T O P I C ��� R E V I E W
It has been a long time since I last posted and things have certainly changed around here.
Harry; I've crossed sabres with J.Cox and came out with a few cuts and scrapes and with the full knowledge that many people can say that they can separate one part of their lives from another but very few can. I hope that you are one of the latter.
I am asking for opinions on this forum tonight regarding the creation of instructional programs by personel that, while they beleive that they are doing great work, fail to recognize serious shortcomings in training programs. I would even suggest that some of the creators of these programs may even have their heads lodged firmly up their butts (but that would be inflamatory and uncivilized).
Systems that work in the past (by that I mean the programs that created a complete, trained soldier in their respective trades) are being constantly undermined by NEW and BETTER programs that leave the soldier anything but trained and in most cases dangerously ignorant of the realities of warfare. I am constantly reminded by 'higher' that we are not training for war so the training levels should be modified to reflect the environment. I am concerned about soldiers that wear the rank of trained Pte and not able to effectively communicate a Contact Report or Adrep on a simple single net. Or soldiers that have had their training so watered down that they are unable to effectively use any small arms weapon they encounter in the modern battlefield.
I fear for the future of our young men and women while I participate in the QL2 basic instructional programs being delivered and mandated by the very people that see the difference and are unable or unwilling to change it.
As always, now more than ever before
Dileas Gu Brath
|Yeah you(hope i can soon say we) are policemen, not soldiers, remember?If you want an opinion, heres one.If Canada was ever to fight a war, we would suffer enormous casualties because young soldiers are not trained enough and trained soldiers are fading out to pension.With no experienced soldiers to help and advise teh younger ones, well, I let you gus guess the consequences.
I'm curious...if you know all this going in, why go in at all? I have a neighbor in the tree removal business that has the biggest wood chipper I've ever seen. It's mounted on a ten ton rig and can eat 24 inch diameter trees without dropping a single RPM. Knowing it is the single most dangerous piece of equipment in the county I generally steer clear of it (unless I want to escort a couple of my least favourite people through the 'In' door). Why in the name of all reason would you voluntarily subject yourself to an environment that will possibly get you killed and if you don't have the decency to die, won't look after you when they punt you out the door?
I admire your voracity to adapt and overcome but I question the value you place on your life and the lives of others around you.
All the Best
Dileas Gu Brath
I have to agree with the Master on this one. Dying for your country is something you have to think long and hard about before joining up. Are you willing to risk your life to protect your country? The truth is that alot of people are'nt. I had to think long and hard about it before I even stepped into a recruiting office. As to your remarks, Canada would'nt suffer horrendous casualties due to inadequately trained troops, but due to lack of manpower if anything. Yes the training is getting progessively easier, in my humble opinion. And this needs to change. I consider the privelege of wearing Her Majesty's uniform an honour, and although I don't want to die for my country, I would defend her against any foe to the death.
|An interesting story from the deep, dark past of a soldier. My Sgt/Maj thought that it may be interesting to see just how loyal and honourable the room full of candidates were that we had for a period of training. THe CSM briefed the instructors in advance that the "emergency alert" was a phoney but to watch the candidates for any "unusal" behavior. The regular training session was stopped in mid-period, all candidate were brought to a single large classroom and the CSM, Course Officer and all instructors were lined up at the front of the class with me and another instructor at the back in fornt of the only exit. The Course Officer pulled out a "Top Secret" file folder and proceed to give an Emergency briefing advising that all leaves were cancelled, training was to cease and all training soldiers were not to any contact with anyone outside the Army by any means until the cessation of hostilities. The scenario was current with the political nature at the time and was real enough to make some of the NCO's a little uncomfortable. The resulting actions were something that I will remember for the rest of my life. A candidate asked if he could go home; The Officer denied him. The same candidate demanded that he be allowed to go home because "he didn't join to Army to get killed on behalf of a screwed up bunch of politicians". Again, he was denied and warned of the consequences of desertion in a time of war. The candidate stood up and moved toward me and I advised him to sit down. When he insisted, with the permission of the CSM I let him out the door. The course officer asked if anyone else wanted to leave which would mean grave consequences to anyone that did. All but four candidates got up and left. 36 out of 40 found out immediately that the "emergency" was a phoney. THe four that remained were advised that the scenario was not real and thanked for their loyalty and resolve.
