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What’s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces

mariomike

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FSTO said:
Telling the truth does not change with the times.

I guess times change. People not so much?
 

dimsum

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FSTO said:
Telling the truth does not change with the times.

Didn't a Scandinavian nation (I think Sweden but can be wrong) have a set of ads basically saying "this is what you see in movies, but this is what we do in real life"?  I remembered thinking it was really refreshing as a recruitment ad.
 

Ostrozac

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MilEME09 said:
we were a much bigger army then, that was also self sufficient,mostly
That's a good observation. In 1960 the population of Canada was 18 million, compared to 38 million now. Out of that small population, without conscription, we had a Regular Force of over 100,000 but we now struggle to maintain a Regular Force of 68,000. Also note that we maintained a force of that size while largely ignoring half the potential recruiting population based on their gender.

According to my dad, there was plenty of entry-level work available in the 1960's, even to those with only a high school education. So competition with the civilian sector has been a thing for a while. So what were we doing correctly in the 60s that we are doing wrong now?
 

mariomike

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Ostrozac said:
Also note that we maintained a force of that size while largely ignoring half the potential recruiting population based on their gender.

And recruiting only from the 17-25 age bracket.

Also, back in 1960, many living Canadian males were veterans of the World Wars and Korea. For their sons, joining the CAF may have seemed more 'carrying on family tradition" than it does now. I know that's how I felt in 1970.
 

daftandbarmy

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Ostrozac said:
That's a good observation. In 1960 the population of Canada was 18 million, compared to 38 million now. Out of that small population, without conscription, we had a Regular Force of over 100,000 but we now struggle to maintain a Regular Force of 68,000. Also note that we maintained a force of that size while largely ignoring half the potential recruiting population based on their gender.

According to my dad, there was plenty of entry-level work available in the 1960's, even to those with only a high school education. So competition with the civilian sector has been a thing for a while. So what were we doing correctly in the 60s that we are doing wrong now?

The Baby Boom produced the largest number of young people in history between about 1942 and 1964. The most people were born during the Baby Boom around 1959-62.

If you were born in 1961, you had more competition for jobs than anyone else in recorded history when you reached 18 or so.

There's a demographic reason for great recruiting numbers too.
 

mariomike

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I like the ad with Canadian soldiers "in the quaint little West German town".

I wonder how many young guys were influenced by the film made around that time, "G.I. Blues"? How many figured if being stationed in West Germany was good enough for Elvis, it's probably good enough for me?  :)
 

dapaterson

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mariomike said:
I like the ad with Canadian soldiers "in the quaint little West German town".

I wonder how many young guys were influenced by the film made around that time, "G.I. Blues"? How many figured if being stationed in West Germany was good enough for Elvis, it's probably good enough for me?  :)
Based on hairstyles, all of 5 GBMC.
 

Blackadder1916

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E.R. Campbell said:
. . .  I'm pretty sure the RCN and the RCAF had women in several trades.

In 1953 this was the RCAF approach to women.

images53rcafwomen.jpg
 

mariomike

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Michael O'Leary said:
A few examples from 1949,

Same army uniform we were wearing in the early 1970s in the Pres.
 

Kat Stevens

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Blackadder1916 said:
In 1953 this was the RCAF approach to women.

images53rcafwomen.jpg

I thought their approach was "Hey beautiful, I'm a pilot, what do you think of me so far?"
 

Blackadder1916

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Target Up said:
I thought their approach was "Hey beautiful, I'm a pilot, what do you think of me so far?"

Many (many, many) years ago I worked with a female Med A Sgt (originally RCAF) who had been a remuster from some type of scope dope trade.  Around that time there had been a book written by a former WW2 era pilot (who remained in the RCAF after the war) and I had picked up a copy.  She noticed it and remarked that she had worked with him for a couple of years in North Bay or similar venue underground.  She shared her opinion about him and was not very flattering.  According to her, the pilot/author (and colleagues of his ilk) was one of the reasons why she remustered, as they seemed to think that the females were there for their enjoyment and there was no way to avoid the inappropriate advances when locked down in the hole.

Maybe "rebranding" is long overdue.
 

mariomike

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Blackadder1916 said:
Around that time there had been a book written by a former WW2 era pilot (who remained in the RCAF after the war) and I had picked up a copy.

I'm guessing  it may have been a Swansea boy who attacked Berlin eleven ( eleven! ) times.
 

CBH99

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Hey guys & gals, hope you're all having a great week.  I haven't slept in 40 hours due to work, so here's my attempt at posting something coherent. 


I know I mentioned this before, but the USMC has done a pretty good job of appealling to the younger generation using platforms like Snapchat.  I actually quite enjoy their little 3 minute videos posted each week, or every few days, which are geared towards currently serving junior marines, but the videos are available for all to see.

Usually it is a fitness type video, hosted by a different young marine in each episode.  They also briefly mention quick things to be aware of in terms of policy changes (uniform, Covid, etc).

They present a pretty laid back, yet professional vibe in the videos & I can absolutely see that drawing some folks in that maybe wouldn't otherwise consider it.


