Author Topic: Obligatory Service in the CAF  (Read 114424 times)

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Offline GunnesT

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Obligatory Service in the CAF
« on: July 07, 2011, 15:17:51 »
From my understanding, through the Regular Officer Training Plan (ROTP), one must complete a minimum of two months obligatory service for every month of paid university education. However, does one need to serve in their field of training. For example, an infantry soldier must serve in a conflict zone if necessary?

My concern is people and circumstances do change.
Also, how does the Principle of Universality of Service affect obligatory service?
http://www.admfincs.forces.gc.ca/dao-doa/5000/5023-0-eng.asp
What is the scope of duties referred to by this principle, since I am already aware of the primary duties of an infantry soldier.
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Re: Obligatory Service in the CAF
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2011, 15:20:41 »
If you sign up as an Infantry soldier Officer, then yes, you must serve as an Infantry Officer and on deployment if you are told to deploy.

I'm not sure if that's what you are asking because it seems sort of self-explanatory?
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Offline N. McKay

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Re: Obligatory Service in the CAF
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2011, 15:32:13 »
From my understanding, through the Regular Officer Training Plan (ROTP), one must complete a minimum of two months obligatory service for every month of paid university education. However, does one need to serve in their field of training. For example, an infantry soldier must serve in a conflict zone if necessary?
My concern is people and circumstances do change.
Also, how does the Principle of Universality of Service affect obligatory service?
http://www.admfincs.forces.gc.ca/dao-doa/5000/5023-0-eng.asp
What is the scope of duties referred to by this principle, since I am already aware of the primary duties of an infantry soldier.

Yes, if told to go, you have to go.

Universality of service is the concept that everyone in the regular force and primary reserve must be able to deploy for military operations or perform other military duty.  (One example of a military duty that would not fit into an average CF member's normal occupation is serving as a member of a base security force -- anyone from an infanteer to a military musician can be required to do that if the occasion arises.)

The way it was explained to me when I was first making enquiries about joining (years ago) was that any member of the Canadian Forces can be required to perform any military duty anywhere in the world at any time.

I hope that's helpful, but I'm not clear either on what you're asking beyond "do I have to fight?".

Offline GunnesT

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Re: Obligatory Service in the CAF
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2011, 16:09:46 »
Both answers were exactly what I wanted clarified. I wasn't sure whether my understanding was correct, therefore I used 'from my understanding'. Thank-you for sharing what the scope of duties of the principle was, it was greatly appreciated.
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Offline GunnesT

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Re: Obligatory Service in the CAF
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2011, 16:22:15 »
If you sign up as an Infantry soldier Officer, then yes, you must serve as an Infantry Officer and on deployment if you are told to deploy.

I'm not sure if that's what you are asking because it seems sort of self-explanatory?

Though it isn't an issue, I was referring to soldier not officer.
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Offline Simian Turner

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Re: Obligatory Service in the CAF
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2011, 16:27:32 »
There is no guarantee that you will successfully complete your classification training as an Infantry Officer, therefore, due to being a training failure you could end up completing your obligatory service as a Logistics Officer or Health Care Administrator (etc.)  Although you were enrolled as an Infantry Officer that does not mean that during your University education that you cannot apply for an Occupational Transfer.

Now I am confused - ROTP and soldier are not complementary terms.
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Re: Obligatory Service in the CAF
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2011, 19:34:59 »
Though it isn't an issue, I was referring to soldier not officer.

You can't become an Infantry Soldier (an NCM position) through ROTP. ROTP is the Regular Officer Training Program and therefore only applies to Officer positions.
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Offline GunnesT

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Re: Obligatory Service in the CAF
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2011, 18:06:11 »
Thanks, I had the wrong entry plan, my mistake. Basically. I just need my BMQ (basic military qualification), SQ (soldier qualification), and MOC (basic military occupational) training. Since, I attend university and wish to complete my studies. I may be eligible for paid education (http://www.forces.ca/en/page/serviceoptions-123#noncommissionedmembers-4)

Isn't there obligatory service even without paid education (which I thought was additional)? It could be three to nine years not including subsidized training or education. How can I find out the exact length? I guess it would be best to find out from a recruiting centre.
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Offline exgunnertdo

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Re: Obligatory Service in the CAF
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2011, 18:45:59 »
If you're referring to NCM-SEP (Non Commissioned Member Subsidized Education Plan) that's not available to Infantry Soldier. Only very specific trades qualify for that program, and it's directly related to the trade (technical school/college). Not a general education like ROTP.

Edit - to change "Program" to "Plan"
« Last Edit: July 12, 2011, 18:48:43 by exgunnertdo »
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Re: Obligatory Service in the CAF
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2011, 22:07:48 »
Perhaps what you're driving at is UTPNCM (University Training Plan - Non-commissioned Members).
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Offline Pusser

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Re: Obligatory Service in the CAF
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2011, 22:46:45 »
If you are not currently enrolled in the CF, there is no subsidization plan for your education (i.e. if you enrol now, there is generally no reimbursement for what you have already done).  Any of the subsidized education plans for NCMs are very specific in scope with specific programs aimed at sending you to specific trades.  These are generally technical trades that require college level backgrounds.  There are no general NCM subsidized plans.  To put it plainly, you will not be subsidized to get a university degree or college diploma on your path to join the infantry as an NCM.  If you want to have a university education subsidized, you will need to apply to the appropriate officer entry plan.  If you want to have a college diploma program subsidized, you will have to apply to a military occupation that requires it and then follow that program, which is usually at a specific institution as well.
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Offline GunnesT

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Re: Obligatory Service in the CAF
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2011, 15:19:57 »
Well, I don't mind not having my education subsidized but I do not want to become an officer without having experience as a soldier.
Thank-you exgunnertdo and pusser.
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Offline Pusser

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Re: Obligatory Service in the CAF
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2011, 09:13:30 »
Well, I don't mind not having my education subsidized but I do not want to become an officer without having experience as a soldier.
Thank-you exgunnertdo and pusser.

