• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Sexual Misconduct Allegations in The CAF

Brad Sallows

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
956
Points
910
The CAF has to "fix" sexual misconduct because of its own standards and needs, not because of society's.

The benchmark for "society" is what is tolerated among politicians, who constitute a more diverse representation of people in Canada and upon whom voters get to pass judgement. Don't kid yourselves that other institutions and corporations are "better" - I grant they do much more virtue signalling, but they too are composed of people.
 

Jarnhamar

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
1,275
Points
1,060
Say you were groped and called by some sexual pejorative name over 10 years ago and it deeply hurt you, but you knew that your complaint would not be taken seriously so you had to lived with the hurt and the pain. Now with the climate more conducive to the reporting of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment you now have the opportunity to report it. Would you not do it, especially if you knew that the aggressor was now in a position of higher rank / power and could or had already sexual harassed more victims?
This is the context I was talking about. Grouping someone is assault, if it happened 30 years ago hammer them if you're inclined to do so. The same goes with targeted harassment.

But what if you heard a joke you didn't like 25 years ago? Or someone drew a penis in the rifle butts while people were blasting away with FNs? Worth while to go after them now?

Thankfully that doesn't appear to be a current trend but it could be very quickly.

Despite all the progress we tell ourselves we made a cursory look at the the golden handshake that was just given to Danny Croucher begs the question how much really changed?

From what I'm seeing here is that many men here are on the defensive and empathize with the sexual aggressors because they thought of their past behaviours
That's quite the accusation. You could also be projecting your own past bad behavior on to others out of a sense or remorse, embarrassment and attempt at absolution.

I doubt it, but don't forget the narrative built up around defending yourself or disagreeing with a broad statement, it means you're being defensive.
 

OldSolduer

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
1,619
Points
910
Just a question but did the DComd of NORAD declare he had a personal relationship with this other person?

Maybe its in the details so if this has been answered my apologies.
 

SupersonicMax

Army.ca Veteran
Mentor
Reaction score
584
Points
910
Thanks for filling in those details.

So- there we go, I guess. While we may be seeing stuff through 'yesterday's lens', it seems like that lens is basically the same one we have now. Just better acted on. There's little that's wrong now that wasn't wrong then, at least in orders and directives.
Beyond the rules and more importantly, culture is the issue. I remember not too long ago (less than 15 years ago) someone saying that women belonged in the kitchen, not in cockpits. Again, not that long ago, some behaviours (sexual innuendos and sexually charged jokes for examples) were not only tolerated and accepted (by fairly senior officers - Col and some GOFOs back then), but also encouraged as a means to fit in. If it was indeed encouraged, why are we blaming individuals when the system as a whole is a much bigger culprit?

If we want the rules to work, institutional culture needs to lead the charge. Otherwise, we are just paying lip service to our policies. I think that’s what the « Chief, Professional Conduct and Culture » is meant to address. And that’s a long process…
 

OldSolduer

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
1,619
Points
910
If we want the rules to work, institutional culture needs to lead the charge. Otherwise, we are just paying lip service to our policies. I think that’s what the « Chief, Professional Conduct and Culture » is meant to address. And that’s a long process…
You're are correct - culture takes a very long time to change. Changing culture of an organization is not a magic fix, nor is it the making of more regulations and programs etc.
Its the consistent and fair application of the current regulations (and some future ones because times do change) that will change the culture. It is leadership by example, starting with the CDS and the rest of the NDHQ lot including civilian employees that will eventually see a shift in culture.
 

MilEME09

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
696
Points
940
You're are correct - culture takes a very long time to change. Changing culture of an organization is not a magic fix, nor is it the making of more regulations and programs etc.
Its the consistent and fair application of the current regulations (and some future ones because times do change) that will change the culture. It is leadership by example, starting with the CDS and the rest of the NDHQ lot including civilian employees that will eventually see a shift in culture.
Part of that culture shift I think is enhancing our training, I have been very underwhelmed by Op Honor briefings over the years, at this point I wouldn't trust our selves to deliver this kind of training. Atleast in the short term I think we should bring in an outside organization to deliver training regarding sexual misconduct, if nothing else it would atleast look good to the public, and standardize the training in how it's presented.
 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Relic
Reaction score
4,309
Points
1,060
Part of that culture shift I think is enhancing our training, I have been very underwhelmed by Op Honor briefings over the years, at this point I wouldn't trust our selves to deliver this kind of training. Atleast in the short term I think we should bring in an outside organization to deliver training regarding sexual misconduct, if nothing else it would atleast look good to the public, and standardize the training in how it's presented.

