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Special forces looks at recruiting off the street amid shifting demands

brihard

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Good2Golf said:
I understand he also did some beat time, before ESU.  Dude rocks!

This makes more sense. ESU isn’t their tactical team, and making it to Tac in two years would indeed be startling. Anyone starting with OPS generally goes to patrol. ESU is a side gig where members are called out as needed for things like search and rescue. Tactical is a full time unit.
 

mariomike

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Brihard said:
This makes more sense. ESU isn’t their tactical team, and making it to Tac in two years would indeed be startling. Anyone starting with OPS generally goes to patrol. ESU is a side gig where members are called out as needed for things like search and rescue. Tactical is a full time unit.

Did he ever get on their Tactical team?
 

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Jarnhamar said:
Happened to me a few times.

-Hey sorry we found your application at the back of the OCs desk. Too late to do anything about it now, maybe you can try next year.
-Sorry your application was approved and you had a spot on selection but someone dropped the ball and forgot to contact you to tell you.
-we'll send you on this course out of area  but don't worry we contacted them and they're aware of your selection stuff and you'll be given time off for the pt test. (no one contacted the course staff and they shut it down when I asked after arriving)

And
-bpso had a nervous breakdown and dropped half her work load you won't be able to apply this year


Lots of guys I know have similar stories, lots of them worse.
CoC gives guys a hard time, tries to guilt them or coerse them not to apply, threaten to ostrasize them or threaten not to give them any courses. CoC looses paperwork (with no repercussions). Drags their feet on applications and people miss key timings.

Seems like many units care more about their own manning than benefitting the CAF as a whole.

The vandoos on the other hand, I've heard, take soldiers who apply for SOF and put them in their own training platoons to concentrate on preparing themselves for selection. Maybe it's to increase the amount of French soldiers in the SOF community? Seems to work.

SOF might have better recruiting levels of the regular force and reserve stopped being dick heads about selection. Attracting more members to the CAF would benefit everyone, too.
Had the same thing happen to one of my subordinates who was applying. Our OIC kept sitting on the paper work, filed away in the black hole drawer of his desk.
I made a call over to a friend who was working at cansof at the time in the section my guy was applying for. They hashed it out from their end which was great. Needless to say that his file was processed quickly after that (OIC was bypassed and the OC/CO got involved) and my guy has been there for a few years now and super happy about it. Likely would have released if not given the chance with cansof.

Its someone's career that they are fucking with and it can have so drastic, long lasting effects on a member's morale and welfare to not have their CoC's support...especially when it is based on sheer laziness and incompetence.
 

daftandbarmy

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sidemount said:
Had the same thing happen to one of my subordinates who was applying. Our OIC kept sitting on the paper work, filed away in the black hole drawer of his desk.
I made a call over to a friend who was working at cansof at the time in the section my guy was applying for. They hashed it out from their end which was great. Needless to say that his file was processed quickly after that (OIC was bypassed and the OC/CO got involved) and my guy has been there for a few years now and super happy about it. Likely would have released if not given the chance with cansof.

Its someone's career that they are ******* with and it can have so drastic, long lasting effects on a member's morale and welfare to not have their CoC's support...especially when it is based on sheer laziness and incompetence.

If you could somehow make it PY neutral for the units, so unit CoCs don't suffer from the constant pressure on the dwindling number of their best people, maybe the SOF program would stop being treated like a bunch of 'body snatchers'.

Another solution might be to, instead of pretending that the reserves could ever become a 'plug and play' combat support company for the Regs, re-role all Infantry reserve units into light infantry with the a primary mission of preparing troops for SOF selection. That way, you could access alot of high quality people in universities and businesses in our major urban centres, kind of like 21 SAS, the Honourable Artillery Company, and the Artisits' Rifles in the UK.

Even better, pushups, chinups and rucking aren't at the mercy of field firing areas or supplies of 'dud producing ammunition'.
 

brihard

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daftandbarmy said:
If you could somehow make it PY neutral for the units, so unit CoCs don't suffer from the constant pressure on the dwindling number of their best people, maybe the SOF program would stop being treated like a bunch of 'body snatchers'.

Or they could start firing/charging people who obstruct SOFCOM applications until people get it and fall in line? These units are an organizational priority, and while they do take a steady skim of the best people, that's fine- they're supposed to. Attrition to transfers is an organizational norm that units should be capable of dealing with.
 

