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FORCE 2025: Informing the Army’s future structure

quadrapiper

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FWIW, as I recall, this is impossible in most cases as the vacancies are very few and far between.

Unless there's a war on and you really, really need some fit, keen, teenage cannon fodder to fill up the LAVs etc because half the (aging, decrepit) Regular Army is non-deployable due to various ailments (real or imagined) of course ;)
What might be done to clear the decrepit out of LAV-filling billets on a routine basis? Stronger remuster opportunities? More vigorous ongoing training within the battalions? Revision of how MEL'd members are handled?
Not my intent at all - the point was the 031 is physically hard - and churn should be encouraged to other trades.
It gives everyone a base understand of ground combat at the rudimentary level - which can be used later, when when Cpl Bloggins is on a supply run and the convoy is ambushed - he at least has a background to know fire and maneuver.

You will see more and more Asymetrical battlefields with the dispersed Multi-domain operation concepts current being conducted by the Allies.


It also ensures that everyone starts off on a level playing field.
Seems like, if mismanaged, a good way to have even more knackered backs and knees in rifle green.

Worth chinning off CAF BMQ and returning to service (or maybe branch?) initial training? Ditto the other common career courses.
 

Ostrozac

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The Canadian Army doesn‘t even believe in teaching tactical skills to its own support trades anymore, so giving every sailor and airman a basic ground combat capability is pretty clearly not on the table.

And given my understanding of our current CAF personnel situation, both current and forecasted, the situation is dire, and it’s particularly bad for the army, a fundamentally people-hungry organization. There are going to have to be hard choices made, and made quickly — and making tough decisions quickly isn’t usually our strongest attribute. But the alternative may be letting the army fade into irrelevance.

”All the chickens have come home to roost, but there’s no room for them to land because the field is full of sacred cows” — Antony Beevor said this about the British Army at the end of the Cold War, but it could easily have been said about us.
 

Loch Sloy!

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FWIW, as I recall, this is impossible in most cases as the vacancies are very few and far between.

In practice we often have more opportunities than soldiers able to fill them. 1VP has been very generous in inviting our soldiers to participate in training and 41 Bde is happy to pay, the issue is often troops can't get away for 4-6wk exercises or courses.

This is the nature of reserve service, reservists have obligations that prevent them from regularily taking large blocks of time away (sometimes on fairly short notice) otherwise they would likley be in the reg force. This inherent constraint is going to be a major stumbling block for many of the Force 2025 COAs that the army is considering. How do you put a 30/70 sub-unit on high readiness every three years..? Without changing the terms of service (or alternatively growing the reserves to have a larger pool of pers to draw upon) this approach seems unlikely to succeed.
 
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Kirkhill

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(or alternatively growing the reserves to have a larger pool of pers to draw upon)

Could you say that bit a little louder please?
 

Halifax Tar

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Not my intent at all - the point was the 031 is physically hard - and churn should be encouraged to other trades.
It gives everyone a base understand of ground combat at the rudimentary level - which can be used later, when when Cpl Bloggins is on a supply run and the convoy is ambushed - he at least has a background to know fire and maneuver.

You will see more and more Asymetrical battlefields with the dispersed Multi-domain operation concepts current being conducted by the Allies.


It also ensures that everyone starts off on a level playing field.

We already do that with a year's worth of work up training, and SQ and convoy courses.

This concept is just silly. And implying everyone needs to spend time in the infantry simply builds into our mafias and silos that need to be torn down.
 

MilEME09

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In practice we often have more opportunities than soldiers able to fill them. 1VP has been very generous in inviting our soldiers to participate in training and 41 Bde is happy to pay, the issue is often troops can't get away for 4-6wk exercises or courses.

