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Sexual Misconduct Allegations in The CAF

McG

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Could the system be more clear if there were a CFHQ separate and distinct from civilian structures of DND?
 

dapaterson

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Pre-unification, the head of CAF infrastructure was a BGen.

Today, that's a civilian role, but with a MGen working under him.

Rank bloat plus the CAF's desire to keep its fingers in non core business contribute to the confusion.

I have commented a non zero number of times that the CAF suffers from a uniform fetish - a constant desire to have roles filled by uniformed personnel. With a hard cap on the size of the CAF, sticking uniformed personnel in roles because "generals trust uniforms" suggests a need for better generals.
 

Good2Golf

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So.


I am not sure that having two war losing capabilities (information and Cyber) "under command" of civilians ADMs and hence the DM is the right approach for a country that is serious about defending itself.
Not sure that’s what Paul Hellyer had in mind in Canada, but that’s what it has degraded into. DND is not like DoD, the levels of interweaving of statutory and operational responsibilities is staggering. A responsible minister would conduct a Departmental and CAF assessment as to the best organization. Uniforms, aside from a minimal yet sufficient amount of liaison within a statutorily managed non-operational Department element that is clearly defined and separate while being supportive of the CAF, should stay in the CAF, and be held accountable by a responsible MND.
 

FJAG

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Could the system be more clear if there were a CFHQ separate and distinct from civilian structures of DND?
When I went Reg F is 1969 that's what we had. A NDHQ and a CFHQ. CFHQ grew out of the integration of the three services (Army Navy and Air Force) into one service. I'm not sure exactly when it was but the headquarters were merged into NDHQ - I think it might have been in 1972. They are still separate entities created under Parts I and II of the NDA performing different but compatible functions.

🍻
 

PPCLI Guy

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Of course the Vice is supposed to be the COS of NDHQ (and hence both the Chief and the DM), but in recent times that position has eroded.. it feels like I have briefed at least 5 VCDS in the last 3 years.

When a Vice tries to retake that position, they are taken down.

And now I will have a quiet whiskey,
 

Infanteer

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When I went Reg F is 1969 that's what we had. A NDHQ and a CFHQ. CFHQ grew out of the integration of the three services (Army Navy and Air Force) into one service. I'm not sure exactly when it was but the headquarters were merged into NDHQ - I think it might have been in 1972. They are still separate entities created under Parts I and II of the NDA performing different but compatible functions.

🍻
Yes, 1972. After a senior Trudeau Sr-era report on Management.
 

Journeyman

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"Anyone who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

Voltaire
Was that Voltaire or QAnon? :unsure:

.... and be held accountable by a responsible MND.
Which would require a government (of any party) with any interest in defence and security issues, appointing a competent Minister into the position. Defence is nothing more than a source for regional pork-belly spending and rewarding safe political ridings; the actual military aspects are merely distracting nuisances.
 

Good2Golf

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Of course the Vice is supposed to be the COS of NDHQ (and hence both the Chief and the DM), but in recent times that position has eroded.. it feels like I have briefed at least 5 VCDS in the last 3 years.

When a Vice tries to retake that position, they are taken down.

And now I will have a quiet whiskey,
DM John Forster and VCDS Guy Thibault was the last time that DND/NDHQ was firing on all cylinders. Mark Norman followed Guy Thibault in 2016 with a view to further tidying the DND/CAF admin lines, and the mandarins got uncomfortable and OP KNOW YOUR PLACE kicked off and the work to remove VAdm Norman as a thorn in the side of those in various places in Govt kicked into high gear.

Forster, as a career Defence/security-savvy civil-servant (he was head of Communications Security Establishment of Canada - CSEC, the Canadian equivalent of the US’ National Security Agency - NSA) prior to being appointed DMND, retired and was replaced with the operations-focused (career essential split between Passport Canada and the Coast Guard) Jody Thomas, daughter of past VCDS VAdm Chuck Thomas (VCDS 1989-1991). The government’s intentions by those in various circles was clear: leverage the DM position to expand its administration of DND to now include control of the CAF operationally not only with the MND, but the DM as well (which otherwise had been limited to limited to statutory administrative management of the predominantly (but not exclusively) civilian DND.

