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RegF Support Staff (RSS) - Reserve Trg hours [Merged]

Hotwire

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Colin P said:
Back in the 80’s the RSS gave stability to the unit and dealt with the day to day issues. They all took part in tasks as required due to the small number of RSS and Class B (3x RSS and 2x Class b on average). The RSS mentored soldiers within their rank structure and helped individuals with postings and tasks. I would say that 90% of the RSS staff I met were excellent and important to both myself and the unit. Not everyone is cut out to be RSS staff and it requires a unique skill set.

It most definatly is an aquiered taste, and a special skill set. Dealing with day to day issues, mentoring, helping, and taking part in tasks is one thing. And NOT an issue. Its the fact that during the week, my Coy is one deep, Me. All threw out the year we (Being the Unit) are offering A-Class work. How ever, the picking and choosing is rediculous. And after 3 years of unwaivering fortitude to do these jobs, without question, We have a new CO. Who's new policies and trg calander prevent most of the FTUC staff from getting time off. And In the event that a day IS taken, we are berated on the parade nights about loyalty, dedication, and profesionalism.. or our lack there of. This goes for Pre- and Post-Ex drills. They all want to have fun on the weekend, yet no one is willing to come in to setup, or after to tear down. Its the FTUC that are left to do the eintire BN's dirty work, But the COY CSM's Get gold stars for making it happen. enough is enough.

Again, This is from one point of view.
 

daftandbarmy

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Hotwire said:
It most definatly is an aquiered taste, and a special skill set. Dealing with day to day issues, mentoring, helping, and taking part in tasks is one thing. And NOT an issue. Its the fact that during the week, my Coy is one deep, Me. All threw out the year we (Being the Unit) are offering A-Class work. How ever, the picking and choosing is rediculous. And after 3 years of unwaivering fortitude to do these jobs, without question, We have a new CO. Who's new policies and trg calander prevent most of the FTUC staff from getting time off. And In the event that a day IS taken, we are berated on the parade nights about loyalty, dedication, and profesionalism.. or our lack there of. This goes for Pre- and Post-Ex drills. They all want to have fun on the weekend, yet no one is willing to come in to setup, or after to tear down. Its the FTUC that are left to do the eintire BN's dirty work, But the COY CSM's Get gold stars for making it happen. enough is enough.

Again, This is from one point of view.

Can you approach your CO and explain your concerns honestly and openly and get a fair hearing?

If not, and you fear that your staff will continue to get the short straw with collaterally adverse impacts on unit performance, there's a chain of command for a reason. Don't treat us any different from any other part of the Army.... please!!!
 

Cardstonkid

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I think most RSS are over tasked, especially the MCpl's and Sgt's, there is just to much for a unit to do, and no ability to do it, unless the RSS get it done. I suspect this to be a pretty common feature of many Reserve units.

I know many RSS feel overburdened, unappreciated, and unsupported by those they are tasked to serve.

Sometimes, there is a tendency in a unit to have an "us vs them" attitude with regards to the Class A and the RSS / Class B.

As a Class A, I see this at times, and I get where it comes from on both sides, but it isn't healthy and will get a unit nowhere quickly.

The Reserves are under tremendous strain. From what I have seen, most units out west are losing more than they are recruiting. Many of the class A leadership are burned out, and there is no simple way to create leadership that is so vitally needed. The result is that the RSS, out of necessity pick up the slack, and try to keep the gong show running.

I appreciate the long hours of work and commitment of the RSS staff. It is a unique job, that is a lot more the a 9-5 seven day a week responsibility. It is a service that requires a good attitude, the patience of Jobe, and the tolerance of Ghandi.

Remember the Class A guy who is showing up regularly may not have had a day off this month, he may get grumpy, and maybe a bit envious of the Reg force guys, but in the end, us class A guys know that without the RSS there would be no Reserves.

Good luck, these will be challenging days ahead for the Reserves, especially the RSS.
 

