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Serving the Nation’s Interests: Creating an Integrated and Agile Canadian Reserve Force

daftandbarmy

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Dude... it's 'toons' not 'cartoons' ;)


A senior Army Reservist, Brigadier-General (Retired) James Camsell, when reflecting on his service as a Lieutenant-Colonel, in Afghanistan in 2008 with the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT) in Kandahar opined:

I was in training in New Mexico and I volunteered to become an infantryman [with the OMLT], nobody knew I was a reservist, most people did not know I was a reservist. So I remember I was having a coffee with some RCR dudes and they started talking about cartoons. So they call reservists cartoons in the RCR, because you’re only there on Saturdays type thing. So I listened to this, and they didn’t know who I was and I said ‘hey, you realize that I’m a reservist and half this section is reserve?’


Serving the Nation’s Interests: Creating an Integrated and Agile Canadian Reserve Force​

by Shawn D. Bindon and Howard G. Coombs​


Conclusion

We have a significant and perhaps fleeting opportunity to integrate the CAF and we need to seize this moment. This is truly a once in a generation opportunity.

It is apparent, in the myriad of shifts regarding full- and part-time military force cooperation and integration that have taken place in Canada since 1960s unification, there was and is a perception of “many paths to the same destination.” However, the numerous and constant adjustments to organizations and roles have had an adverse impact on the elements of the Canadian Armed Forces Reserve. Also, and importantly in the context of defence management, these continual course changes have not permitted any meaningful progress towards a mutually reinforcing concept of Reserve/Regular cooperation. While consensus exists about the need for Reservists and Regulars to serve together with common vision and mutually accepted outcomes, the “how” that is to be attained diverges in detail and methodology depending on whom is engaged. Clarity on this aspect of the integration goal directed by Strong, Secure, Engaged needs to be attained.

One should start with the acknowledgement that Reserve (and Regular) Forces are different from popular conceptualizations and ingrained beliefs. Perspectives need to move from ideas of individual or collective augmentation to creating successful integrated effects through complementary skills. Along with that is the imperative to facilitate balance amongst the Reserve triad of military service – family – employer through an effective policy framework. This is the starting point to any real and lasting efficacy.

In the final analysis, integration is currently viewed in a variety of ways by the different members of the defence team. It can be argued that in most cases, integration is perceived as pertaining to building Reserve/Regular organizations, as well as a concentration on individual augmentation, not towards creating collective capabilities and their management to producing integrated effects. While integration needs to be about producing and employing amalgamated capability, the current focus is upon force structure. We need to shift this perspective to create a unified vision of Canadian Armed Forces integration that optimizes the contributions of all its members both full- and part-time to achieve unified Reserve/Regular effects in the international and domestic security environments.


Canadian Military Journal
 

FJAG

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Thanks for pointing this one out D&B. I thought after my article in the CMJ two years ago and the insipid response coming back from the office of the CRes&ES that they'd never publish an article about reforming reserves ever again.

The problem with this article is that it's pretty mild. He identified unified terms of service as the problem. Note this quote:

Major-General (Retired) Herb Petras, a former Chief of Reserves, indicated that this change, particularly unified terms of service, which has been advocated since the early 2007, is the most crucial and difficult to affect.

Unified terms of service are not THE problem. The problem is a lack of will and desire to fix the issue.

The NDA has one provision defines reserve and regular force service and the only statutory bar rests in s. 15 on the term "full-time, continuing" and "other than full-time continuing" service and the provision at s24 which requires consent to transfer between the Reg F and the Res F. Everything else is regulatory or policy.

THE problem is overthinking the problem and refusing to accept and live within the that existing terminology. When folks at NDHQ talk about unified terms of service they are generally looking at facilitating Class B augmentation rather than what we could call modernizing "mobilization" capabilities. This is where the Reg F v Reserve 2000 loggerhead issues come out because, notwithstanding the many things wrong with Reserves 2000, their focus is on the Class A service side where true reserve capabilities ought to lie.

This problem is compounded by the fact that the issue has a low priority for implementation and has bureaucratic drag attached to it. Their suggestions for reform (remember their idea of unified terms of service is to create "unlimited liability service" and "limited liability service") because the thousands of Class B's couldn't be posted wherever they wanted them. Every time they tried something, word got out and Reserves 2000 called the politicians.