The remaining 36 candidates were debriefed and asked to resign if their resolve wasn't strong enough to defend the country they had sworn to protect and defend. 30 did resign. The 6 that stayed went on to become good NCO's but didn't stay around long (a couple of years).
This story is real, it happened just as I described it. It was a wake up call to me about how much I could depend on the soldier next to me and to take nothing for granted.
All the Best
Dileas Gu Brath
|MB- very interesting anecdote, I don't doubt it! It,obviously, occurred quite a while ago(pre Harrassment days)
It is so enheartening, yet disappointing, to see the reckless abandon of the young to say they will give their lives to demonstrate their loyalty/ motivation for their country. I remember having the same attitude, then I started my service( seeing things, observing people, experiencing politically mandated military solutions to mishandled political situations) I am older and wiser. I have a much clearer notion of what is worth "putting my life on the line for". It is not whatever my Govt says is right.
To your original post--It seems to me, we are pursuing a dependance on a policy of developing a massive,rapidly recruited Force( vis a vis, Napoleon's conscript army, Soviet Union army of WW2) Huge expansion of personell, with minimal training( heres a uniform, thats a rifle, you'll find ammo on your buddies bodies!) at the great expense($$$$$) of a standing professional army. This would seem to rely on the boundless enthusiasim of the naive and inexperienced( two examples above). I, personally, believe this massive rush to join won't occurr. I am not certain I have made a point here( or made it clear). This "dropping of standards" is solely driven by MONEY( lack of it). Thats what the Govt says the people want. ( penny wise, pound foolish!)
|The value i put on my life is my personnal business and has nothing to do wit h te value of the lives of the people around me. No i won't order soldiers to commit suicide by assaulting a machine gun nest in their direct line of fire if its not necessary( necessary would be like the Juno beach where they did infact storm machine gun nests from front).If i can pass around it i will, im not suicidal and even if i was, its nto a reason to take other peoples lives with me.Got my lesson when i had a car crash. I was going a 140kph on a rainy day on a provincial road designed for people to go 90 kph.Took a curve at 120, lost control and crashed. I flipped 2 or 3 times and landed on the opposite side of teh road, facing traffic.I had teh company's car and it was equiped with old tires that i could almost qualif of slicks, but the worse is that I had a passenger.Made teh mistake once, wont do it twice.
Mud Crawler, Out
Early in my career something similar happened on a very intense course, we lost three guys, who ended up being repatriated and two got out.
But in the same vein, lets think about what happened to Matt Stopford. A WO doing his job, men under him whom he was responsible for, especially when placed in harms way. These very soldiers decided that he was putting them at risk, so they decided to remove him from the theatre of operations by poisoning.
Is this a legitimate response to imposed operational stress, a belief that maybe he was putting their very lives on the line. Was this a cowardly attack on an individual by soldiers softened by imposed neglect by an aloof chain of command, or subverted through systemic cynicisms?
Was this attack justifiable under the circumstances? Was this act attempted murder or wilful intent to injure? Even more was this treasonous conduct? To complicate this, when described as a simple act of omission or primal survival by subordinates, the chain of command has decried that the statute of limitations has expired.
