"A multi-role force capable acting independently in a variety of situations" sounds like Infantry to me.
I know it does. It does to me as well.
I don't know why you call it Cavalry.
Because the alternative is to call it Mounted Infantry - but I am trying to find a way to better utilize the RCAC than reducing them to drivers of armoured trucks (TAPVs) many of whom will be sans vehicules - at least according to some suggestions that I have seen.
Nor do I see the sense having the the Armoured Corps crew some of the Infantry's vehicles but not others.
I have suggested this idea in the past. That is not what I am suggesting this time. What I am suggesting is that the RCAC be given responsibility for all the tracked vehicles and that it revert back to its role as "The Armoured Fist", that it be formed and maintained as a heavy strike force that is immediately available.
Would we ask the Armoured Corps to have EMEs drive their tanks for them?
As we live and fight from our vehicles when necessary, the guy driving it should be part of the same team, not some stranger from another unit who brings the vehicle once in a while.
Agreed, wholely and unreservedly.
And to which I would add "Why wouldn't you want your Infantry/Armoured team to have the same level of familiarity when their vehicles are mixed up in the same patch of ground?" Do you expect to maintain some of your 6 infantry battalions at high-readiness Armoured Co-Op battalions? Why not use the "super-numary" (silly concept in an Army as small as the Canadian Army) RCAC troopers as Assaulters? They enhance the ability of the RCAC Regiments to conduct some of the tasks that the Infantry undertakes. They are gainfully employed in the family in which they wish to operate. They are intimately tied to their vehicles and will be learning how to maintain, operate and fight their vehicles - in a dedicated fashion.
And.... at short notice ..... a complete, formed Cavalry Combat Team can be readily detached to supply support to an Infantry Battle Group as and when necessary.
You list a group of environments ("desert", "jungle", "mountain" - tanks also do this), some ways to move around ("helo", "airborne", "amphibious", "mounted" and "dismounted"), and a political condition (counter-insurgency; tanks do this too).
You know that I understand those differences. But aren't some environments more convivial to some Arms than others?
The point is that each of those environments, each of those modes, each of those tasks, carries a training bill. That bill has to be paid somewhere sometime. With 6 large battalions (as I have seen suggested numerous times on this site - Personally I favour 9 small ones for similar reasons to what I am arguing now) how is the Infantry going to cover all of those bases with competent forces at high readiness? Isn't there a risk associated with the government deploying a "ready" battalion to some distant locale because half of its number completed riverine and jungle training 4 years ago?
Which risk is greater? Deploying a trained and ready, but small unit? Or deploying a large, confident unit whose training is not up to date?
Why not take some of the load off the Infantry Corps by allowing the Armoured Corps a wider scope of activities?
Why not increase the number of deployment options available to the government by increasing the number of ready battle groups to 12 from 9 rather than reducing them to 6?
These are all circumstantial to the core infantry task
- the fact of the matter is a vehicle is a vital tool for an Infantry commander to accomplish that core task due to what it brings in terms of mobility, firepower, protection and sensors.
Does that include "Shank's Mare"?
The fact that we can work with it or without it
This would seem to suggest "Yes" to my previous.
"As we live and fight from our vehicles when necessary, the guy driving it should be part of the same team, not some stranger from another unit who brings the
vehicle once in a while."
Doesn't the same thing apply to boat drivers, ship drivers, helicopter drivers, aeroplane drivers......?
You don't expect all of them to become infanteers, I am sure of that. You do expect to train regularly with all of them, preferably in the full range of environments and across the full range of the conflict spectrum. That eats into the amount of time available for the infanteer to learn his primary trade - which is conducted on foot in the face of the enemy.
His support may be only 5 meters away in the back of a 10 tonne truck. Equally it could be 1200 km away on some airfield or other. Those realities are going to shape the way he/she engages the enemy - and the shape of that engagement requires planning, training and famiiiarity.
.....with little real cost is even better .....
If it were with little real cost I could agree with you. But I can't for the life of me see how you can escape the cost.
- that's what makes us a "multi-role force capable of acting independently in a variety of situations".
A variety of situations.... yes. Not every situation.
Take some of the workload off yourselves by passing it on to the RCAC and let them train for a different variety of situations.
As currently configured the Armoured Corps seems to be destined to find your enemy for you then show up with some Direct Fire Support if you need it.
The RCAC is comprised of a Regiment of Dragoons (Mounted Infantry), a Regiment of Cavalry that was raised from Mounted Policemen that served as Mounted Infantry in South Africa and a Tank Regiment formed in WW2 with Militia Cavalry roots.
In the movie "The Light Horse" there is a scene at Beersheba where a British Cavalry commander is offended that the Charge to take the position is to be lead by the Mounted Infantry of the Light Horse (Lee Enfields and Bayonets - not a sword or lance in sight) To paraphrase: if there is any charging to be done the cavalry should do it.
I occasionally get the sense that in the Canadian Army there is a strong sentiment that: if there is any charging to be done the infantry should do it.
I think the mob is too small for that type of attitude and the workload has to be distributed more broadly.
My own prescription:
1 SF Regiment
3 Lt Bns (Helo with Para Capable Elements and TAPV Carriers)
6 LAV Bns with a TAPV Patrol Company
3 MBT/CCV Cavalry Regiments.
There is enough overlap there to permit units to move up and down the scale of training given enough time if the Army is engaged for a protracted period in particular environment. Equally there is enough variety of capability there to allow the government to react to a variety of situations in and expeditious fashion AND to make interesting careers.
And PS, I still owe you a Guiness or two.