Or, at least, ensure that something is actually done about complaints.

I have, in the past, 'expressed concerns' to higher about some things I was seeing at my unit and they were ignored.

In one case, luckily, the person concerned scored an Own Goal later on. Others have never been taken to task, and likely never will.
 

Furniture

Sr. Member
Reaction score
140
Points
480
Part of that culture shift I think is enhancing our training, I have been very underwhelmed by Op Honor briefings over the years, at this point I wouldn't trust our selves to deliver this kind of training. Atleast in the short term I think we should bring in an outside organization to deliver training regarding sexual misconduct, if nothing else it would atleast look good to the public, and standardize the training in how it's presented.
The training needs to be enhanced, for sure. OP Honour briefs I attended were heavy on the "don't commit crimes"(ie. don't rape), and light on the "lets make the workplace better by being professional, and treating each other with respect".

We wasted a lot of time and effort by focusing on the criminal, rather than the cultural. Due to the heavy focus on criminal acts we lost the attention of people who knew they weren't rapists, but perhaps were active participants in the hyper-sexualized culture.

<helmets on>

I used to tell jokes in the morning pipe at sea that were inappropriate, very inappropriate.... I enjoyed shocking people in the morning. Nobody ever said a word to me about the jokes, until I pushed it a bit far one morning and someone hit the emergency PA to cut me off. Now, my intent wasn't to hurt anyone, but looking back I can see how my jokes would have hurt people.

Fast forward two years, and my boss assigned me the task of leading the OP Honour guided discussions/brief for my department. When I read through the report, and the material provided, I had my "come to Jesus" moment. I became more aware of how my own actions had a negative impact on others, and with minor adjustments to my behaviour I could make the workplace better for everyone. I tried to focus on the "act like professionals" more than "don't rape" when leading the discussions, and it seemed to be well received.

<helmets off>

To your point about outside trainers/coaches, the risk is that they focus on the wrong parts, and by doing so just get everyone to tune out.
 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Relic
Reaction score
4,309
Points
1,060
The training needs to be enhanced, for sure. OP Honour briefs I attended were heavy on the "don't commit crimes"(ie. don't rape), and light on the "lets make the workplace better by being professional, and treating each other with respect".

You guys had OP HONOUR briefings?

Cool, I wonder what happened to the ones we were supposed to get? :)
 

Happy Guy

Member
Reaction score
106
Points
580
That's quite the accusation. You could also be projecting your own past bad behavior on to others out of a sense or remorse, embarrassment and attempt at absolution.

I doubt it, but don't forget the narrative built up around defending yourself or disagreeing with a broad statement, it means you're being defensive.
Not an accusation but a comment based on the reactions that I've been reading on this discussion.

I have knowingly made sexist and racists remarks in the past while in uniform, but I have never made unwanted sexual physical contact with a female. Could my past bad behaviour/actions come back and haunt me? Possibly. It depends on whether the victims were hurt, felt victimized or humiliated enough to report it. I am not proud of it and it was made when I was trying to be someone I am not. No excuse on my part.
 

OldSolduer

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
1,619
Points
910
You guys had OP HONOUR briefings?

Cool, I wonder what happened to the ones we were supposed to get? :)
We had them regularly. In the early days of OP Honour (which was not well received by a large number of CAF pers) we had a few infractions. Once the troops knew that this sort of shit wouldn't be tolerated the incidents went down.

I agree with bringing in an outside agency to do the training with this caveat: whoever it is they better have some kind of street credibility and not some ivory tower professor or activist. :)
 

dapaterson

Army.ca Relic
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
2,225
Points
890
We'd do extended Op Honour / CAF Ethics program discussions. They easily lend themselves to crossover discussion.

But the typical Army method of slideshow of doom doesn't work for a topic where you want people to be engaged and involved and talking and listening.