Remius

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Well having been full time staff at a unit as well as working closely with RSS I have seen both extremes.  Some really switched on people and some craptacular rejects.  I know at my unit, they wnated to keep the the class B reserve OPS officer and OPS WO but were told that no, they were posting in two reg force types as they were reg force positions.  The ones there now are doing good work, go out on ex etc.  Their expertise and contacts are definitly an asset.

As far as our CC is concerned we've never been able to keep them long enough.  They either take stress leave or ask to be posted out.  many attempts have been made to make the CC a class B position since our class B guys and girls seem to know how to run the OR. 

We also have an RSS that brings a wealth of experience and qualifications to the QM without who everything would be ten times harder given our unit supporting several brigade klevel activities, courses etc.

With some creativity, class A guys, CTO and short leave, the unit attempts to balance as much of the workload as possible.  A lot of this came as result of those concerned, using the CoC to effect change.

It isn't perfect.  But it can be better.
 

Hotwire

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thank you all for the insight.

Pursuing this up the chain... Both the OPs O and OPs WO have spoken to the CO. So have the Adj, and the Padre. Its his vision, and he is keeping it. We try to swing things, and make it run. But it is a rough time. Its made us few FTUC (6 of us) learn to work together, at all rank levels and to give and take equally.
 

FJAG

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My tour as an RSSO was in the late 70s and it was a great experience primarily because I was given clear and concise terms of reference as to what my job was.

The TOR was the following: "If there is some reservist who knows how to do a given job, let him do it; if there is no one doing the job but there is a reservist who is prepared to do it then teach him how and let him get on with the job; if there is no reservist who knows how to do the job or wants to do it then get it done yourself."

Just as an aside, the unit had some twenty-five reports and returns to file annually. I adopted an attitude that I would only file the ones where someone actually cared enough to send me a hastener asking where the report was. There were only three of those. Why do we bury the leadership of these units with the very few paid days they get with a mess of useless paper to shuffle around?

 

Eye In The Sky

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Does the RSS Officer still mostly fill out the pos of Adjt and not confer with the Bde G3 anymore?  It was another way I saw where concerns could be discussed, with the G3 having access to the HQ CO/COS.  :2c:
 

Hotwire

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Our OPs O and Adj are two different people. The OPs O is Reg Force, and the Adj is a B-Class Res. and only for the next few weeks at that.
 

Eye In The Sky

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Roger.  However, more importantly, does the RSS Officer have regular comm's with the Bde G3?  I ask because the Bde HQ I was at in yester-year, the RSS O had access to the G3 ( Reg Force Major), the G3 had access to the Bde HQ CO/CO ( Reg Force LCol).  I think the rest is obvious.
 

cupper

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I see that your title says Gun Plumber. Are you currently working as support staff in a maintenance unit or higher level?
 

Michael OLeary

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Eye In The Sky said:
Roger.  However, more importantly, does the RSS Officer have regular comm's with the Bde G3?  I ask because the Bde HQ I was at in yester-year, the RSS O had access to the G3 ( Reg Force Major), the G3 had access to the Bde HQ CO/CO ( Reg Force LCol).  I think the rest is obvious.

No, the Commissar system was dismantled when the RFC were taken into the unit chain of command.
 

Tank Troll

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My RSS Captain is both Adj and OPs O he converse with the Bgde G3 and his shop regularly along with the rest of the Bdge staff, as does my RSS Sgt that is in the OPs WO postion.
 

Michael OLeary

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What Eye is talking about is the "old days" when the RSS were in a separate chain of command. The discussions he's referring to were the RSS receiving direction from District Staff Officers/Area COSs and using that chain in parallel with the Unit/Disrict (Bde)/Area chain of command. The down side is the RSS could get trapped between two non-convergent intents for their employment.
 

Ostrozac

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I have received a heads up that my next posting is likely an RSS position. Now, I am in the unfortunate position of not only having limited and dated knowledge of the reserves, but also that none of my peers in my current unit have served in RSS positions. I used the search engine, and while there is much explanation on this site of what life is like as a reservist, there is little discussion of the role of the RSS in the whole process.

I did serve in a reserve combat arms unit in the 90's, briefly, before joining the reg force, but my memories of US rain jackets, AVGPs and militia districts is, I know, quite dated. I don't even remember the difference between Class B and Class B (A)!