Here's a real easy solution that works under existing terms:

1) part-time reservists are Class A as we know them;

2) full-time reservists are Class B as we know them and are limited to serve within the terms of their contract;

3) and here's the change. Rather than making Class C just for operations, make them a term contract whereby the reservist volunteers to serve anywhere including on operations during their term. In exchange they get the full hockey sock of benefits.

The problem isn't the terms of service. The problem is poor attitude towards the reserves, poor training, no equipment, no employer protection, no equipment, minimal leadership direction, no mission/role, poor funding, no imagination, no planning and above all else, no belief that there will ever be an actual crisis that will require the force to expand quickly. NDHQ and Army headquarters lives day-by-day and that's where they put their money. The household equivalent is making payments on the car you drive and the food you eat and the Hockey Channel but not making any payments on your insurance premiums.

Rant off.

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daftandbarmy

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Thanks for pointing this one out D&B. I thought after my article in the CMJ two years ago and the insipid response coming back from the office of the CRes&ES that they'd never publish an article about reforming reserves ever again.

The problem with this article is that it's pretty mild. He identified unified terms of service as the problem. Note this quote:



Unified terms of service are not THE problem. The problem is a lack of will and desire to fix the issue.

The NDA has one provision defines reserve and regular force service and the only statutory bar rests in s. 15 on the term "full-time, continuing" and "other than full-time continuing" service and the provision at s24 which requires consent to transfer between the Reg F and the Res F. Everything else is regulatory or policy.

THE problem is overthinking the problem and refusing to accept and live within the that existing terminology. When folks at NDHQ talk about unified terms of service they are generally looking at facilitating Class B augmentation rather than what we could call modernizing "mobilization" capabilities. This is where the Reg F v Reserve 2000 loggerhead issues come out because, notwithstanding the many things wrong with Reserves 2000, their focus is on the Class A service side where true reserve capabilities ought to lie.

This problem is compounded by the fact that the issue has a low priority for implementation and has bureaucratic drag attached to it. Their suggestions for reform (remember their idea of unified terms of service is to create "unlimited liability service" and "limited liability service") because the thousands of Class B's couldn't be posted wherever they wanted them. Every time they tried something, word got out and Reserves 2000 called the politicians.

Here's a real easy solution that works under existing terms:

1) part-time reservists are Class A as we know them;

2) full-time reservists are Class B as we know them and are limited to serve within the terms of their contract;

3) and here's the change. Rather than making Class C just for operations, make them a term contract whereby the reservist volunteers to serve anywhere including on operations during their term. In exchange they get the full hockey sock of benefits.

The problem isn't the terms of service. The problem is poor attitude towards the reserves, poor training, no equipment, no employer protection, no equipment, minimal leadership direction, no mission/role, poor funding, no imagination, no planning and above all else, no belief that there will ever be an actual crisis that will require the force to expand quickly. NDHQ and Army headquarters lives day-by-day and that's where they put their money. The household equivalent is making payments on the car you drive and the food you eat and the Hockey Channel but not making any payments on your insurance premiums.

Rant off.

🍻


But we have some nice Bands, don't we? ;)
 

dapaterson

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The Special Force can exist. Use that construct for operations and abolish class C.

Abolish class B over 150 days, instead force Reg F TOS (but with some restrictions if needed) for such support.

Simple.
 

dimsum

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The Special Force can exist. Use that construct for operations and abolish class C.

Abolish class B over 150 days, instead force Reg F TOS (but with some restrictions if needed) for such support.

Simple.
And everyone can call themselves SF at the...well, wherever you'd go and say you're SF :sneaky:
 

daftandbarmy

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Hey, you're killing my post-Reg F career here! :ROFLMAO:

You'd do really well 'on' Class B in a CBG HQ :)

dj qualls GIF
 

FJAG

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So 8,000+ days on continuous Class B would be a thing of the past?
There's a lot of room for different ideas there.