This is the nature of reserve service, reservists have obligations that prevent them from regularily taking large blocks of time away (sometimes on fairly short notice) otherwise they would likley be in the reg force. This inherent constraint is going to be a major stumbling block for many of the Force 2025 COAs that the army is considering. How do you put a 30/70 sub-unit on high readiness every three years..? Without changing the terms of service (or alternatively growing the reserves to have a larger pool of pers to draw upon) this approach seems unlikely to succeed.
Or the other end, a reservist manages to get the time off for a course to be canceled at the 11th hour, oh and your position at work is filled, see you in six weeks.
 

FJAG

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Once 1 Division/CJOCC gets itself organized, and figures out how to work with the RCAF and the RCN.... and CANSOFCOM then it will be time enough to figure out how the Calgary Highlanders can contribute.
What makes you think that they don't know how to work with the RCAF or RCN, now. Besides 1 Div and CJOC have nothing to do with structuring the force. They're force employers. Solving the issue of the Cal Highs is way above their pay grade.

IF the CA was organized in a practical manner - it could very easily do Readiness in Bde cycles.
However my biggest heart burn from all of this is the fact I believe that all Regular units should be ready at all times.
100% agree. A system that is designed in such a way so that 2/3 of the force is continuously not ready is a failure and needs to be corrected.

Imho all the above is rendered moot. We cannot attract, process and train sufficient new mbrs to fill the slots we have. Fix the recruiting and attraction system (12 months to process a pres infm is not acceptable!), design and implement a realistic training std and spend about 5 years rebuilding what exists ( maybe reconsider the more balanced force of the 80's?). Then, maybe, we could consider redesign/reengineering. We also have the myriad of other probs to deal with as well.
Everything is fixable given the right vision and direction from the top. The fact that it hasn't been is the CAF's greatest shame. That said, there is no reason why we can't redesign concurrently. In fact we need to.

Attach 1 Division to CANSOFCOM in perpetuity. If they would have it.

CANSOFCOM seems particularly well versed in managing Ottawa and turning out a useful product.
Assuming that your opinion about CANSOFCOM is true then it just reinforces the basic opinion about special forces that they bleed all the talent away from the Regular Army leaving the second team behind. If CANSOFCOM's leadership is so great then make their boss CDS.

IMHO we have an inflated opinion of CANSOFCOM which comes in part from their secretive nature which hides all the warts. On top of that they have all the resources which makes it easier to stay focused on their limited mission sets and able to work full time on their skills while the rest of the forces has to deal with the turmoil of the bureaucracy. If the friction which effects the rest of the CAF was stripped away it to could turn out a useful product.
... making tough decisions quickly isn’t usually our strongest attribute. But the alternative may be letting the army fade into irrelevance.
So true. Lack of vision and lack action. In my favourite quote from Charlie Belzile: "The Canadian Forces needs a plan". And not just a plan but a good plan for once.

This is the nature of reserve service, reservists have obligations that prevent them from regularily taking large blocks of time away (sometimes on fairly short notice) otherwise they would likley be in the reg force. This inherent constraint is going to be a major stumbling block for many of the Force 2025 COAs that the army is considering. How do you put a 30/70 sub-unit on high readiness every three years..? Without changing the terms of service (or alternatively growing the reserves to have a larger pool of pers to draw upon) this approach seems unlikely to succeed.
This hits the whole Reg F/Res F dichotomy nail on the head. The Reg F undervalues the Res F because it isn't available when the Reg F wants to train with it rather than the Reg F recognizing the limitations of the Res F and structure its training, or at least its support to the Res F based on the Res F availability.

You can easily form a 30/70 unit which will have 30% on high readiness (and in my opinion not just every third year but every year) BUT you also need to accept as part of the plan that 70% of that unit will not be on high readiness, probably ever, but be on low readiness and capable of a) supporting the 30% with a few selected volunteers and b) being capable of being mobilized in an emergency with some lead time.

There is no major need to change "terms of service" legislation. The vast majority of the constraints on the Res F (other than the fundamental truism of Res F service that you pointed out above) are imposed within the department's own regulations and attitudes of its Reg F leadership.