I do believe the CAF is doing a pretty solid job on Instagram.  I don't have Facebook, so can't comment.




In terms of recruiting videos & such, I had mentioned before that we still need to demonstrate - even in a non direct way so the snowflakes aren't overly offended - that we are still the military, and one of our jobs is to kill bad guys.

Someone pointed out, correctly so, that perhaps today's youth don't trust that the folks we are killing ARE the bad guys.  It really is a new generation, and I don't mean that as in insult in this context.

They see Afghanistan and Iraq - most of them don't know the difference to be honest (in terms of the conflicts) - Libya, Syria, etc etc. and they don't have the faith that we are always the good guys.  They have access to information at a pretty young age now, and they are in that hyper-opinionated age range... where they can do some research, and decide pretty quickly whether they would consider our foreign policy/operations to be on the morally just side.

It doesn't help that a lot our missions now, while quite robust, are all decently low profile.  The media isn't talking about Latvia, our training mission in Iraq, our training mission in Ukraine, or our ships doing their thing.

We don't have an ethnic cleansing going on in SE Europe, and we aren't involved in any sort of counter-terror operations in Africa.  The west has also completely abandoned the Rohingya people in Burma.  Despite extremely detailed evidence of things I won't mention here, the west collectively doesn't give a s**t.



I think showcasing the humanitarian stuff that we do is really important in attracting more recruits, and helping to rebrand the military into the modern era.  Showcase that we were amongst the first in New Orleans, Haiti, and Indonesia after the tsunami.

Show the SAR stuff we do -- parachuting out of planes to save people's lives will attract those kinds of people.  Just look at every fire department's waiting list of eager recruits.

Show the high-speed stuff such as JTF2, CSOR, and the rest of SOFCOM.  Showcase that they are world class, but we can't really discuss much of what they do.

We're short of pilots?  I'll let an aircrew folk correct me on this -- but perhaps streamline the recruiting process, and show people an entry into the world of being a pilot/aircrew.  CF-18's can still be pretty darn cool with the right footage and music.

And alas, show combat footage from Afghanistan.  Be honest with the folks who may be interested in joining the combat arms.  Show the little girls who were tortured with acid on their way home from school.  Show schools the Taliban blew up because they don't believe in girls going to school, or anything being taught except their interpretation of the Quran.  Show Malala Youself, the 15yo girl who was shot in the head on the school bus because she was vocal about wanting to be educated.

And then show some combat footage of us engaging the Taliban. 

Include operations elsewhere also, such as Latvia and Ukraine.




I really do think that if we can streamline recruiting (which shouldn't be hard), streamline entry level basic courses so a person can be qualified & useful, and we revamp some of our recruiting ads & the way we reach out to young people online, we could possibly start to be viewed as a really good option.

^^ That being said, we need to streamline recruiting before any of the above.  :2c: 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPSv79XFHOU

(I know at 9 minutes it's way too long for a recruiting video, but something along these lines could be a hit.  Also, some of the recent ads aren't too bad.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQngK6BPjQM

(This is the one I meant to post, sorry.  Same idea though.)
 

Furniture

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CBH99 said:
Hey guys & gals, hope you're all having a great week.  I haven't slept in 40 hours due to work, so here's my attempt at posting something coherent. 


I know I mentioned this before, but the USMC has done a pretty good job of appealling to the younger generation using platforms like Snapchat.  I actually quite enjoy their little 3 minute videos posted each week, or every few days, which are geared towards currently serving junior marines, but the videos are available for all to see.

Usually it is a fitness type video, hosted by a different young marine in each episode.  They also briefly mention quick things to be aware of in terms of policy changes (uniform, Covid, etc).

They present a pretty laid back, yet professional vibe in the videos & I can absolutely see that drawing some folks in that maybe wouldn't otherwise consider it.


I do believe the CAF is doing a pretty solid job on Instagram.  I don't have Facebook, so can't comment.




In terms of recruiting videos & such, I had mentioned before that we still need to demonstrate - even in a non direct way so the snowflakes aren't overly offended - that we are still the military, and one of our jobs is to kill bad guys.

Someone pointed out, correctly so, that perhaps today's youth don't trust that the folks we are killing ARE the bad guys.  It really is a new generation, and I don't mean that as in insult in this context.

They see Afghanistan and Iraq - most of them don't know the difference to be honest (in terms of the conflicts) - Libya, Syria, etc etc. and they don't have the faith that we are always the good guys.  They have access to information at a pretty young age now, and they are in that hyper-opinionated age range... where they can do some research, and decide pretty quickly whether they would consider our foreign policy/operations to be on the morally just side.

It doesn't help that a lot our missions now, while quite robust, are all decently low profile.  The media isn't talking about Latvia, our training mission in Iraq, our training mission in Ukraine, or our ships doing their thing.

We don't have an ethnic cleansing going on in SE Europe, and we aren't involved in any sort of counter-terror operations in Africa.  The west has also completely abandoned the Rohingya people in Burma.  Despite extremely detailed evidence of things I won't mention here, the west collectively doesn't give a s**t.