My thought process at this time is the following:
  • DP1 training for officers and DP 1 and 2 training for NCMs would be identical so that personnel are interchangeable;
  • all service is on a fixed year contract basis (I tend to favour a general requirement that the full term of contract must be completed with voluntary releases available only in very narrow circumstances - once the army invests $ in training, there needs to be a payback system - we already do this in certain fields and could expand it considerably)
  • people who wish to make a lifetime career of the army enroll as Reg F and are liable for postings and operational deployments;
  • people who wish do part-time service enroll as Res F and are not liable to be posted or deploy operationally except if placed on active service or called out on service;
  • Res F who wish to serve full-time may:
    • volunteer to transfer to the Reg F;
    • volunteer for a full-time Class B contract not exceeding three years during which time they will serve at no less than their current rank, are not liable to a posting outside the agreed geographical area and not liable to deploy operationally except if placed on active service or called out on service (I see this as an attractive option for personnel already living in an urban centre and wishing full-time employment close to their homes but without the full commitment and accepting less than full compensation and benefits);
    • volunteer for a full-time Class C contract not exceeding three years during which time they will serve at no less than their current rank, are liable to postings (with a guaranteed return move to their enrollment location) and liable to be deployed operationally (I see this as an attractive option for reservists who wish to build on their experience, or serve on a deployed operation but not make a career of the army while providing a manpower pool for the Reg F to backfill vacant Reg F positions for fixed time periods and to obtain augmentees for specific operations)
  • Reg F personnel who wish to leave the Reg F before their full contract term expires may be eligible to do so by transferring to Class A, B or C contracts with varying terms (as an example a Reg F cpl with 1.5 years left in his current contract might be allowed to transfer to a Res F Class A contract of 3-4 years with the unit of his choice or a Class B contract of 1.5 years wherever a position is available.
Res F Class B and C contracts are for fixed terms of 3 years or less and therefore not "continuing". There should be no limitation to applying for a new contract to follow on after the expiry of an existing contract (maybe with a small gap of a return to Class A service so as not to run afoul of any pension issues [although those could be amended to meet the purpose])

I can see the Class B system to be a valuable one to let the Army build specialty units that do not have a requirement to deploy operationally at any time such as;
  • full-time staff at depot battalions and companies in urban centres which are unattractive to Reg F personnel because of housing cost and whose only role is recruiting and training DP 1 and 2 NCMs or at static schools whose role is training officers and DP 3 nd 4 NCMs;
  • specialty organizations that need a pool of personnel not willing to commit to full careers and whose service (including operational service) can be done out of fixed urban locations such as cyber warfare, portions of military intelligence, certain logistics and maintenance roles, etc;
  • essentially any job where right now we have a civilian workforce but where the army would benefit by having military personnel who could be employed in a military role in an emergency
I'm open to other options but I think that we need a system that allows individuals some additional choices on how they serve and secondly ensures that the army does have the necessary numbers of personnel to meet their day-to-day operational and administrative functions while being able to surge a large force when needed. I think we could do that better with a mix of roughly 35-40% Reg F, 10-15% Class B and C; and 50% Class A based on our current and projected equipment holdings and SSE missions.

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dapaterson

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If a fixed period of service is not continuous service, then many Reg F members are on terms of service that are counter to the definition of Reg F.

Ongoing full time requirements should be Reg F. There can be restrictions placed on that service such that they may resemble some of our current Res F full time models, but there's no valid reason for permanent full time positions designed to be filled by persons enrolled for other than full time service.
 

FJAG

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If a fixed period of service is not continuous service, then many Reg F members are on terms of service that are counter to the definition of Reg F.
An interesting though. I've never heard that as an issue, just the other way around with Res F members and their full-time contracts. "Full-time" is easy to define (well easier) but "continuing" was never legally defined although we had some rough notions that would kind of do so long as no one pressed the issue. Three years was always a wink, wink; nudge, nudge rule of thumb. Not sure if those "notions" have taken any more solid form since I left a decade+ ago.

Ongoing full time requirements should be Reg F. There can be restrictions placed on that service such that they may resemble some of our current Res F full time models, but there's no valid reason for permanent full time positions designed to be filled by persons enrolled for other than full time service.
I've always like the definition that separates full-time from part-time services as: full-time personnel are those needed to serve day-to-day to administer the force or to hone their skills or alternatively are those required for immediate use in an emergency while part-time personnel are those only required on a stand-by basis for less likely but more extreme scenarios. To me, the special operations folks clearly fit the bill for the hone their skills crowd while gun and rocket batteries are clearly in the stand-by group. As for the administration bunch there are clearly differing opinions as to which are needed day-to-day and which are not needed at all.