For whatever reason, the Govt of the day chose to retain Gen Jon Vance as CDS, perhaps knowing his background…which was not really secret to most, certainly in the Army and arguably fairly widely in the CAF (heck, even NATO), and appeared to endorse the newly appointed DM’s expansions in influence/pseudo-command over some of the CAF’s daily operations and command and control elements.

Why the Govt didn’t remove Vance earlier and replace him with a CDS who would exercise command of the CAF in a manner that aligned more closely with its wishes, is hard to fathom, instead developing the strange hybrid of assumption of some command function over the CAF by the DM blended with CDS full-command of the CAF. At this point, it’s still an experiment by the Govt to see how it’s hybrid command of the CAF is working out, but on the surface, current CAF command seems chaotic at best. The MND seems absent and the CDS (and VCDS ) seem to be making some questionable decisions of late, and we hear nary a word of what one of the most powerful Deputy Minsters in the Government of Canada is doing to manage the Department and whatever CAF command actions the MND has assigned to her.

Puzzling indeed.
 

Happy Guy

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I think that the current discussion has veered away from the original topic of sexual misconduct. Perhaps the moderators would consider splitting this off into another discussion regarding NDHQ?

I have worked at ADM(MAT), CANOSCOM and CJOC and as of them can be labelled as NDHQ. I have never been quite comfortable with the NDHQ organization as it confuses the civilian and military lines especially in the area of operations. I remember having a rather heated discussion with a colleague of mine (LCol) arguing about the role of ADM(MAT). He was saying it was the equivalent of the J4 and I was saying "NO!". It was more like the American Defense Logistics Agency. No civilian should ever be in control of the operational logistics / support services system. Thankfully SJS was formed with a J4.

As I am retired now all I can say it do not let civilians ever control operational logistics / support services. Logistics is one of fundamental stones that you need to conduct CAF operations. The CDS does not have authority over the ADMs and if the CDS cannot command and control logistics you might as well lose the ability to fight a war effectively and in the way you want it.
 

SeaKingTacco

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I think that the current discussion has veered away from the original topic of sexual misconduct. Perhaps the moderators would consider splitting this off into another discussion regarding NDHQ?

I have worked at ADM(MAT), CANOSCOM and CJOC and as of them can be labelled as NDHQ. I have never been quite comfortable with the NDHQ organization as it confuses the civilian and military lines especially in the area of operations. I remember having a rather heated discussion with a colleague of mine (LCol) arguing about the role of ADM(MAT). He was saying it was the equivalent of the J4 and I was saying "NO!". It was more like the American Defense Logistics Agency. No civilian should ever be in control of the operational logistics / support services system. Thankfully SJS was formed with a J4.

As I am retired now all I can say it do not let civilians ever control operational logistics / support services. Logistics is one of fundamental stones that you need to conduct CAF operations. The CDS does not have authority over the ADMs and if the CDS cannot command and control logistics you might as well lose the ability to fight a war effectively and in the way you want it.
I do not think this should be split off from the main discussion. Someone earlier brought the point that the CAF lacks accountability for various sexual misconduct issues. These are the systemic reason why there is a lack of accountability- muddled chains of command; civil service over reach into what should be purely military domains.

Some have posited that this is a deliberate attempt to destroy the CAF as anything more than an ability to deliver pork barrel contracts to friends of the Government. Others suggest it is just organizational drift under a disinterested MND/PMO.

Point being- where no one knows who is accountable, bad things will happen.
 

Happy Guy

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Refs: A. DAOD 9005-1, Sexual Misconduct Response
B. Sexual Misconduct Incident Management Decision Tree


Accountability for sexual misconduct is outlined in ref A, and decision tree for Sexual Misconduct Incident Management and ref B (Dummies guide to sexual misconduct incident management).

As I see it, the primary issues are: the Chain of Command interference with investigations, lack of compliance with the regulations and plain ignorance. I think that any sexual misconduct investigation should not be handled by the CAF but assigned to an outside professional agency. The C of C should abide by the regulations to respect the privacy and security of both the respondent and complainant and they must be followed up by the outside agency to confirm that the policies and regulations are being followed. It is clear, in my mind, that military cannot be trusted to handle any sexual misconduct investigations. Perhaps this outside agency should belong to the DM vice the CAF.

