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Author Topic: Attrition Rates within the Infantry
Grubby
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posted 10 August 2021 02:07      Profile for Grubby   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What are people opinions on attrition rates within the Infantry...more specifically out of the Regular/Reserve Force Regiments (RCR, PPCLI, R22R, others). Of course any ideas would be much appreaciated to my question. Seems to me that the CDS or MND sometime ago (can't remember now) stated that "Canada's best and brightest are getting drawn to the Information Technology sectors of Canada" or words to that effect with regards to the recruiting problem. That's maybe partly true, but from my experience of leaving after three years service with the infantry was that a heck of a lot of good guys say to hell with this noise. No one seems to know why? or care in fact. Guys, great guys from MWO right down to the hook private (me). Fit, smart, rank, experience, years and years, superb qualities, skills, courses etc. It became a joke on bat. pde.'s to see how many and who are going up to salute the man, get the certificate and coin, right turn (smile at the RSM) and leave. Really it wasn't a joke, but that's what it became...finding humour in crappy situations like always with the guys, so called "Soldier On".
In my Battleschool 16 weeks course, are platoon commander stated that over half of us who graduated at the end of three years would so called "pull-the-pin" (pack it all in/retire). Well sure as s*** he was right. If they (DND/CF) know these staistics even early on like basic and MOC TRG ...then why hell don't they look at the people they already have in? Try to retain them. I just shake my head at these lame reasons (DND) blames on the IT sector...when in fact there are many, many problems/reasons why people are not signing up and leaving! I am sure most everyone else might agree that now...now the CF is trying to help...merchant navy for VA rights, quality of life initiatives, clothe the soldier program, funding for PMQ's etc...etc... But what do other people think on this? Ahhh infantry attrition! What about other MOC's?? combat arms, arty, armoured, etc???? same with you guys/gals? Also if anyone wants to e-mail me with questions or anything, drop me a line. :cdn:Thanks

[ 15 August 2001: Message edited by: Grubby ]


Posts: 38 | From: ALBERTA,CANADA | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
towhey
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posted 10 August 2021 07:39      Profile for towhey   Author's Homepage   Email towhey   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You may be interested in this Canadian Military Journal article that calls for a retention-strategy for the CF:

http://www.journal.dnd.ca/vol2/no2_e/policy_e/policy2_e.html



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Grubby
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posted 10 August 2021 12:47      Profile for Grubby   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Towhey,

Thanks for the info...very interesting article...
Hit the hammer on the head of the nail for sure. On page 46 of that article at the bottom, they state that from their study "...we were disapointed but not surpirised to find that not a single person had been asked in any structured or laterally consistent way, 'why are you leaving?' " For me the same deal...not a final formal interview by anyone when I left. I was stunned at this and asked, by nobody knew who would do it...unit or baseside. Pass the buck around as they say! Yeah I always said now that if they (DND/CF) got me into the forces as fast as they released me, I would have been impressed. Took me over a year and a half to get in...mostly by myself calling the recruiting centre to find out where my application was being transfer to next. Anyway very vaild points and makes me feel better that people are aware of this problem/situation.

Grubby [Canadian]


[ 10 August 2001: Message edited by: Grubby ] [War Story]

[ 10 August 2001: Message edited by: Grubby ]


Posts: 38 | From: ALBERTA,CANADA | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
the patriot
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posted 14 August 2021 22:47      Profile for the patriot   Author's Homepage   Email the patriot   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There are alot of reasons Grubby as to why troops are leaving the CAF in droves. First off, granted the pay raises went through some time ago. But dollar for dollar when compared to the public service, it isn't at par. PSAC (the public service union) can go on strike for better wages and benefits. If soldiers did that, it would be called treason or mutiny. Furthermore, training seems to be a BIG reason why people are pulling the proverbial pin. There needs to be more of it in general. On base, the facilites need to be upgraded and modernized so the troops can take pride in their homes. Some university dorms look ten thousand times better than some of the homes the troops have to live in (makes you want to call Jimmy Carter and have Habitat For Humanity build our PMQ's). The most disturbing trend that I am aware of is that there are large numbers of Junior NCO's who have the courses and qualifications to make them Master Jacks and Sergeants who are not being elevated to those ranks. Some of these troops have been on tour several times and have been around for over five years. It gets rather depressing when you hear that buddy is leaving to take a job with the RCMP or a Municipal Police Department and will be making double the salary of a Master Corporal with benefits. Give credit, where credit is due and you will retain your soldiers, sailors, and airmen.