I think showcasing the humanitarian stuff that we do is really important in attracting more recruits, and helping to rebrand the military into the modern era.  Showcase that we were amongst the first in New Orleans, Haiti, and Indonesia after the tsunami.

Show the SAR stuff we do -- parachuting out of planes to save people's lives will attract those kinds of people.  Just look at every fire department's waiting list of eager recruits.

Show the high-speed stuff such as JTF2, CSOR, and the rest of SOFCOM.  Showcase that they are world class, but we can't really discuss much of what they do.

We're short of pilots?  I'll let an aircrew folk correct me on this -- but perhaps streamline the recruiting process, and show people an entry into the world of being a pilot/aircrew.  CF-18's can still be pretty darn cool with the right footage and music.

And alas, show combat footage from Afghanistan.  Be honest with the folks who may be interested in joining the combat arms.  Show the little girls who were tortured with acid on their way home from school.  Show schools the Taliban blew up because they don't believe in girls going to school, or anything being taught except their interpretation of the Quran.  Show Malala Youself, the 15yo girl who was shot in the head on the school bus because she was vocal about wanting to be educated.

And then show some combat footage of us engaging the Taliban. 

Include operations elsewhere also, such as Latvia and Ukraine.




I really do think that if we can streamline recruiting (which shouldn't be hard), streamline entry level basic courses so a person can be qualified & useful, and we revamp some of our recruiting ads & the way we reach out to young people online, we could possibly start to be viewed as a really good option.

^^ That being said, we need to streamline recruiting before any of the above.  :2c: 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPSv79XFHOU

(I know at 9 minutes it's way too long for a recruiting video, but something along these lines could be a hit.  Also, some of the recent ads aren't too bad.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQngK6BPjQM

(This is the one I meant to post, sorry.  Same idea though.)


Interesting ideas, but in my mind it re-treads the path we are already on with our recruiting material.

When you look at all the cool stuff in the videos, most of it is done by a tiny fraction of people in the CAF, or it's presented in an unrealistic way. The troops rolling the back of the LAV are likely tired, wet, and cold, so not likely thinking about how "cool" their job is. The RCN OPS room sailors just cleaned a toilet, and are dead tired from a 1 in 2 watch rotation. The RCAF folks had a terrible sleep because the guests in the room next to theirs had loud sex all night and the hotel was completely booked solid...

The problem connecting with young people, as I see it(as an elder millennial) is that our recruiting material is all too polished, and too "fake". The youth of today are watching twitch, Youtube, TikTok, etc.. They are accustomed to "real" people speaking like "real" people do. They see the slick production value of a recruiting ad and are automatically on guard, as the have grown up in the age of target ads every time they open an app.

D&B posted a couple of great examples or slick HR produced videos, but I wonder if the CAF would be better served by posting actual videos of CAF members doing their jobs, and answering questions about them. Not in the heavily edited, "cut to action" way we do it now, but single take honest conversations. Show that CAF members are real humans, not movie/videogame caricatures.

Sticking to my trade, as it's my area of expertise, look at the recruiting video we have. https://forces.ca/en/career/meteorological-technician/

Throughout the video it's not made clear that forecasting is the RQ MCpl course, so you're 5-10 years into the job before you do it. Ballistic Met is a job done by less than 30 of the 240 Met Techs, Alert is a 6 month AP only available to members posted to the Joint Met Centre in Gagetown, etc.. One of the biggest complaints I have heard form Jr members in the trade is not being able to do the "cool" stuff, and being stuck doing weather observations on a wing, or phone briefings from the JMC. We sell them on exciting, then deliver boring. Maybe we should sell the boring with the exciting, give people a more honest view of what being a member of the CAF is all about.





 

BDTyre

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I agree that we need to sell the boring, or even the uncomfortable, with the exciting. Showing the Pioneer course tearing around Cultus Lake in Zodiacs with outboards will definitely catch people's interests, but maybe let them know that before they do that, they have to jump into the near-freezing waters and right their capsized boat before paddling back to shore.

Or show the weapons cleaning after the rifle range. Or the time the RQ spends standing in the weapons vault waiting for the clean weapons to be returned so you can go home.

If people aren't willing to put up with the mundane, ridiculous or uncomfortable, they'll never get to the exciting stuff. And isn't that, in part, what BMQ teaches every candidate?
 

daftandbarmy

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I dunno, but after watching the video of Pte. Boardman I want to be a driver now, in 16 Air Assault Brigade, and kick some a$$ in that Jackal:

https://apply.army.mod.uk/roles/royal-logistic-corps/driver

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvw_Ahjtmys&feature=emb_logo
 

Furniture

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daftandbarmy said:
I dunno, but after watching the video of Pte. Boardman I want to be a driver now, in 16 Air Assault Brigade, and kick some a$$ in that Jackal:

https://apply.army.mod.uk/roles/royal-logistic-corps/driver

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvw_Ahjtmys&feature=emb_logo

I think it's a cool video as well, but neither of us is in the target audience. Also, I'd rather drive the quad, I miss mine since selling it when I got deported from Saanich to Onterrible.
 
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