today. And sitting on the shelf is boring.
The better response, for those trades requiring fitness, is to make them reserve-heavy trades focusing on large numbers of privates and corporals.
That is the traditional army. Measured in boots and bayonets. Call on demand.
But these days the Standing Force is increasingly one of buttons and butts in seats, whether the seat is at a desk in front of a key board, or in a vehicle.
Those jobs don't have strong physical demands. Their practitioners can expect long careers. Their skills are used every day operationally, and operationally includes administratively. And there is a lot of competition for those skills in the civilian work place.
A lot of those skills are beyond the reasonable expectations of a military training system. Some skills are better honed in a civilian environment. The CAF needs access to those skills as well. Some can be supplied by careerists but their needs to be, in my opinion, a strong leavening of late entry, short term and part time civilians in the operational elements.
All of which, when I review my meandering, is to say that there isn't a single magic bullet and that the CAF, as others have been pointing out, needs to see itself like any other company which needs to hire the skills it needs from the available population.
We are still stuck with images of thousands of pre-industrial labourers on parade squares being taught how to work with magic technologies like wireless, the internal combustion engine and machine guns.
The people we have now are comfortable with all of the above - even machine guns if you include the paintball, airsoft and COD communities.
The HR task is less one of training candidates and more one finding and retaining candidates who have the necessary skills and capabilities.