I have decided that if I was King (okay I am a US Citizen now - so maybe Grande Galactic Emperor sounds better) - that everyone would join for a 2 year BE - as a 031, -- EVERYONE --
This is my day to be contrary. Totally disagree with that. IMHO we already do too much training on things that don't matter. IMHO again, I'd take the Army guys out of the BMQ circus entirely and run a decent combined BMQ/SQ that combines all the fundamental knowledge and skills every soldier needs in less time than the two currently take by a) getting rid of the chaff and b) driving the body 6.5 days a week. The .5 day off is to get their kit back in order. That should be immediately followed by equally concentrated and trimmed DP1 specialty courses followed by an immediate posting to their unit. No slack time, no voluntary releases until the end of their initial BE. I agree totally that there needs to be a tough indoctrination into the Army which inculcates each soldier with core Army values from day one but disagree that the 031s have any magic that does this universally not to mention that it wastes valuable time for gaining experience in the individual's chosen trade.

🍻
 

Halifax Tar

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This is my day to be contrary. Totally disagree with that. IMHO we already do too much training on things that don't matter. IMHO again, I'd take the Army guys out of the BMQ circus entirely and run a decent combined BMQ/SQ that combines all the fundamental knowledge and skills every soldier needs in less time than the two currently take by a) getting rid of the chaff and b) driving the body 6.5 days a week. The .5 day off is to get their kit back in order. That should be immediately followed by equally concentrated and trimmed DP1 specialty courses followed by an immediate posting to their unit. No slack time, no voluntary releases until the end of their initial BE. I agree totally that there needs to be a tough indoctrination into the Army which inculcates each soldier with core Army values from day one but disagree that the 031s have any magic that does this universally not to mention that it wastes valuable time for gaining experience in the individual's chosen trade.

🍻

I know the RCN would like to do something similar involving DC and seamanship. We are already running BMQs and PLQs on the coasts.

I hope some day we can finally shed the last vestiges of unification.
 

FJAG

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I know the RCN would like to do something similar involving DC and seamanship. We are already running BMQs and PLQs on the coasts.

I hope some day we can finally shed the last vestiges of unification.
And so they should. I'm sure that the RCAF and the RCN could run better BMQ for their own individuals than what we run now. For those who are in purple trades, let them attend the course for the uniform they chose or were shoehorned into to give them a solid connection to that uniform.

🍻
 

Halifax Tar

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And so they should. I'm sure that the RCAF and the RCN could run better BMQ for their own individuals than what we run now. For those who are in purple trades, let them attend the course for the uniform they chose or were shoehorned into to give them a solid connection to that uniform.

🍻

Or... Just get rid of the purple-ness in those trades ?
 

CBH99

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What makes you think that they don't know how to work with the RCAF or RCN, now. Besides 1 Div and CJOC have nothing to do with structuring the force. They're force employers. Solving the issue of the Cal Highs is way above their pay grade.


100% agree. A system that is designed in such a way so that 2/3 of the force is continuously not ready is a failure and needs to be corrected.


Everything is fixable given the right vision and direction from the top. The fact that it hasn't been is the CAF's greatest shame. That said, there is no reason why we can't redesign concurrently. In fact we need to.


Assuming that your opinion about CANSOFCOM is true then it just reinforces the basic opinion about special forces that they bleed all the talent away from the Regular Army leaving the second team behind. If CANSOFCOM's leadership is so great then make their boss CDS.

IMHO we have an inflated opinion of CANSOFCOM which comes in part from their secretive nature which hides all the warts. On top of that they have all the resources which makes it easier to stay focused on their limited mission sets and able to work full time on their skills while the rest of the forces has to deal with the turmoil of the bureaucracy. If the friction which effects the rest of the CAF was stripped away it to could turn out a useful product.

So true. Lack of vision and lack action. In my favourite quote from Charlie Belzile: "The Canadian Forces needs a plan". And not just a plan but a good plan for once.