Does anyone with Regular Support Staff experience have any lessons learned or observations about the job that they would like to share?
 

PuckChaser

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Solely depends on your unit. But as an extreme model I've seen RSS expected to work all week, most weekends, every Thursday night and then pick up all the assigned summer teaching jobs that none of the Cl A pers will touch with a 10 ft pole. Your mileage may vary though.
 
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As stated, it depends on the type of unit and to an extent which RSS position you are going into.

Generally, the difference between Class B and BA is the duration of the contract, with Class BA being for permanent positions and typically 3 years.  Its important to know that the full-time staff of a typical reserve unit is only 6-7 personnel (RSS = Adjutant. Chief clerk, QM Sgt/MCpl, Ops WO; Cl-BA = Finance Sgt, RMS clerk, one other Cl-BA in various positions). This means that various tasks and jobs, that are outside of what is defined by your position end up in your in-box. While part-time class A pers are called in for various work during the week, when this doesn't happen, it invariably falls to the full-time staff.  Things are made that much more difficult if there are vacancies in the full-time positions.

The reserves train most weekends and one local training night per week, so the full-time staff (RSS and permanent reservists) are, quite logically, expected to be there. This does not however imply that you will be required to attend every LHQ night and training weekend. Depends on the nature of the training and your role at the unit. I would assume most employing units realize that working any member 60+ hours will simply lead to a eventual burn-out. Often if required to work a weekend, the full-time staff is given the Monday off. Not a 1:1 return but better than nothing.

In my perspective, I've seen a lot of RSS staff over the last few years and the one's who were truly miserable were because they simply didn't want to be there. Often this was their last posting and they were counting the days until retirement, didn't want to work weekends or Tuesday nights, and couldn't see any personal benefit in working with the reserves. The chief clerks realize quickly that the admin is a little different, the quartermaster staff realize they have little support staff and that the supply job in a reserve unit is very different from what they may have done before. The adjutants probably have the least difficulty transitioning to working for the reserves. 

Communication with the chain of command is key and would likely resolve most problems in most cases. 

 

Eye In The Sky

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Tetragrammaton said:
The adjutants probably have the least difficulty transitioning to working for the reserves. 

I am not sure I agree with this;  with a Cl A CO, the Adjt position can be extremely busy, handling day-to-day stuff with Bde, etc.  The other key positions (eg Regt 2 I/C, Regt Ops O, etc) are also mostly Cl A.  The Adjt quickly become more than "just" the Adjt in some cases (I'd like to sat "most" based on what I'd seen in my Res time).  I also recall the RSS Os being tasked with a handful of secondary duties, such as U Sec O.  If they had a hat-rack, it would have needed quite a few hooks, IMO.

Also, I've seen Adjt's double-hatted with the duties above within RHQ *and* farmed out to the F Ech as well, as Battle Captain, etc during the Trg year...only to be sent to the MTSC/LFA TC/*insert name of TE* for the summer trg cycle....then onto the ARCON...repeat cycle.

Some CO's have recognized the hard work and amount of hours RSS folks put in on the Armouries floor and given them CTOs/Shorts/etc and I've also seen others not do it.  I spent a few years at a CBG HQ and attended more than 1 COS and/or Bde Comd O Gps where these issues were brought up, resulting in direction from HHQ to COs.
 

Milhouser911

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Good afternoon everyone.

I'm a reg force member in a reserve CSS posting, looking to wrap my head around the idea of coming in for Thursday night training nights after a regular day's work.  This is mostly smoke-pit chatter, since I understand that the powers that be will administer it however they choose, but for my own entertainment I'd like to know if this concept has any weight.

Regular working hours are 0900-1600, and we must return to work from 1900-2200.  It seems to me that this would clearly constitute "irregular hours", or possibly a return call to work.  The way I understand it, this would necessitate either a meal (if we were working the entire time) OR mileage for the second trip to work.  The CFDTI is a little short on definitions, so it's definitely open to interpretation. 

Does anyone care to weigh in? The relevant section appears to be CFDTI 5.24.

Thanks for your input.
 
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