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Brihard said:
Or they could start firing/charging people who obstruct SOFCOM applications until people get it and fall in line? These units are an organizational priority, and while they do take a steady skim of the best people, that's fine- they're supposed to. Attrition to transfers is an organizational norm that units should be capable of dealing with.
A bit of a tangent sorry.

But its just not SOF applications I've seen end up lost in a black hole of paperwork. I've experienced the same phenomenon for everything from simple memo requests, to VOT applications, commissioning program applications, requests for SLT, etc. Maybe I've just been unlucky in general, but staffing paperwork through the CoC always seems to an exercise in futility. And yet there never seems to be any penalties for a member when that memo/paperwork has been found in their desk after a month. Nor is their any real recourse for the person that submitted it besides a "sorry we will do better next time". Especially if documents are time sensitive, ie meeting selection deadline. I've chased so many memos and applications over the years and that should never happen.

End tangent.


Anyways, I do like the idea of opening SOF up to civy applicants for all the reasons stated above. Battalion life isnt always what people want and nor do I think it needs to be a pre-rec for SOF as it is a completely different skill set and mind set. 4 years at a battalion may deter someone who may be well suited for SOF yet would have been an ideal candidate otherwise. It really just gives them access to more of a talent pool if you will, and its not like they would change the standards for selection so no risk really in getting a civy potato into the SOF world. IMHO anyway.
 

Jarnhamar

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[quote author=Brihard] These units are an organizational priority, and while they do take a steady skim of the best people, that's fine- they're supposed to. Attrition to transfers is an organizational norm that units should be capable of dealing with.
[/quote]

Pretty much exactly what Lt-General Michael Rouleau said to us.
It doesn't make sense to keep soldiers that want to leave.
 

ballz

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This conversation keeps bringing me back towards my original thoughts when I read this, but I didn't post them because I didn't want my negative perspective to poison the thread. However, since it's already heading that way without my help...

I read this and thought to myself how rich it is that the CAF leadership is yet again talking about all these big ideas when they can't even figure out how to implement the simplest stuff within our own organization. This is just another example of CAF leadership talking a big game, trying to fake it with rhetoric until they make it, without any probability of action or result to cash the cheque they are writing.

I read this drivel about how the organization will benefit from having people with different backgrounds, and while there is no doubt we are too inbred, this is an organization that would rather have someone voluntary release than utilize their "different background" in a different trade all because both trades are red, but one is redder than the other one. This is an organization that will decide whether someone can or can't get their education program funded based on whether it can be demonstrated that the program correlates to their trade (i.e... You are in the "y" trade and therefore the CAF asserts there is no value in you studying the program required for "x" trade so it won't be paid for through an ILP...). Career planning means that if you are seen to have potential, they will ensure you only do a very narrow span of jobs all of which will make you a one-dimensional thinker with absolutely zero perspective on anything outside of your own continental staff number.
 

OldSolduer

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Jarnhamar said:
Pretty much exactly what Lt-General Michael Rouleau said to us.
It doesn't make sense to keep soldiers that want to leave.

Units that “forget” to forward applications and generally place obstacles in front of soldiers who want to progress - or at least attempt - are doing a disservice to their troops and the nation. Such narrow minded thinking has to be trashed and - if it means a few heads roll - so be it.
 

Good2Golf

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Hamish Seggie said:
Units that “forget” to forward applications and generally place obstacles in front of soldiers who want to progress - or at least attempt - are doing a disservice to their troops and the nation. Such narrow minded thinking has to be trashed and - if it means a few heads roll - so be it.

Agree fully, Mr. Seggie!  COs of members who have attempted to apply to CANSOF yet whose efforts have been stymied by the unit, should be held to account.  Disservice is one thing, failing to support CoC direction and policy is another...and entirely unacceptable.

:2c:

Regards
G2G
 

Gunner98

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Old Sweat said:
I know MR went into the OPS, but thought he started on patrol duties. A small number of members went into the OPS around that time. At least one is still serving as a sergeant.

I used to see my long-time acquaintance, MR, doing street traffic and arena patrol at the Corel Centre while I was an usher for events in 2000-2001, hardly a SWAT assignment.
 

mariomike

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Simian Turner said:
I used to see my long-time acquaintance, MR, doing street traffic and arena patrol at the Corel Centre while I was an usher for events in 2000-2001, hardly a SWAT assignment.

Maybe it happens, but I have never heard of Direct Entry into Special Operations in Emergency Services.

