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Sexual Misconduct Allegations in The CAF

KevinB

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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 and are thinking why I patted that women's butt in the bar/mess and I could be investigated and charged. Most women will not pursue this unless you were persistent, overly aggressive and/or had scaled up the physical touching. Most guys/women will stop if told "NO!" and the matter would be dropped.
I agree with the rest of your comments - but I felt I had to take an issue with this.

I think Most people who served or still serve in the CF are somewhat cynical based on previous issues that have been pushed heavily.

Do you remember the "Stop all work and search for the 'missing' Somalia documents. Clearly they had been hidden/shredded or otherwise nefariously dealt with - but across the world the CF stopped work and searched all desks, drawers, filing cabinets etc.
There where other issues as well when the bizarre was conducted to "make a show of it".

If it was just focused on punishing the guilty - then I doubt many would care, but when one starts looking for witches - a lot of innocent (or at least not criminally guilty) folks also get burned.
 

daftandbarmy

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I agree with the rest of your comments - but I felt I had to take an issue with this.

I think Most people who served or still serve in the CF are somewhat cynical based on previous issues that have been pushed heavily.

Do you remember the "Stop all work and search for the 'missing' Somalia documents. Clearly they had been hidden/shredded or otherwise nefariously dealt with - but across the world the CF stopped work and searched all desks, drawers, filing cabinets etc.
There where other issues as well when the bizarre was conducted to "make a show of it".

If it was just focused on punishing the guilty - then I doubt many would care, but when one starts looking for witches - a lot of innocent (or at least not criminally guilty) folks also get burned.

You mean:

'That point in time where I first was embarrassed to be a soldier.'

Yes, I remember. And no, there were no Somalia files in OC A Coy's Office at the armoury in New Westminster. :)
 

Happy Guy

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My comment was made after reading what people were posting on this discussion board. This was my impression, but I'm opened to having my mind changed. I wasn't looking to falsely accusing them of being witches and burning them at the stake. What I was trying to do, and it failed, was to make people think more about the victim's circumstances.

I, too, get cynical and I must admit that I'm tired of this gov't's attitude and virtue signalling.

I was at HQ 2 CMBG when the order was given to stop everything and search for all documents related to Somalia. I remember that we didn't find anything of consequence but these documents were handed over to the commission. I was in Petawawa when the CAR was disbanded and watching bloody reporters hunting for anyone in a maroon beret to comment. I do respect the fourth estate but I have contempt for many of the unprepared and unprofessional reporters that I have encountered over the years.

I'm afraid that this whole affair will continue on for a while and the same time our credibility as an institution takes another beating.
 

KevinB

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What I was trying to do, and it failed, was to make people think more about the victim's circumstances.
From my perspective - that is the key.

I, too, get cynical and I must admit that I'm tired of this gov't's attitude and virtue signalling.
My concern is a lot of show will be done, and no real go -- thus there will be more victims, and no help to current and future victims.
I'm afraid that this whole affair will continue on for a while and the same time our credibility as an institution takes another beating.
That's my 0.02 as well.
 

dapaterson

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At my old Reserve unit, as a 2Lt I did hand in one file referring to Somalia to the unit Adjt (recently posted in from Petawawa). His eyes went wide, then he called me an asshole when he opened the folder to see a copy of the CANFORGEN ordering the search.
 

Eye In The Sky

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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

There's what....6 General/Flag officers who are under the spotlight right now (give or take...).

There's....what....70k members of the CAF, give or take. That's a pretty small percentage, and I know some exemplary Officers, including one BGen who was my CO and WComd previous, who are DEFINITELY capable of leading the CAF in the direction it needs to go.

I'd say the same for my current CO, and WComd.

The entire CAF isn't 'guilty by association'. We need to get THAT message out as well and I'm disappointed that message isn't being sounded louder by current CAF snr leadership.
 

KevinB

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The entire CAF isn't 'guilty by association'. We need to get THAT message out as well and I'm disappointed that message isn't being sounded louder by current CAF snr leadership.
The problem with that messaging, is it effectively minimizes the issues at hand -- as well given some of the current GOFO in the spotlight, and others, it can look like an attempt to sweep it under the rug - as well it puts a target on anyone trying that from those who maybe have an axe to grind with the CF and are using this for their own means.

You need to point out 1) It is a Serious issue 2) Previous attempts haven't gone deep enough 3) That all members of the CF are best served by Sexual Assault and Harassment being dealt with strenuously - and close with 4) The majority of CF personnel are law abiding respectful people, who find these activities just as appalling as anyone out of uniform, if not more...
 

Eye In The Sky

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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.

As a CAF member, the CAF rules don't apply if I/you/anyone is outside of our national borders?

If he followed "our" rules, and the American's don't like them....so? What if an OUTCAN mbr home on leave, in Canada, from a US posting and used recreational cannabis (which our regs allow for) and the US General has a meltdown on the mbr's return?

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.

