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Sexual Misconduct Allegations in The CAF

Infanteer

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So Sergeant is the only SNCO and anything above is a WO? That doesn't seem like a very useful definition. Especially since the understanding of what falls under ''NCO'' differs greatly amongst even just our NORAD/NATO allies. Common meaning interpretation grants that an NCO is any Officer that is not commissioned, which is how, as an example, the RNZN defines it.

In our old system, we also had the Staff/Colour Sergeant rank, Corporals were leaders (Sgt equivalent), and Lance Corporal was the entry level leadership position. So the system had logical distinctions when it looked like this:

Jr NCO - LCpl, Cpl
Sr NCO - Sgt, SSgt
WO - WO2, WO1
 

Navy_Pete

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Silly Supreme Court Justice.... she just doesn't get the CAF, does she? ;)

Military can't 'lock the doors' and try to fix sexual misconduct alone: Louise Arbour​

'Closed' military challenged by diversity

Arbour said the drive for effective performance has been part of the military's problem.

"Uniformity, homogeneity is very much part of the ease with which they feel they can deliver operationally," she said.

That means it's much easier to be effective "when everybody's the same," and trying to integrate women and underrepresented Canadians into military culture has been a challenge, she said.


The answer is you have to open up, let some external oxygen into your system so that you keep more in pace with how Canadian society has evolved

As a result, "they have had more problems than other sectors of society in incorporating the ideals of diversity into their efficiency models."

The military is also a "closed" system, where recruits join at a young age and spend their careers steeped in tradition and established rhetoric. Senior leadership is also drawn from that pool, without the potential for external recruitment.

"The answer is you have to open up, let some external oxygen into your system so that you keep more in pace with how Canadian society has evolved," she said.

From a personal perspective 'uniformity' is more that everyone is working on the same page as part of a big team, and if someone goes down, there are others that can step in to get the job done. From that perspective, the military is theoretically a big leveller, where your ability to get things done as part of the unit (vice past history) is more important. Similar approach to a team sport.

People being people, doesn't work like that across the board obviously, but really shouldn't matter what you look like, who you pray to etc. Can we do a better job at integrating people? Of course, and that might involve punting people that are more hung up on gender/religion whatever than getting the job done.

Is she suggesting we start getting civilians in the chain of command on operational units? We already have a lot of civilians in the support side, as well as a restrictive amount of civilian oversight to the point where it impedes progress. I'm not really sure why the report didn't recommend overhauling the existing ombudsman office, and have it independent from the MND and roll the sexual assault portion under there.
 

rmc_wannabe

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From a personal perspective 'uniformity' is more that everyone is working on the same page as part of a big team, and if someone goes down, there are others that can step in to get the job done. From that perspective, the military is theoretically a big leveller, where your ability to get things done as part of the unit (vice past history) is more important. Similar approach to a team sport.
Agreed. This is what we need to retain and not let go of at all costs. We need people to be able to master their load station and know how to step up when C9 Gunner # 2 gets hit. There is no ambiguity there.

People being people, doesn't work like that across the board obviously, but really shouldn't matter what you look like, who you pray to etc. Can we do a better job at integrating people? Of course, and that might involve punting people that are more hung up on gender/religion whatever than getting the job done.
Also agreed. I am all for inclusivity and adaptation to make it so that people feel they can be part of that team. That said a lot of the barriers I see in place are not systemic, per se, but I definitely feel as though its a "the World According to WO/Maj Bloggins" that has caused a lot the perceived "systemic" barriers brought up. It may not be that we have people in the CAF who are hostile towards minority groups within our society, its just a situation where acceptance is the standard, but tolerance is the only thing these folks are willing to give. Those kinds of people are toxic towards any form of culture change.