The fact of the matter is that the senior C of C cannot be trusted to handle such matters especially when the respondent is a Sr Offr. Too often the respondant is able to influence the C of C because of their close friendship or they hold "dirt" on the reviewing officer which they will wield to save themselves. We tend to frame the issues within our own context because we are honourable and ethical people, but the predators are.

We need to restore confidence in the institute and airing of our dirty laundry and the fall out will restore it. I remember the Somalia Affair having being involved with it from my own end. The CAF endured significant negative reputation but it revealed severe problems that the Army Sr Ldrship all knew but didn't act upon to correct it. The CAF did rebound back and institute changes for the better. As a side note, I received a posting message to the CAR but I was taken aside by a Sr RCR Offr who warned me not to go there. I didn't get to go because I was posted to another priority position in the end.

Cheers
 

SeaKingTacco

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Refs: A. DAOD 9005-1, Sexual Misconduct Response
B. Sexual Misconduct Incident Management Decision Tree


Accountability for sexual misconduct is outlined in ref A, and decision tree for Sexual Misconduct Incident Management and ref B (Dummies guide to sexual misconduct incident management).

As I see it, the primary issues are: the Chain of Command interference with investigations, lack of compliance with the regulations and plain ignorance. I think that any sexual misconduct investigation should not be handled by the CAF but assigned to an outside professional agency. The C of C should abide by the regulations to respect the privacy and security of both the respondent and complainant and they must be followed up by the outside agency to confirm that the policies and regulations are being followed. It is clear, in my mind, that military cannot be trusted to handle any sexual misconduct investigations. Perhaps this outside agency should belong to the DM vice the CAF.

The fact of the matter is that the senior C of C cannot be trusted to handle such matters especially when the respondent is a Sr Offr. Too often the respondant is able to influence the C of C because of their close friendship or they hold "dirt" on the reviewing officer which they will wield to save themselves. We tend to frame the issues within our own context because we are honourable and ethical people, but the predators are.

We need to restore confidence in the institute and airing of our dirty laundry and the fall out will restore it. I remember the Somalia Affair having being involved with it from my own end. The CAF endured significant negative reputation but it revealed severe problems that the Army Sr Ldrship all knew but didn't act upon to correct it. The CAF did rebound back and institute changes for the better. As a side note, I received a posting message to the CAR but I was taken aside by a Sr RCR Offr who warned me not to go there. I didn't get to go because I was posted to another priority position in the end.

Cheers
You place a lot of trust in the DM and the civil service side of DND. Tell me, what in your experience, gives you that trust that they will do any better in handling sexual misconduct issues than the CAF has?
 

Happy Guy

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I had whole heartedly placed my trust in the CAF while on operations and it never let me down - I'm still alive. In my years of service I have learned much about human beings and it is that we are fallible. I have seen some things in which the CAF C of C took some actions that were morally questionable and in hind sight, if I was more worthy, I should have spoken up.

The DM is not in the direct C of C as the CAF and hence theoritically not suspectible to its "influences." Of course this outside agency doesn't have to be even a DND entity at all, but the reporting of such incidents and its handling shouldn't be the CAF. There has to be an organization in which we must report these incidents to. We can always say no because of this or that, but the fact of the matter is we must place faith in an institute at some time or we will not get anything done.
 

SeaKingTacco

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I had whole heartedly placed my trust in the CAF while on operations and it never let me down - I'm still alive. In my years of service I have learned much about human beings and it is that we are fallible. I have seen some things in which the CAF C of C took some actions that were morally questionable and in hind sight, if I was more worthy, I should have spoken up.

The DM is not in the direct C of C as the CAF and hence theoritically not suspectible to its "influences." Of course this outside agency doesn't have to be even a DND entity at all, but the reporting of such incidents and its handling shouldn't be the CAF. There has to be an organization in which we must report these incidents to. We can always say no because of this or that, but the fact of the matter is we must place faith in an institute at some time or we will not get anything done.
Right, but what makes you think a DM is necessarily morally superior to a CDS and/or free from agendas other than the combat readiness of the CAF and the wellbeing of CAF members?

I am not trolling you. Serious question- what makes a senior civil servant automatically more morally culpable than a flag officer?
 

