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General Category => Veterans Issues => Topic started by: Kenneth H. Young on June 08, 2009, 08:27:54 am

Title: News of Military interest
Post by: Kenneth H. Young on June 08, 2009, 08:27:54 am
Not much of a surprise to most soldiers.

Sunday, June 07, 2009
| Today's Toronto Star

Retirees bemoan civilian influence, obsession with political correctness

Jun 04, 2009 04:30 AM
Comments on this story  (17)
Allan Woods
Ottawa Bureau

Ottawa's“Every soldier loves a bit of spit and polish. But too much shine and not enough substance appears to be pushing Canada's finest out the door.

Canadian soldiers, sailors and airmen who have retired are complaining that the dirty work of war is losing ground to a force obsessed with image, political correctness and the kind of inclusiveness one might expect to find in the most corporate of corporations.

A sampling of the questionnaires that are completed by all retiring members of the military were obtained by the Star under the Access to Information Act. Retirees were asked why they decided to leave the military and then were presented with a number of statements about the Canadian Forces with which they could agree or disagree.

The main reason behind a soldier's decision to find new work has been family.

But a broad term the defence community calls "civilianization" as“ the creeping influence of bureaucrats who've never fired a weapon or felt the blast of a roadside bomb as“ appears to be slowly and surely killing morale in the Canadian Forces.

At CFB Esquimalt in British Columbia, 85 per cent of retirees agreed that military leaders are putting "too much emphasis on superficial image," while training and equipment is left wanting.

At CFB Wainwright in Alberta, 71 per cent of retirees felt the force has become "too politically correct." At CFB Petawawa in Ontario, 66 per cent of retirees believed high physical and moral standards are sliding and that the Canadian Forces isn't living by the same values it tries to instill in its more than 60,000 members.

"It's become, in a lot of ways, a system where management trumps leadership common sense," said one officer, who is mulling retirement.

Current and former soldiers say everything from the obsessive political control over information, to bureaucratic delays purchasing airplanes and armoured vehicles, to the application of petty government standards on a most abnormal public servant is causing resentment.

There's also the sense among the rank and file that a civilian government is trying to rein in the military after the departure of former chief of defence staff Gen. Rick Hillier, an outspoken soldier's soldier who challenged deputy ministers and elected officials as vigorously as a battlefield enemy.

"(Soldiers) don't live in bubbles and they watch the news just like everyone else. You don't see guys speaking out as much as Hillier did and they see some of that, and whatever conclusions they draw may be right or wrong but they still draw some conclusions," said the officer, who did not want to be identified.

The surveys are part of an attempt to understand the exodus from the forces that has bedeviled attempts to expand the defence department's ranks.

The rate at which members left the Canadian Forces jumped last year to 9.1 per cent, a figure that has been growing each year since 2003, when attrition was 6.7 per cent.

The government had hoped to increase the regular forces to 75,000 from about 65,000 within five years of taking office. That goal has become more modest as“ 70,000 as“ and will be stretched to 2028 after it became clear the Tories had underestimated the challenge.

In the surveys at bases in Gagetown, N.B., and Edmonton, the average length of service of retiring members was 16 years as“ just four years short of receiving a pension.

"It just says that the inducements to stay in aren't great enough for even the four more years it takes to get to pension age," the officer said. "The attractiveness of the life doesn't meet the rewards that come at 20 years (of service)."

The rise of civilians in the defence department hierarchy began in 1972 when Ottawa united civilian and military personnel to administer defence policy and manage the Canadian Forces.