Plus, besides doing an annual "Here are the CO and RSM yammering", there would be company and platoon level discussions later in the training year as well, to reinforce the message, to get leaders at all levels engaged, and to permit discussions without the CO and RSM present.
 

Furniture

Sr. Member
Reaction score
140
Points
480
We'd do extended Op Honour / CAF Ethics program discussions. They easily lend themselves to crossover discussion.

But the typical Army method of slideshow of doom doesn't work for a topic where you want people to be engaged and involved and talking and listening.

Plus, besides doing an annual "Here are the CO and RSM yammering", there would be company and platoon level discussions later in the training year as well, to reinforce the message, to get leaders at all levels engaged, and to permit discussions without the CO and RSM present.
This is why my department did guided discussions with a max attendance of 10, and had a Sgt leading it.

We had very interesting chats, and could hash out what inappropriate conduct was, without a CWO/MWO in the corner "gargoyling" over things.
 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Relic
Reaction score
4,309
Points
1,060
This is why my department did guided discussions with a max attendance of 10, and had a Sgt leading it.

We had very interesting chats, and could hash out what inappropriate conduct was, without a CWO/MWO in the corner "gargoyling" over things.

#awesomephraseoftheday ;)
 

Eye In The Sky

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
357
Points
910
A security breach is a security breach even if an enemy did not exploit it. We are obliged to protect security.

An ethical laps is an ethical laps even if an explicit rule was not broken. We are obliged to be ethical.

I also assume NORAD HQ has a set of standing orders that outline standards of conduct for the binational command . I don’t know this, but my experience with US formations is that they tend toward documenting their rules even when higher orders have the topic covered. Regardless, I would not hold up the Canadian DAOD and suggest it is both the first and last word governing the conduct of CAF personnel in NORAD.

What security breech? (I only know the details the article provide)

The article says (1) the mbr was separated when he entered into the relationship and (2) the relationship was reported to his CofC on 29 Dec 2019 and (3) the woman was working outside of the lieutenant-general's direct chain of command.

Ethical lapse; I don't disagree there (my own [subjective] opinion), specifically on the Integrity value/behaviour (1.1, 1.3, 1.4). But, that is my own subjective opinion that seems to contradict the DAOD and, while I understand what you're saying about NORAD SOs, CAF policy should be the meter stick used primarily for admin decisions in the CAF, IMO.
 
Last edited:

Eye In The Sky

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
357
Points
910
Part of that culture shift I think is enhancing our training, I have been very underwhelmed by Op Honor briefings over the years, at this point I wouldn't trust our selves to deliver this kind of training. Atleast in the short term I think we should bring in an outside organization to deliver training regarding sexual misconduct, if nothing else it would atleast look good to the public, and standardize the training in how it's presented.

I'll offer the completely opposite side of the coin. We NEED to be the ones delivering this awareness, trg and change; the uniformed leadership, at all levels.
 

Jarnhamar

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
1,275
Points
1,060
This is why my department did guided discussions with a max attendance of 10, and had a Sgt leading it.

We had very interesting chats, and could hash out what inappropriate conduct was, without a CWO/MWO in the corner "gargoyling" over things.

And then the troops see someone in the coc break the rules and get a slap on the wrist or it get swept under the rug.
 

MilEME09

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
696
Points
940
I'll offer the completely opposite side of the coin. We NEED to be the ones delivering this awareness, trg and change; the uniformed leadership, at all levels.
Do you think the government and the Canadian public trust us to handle this by our selves? I do not think so at this point
 

Takeniteasy

Sr. Member
Reaction score
20
Points
180
The training needs to be enhanced, for sure. OP Honour briefs I attended were heavy on the "don't commit crimes"(ie. don't rape), and light on the "lets make the workplace better by being professional, and treating each other with respect".

We wasted a lot of time and effort by focusing on the criminal, rather than the cultural. Due to the heavy focus on criminal acts we lost the attention of people who knew they weren't rapists, but perhaps were active participants in the hyper-sexualized culture.

<helmets on>

I used to tell jokes in the morning pipe at sea that were inappropriate, very inappropriate.... I enjoyed shocking people in the morning. Nobody ever said a word to me about the jokes, until I pushed it a bit far one morning and someone hit the emergency PA to cut me off. Now, my intent wasn't to hurt anyone, but looking back I can see how my jokes would have hurt people.