This hits the whole Reg F/Res F dichotomy nail on the head. The Reg F undervalues the Res F because it isn't available when the Reg F wants to train with it rather than the Reg F recognizing the limitations of the Res F and structure its training, or at least its support to the Res F based on the Res F availability.

You can easily form a 30/70 unit which will have 30% on high readiness (and in my opinion not just every third year but every year) BUT you also need to accept as part of the plan that 70% of that unit will not be on high readiness, probably ever, but be on low readiness and capable of a) supporting the 30% with a few selected volunteers and b) being capable of being mobilized in an emergency with some lead time.

There is no major need to change "terms of service" legislation. The vast majority of the constraints on the Res F (other than the fundamental truism of Res F service that you pointed out above) are imposed within the department's own regulations and attitudes of its Reg F leadership.


This is my day to be contrary. Totally disagree with that. IMHO we already do too much training on things that don't matter. IMHO again, I'd take the Army guys out of the BMQ circus entirely and run a decent combined BMQ/SQ that combines all the fundamental knowledge and skills every soldier needs in less time than the two currently take by a) getting rid of the chaff and b) driving the body 6.5 days a week. The .5 day off is to get their kit back in order. That should be immediately followed by equally concentrated and trimmed DP1 specialty courses followed by an immediate posting to their unit. No slack time, no voluntary releases until the end of their initial BE. I agree totally that there needs to be a tough indoctrination into the Army which inculcates each soldier with core Army values from day one but disagree that the 031s have any magic that does this universally not to mention that it wastes valuable time for gaining experience in the individual's chosen trade.

🍻
You mean like… QL2 & QL3, back to back?? 😈😉

I agree with you entirely btw

It takes way too much time to train a brand new person the way BMQ is run now. (I was instructor staff on BMQ for a few courses, but I also released in 2011…so I’m sure there have been a few tweaks and changes since then.)

Less chaff. More ‘to the point. This is basic stuff.’ Wake up early. Get fit. Learn the basics of drill, uniform, policies, C7A2 rifle, C9A2, navigation, first aid, basic field craft.

People don’t join the military only to go on ‘basic training’ and have it be easy as hell. They join for the challenge and adventure.

I found myself explaining to several cereals that well the course may be challenging at times, the real challenge was DP1 for those who went combat arms. (I was teaching on Army BMQs.) I almost felt like I had to apologize for how easy BMQ had become.

I like the idea of concentrated & trimmed (aka more efficient?) courses. That alone would help relieve some personnel generation issues.


0.02
 

Kirkhill

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Assuming that your opinion about CANSOFCOM is true then it just reinforces the basic opinion about special forces that they bleed all the talent away from the Regular Army leaving the second team behind. If CANSOFCOM's leadership is so great then make their boss CDS.

IMHO we have an inflated opinion of CANSOFCOM which comes in part from their secretive nature which hides all the warts. On top of that they have all the resources which makes it easier to stay focused on their limited mission sets and able to work full time on their skills while the rest of the forces has to deal with the turmoil of the bureaucracy. If the friction which effects the rest of the CAF was stripped away it to could turn out a useful product.

I don't think that the talent is any better than that available to the army at large (regs or reserves). Nor do I know if they are more capable operationally. Because secret.

The reason I believe they are better than the "Conventional" army is that they operate more frequently and manage to have found a mechanism by which they can secure useful kit for their missions.

This, I believe, does not come from better people. It comes from fewer people. Specifically the lack of black, green, blue, maroon, and purple hats at the table.
 

FJAG

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I don't think that the talent is any better than that available to the army at large (regs or reserves). Nor do I know if they are more capable operationally. Because secret.

The reason I believe they are better than the "Conventional" army is that they operate more frequently and manage to have found a mechanism by which they can secure useful kit for their missions.

This, I believe, does not come from better people. It comes from fewer people. Specifically the lack of black, green, blue, maroon, and purple hats at the table.