Title: Re: News of Military interest
Post by: aldi on June 08, 2009, 09:27:56 am
Historically speaking, the 'civilianization' began earlier than 1972.  It began with Armed Forced Integration in 1965 when MND Paul Hellyer sought to impose "efficiency" by combining functions and eliminating what he could then designate as excesses.  Although there were many instances of the fallacy, the most glaring example happened with the military engineers.  Prior to that there were two general types of Sappers, camp and field, with members of the RCE being posted between them.   In essence, a young Sapper would start in an engineer field squadron, learn the ropes, go through the training and promotion cycle and at some point he'd be given a break by serving a tour at a static base to do the garrison's electrical, plumbing, minor construction etc., and then be posted back to a field squadron.  Under Hellyer's scheme the camp enginer function was handed over to civilians, with the inevitable result.  I had occasion to meet with the president of the civilian workers union in Ottawa a decade or so later and asked him what had become of his membership in the immediate post-Hellyer period and his answer, of course, was that it had increased by precisely the number of military camp engineers that had been cut by Hellyer.  The difference was that where the military engineer functioned exactly the same way as any other soldier -- go where you're sent to do what you're told 24/7 -- the new camp engineer worked under a union contract, with all the benefits that entailed and the "efficiancy" now required three civilians (twenty-four hours divided by three shifts since the union doesn't recognize 24/7) people to do what one Sapper had done.  By 1972 that had been reinforced by the Unification Act of 1968 and the by-then entrenched merger of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces but it had its genesis five years earlier.  aldi

Title: Re: News of Military interest
Post by: rong on June 08, 2009, 10:32:47 pm
Well, as i ve said before i can only draw one conclusion by the actions of the Gov.. they want an excuse to close the Forces right down.. ya, to zippo..nil, nadda...well thats my view.. whats your take?? rong

Title: Re: News of Military interest
Post by: Kenneth H. Young on June 22, 2009, 12:21:49 pm
What Happened to t RCR Forum this time??????

Title: Re: News of Military interest
Post by: rong on June 27, 2009, 01:58:59 pm
Hmmm.. yes.. i do not know.. maybe teh ..or someone is trying to take us out again.. there are many unwanted views expressed here.. unwanted by a Gov that seems to want total control of everyone..soooooo.. it makes me wonder.. they are good at using whatever agencies they CSIS, RCMP , publicly funded of course.. for THEIR BENEFIT.. not the peoples..sooo.. ileave it open to anyones imagination.. rong

Title: Re: News of Military interest
Post by: Kenneth H. Young on January 11, 2010, 05:03:05 pm
Looks like the CFB Gagetown Class action law suit may be over and out.

From: Casey Churko
Sent: Monday, January 11, 2010 2:16 PM
To: 'Cpl. Kenneth H. Young CD (ret)'
Subject: RE: Question

Justice Zarzeczny dismissed the certification motion in Saskatchewan.  He said how great he thought Justice McNally’s reasons were in New Brunswick and followed his reasoning there – i.e. too  many individual issues regarding who was there, where, and when, and how they were potentially exposed. 


We applied for leave to appeal, and the motion is currently scheduled to be heard in the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal on February 24, 2010, but the Government is trying to adjourn.  If the motion is dismissed, we may have to advance the actions in other provinces in a series of smaller class actions rather than one large national class action. 


If the Newfoundland Court of Appeal allows the government’s appeal on similar reasoning, or if we succeed and the Supreme Court of Canada overturns the NLCA, then class members may have to file their own actions or not sue at all.  Mr. Merchant, Q.C. will decide how to advance the various class actions in the different courts as the decisions come in. 


Class members may want to now file individual actions because of how long the process takes.  I estimate at least another year before there is greater finality for or against whether and where any class action may proceed.

Title: Re: News of Military interest
Post by: rong on February 18, 2010, 01:48:03 pm
Thats the folly of it all..your Gov. ,your elected officials, using your money to hire the best legal beagles to shut you down.. i can only hope that right will prevail, and NOT   WRONG .. as has been...but all this falls in line with all Gov policy regarding health and safety.. Like , where is a standard for air pollution .. just on the streets of everyday Canada... there are none.. and yet .. WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO CLEAN AIR... its a sad commentary all round..are we to flounder until it is too late to turn things around?? All for the all mighty buck.. ??? rong