Is she suggesting we start getting civilians in the chain of command on operational units? We already have a lot of civilians in the support side, as well as a restrictive amount of civilian oversight to the point where it impedes progress. I'm not really sure why the report didn't recommend overhauling the existing ombudsman office, and have it independent from the MND and roll the sexual assault portion under there.
I think this has to be a "DND/NCR"ism coming to light, as I have no idea how on earth you could employ forces on a tactical, operational, or strategic level under a civilian command structure. Furthermore, a lot of the civilian staff you have that would be considered for such a position would more than likely be "Sgt/Capt/Col/BGen (Ret'd)" up until assuming that position; so I'm not sure what you would be gaining from that exercise.

All of these issues stem from a lack of accountability and a lack of leadership from those in positions to correct it. Until we start treating it as such, shuffling the hand we have dealt ourselves isn't going to change the cards.
 
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Edward Campbell

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In our old system ...
And our "old system" was pretty new.

The "modern" Canadian army was born of the Cardwell Reforms of the late 19th century. The Navy had a bit older and better system: even in the 8th century promotions, for officers, were based on examinations for competence, for example, while the, in the 19th century, the army still had commission by purchase.

But many of our "systems" were millennia old - we've understood since classical times that an element of about 10 soldiers is about the maximum that one person can control. Think the Roman decurion. 10 of those elements could be controlled by a well trained, seasoned leader: a century ≈ a company (nine sections) which has been a standard military unit for centuries.

We have some bench marks. A battery/company/squadron (75-150 soldiers) can be commanded by one middle ranked leader (an officer) assisted by numerous junior leaders. Several companies - less than 10 (the number of digits on our hands seems to equate, roughly, with the upper limit of anyone's reasonably manageable span of control) - form a fighting unit which needs a more seasoned leader and a number of battalions, etc, etc, etc: Corps - LGen; Div - MGen; Bde - BGen; Regt/Bn - LCol; Bty/Coy/Sqn - Maj; Pl/Tp - Lt ... as the Commonwealth armed have/had it
Or: Corps - LGen; Div - MGen; Bde - Col; Regt/Bn - LCol; Bty/Coy/Sqn -Capt; Pl/Tp - WO ...as some European armies have/had it.

What do we need below Pl/Tp?

What is the appropriate rank for a soldier who is young enough but also sufficiently experienced to be a tank or rifle section commander?

What is the right rank for the 1st level junior (apprentice) leader? How long, in a 21st century army, does it take to get a soldier from "trained" to junior leader?

What is the right rank/age (experience level) for a Tp/Pl 2IC?

What about specialist leaders in Artillery, Engineer and Signal units? Are Officers or Warrant Officers better suited for many tasks in those corps?

What about staff officers and NCOs in units and formations and national HQs? What is the role of staff schools and colleges - for NCOs and officers? Is there a really a "command" course? Should there be? Does the Navy have the right idea with Sea Command examinations?

How should we measure fitness for promotion and for certain kinds of employment, like command? Should enlisted ranks be tied to trade level? Does the RAF system of "technical" NCOs who are different from "leadership" NCOs have merit?

I think we might be due for a review.
 

Navy_Pete

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@rmc_wannabe all good points; one thing about being in the NCR and working with other departments it was a bit eye opening at times, and had to adapt some behaviour and rephrase things because it was coming off as abrupt or aggressive when summarizing a meeting and verifying things like OPIs and deadlines. Meetings took longer, and frequently decisions were delayed/OBE so think some aspects of the military culture would benefit civilian side of things.

Maybe that's more of a public service thing vice civilian workforce in general, but noticed some other large companies had similar 'cultures' leaning one way or the other.

Joked years ago about the optimal number of people in a collaborative working group to ensure nothing gets done is about 8; that basically guarantees you will have 5-6 people at the meeting which seems to be around where decisions stop getting made. I was mostly being a smart ass, and then someone came up with DPS. I regret not putting pen to paper earlier, but might still be an amusing satire on the zen of bureaucracy, even just to blow off some personal frustrations.
 

kev994

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@rmc_wannabe all good points; one thing about being in the NCR and working with other departments it was a bit eye opening at times, and had to adapt some behaviour and rephrase things because it was coming off as abrupt or aggressive when summarizing a meeting and verifying things like OPIs and deadlines. Meetings took longer, and frequently decisions were delayed/OBE so think some aspects of the military culture would benefit civilian side of things.