I'm just guessing here but I'm pretty sure the "method" is having a fair amount of open funding and using UORs to acquire small quantities of "operationally required kit" rather than the normal life cycle-based structured acquisition the rest of the CAF has to use.

🍻
 

Halifax Tar

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I don't think that the talent is any better than that available to the army at large (regs or reserves). Nor do I know if they are more capable operationally. Because secret.

The reason I believe they are better than the "Conventional" army is that they operate more frequently and manage to have found a mechanism by which they can secure useful kit for their missions.

This, I believe, does not come from better people. It comes from fewer people. Specifically the lack of black, green, blue, maroon, and purple hats at the table.

I'm pretty sure some recent articles have shown a light on the poor material management practices in our SOF world.

My limited time in that sphere and the Clearance Diver sphere really gave me a deeper appreciation for those day in day out sailors doing the unglamorous work, with poor equipment, poor pay and little recognition.
 

Weinie

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Assuming that your opinion about CANSOFCOM is true then it just reinforces the basic opinion about special forces that they bleed all the talent away from the Regular Army leaving the second team behind. If CANSOFCOM's leadership is so great then make their boss CDS.

IMHO we have an inflated opinion of CANSOFCOM which comes in part from their secretive nature which hides all the warts. On top of that they have all the resources which makes it easier to stay focused on their limited mission sets and able to work full time on their skills while the rest of the forces has to deal with the turmoil of the bureaucracy. If the friction which effects the rest of the CAF was stripped away it to could turn out a useful product.



🍻
FJAG,

I agree with you on some of your diatribe above. Your attack on CANSOFCOM is without basis.

They regularly get tasked with some of the most difficult/shitty/hard stuff that exists, and they deliver. Success begets recognition, approbation, and funding. And they don't stand for bureaucracy, because it limits their effectiveness. That is the more cogent lesson to take away, as I think you implied.
 

dapaterson

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In practice we often have more opportunities than soldiers able to fill them. 1VP has been very generous in inviting our soldiers to participate in training and 41 Bde is happy to pay, the issue is often troops can't get away for 4-6wk exercises or courses.

Short notice is the failure. If the Army is unable to plan, it needs fewer, better leaders and managers. Last minute is the mark of amateurs.

A Res unit should be able, on first parade in September, to give its soldiers a list of all weekends exercises and their training objectives for the Sept to May timeframe.

If the unit (or its HHQs) do not enable that, then they have failed.
 

daftandbarmy

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Short notice is the failure. If the Army is unable to plan, it needs fewer, better leaders and managers. Last minute is the mark of amateurs.

A Res unit should be able, on first parade in September, to give its soldiers a list of all weekends exercises and their training objectives for the Sept to May timeframe.

If the unit (or its HHQs) do not enable that, then they have failed.

This. A thousand times this.

Although not always the case, the only reservists who can respond to short notice 'good goes' are generally unemployed, and may not the best people to send on these opportunities.
 

Kirkhill

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Short notice is the failure. If the Army is unable to plan, it needs fewer, better leaders and managers. Last minute is the mark of amateurs.

A Res unit should be able, on first parade in September, to give its soldiers a list of all weekends exercises and their training objectives for the Sept to May timeframe.

If the unit (or its HHQs) do not enable that, then they have failed.
Why is that a unit responsibility?

Shouldn't higher have been able to generate an area wide training plan for distribution before last parade in May?
 

Brad Sallows

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A Res unit should be able, on first parade in September, to give its soldiers a list of all weekends exercises and their training objectives for the Sept to May timeframe.

Unit training plans/calendars were routinely developed and approved Apr/May when I was in. However, nothing units do is proof against fuckery by 1- and 2-up.
 

dapaterson

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Units are tasked to train their troops. With the Bde plan, they then plan their own training in accordance with the Bde plan.

Higher should let units know what dates they have in what training areas, and when they train with other units. Beyond that, it's the unit's mandate to draft their plan to meet the objectives as laid out by higher.
 
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