Happy Guy

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ACK. I understand.

As I mentioned before, we must place faith and trust in an institution not the person. The CAF has not met the expectations of its members, the Gov't or the general public in its handling of sexual misconduct incidents. A senior public servant, especially one who is not ex-CAF, and their their TEAM are not likely to be susceptible to "influences" from the CAF.

No institution is morally superior compared to another nor is one person more "pure" than another. I suggested the DM side simply because we can keep it within the Department and the MND can manage it. We can play the game forward and say can we trust the DM? Can we trust the MND? Can we trust the PM? When do we stop? This circular arguement / logic must stop somewhere.

I am open for suggestions for how we can better manage this.

Got to go and get some exercise before the I stuff myself tonight!

Cheers
 

McG

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Not sure that’s what Paul Hellyer had in mind in Canada, but that’s what it has degraded into.
The integrated NDHQ is actually a post Hellyer monstrosity that, as Infanteer notes, came about from a separate report on management efficiency.

I think that the current discussion has veered away from the original topic of sexual misconduct.
The two are actually linked. A lot of analysis in the late 90’s & early 2000’s identified that the integrated NDHQ was part of the problem in eroding the military identity of NDHQ staff officers and eventually contributing to disciplinary breakdowns in Somalia and Croatia. Today that blurring of military identity again is contributing to the problem. Look at how we are treating it like a civilian HR problem (remedial measures that are private) and not as an affront to the profession (which should be corrected in publicly observable proceedings).
 

Navy_Pete

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ACK. I understand.

As I mentioned before, we must place faith and trust in an institution not the person. The CAF has not met the expectations of its members, the Gov't or the general public in its handling of sexual misconduct incidents. A senior public servant, especially one who is not ex-CAF, and their their TEAM are not likely to be susceptible to "influences" from the CAF.

No institution is morally superior compared to another nor is one person more "pure" than another. I suggested the DM side simply because we can keep it within the Department and the MND can manage it. We can play the game forward and say can we trust the DM? Can we trust the MND? Can we trust the PM? When do we stop? This circular arguement / logic must stop somewhere.

I am open for suggestions for how we can better manage this.

Got to go and get some exercise before the I stuff myself tonight!

Cheers

On the flip side, the DM is far more swayed by political concerns vice operational effectiveness, and doesn't have any 'skin in the game' as an outsider to the CAF.

I think it all really depends on the people; there are a lot of really dedicated, very skilled career public servants, and also some very petty, career focused clowns, both in and out of uniform. A lot of the big strategic efforts on the CAF side that took 5-10 years to get to were driven by civilians (usually retired CAF but not always), not military members, which is really just due to our posting cycle.

From what I've been hearing, sounds like LGen Carignan is the right person to due this review and put some changes in place, if people would just stay out of her swimlane and give her the necessary authority to get things done. This rapidly seems to be turning into too many cooks in the kitchen, which never works (see DPS).
 

Ostrozac

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I think that the current discussion has veered away from the original topic of sexual misconduct. Perhaps the moderators would consider splitting this off into another discussion regarding NDHQ?
I for one would fully support such a split thread. In over 30 years of service, I’ve never really understood what NDHQ is. Is it a building? A command and control concept? A term that refers to all Command HQ and ADMs that happen to be in the NCR — Air Command in Winnipeg seemed pretty clear as not NDHQ, but when it moved to Ottawa, did it become part of NDHQ? What about people that work for an ADM but are located outside the NCR, are they part of NDHQ? Is SJS a part of NDHQ, the personal staff of the CDS, or something else entirely?

I don’t think this has been well covered in our internal PME.
 

brihard

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I for one would fully support such a split thread. In over 30 years of service, I’ve never really understood what NDHQ is. Is it a building? A command and control concept? A term that refers to all Command HQ and ADMs that happen to be in the NCR — Air Command in Winnipeg seemed pretty clear as not NDHQ, but when it moved to Ottawa, did it become part of NDHQ? What about people that work for an ADM but are located outside the NCR, are they part of NDHQ? Is SJS a part of NDHQ, the personal staff of the CDS, or something else entirely?

I don’t think this has been well covered in our internal PME.
It's best understood as where happiness and good ideas go to die.
 
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