-the patriot- [Canadian]


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Grubby
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posted 15 August 2021 10:02      Profile for Grubby   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Patriot,

Well said man...totally there are many reasons. You said some very true points. Same for what I witnessed with Cpl's w/JLC's waiting years and years for promotion to "masterjacks". Some guys plain just get fed-up all together with empty promises etc... I totally agree with your reply 100%. It is sad when your good buddy gets out (and you know he/she has very good potential for the top) and is very "checked-out". The way I look at it as well is that if they do a hell of a lot better (by leaving) somewhere else, and enjoy what they are doing, like a police force or whatever career...then good for them!! There must be improvements for sure and just dumping money here and there is just a temp solution. Did you read that article up above??? The link to the Canadian Military Journal? Great read and those pages echoed my feelings and thoughts for sometime. My service was great and I did some things, but...I also saw too many "deep rooted" problems and double-standards that I can't fathom possible fixing. Years and years of stretching like an elastic band. I just don't know...maybe as CDS you could change things or even as a CO, but to attain those ranks or positions... you have to go with the flow, hob-nob at functions and rub elbows with the right people, or else retire as a capt. You can't call a spade a spade and expect people to be happy with you...even if your a "solver". They (DND/CF) see "whistle blowers" who see problems, as PROBLEMS themselves. Well hey at least the new Ombudsman has helped prove that Capt. there on the national news did his very best and was ignored by "brass" who think everything is hunky-dory and won't deal with problems. So much for the chain of command dealing with issues. He probably smelt a coverup from the getgo!! What do you think on a seperate internal commitee within the military, who have equivalent civilian rank and power to deal with issues?

[Canadian]


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the patriot
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posted 17 August 2021 00:25      Profile for the patriot   Author's Homepage   Email the patriot   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Grubby,

I like the idea of the internal committee within the military, but a few questions. Wouldn't it be rather difficult to keep the committee impartial?! We've already seen what happens when things are part of the Chain of Command. The instinctive response by your higher-up is "cover buddy's *** ". The whole premise of the Ombudsman is to operate outside the Chain of Command and assist in dealing with dead links in the Chain itself. Furthermore, the proposed committee that you've thought of would be staffed by serving officers or by civillians?!

-the patriot- [Canadian]


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Grubby
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posted 17 August 2021 08:00      Profile for Grubby   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Patriot,

Yeah see you got me there by the balls! It's a hard call on that one. Your damm right, an internal committee would be impartial in theory...but in practice...you know as well as I do, when money, funds, and budget are milling around in people's minds then...yeah..a mess and sides are taken for financial support. The current Ombudsman seems good. Well I only base that on the decision of that young Capt, who they cleared recently on the t.v. & news. Yeah frickin' cleared him of actually (gasp) doing his rightfull job in the first place. Don't get me going on that...please...maybe in another topic.
As for being staffed by serving officers or civilians point. Why the hell assume it has to be officers only "club". Man make it NCO's, hell throw PTE/CPL ranks in there to know and have the pulse of the troops, sailors and airmen. If it was a military comittee, I don't know if it could be done. We've seen too much that the chain lacks on doing in the past years. I.E. After the Somalia Inquiry...that whole bloody thick report, with problems and solutions. What ever happened with the results of those findings? Anyone know?...many a general peering in on this can select his rank up top and put in a response (surely nobody can touch him for speaking his opinion). Probably nothing, except more sensitivity training. I'd say seriously...a civilian imparial group. Made of of possibly ex-service people, others, and no way people working federally. Somehow get funding from the government with no strings attached.

As for these reports that come out with actual problems found with papertrails back to key people, who ignored initially, and think their "scott-free" cause they are retired, working elseware...should be handled severely for ummm, well neglect in the performance of duty to start and others. None of this getting of the hook crap because their high up in the chain. Double- Standard anyone??
Grubby
[Canadian]


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Grubby
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posted 20 August 2021 03:47      Profile for Grubby   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah if my gripes seem bitter....well I guess so. Not put people off but, changes need to be made, and made soon or all the people the CF will recruit will be pointless if they themselves "get the big picture" if a short few years.