If however it is an attempt on the life or well being of the person, or even treasonous, is there no statute of limitations?
|Lets not lose sight of the big picture here guys. When you put you hand on that bible and swear in...your in. I too had the same sort of situation with the "no duff" emergency situation. Only one guy wanted out...said he was going to break his leg so he didn't have to go. the 29 others sat tight, a couple of those were wringing ther hands and couldn't wait to get on the plane. I think that when someone comes off of civy street and into a recruiters office, he or she should be fully brief that if the ballon goes up, you go with it. THe world is not a stable place. Things are crazy in Israel, Iraq, and even the Balkans. I mead a Canadian Diplomat got his car shot up this week in Israel, and as Bob marley once said, You cant get nowhere unless you remember your past, World War One was started in the Balkans. I'm not suggesting that the whole world is going to take a big dump, but ultimatly it might. Back to my point, soldiers has to face that reality....it's part of the job and I think If you ultimately can't face that reality then you should find another career.
|I agree with ocknod
I got sworn in on thursday
As JR MACDONALD said, about being young and putting wanting to put his life on the line to be a man.
Well that's kinda like me, i'm a very ignorant person. I have alot of Blind Faith in others. Last time I checked, fighting is what were being PAID to do. It's not about being the big man, it about our profession.
didn't someone say that he loved those "Just cause" orders? see, now as long as we got guys with that attitude, we'll be just fine.
My name is Travis Silcox, and I will be going to Wainright for a QL2/3 course, if any of you reading are instructors, don't worry about bending or breaking the rules in two when training me.
|carefull there Travis. A lot of the rules are in place to prvent injury, and avoid "chicken-****" which wastes time, provieds no meanigfull training value, and only leaves new soldiers with a sour taste for the army. It is true some instructional staff have interpreted rules beyond the point for which they were ment, and some rules may seem restrictive. They are there, however, for the beterment of your training experience.
As for the Content of QL 2 and QL 3 courses; Warrior/IBTS/MLOC/whaterver-you-want-to-call-it-this-year training set out several fundamental skills and knowledge that all soldiers should know and be competant to perform. This includes all personal, section and Pl/Tp weapons, mine awarnes, first-aid, basic bush craft, orienteering, some field craft, personal NBCD, and limited radio voice procedures. If everyone must know these things, then everyone should be formaly taught these things. This is not happening for all trades through the current course structure. Common material should be kept in a common course and not uploaded on to seperate QL 3 courses.
I don't like much of the current mentality to fitting researve courses into two weeks. Yes it is important to make courses short enough that the personel can attend. It should not be done by asking what can be removed from a course so that it will fit into two weeks. It should be done by grouping related topics and dividing the course into two or three week parcels. To some extent this is being done, but I see too much emphasis on the "what can we cut" approach.
|For anyone interested there is a lively discussion on the subject of courses and standards happening on the web site below:
LFRR Web Site
It can also be accessed from the DIN but be aware the you are supoose to enter your Name, Rank, and E-Mail address (If you want a say) and I guarentee you that that web site is monitered.
Following that and this tread, (and this deals more with Reserves than Regulars) there are two paths that are being advoacted with a great difficuty of finding middle ground. It boils down to Quantity over Quality. One side being that ournumbers are so low that we must encourage to get people in trained (ie QL2/3 over one summer period) and the other side wanting a more in-depth approach with muti-summer approach taking appox 2-3 yrs to get a QL3 trained soldier.
Before anyone jumps in a says that reducing course lengths waters down the reserves rember thae avaerge stay is appox 4 yrs and taking 1/2 to 3/4 of that just reach QL3 is counter productive. For those just joining or have limited TI think about it do you want to be on a course with 10 or 40 people. Do you want to carry out a section attack with you and your two buddies?
It comes down to that at this point in time there is no easy solution and nobody is right or wrong if advocating quantity or quality. I wish that the army would just make a decision one way or another and follow it through. Unfortunatly in the organization (the Canadian Army) and country we are in (consesus building is suppose to be our forte) we will end up with a bastarization of both where neither side is satisfied and we end up with limited numbers of haf-assed trained soldiers. I hope I'm wrong.
Originally posted by JRMACDONALD:
I, personally, believe this massive rush to join won't occurr.
I respectfully disagree. There is a lot of great raw material out there, but they don't join the Army in peacetime - there is no money in it for them, and the "adventure" of serving in Croatia or Cyprus or even Jamaica is secondary to their pursuing civvie careers.