Fast forward two years, and my boss assigned me the task of leading the OP Honour guided discussions/brief for my department. When I read through the report, and the material provided, I had my "come to Jesus" moment. I became more aware of how my own actions had a negative impact on others, and with minor adjustments to my behaviour I could make the workplace better for everyone. I tried to focus on the "act like professionals" more than "don't rape" when leading the discussions, and it seemed to be well received.

<helmets off>

To your point about outside trainers/coaches, the risk is that they focus on the wrong parts, and by doing so just get everyone to tune out.
When I left the CAF in 2012 part of my grievance (denied at the end) was to ask for education and awareness across the board. To your admission of inappropriate jokes/comments/attitudes I wrote that one incident would not deem any systemic concern but when you encounter it at many levels and from different people you begin to see how this could erode the integrity and credibility of administrative measures the CAF has put in place.

We had them regularly. In the early days of OP Honour (which was not well received by a large number of CAF pers) we had a few infractions. Once the troops knew that this sort of shit wouldn't be tolerated the incidents went down.

I agree with bringing in an outside agency to do the training with this caveat: whoever it is they better have some kind of street credibility and not some ivory tower professor or activist. :)
I'll offer the completely opposite side of the coin. We NEED to be the ones delivering this awareness, trg and change; the uniformed leadership, at all levels.
Do you think the government and the Canadian public trust us to handle this by our selves? I do not think so at this point
In regards to who best to accomplish this movement towards a more respectful professional environment, it may already be in place if the Restorative Component of the agreed Class Action is utilized to its fullest potential. CAF has set up a mechanism for any member to come forward and participate in these facilitated discussions with former/current members who have direct experience. These experiences will run the spectrum and they will hold "street cred" due to the person sharing being either a former of current member.

As for only having uniformed leadership delivering the awareness you will continue to perpetuate the internalizing of constructive dismissal and institutional gaslighting internalizations.

I wanted to continue my career past achieving WO and at 41 but did not see a path, I still for some strange reason want to praise what CAF actually does and not just what's highlighted in the MSM. I may be idealistic but the realities have shown that broader measures are needed.
 

Navy_Pete

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
578
Points
1,040
The DAOD is clear; it is the measuring stick that has to be used, unless someone knows of another actual CAF policy that supersedes it (I don't).

I can only go from the details in the article; the mbr and his spouse were separated, he entered into a personal relationship and disclosed that relationship.
The issue isn't really that he broke DAOD regs (which he may or may not have, depending on your faith in the MND announcement clearing him previously and the reported ongoing investigation); he was on exchange in the US and broke their regs/codes of conduct. Even if he followed our rules, they clearly felt it was inappropriate.

We expect juniour folks to make better judgements than that on exchange, why shouldn't there be repercussions when you do something that gets the 4 star US commander of NORAD calling our diplomats to replace someone for f&cking up? And if you are too stupid to look up local policies for relationships within the picket lines, probably shouldn't be a GOFO (which I don't think is the case here, for the record). So either he knew the regs, and didn't think they applied to him, or he couldn't be arsed to look them up, but neither are really a strong argument that he was fit for that job.

I'm sure General Coates was hyper competent and everything else required to get to the GOFO rank, but doesn't mean this wasn't a colossally bad idea. The consequences are a lot higher when you are a GOFO, and doesn't matter what country you are from when you are embedded in another military, if their local requirements exceed the CAFs, you follow the higher ones. That was the expectation for us when we were over doing training with the RN as SLts, seems pretty simple. GOFOs should be exceeding that basic expectation without anyone having to tell them.

Doesn't really matter if you agree with the US regs on adultery and interpersonal relationships, but that's he fell under when he made the decision, and that's what caused the issue, and why they wanted him gone.

Aside from that though, really difficult for there to not be the potential for a significant power imbalance even if she wasn't in his direct chain, and it's pretty easy to see favouritism (or punishment when things break up) causing a bunch of dissatisfaction in the unit when she's dating someone who her supervisors at least indirectly report to. So even if he technically followed the rules of the DAODs, doesn't mean it wouldn't have had an impact on unit morale here at a Canadian unit, and not really groundbreaking to expect the big giant heads to look outside their small pond for relationships as a result.
 
Top