Running around, going "up he sees me, DOWN" while verbally shouting bang! bang! bang! is just plain embarrassing because of no funds for even blank ammo! Come on people. And probably one of the best incidents that I recall is in Gagetown on a defensive position. Training for wartime...everyone serious about the mission. I was sitting behind the .50 cal at O' dark something in the morning. Everybody is at 50%. This "enemy force" LSVW pulls right up onto the position and drives damm near over trenches and people. Well I start yelling at people close by and notionally engage with the .50 cal. Well when all the Senior NCO's shake out their cob webs and run onto the position from the tree line, you guess it sh** hits the fan. The PL WO freaks out and says "Why did no body shoot" The big rant and rave as per SOP! No one answers (probably were alseep or scared). I walk up to a Mcpl close by and tell him that I engaged with the .50 and the veh would have been destroyed to pieces. He goes over to the PL WO, who's in a group with SGT's, MCPL's and they start laughing at me!! If you can believe that sh**!!! There all like "right on Pte. Bloggins so and so first confirmed kill"! Remarks like that. I was mad as hell and thought "here I am doing what I am supposed to do, and in wartime situation probably saved their sleeping *** " for what ridicule and a joke. Serious enough (they) during inspections, yelling in your face about dust on your boots, but having a grand old time when doing actual wartime and limited training. All I did with that was put it in the back of my pocket. Yeah I agree with most humour is important...but there is a time and a place. That being not it. Especially when our position was attacked and compromised. Being the butt end of that joke was not professional...since I had the balls to speak up in the first place anyhow. Chalk that up to the start of regular B.S. occurrences, nice start for an impressionable Private... God help us if we go to war again...God help us all!
Grubby
[Canadian]

[ 20 August 2001: Message edited by: Grubby ]


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Grubby
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posted 22 August 2021 03:09      Profile for Grubby   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Do any others have or had similar experiences like mine?? Similar jerking around as a PTE/CPL? Also what do people think about the attrition rates problem?

Grubby [Canadian]


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Bedpan Elemental
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posted 23 August 2021 00:07      Profile for Bedpan Elemental   Email Bedpan Elemental   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I will repost my reply on the LFRR forum

To target people like my age, who does not know much about Canadian Forces, CF needs to convince the mind of the teens that CF is "cool".
What I mean, is that, CF needs to build an image of a competent service, almost to a degree of "macho" people and an image of a winning team.
In sports, the team that's winning, gets the most fans and supporters. So, CF needs to be seen as a winning team in order to get the recruits it needs. No one really wants to play for a losing team...
CF also does not have the advantage of film industries. How many wide known films do you think there are of Canadian armies? There are movies like Full Metal Jacket that shows the US Marines, Patton for US army, etc, but I can't think of a popular movie with CF starring in it.
Therefore, I think CF needs to use everyday news media, like TV and newspapers, to give exposure. But the news items that I remember most clearly in my mind is debacles like Somalia, Bosnia and Uganda that CF took part in, and they were not the world class operations... I think that everyday Canadian would think, 'what kind of army does Canada run that basically suck?' I know that UN peacekeeping has lots of faults, political fighting, etc, but the main story is that CF took part in it, and the public's general thinking would be, it didn't get the job done right. The most recent news item I recall is some general, I think Maurice Baril, apolozing to a retired Captain, Poulin, for failing to investigate matters about Somalia or something...
As long as more negative or almost irrelevant news dominate the coverage about CF, this means less recruits for CF...


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Grubby
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posted 23 August 2021 04:28      Profile for Grubby   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Bedpan Elemental,

They are advertising a lot more. My question to you is...so what if people think it's cool? So joe blow sees some cool ad on the tube, signs up for his hitch, and after being in for a few years pulls-the-pin, gets out...cause it's not cool. What good is that? Like I stated before, they (DND/CF) must start looking at the people who they already have! Especially the PTE who is going to resign or engage his contract for another few years. Yeah they need people to enter the CF and retain them....got to be more incentives...how about like the states Montgomery GI Bill? or contract insentives? signing bonuses? silly me...yeah it's all about the lack of money again. So you join the winning team and find out that they have been getting their asses kicked for years...and Senior NCO's are telling this to you. Things like "Get out while you can and do something better, instead of getting 'stuck' like me". Go and make something of yourself. Some of the old "dogs" either has the army or jail as a choice...and they'll tell you this. As for a Canadian soldiers...try CBC Peacekeepers flick or the Devils Brigade. Those are good...and at least an attempt on unit cohesion and operational tours in the Balkans. Yeah not enough...pretty Americanized in that regard. In the infantry everyone is "Macho" didn't you know? or at least they want you to be! Mr. Tough-guy, who bites his lip, keeps the chin up and soldiers on through years and years of bureaucracy and chickenS***! I can see the "cool" idea flying, they have done it for years. But do you actually get to do "desert warefare"? or "Jungle warefare"...pretty damm rare these days. How about and "E&E; (escape and evasion)" course??? No to aggressive to be run these days. How about regular Unarmed Combat training once a week to keep current? Nope, never happened...so once you get in and sit on your *** for years doing so-called "locker security"...the MOC/CF looses it's appeal real quick! What it all boils down to is lack of funds to train. Go in the field, where soldiers belong...developing their skills and SOP's! Untill the Federal Government increases DND yearly budget...then hell why sign up if it looks cool? check out the link up below...courtesy of Towhey:

http://www.journal.dnd.ca/vol2/no2_e/policy_e/policy2_e.html
Try the link well up above in your case and read on. Those officers know what they are talking about!