You cite the example of WW II. The WW II Canadian Army had a solid backbone of Militia troops, but there was a lot of great raw material that came off the street.
I am not about to go into the argument of how much training time we'll have in the event of another war - your question was solely whether or not there would be mass enlistments in an emergency. I say there would be; true emergency will always be a better incentive than any peacetime incentive . What attracted the 30+ quitters in the excellent example given above? It obviously wasn't the thought of doing something important.
Peacetime armies and wartime armies are very different things. I would daresay most enlistees from 1939-1945 would never have dreamed of joining the Militia in the 1930s given the chance.
The example perhaps is a poor one, as Militia troops today get paid a lot more money and do have better incentives, but I still have a gut feeling that many people (and guys I went to high school or have worked with have said this to me) could not be bothered with the military in peacetime, but would join in a second if our national interest was at stake.
This is just my (mostly uninformed) take on it. It just strikes me that (again) in WW II, the biggest hell raisers in England (ie the most unmilitary and undisciplined) were among the best combat troops on the Continent. Give them something "important" to do and they will come.
I'll close by disclaiming that I do think peacetime armies are important, and peacekeeping is a very important mission for us to perform - not for our own direct welfare, but for our standing in the world community (face it, we won't influence people and win friends by making great movies) and of course the humanitarian aid we provide those who can't help themselves.
But you won't convince a lot of great guys and gals of that until it really hits the fan.
|Look to the number of Canadians who served for the US in Vietnam as an example of your mass rush to join in the event of a war or other major conflict. It will occur here, if it could occur across boarders.
|I am for quality.
|I did my (reserve) QL2 on the weekends last year, and I have to say that it really didn't provide me with the skills I needed. This was not due to the instructers, but due to the course content and over-supervision. (although having a bunch of medic instructers teach us map reading was an interesting experience)
We never dug a trench. We never fired a blank. We never went on a patrol. I never actually used a working radio. (we carried around broken ones) We didn't do our swim test for some unexplained reason. We didn't use grenades or machines guns. When we fired our rifles some artillery guys zeroed my scope to shoot off the target. (this was not discovered untill the RSO fired my weopon and he didn't hit the target, they'd been telling me it was because I was a rotton shot)
Nobody really yelled at us, because that would be harrasment. One of the people on our course told a Master Corpral to 'shut the f*** up' and nothing really happened to her. (our course staff wanted to punish the offending person, but wern't allowed to) Nobody assinged us push-ups, because P.T. was not to be used as punishment. And to top it off, when we came back from our night nav there was hot chocolate!
And then I went on my engineer QL3 in Gagetown....
needless to say, my QL2 in no way prepared me for my QL3. I may have well walked off the civvi street, aside from knowing drill and the C7.
My friends in the medics are never going to get any kind of training except in thier trade. They don't even do basic fieldcraft. If they are ever assinged to an Infantry unit, they are going to have a hard time.
Since our QL3 was entirely dedicated to learning Engineer skills, my basic soldier skills were still sadly dismal. So most of them have had to be learned once I got back to the unit. This isn't the way it should be. You should come out of QL2 with the basic knowlege that you need for all trades.
|ender, you have expresed my opinion very nicely with respect to the short fall in course content.
"my basic soldier skills were still sadly dismal. So most of them have had to be learned once I got back to the unit. This isn't the way it should be. You should come out of QL2 with the basic knowlege that you need for all trades. "
Your concernce about discipline on your course are intresting, but stray from the topic. I would need more information about the details of the situations you mentioned to properly comment, perhapse you have the start of a new topic?
|Here is more proof that the current QL2 and QL3s don't prepare reserve soldiers for thier jobs!
|actually, my 3's were a pretty good course. They were the hardest thing I've ever done, but I did learn the basic sapper skills. I also learned that I could keep going when I thought I had nothing left. That was a real army course, as opposed to the 'camp' atmosphere of my 2's.