I agree this was probably a bad idea, but...where is the CAF policy that states the rest of this para? Because if it isn't policy, it's hard to hold a mbr to account. The Statement of Defence Ethics and DAOD are vague, IMO, while the Personal Relationships one is pretty detailed.

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.

I disagree; the mbr 'fell under' CAF policies and regulations IMO. If an AR was done, would it be void of review/application of CAF policy? I highly doubt it.

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.

What "power imbalance"?

The CAF manages this, at least some units. I've had COs who were married to Snr NCMs; not directly in the CofC. I've been in units where husbands and wives are wearing the same Sqn patch....even been on the same crew briefly....and not in the direct CofC of each other (14 or so people on the crew).

This isn't new, it isn't rocket science...if we could make it work on a CREW who all worked inside the same aircraft....surely it's possible for it to work in NORAD HQs. It's not a new thing either; my Basic platoon in '89, one of my MCpls was a Medic, who was married to a Lt(N) Nurse. NORAD is surely bigger than CFRS Cornwallis was.

I'm not arguing in support of the General; I'm challenging the subjective way people are judging his actions. "Technically, he might not have broken CAF policy but....". Everything after the but is an issue; it's saying "but my own personal opinion is" and that is not how we're supposed to assess people.
 

Eye In The Sky

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The problem with that messaging, is it effectively minimizes the issues at hand -- as well given some of the current GOFO in the spotlight, and others, it can look like an attempt to sweep it under the rug - as well it puts a target on anyone trying that from those who maybe have an axe to grind with the CF and are using this for their own means.

You need to point out 1) It is a Serious issue 2) Previous attempts haven't gone deep enough 3) That all members of the CF are best served by Sexual Assault and Harassment being dealt with strenuously - and close with 4) The majority of CF personnel are law abiding respectful people, who find these activities just as appalling as anyone out of uniform, if not more...

You're right, and I didn't intend for my post to make it sound like you're #4 is the only, main or most important message. I'd just like to see it as part of the message.
 

Good2Golf

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The entire CAF isn't 'guilty by association'. We need to get THAT message out as well and I'm disappointed that message isn't being sounded louder by current CAF snr leadership.
That would be seen by many as nothing other than refusal by CAF leadership to acknowledge the severity of the issue.

Even if let’s say 6:70,000 known to be under investigation is less than, let’s say…(at least) 1:338 ultimate national leaders/represent era confirmed to have behaved in an unacceptable way by sexually assaulting a civilian, it doesn’t matter. CAF is the organization in the spotlight, and it must ne seen to be actively working to better itself through acknowledgement of the issue and take concrete steps to at the very least, live up to conduct what is reinforced by quite comprehensive existing legislation to otherwise address inappropriate sexualized conduct. Clearly culture is the issue at heart, not regulations. Reasonable regulations have existed since the 80s…it’s just that the culture of the CAF is that far too many members, the majority males (but not monopolistically), have not been dealt with suitably and sufficiently.
 

Eye In The Sky

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It's not fair, necessarily, but I guess it is reality.

I still believe it is the serving members who need to lead the CAF in change; time will tell if that will be the COA selected.
 

kev994

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There's what....6 General/Flag officers who are under the spotlight right now (give or take...).

There's....what....70k members of the CAF, give or take. That's a pretty small percentage, and I know some exemplary Officers, including one BGen who was my CO and WComd previous, who are DEFINITELY capable of leading the CAF in the direction it needs to go.

I'd say the same for my current CO, and WComd.

The entire CAF isn't 'guilty by association'. We need to get THAT message out as well and I'm disappointed that message isn't being sounded louder by current CAF snr leadership.
CBC counted 11, but 2 of those were ‘guilty’ of playing golf with Vance, so let’s say somewhere between 9 and 11. But there aren’t 70,000 GOFOs, there’s ~135 or something like that. So 7-8% of GOFOs in the CAF are directly involved in a scandal. Seems pretty serious to me.
 

kev994

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What if an OUTCAN mbr home on leave, in Canada, from a US posting and used recreational cannabis (which our regs allow for) and the US General has a meltdown on the mbr's return?
Before I went OUTCAN I had to sign an acknowledgment that Uncle SAM had their own rules and that breaking some of those would get me kicked out of the position.
 

Eye In The Sky

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CBC counted 11, but 2 of those were ‘guilty’ of playing golf with Vance, so let’s say somewhere between 9 and 11. But there aren’t 70,000 GOFOs, there’s ~135 or something like that. So 7-8% of GOFOs in the CAF are directly involved in a scandal. Seems pretty serious to me.

7-8% of that one group, so pretty serious for that group. What % is 9 of 70,000? That is "the CAF".

I'm not saying "it is not a big deal", because it is. I'm saying "the entire CAF isn't represented by those 9-11...or "the average CAF member isn't like those 9 to 11 members".

I know, we all know that. I just wish...everyone else did, I guess.
 

Eye In The Sky

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Before I went OUTCAN I had to sign an acknowledgment that Uncle SAM had their own rules and that breaking some of those would get me kicked out of the position.

Was there a 'personal relationship' component to that (if you can/should answer that...)?
 
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