Maybe that's more of a public service thing vice civilian workforce in general, but noticed some other large companies had similar 'cultures' leaning one way or the other.

Joked years ago about the optimal number of people in a collaborative working group to ensure nothing gets done is about 8; that basically guarantees you will have 5-6 people at the meeting which seems to be around where decisions stop getting made. I was mostly being a smart ass, and then someone came up with DPS. I regret not putting pen to paper earlier, but might still be an amusing satire on the zen of bureaucracy, even just to blow off some personal frustrations.
My buddy worked in the NCR and was astounded by the number of people inviting themselves to meetings/ focus groups. Nobody wanted to do anything, they just wanted to make sure they had their finger in the pie.
 

dimsum

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My buddy worked in the NCR and was astounded by the number of people inviting themselves to meetings/ focus groups. Nobody wanted to do anything, they just wanted to make sure they had their finger in the pie.
Yep. It's always the secretary (sometimes the co-chairs) that do the work.
 

daftandbarmy

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Joked years ago about the optimal number of people in a collaborative working group to ensure nothing gets done is about 8; that basically guarantees you will have 5-6 people at the meeting which seems to be around where decisions stop getting made. I was mostly being a smart ass, and then someone came up with DPS. I regret not putting pen to paper earlier, but might still be an amusing satire on the zen of bureaucracy, even just to blow off some personal frustrations.

The Ringelmann effect enters the chat ;)

"Ringelmann’s famous study on pulling a rope — often called the Ringelmann effect — analyzed people alone and in groups as they pulled on a rope. Ringelmann then measured the pull force. As he added more and more people to the rope, Ringelmann discovered that the total force generated by the group rose, but the average force exerted by each group member declined, thereby discrediting the theory that a group team effort results in increased effort. Ringelmann attributed this to what was then called “social loafing” — a condition where a group or team tends to “hide” the lack of individual effort."

 

FJAG

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SO no one individual can be held accountable for terrible decisions.....

Just my opinion.
This is why, in my arrogance, I blame Hillier for all the bad stuff that happened after 2000. One can't find any other individuals to lay the blame off on and the buck has to stop somewhere.

😖
 

FSTO

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This is why, in my arrogance, I blame Hillier for all the bad stuff that happened after 2000. One can't find any other individuals to lay the blame off on and the buck has to stop somewhere.

😖
Never really heard much from the Big Cod during that roll-out of the vaccines in Ontario. Was it a success?
 

daftandbarmy

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Never really heard much from the Big Cod during that roll-out of the vaccines in Ontario. Was it a success?

Yes, and no, and yes, and then no again... I think ;)

Retired general Rick Hillier leaving role as head of Ontario vaccine task force, Ford says​


Hillier, who previously served as the chief of defence staff of the Canadian Forces for three years, was appointed to lead the vaccine rollout in November.

Ford said at the time that the deployment of vaccines would require an expert in logistics, making Hillier’s appointment important.

A month later, Ontario was criticized for pausing its vaccine rollout over the Christmas holidays, a move Hillier was forced to defend. He conceded that “in hindsight, it was the wrong decision.”

The province has since been slammed for not launching its vaccine booking portal earlier, and for failing to provide clear and timely updates on its ever-changing vaccine rollout plan.

 

FJAG

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Never really heard much from the Big Cod during that roll-out of the vaccines in Ontario. Was it a success?
He was kind of gone when it really rolled out.

All in all, and considering Ontario is the most populated province and our statistics were average or better than average than the rest of the country, I can't complain. The clinics in my region were well run. We didn't have the same booking portal issues here because London-Middlesex runs its own.