Out of curiosity, I checked LAPD SWAT. Probably the most famous Tactical team in North America.

According to their website, you need to attain the rank of PO lll ( two chevrons ) to apply for SWAT. It takes at least three years as an LAPD Officer before eligibility for promotion to PO lll.

Not to say Direct Entry into CAF Special Operations is a good, or bad, idea.







 

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Hamish Seggie said:
Units that “forget” to forward applications and generally place obstacles in front of soldiers who want to progress - or at least attempt - are doing a disservice to their troops and the nation. Such narrow minded thinking has to be trashed and - if it means a few heads roll - so be it.
Absolutely!
 

OldSolduer

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Good2Golf said:
Agree fully, Mr. Seggie!  COs of members who have attempted to apply to CANSOF yet whose efforts have been stymied by the unit, should be held to account.  Disservice is one thing, failing to support CoC direction and policy is another...and entirely unacceptable.

:2c:

Regards
G2G

And I do mean that heads should roll - figuratively- for the encouragement of the others. I know there’s a French saying that sums it up quite nearly.
 

daftandbarmy

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mariomike said:
Maybe it happens, but I have never heard of Direct Entry into Special Operations in Emergency Services.

Out of curiosity, I checked LAPD SWAT. Probably the most famous Tactical team in North America.

According to their website, you need to attain the rank of PO lll ( two chevrons ) to apply for SWAT. It takes at least three years as an LAPD Officer before eligibility for promotion to PO lll.

Not to say Direct Entry into CAF Special Operations is a good, or bad, idea.

The cops wouldn't want the pay cut and the concurrently precipitous decline in their standard of living.
 

Remius

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They could create some sort of special forces operator entry program.  But you would need to staff it.  Back when I was a recruiter at a CFRC every second guy coming in wanted to be SF.  They just need to sift through the riff raff.

A unit like CSOR might be able to. The CJIRU or whatever they call themselves lately likely could also recruit off the street. 

They would likely need to modify their baseline training to include people off the street unless they send them on basic first.  Do sélection, then basic then SF training.

I know a good chunk of our Special Forces operators come from the combat arms but given that application is open to anyone in the CAF (clerks, cooks, stokers etc) then why not open it to the masses.  Just make sure you have the recruiting and training in structure to support it.  Right now we likely don’t.
 

Ostrozac

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Hamish Seggie said:
Units that “forget” to forward applications and generally place obstacles in front of soldiers who want to progress - or at least attempt - are doing a disservice to their troops and the nation. Such narrow minded thinking has to be trashed and - if it means a few heads roll - so be it.

You'll need more than a few heads rolling, you'll need more of a Stalinist purge, given the poor attention paid to administration of personnel throughout the CAF. I've seen some strangely incompetent stuff over the years that can't be explained simply by units hoarding soldiers, from lost promotion messages, to personnel being courseloaded through CFTPO but neglecting to inform the member in question, to a Career Manager issuing a backdated posting message (so the member was AWOL the instant it was printed, then had to request a 30 day extension of report date that was really a 20 day extension). All of this not to mention the hatchet job that has been done on some trades in the name of 'modernization' of career paths. We simply do not have a great organizational culture of personnel management and administration. And that's a shame -- our equipment and infrastructure situation is something we like to blame other departments for (TB and PWGSC) but messing around with our people? That's all on us.

Not that some units aren't hoarding soldiers to keep them away from CANSOF, they certainly are, and I've seen it, it's just that it is sometimes hard to separate deliberate malice from general incompetence.
 

mariomike

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Jarnhamar said:
What exactly are Emergency Services Special Operations?

Special Operations are tasked with the provision of emergency services in unusual circumstances.

I've been retired for ten years. But, some I remember,

Toronto Police
Emergency Task Force ( ETF ) Tactical
Marine
Mounted
Dogs

Toronto Fire
Marine
HAZMAT
Heavy Rescue and Technical
High Rise
Air / Light

Toronto Paramedic
Emergency Task Force ( ETF ) Tactical.
Marine
Heavy Urban Search and Rescue ( HUSAR ) Building collapse, confined space, trench, high-angle.
CBRNE ( Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, Nuclear & Explosive )
Critical Care Unit ( CCTU )
Emergency Response Unit ( ERU )
Emergency Support / Multi-Patient ( ESU / MPU ). Where I spent most of my career.

These teams recruited via internal Job Calls.  There was no Direct Entry.
 
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