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Tommy Atkins
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posted 23 August 2021 04:48      Profile for Tommy Atkins   Email Tommy Atkins   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My my Grubby you are a bitter little man.Most of your problems seem to the the cause of piss poor leadership,and general lack of any effort on your part.You bitch about locker security but how many classes were given in that slack time??Why not grab a C-6 and SF Kit and go through gun drills??The problem here is the lack of inatative in the CF today the whole "Screw that it's not my job..." attitude.I have been on both side sof the fence but discovered that even as a PTE there are all kinds of things that could be done when the Section Commanders were off doing paperwork,like AFV Lessons,weapons lessons,etc,most JNCOs will not take upon themselves to do this why because they don't give two sh*&s.As; a SNCO I make sure that my troops are gainfully employed be it with weapons drills,or even an afternoon in the SAT (Small Arms Trainer).The sheer amount of paper work that must be done in Garrison is quite large from leave passes,UERs,Verbals,etc that the sect Comds cannot always be there to hold the troops hand,that is the time for JNCOs to step up and take charge.As for the incident you mention in Gagetown well did you ever think that the Section Commander was just as frustrated as you???
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Grubby
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posted 27 August 2021 10:23      Profile for Grubby   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Tommy:

Yeah...I agree. Bitter...yeah a bit, more less frustrated towards the end. As for lack of effort on my part...I partially agree with you. Too many times I asked and was turned down for (i.e. C-6...map and compass, AFV) etc to practice from CQ's. So I got fed up and sat down like the other sheep in the herd. No classes planned, no one to teach....it was always too much of an effort to get things done. People were like why bother. Yeah the lack of initative comment is bang on. Oh hell yeah I agree with you...as a PTE I would have been more than happy to teach a class. Two sided coin though on that 1.) people weren't interested..say sit down "brown"noser and 2.) the JLC cpl/mcpl would say "sit down" your not qualified to teach (ie no JLC)...the "who do you think you are comments would start". Tommy the rock and a hard place saying. The problem...nobody cared or bothered. And Jesus why didn't I every have you for my SGT? Would have got along great I'm sure. You seem to care about the troops in your section! Hey as one of the Leadership Principles. "Know your soldiers and promote thier welfare". We all had those cards...I had mine in my wallet...other tossed them around like ninja stars in the parking lot. So you can see my frustration while in, and bitterness. And hey! Your damm right while the Sect Comd is gone it should be the Sect 2i/c who takes the bull by the horns and does something. And at least it shows initiative and drive, not only to the section-mates but hopefully the SGT will see as well the good effort.
I.E. Gagetown...would have been nice to have the section comander checking the troops...instead of racked out all night. Competency is something we need.

Again, why didn't I have you for a leader and role model? Thanks for your insight...much appreaciated and finally good to get this stuff off my chest. It would be nice if all Commanders up the chain showed drive for the section like you. Also I met and worked with fine people too, not all were bags of hammers. Some really fine SNCO's who did care, but were few and far between!


Posts: 38 | From: ALBERTA,CANADA | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tommy Atkins
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posted 27 August 2021 22:11      Profile for Tommy Atkins   Email Tommy Atkins   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks for the compliments,but I didn't write the piece to toot my own horn.I just hoped to explain that sure it sucks at times but for it to work there has to be an effort from below and aboveat the same time.There are some pretty bad SNCO's out there and God help the a#$hole that I find asleep before his troops are taken care of (there is one SGT from a Toronto Area Reserve Unit that will not forget that lesson).It is the job of the SNCO to train his troops not abuse them or leave them sitting in the platoon area while he is off smoking and joking with his cronies.On the flip side the JNCO's have to pull their weight ,sitting around bitching does nothing but spread the 'BITCHING DISEASE" and nothing destroys morale and esprit de corps faster than that.Well enough from the soap-box. PRO PATRIA.
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