🍻
 

Blackadder1916

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Another senior member who doesn't understand social media.

A senior member of the Canadian Armed Forces is facing criticism for a post amid a grassroots social media campaign rallying support for Canada’s royal military colleges less than a week after a scathing independent review raised serious concerns about the institutions.

Last weekend, Maj.-Gen. Simon Bernard — a senior member of the military in charge of personnel — was among a number of alumni of RMC Kingston and RMC Saint-Jean who changed their profile pictures on LinkedIn to their RMC graduation photos.

A number of the graduates explicitly identified that their reason for posting these photos was to support the military colleges and their alumni in the wake of strong condemnation of the culture within these colleges in Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbour’s report, which was released last week.

As part of her comprehensive review into sexual misconduct and harassment within the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), Arbour highlighted RMC Kingston and RMC Saint-Jean as institutions “from a different era” with a problematic leadership model in desperate need of a systemic overhaul.

Arbour went so far as to say the “discriminatory culture” and outdated mindset within these institutions is so persistent, she questioned whether they should even continue to exist in their present form and warned that a lack of major reform could hold back the CAF from truly adopting a necessary culture of change.

Grads of the colleges have since been posting messages of support on LinkedIn for RMC and the positive impact these institutions have had on their lives, including some who have taken issue with Arbour’s findings.

Global News has identified at least 21 different individual profiles on LinkedIn that have engaged in this activity.

On June 4, Bernard changed his profile photo to his RMC graduation portrait and commented “TDV” on a LinkedIn post written by another former graduate. TDV is an acronym for RMC’s motto: truth, duty, valour.

But this outward show of support didn’t stay online long.

After several women, who said they were victims of assault and harm at the schools, challenged him over this public show of support for the colleges, Bernard deleted his comment and removed his graduation photo.

In a statement to Global News, Bernard says he immediately removed these posts after he “realized the possible impact of this post on others.”

“Though there was no ill-intent in my post, I accept accountability for what, in hindsight, did not consider the impact on others and I sincerely apologize to anyone who has been affected.”

A day after his LinkedIn comments, Bernard posted a long message expressing support for Arbour’s recommendations as a “positive thing for the department and the CAF.”

In a statement to Global News, a defence department spokesperson said Bernard “immediately informed his chain of command of the LinkedIn post, and as soon as he realized the post could potentially harm others, he removed it.

“He has accepted accountability for his actions and recognized his post may have impacted survivors,” said Derek Abma, senior communications advisor with DND.
. . .
(more at link)
 

KevinB

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Another senior member who doesn't understand social media.


(more at link)
It’s like critical thinking is missing in that one.
I’m sure no one cares about retired and/or junior officers doing it - but serving GO/FO’s really should be thinking about the secondary and tertiary follow on effects.
 

Blackadder1916

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It’s like critical thinking is missing in that one.
I’m sure no one cares about retired and/or junior officers doing it - but serving GO/FO’s really should be thinking about the secondary and tertiary follow on effects.

Seen. One would have thought he learned a lesson about being in the spotlight after he was punted from the PHAC vaccine roll-out project last year.
 

rmc_wannabe

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It’s like critical thinking is missing in that one.
I’m sure no one cares about retired and/or junior officers doing it - but serving GO/FO’s really should be thinking about the secondary and tertiary follow on effects.
The problem I see is that a lot of these people missed the mark entirely about what's being said and what is being asked of RMC. They are taking something personally, when it's definitely directed at the systemic.

MGen Bernard did something foolish without realizing the follow on effects; but honestly, the greater problem is that enough RMC Grads, serving or otherwise, are getting their hackles up over the suggestion that RMC might need some tweaking. I dunno about these folks, but I would think improving the standing and calibre of people coming out of my Alma Mater would be something g to welcome, not get pissy about on LinkedIn for the whole world to see....
 
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