The key is the day-to-day need versus the stand-by necessity/availability.

I used to think that full-time should equate to Reg F and that every day-to-day and quick reaction individual should be filling a Reg F PY.

I'm more-and-more leaning to an in-between classification that requires a full-time service but without the liabilities that attach to Reg F service, primarily postings and non-emergency operational deployments. Basically a class of service that caters to folks who on a peacetime basis remain in the location of their choice and are not liable for operational deployments unless placed on active service or called out on service. I think it might enhance recruiting as well as stability in certain types of units where postings and operational deployments are not an issue.

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dapaterson

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We agree on the description, but not the name. I'd call that a sub component of the Reg F, and manage it institutionally as such, and not rely on ad hoc, demi-cheeked solutions.
 

Blackadder1916

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. . . in-between classification that requires a full-time service but without the liabilities that attach to Reg F service, primarily postings and non-emergency operational deployments. Basically a class of service that caters to folks who on a peacetime basis remain in the location of their choice and are not liable for operational deployments unless placed on active service or called out on service.

While they do not account for all the full-time Guard and Reserve pers (supporting Guard and Reserve activities) in the US military, one of the ways that they accomplish this is through various "technician" programs - the titles will vary by service. Technician may be a misleading title for some, I've known individuals who filled "Reserve Technician" positions in ranks from Cpl Specialist to Major General (he was the Chief of USAFR).

Essentially they are civil servants whose positions are loosely linked (or sometimes directly linked) to their military positions. They don't get the civil service job unless they have the military qualifications to hold it and they must continue to meet the requirements of their military reserve commitment (attendance, medical category, physical fitness, etc). They usually wear uniforms Mon to Fri, 9 to 5 even though they are paid as "civilians". When they parade as Guard or Reserve, they receive the same pay as every other part-timer as well accrue military retirement credits in addition to their civil service retirement.
 

daftandbarmy

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If a fixed period of service is not continuous service, then many Reg F members are on terms of service that are counter to the definition of Reg F.

Ongoing full time requirements should be Reg F. There can be restrictions placed on that service such that they may resemble some of our current Res F full time models, but there's no valid reason for permanent full time positions designed to be filled by persons enrolled for other than full time service.

This, right here.

Class B isn't even deployable and is less flexible than Class A.

The really awful ones are deplorable too ;)
 

Colin Parkinson

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If your keeping the units and you want them to be more useful, then you need to up the number of full time positions, I like FJAG full time but not Reg force positions. Those are perfect positions for the vehicle techs, Storesman and OR clerks that you need to run a modern unit. They can be counted as Reservists and not take away slots from the Reg force. You can still have RSS staff to run and lead the full time unit. Both the RSS ad full time Reservist have to go on exercise with the unit for a % of the calendar year, so they don't divorce themselves from the unit primary functions.
 

FJAG

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We agree on the description, but not the name. I'd call that a sub component of the Reg F, and manage it institutionally as such, and not rely on ad hoc, demi-cheeked solutions.
That's actually an interesting idea.

I tend to go the other way because reserve subcomponents and pay classes already exist under regulations but none do for the Reg F plus the CFSA is attuned to to the existing subcomponents and pay classes.

On the other hand subcomponents do not need a change in legislation; a Ministerial regulation is sufficient. (I don't know enough about the CFSA and its regulations to know how much work would need to be done by to align it with new Reg F subcomponents.)

How would you generally realign subcomponents to cater to:
  • the basic needs of the army for peacetime service so as to meet both administrative day-to-day functions and operational deployments short of an "emergency"; and
  • the "mobilization" of the force in an "emergency"?
 

MilEME09

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I think one thing that has lead us astray is we have merged the field and institutional CAF, to the point neither is properly manned. We need to separate the two out, and stop robbing Peter to pay Paul. The institutional army very much should be augmented by civilian staff where applicable, vehicle techs, truck drivers, cooks, etc... have the reserves CSS under the institutional army.
 
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