Just be sure youi understand that becoming an officer at a later date is not a sure thing.  As many on this forum will attest, it is often more difficult to become an officer from within the CF (i.e. starting as an NCM and trying to commission later) than it is to do so directly.
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Offline No one

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Re: Obligatory Service in the CAF
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2011, 10:18:41 »
Well, I don't mind not having my education subsidized but I do not want to become an officer without having experience as a soldier.
Thank-you exgunnertdo and pusser.

I think I understand what you're saying, but I know officers who wouldn't like not being considered "soldiers." Perhaps you should educate yourself on Infantry O, they're not exactly paper pushers.
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Offline tristismilitis

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Re: Obligatory Service in the CAF
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2011, 14:16:00 »
Just wanted to add a quick note for anyone else reading that is curious about the oblig service requirements. I did look into the finer points as I like to know my options. The standard time frame was explained before I signed on the dotted line and it is the 2 months of service per month of subsidized education to a maximum of 5 years. I have incurred the maximum time and must serve 3 of the 5 years in the trade for which my subsidy was for, keeping in mind that the CF can simply say 'no' if I request an OT at say the 3.5 year oblig service mark. Which I would anticipate them doing unless they were really desperate for the trade I was applying for and I already had the most of the qualifications required. But hey who knows, they could say yes!
Also, there are subsidized education plans for certain NCM trades and they will retro pay for the last year of the program. For example, if you are at the end of the first year of a two year program and are accepted they will reimburse you for that years' tuition and pay your tuition/salary for the second year.  If it was a three year program and you were at the end of the second year it's the same, they will only pay the most recent year completed.
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Offline Black Knight

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Re: Obligatory Service in the CAF
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2011, 13:03:54 »
I briefly skimmed over through some of these but similar to the post above (and this is pertaining to the subject, the ROTP program):

Obligatory service: Every month of education = 2 months of obligatory service

Maximum time for obligatory service is 5 years

After your first year of education, if you bail out of the program you owe the military everything for your education AND your pay while you were at school. (Someone that I know did this after their second year and they owe the military at least $30 0000.

I think I summed things up.. Hope it helps a little bit better (most of this is probably listed above, I just didn't want to read everything.)
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Offline Wanderingaimlessly

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Re: Obligatory Service in the CAF
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2012, 20:50:12 »
Long time reader, first time poster.

I had a member come and ask a question regarding his obligations regarding release and obligatory service.  The member has several years owing with over ten years of service and would like to break his contract but can't seem to find with any clarity what he will be obliged to remit should his release (item 4C) be granted.  I am having a hard time answering this as even the Release Section was rather cryptic about it.  All they would say is that his file would have to go to Ottawa and that it would take some time to calculate the exact cost.  The member realizes that there is a cost associated with such a situation, but he is adamant about leaving. He feels confident that what he owes can be offset by money from his Return of Contributions. 

I have read the order and told the member that he could be liable for up to $400,000 in terms of wages, allowances, and school costs associated with his education.  Privately this amount seems astronomically punitive and if it is true, we should really look at this given that the CF has an excess of personnel at the moment.  If anyone else might have either some insight or experience with this situation, it would be greatly appreciated.

Offline dapaterson

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Re: Obligatory Service in the CAF
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2012, 21:01:54 »
No more return of contributions if he's got over 2 years; he may get a commuted value of pension (depending on his age).

Amount to pay has many variables in the calculation; what trade?  What training?  MilCol?  ROTP?  All those factor into it.  Release section wouldn't do those calcs; it's the CMs in Ottawa who do it.

And the CF isn't over strength.  Buddy made a commitment.  If you're saying he doesn't want to live up to it, well, there are costs associated with that decision.
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Re: Obligatory Service in the CAF
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2012, 21:05:41 »
He feels confident that what he owes can be offset by money from his Return of Contributions. 



The member wants to re-evaluate that thinking as there is no "return of contributions" when one has served over 2 years.

http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/pen/pp/reg/ap-ar/benefits-prestati-eng.asp#wpb-qpl

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Obligatory Service in the CAF
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2012, 21:08:30 »
I have seen a member's request for Release refused.  Not the same circumstances as here, but something that you may want to think about.
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Offline Wanderingaimlessly

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Re: Obligatory Service in the CAF
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2012, 22:19:23 »
Like I said, the member is over 10 years of service.

He is a 2Lt who has just recently failed MOC training with few options being presented at the PSO level.  Formerly trained in an NCM occupation, the member presented wanting to take "the honorable way out" after seeing the apparently ghastly state of the reassignment list.  He has found potentially lucrative work in the public sector, but it doesn't seem that he is getting the information he needs.  Standard stuff attached to his file: good conduct, never charged, and has a potentially useful degree to the CF.  I sat with this guy for an hour and couldn't give him an answer beyond check with the release center.  The cost apparently has a huge amount to do with if he will seek his release.

Offline dapaterson

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Re: Obligatory Service in the CAF
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2012, 22:33:05 »
Seen.  Is he currently in a period of obligatory service, or a period of restricted release?

Calculations are at times somewhat arcane - I am not an expert in the area, and there are not a large number of folks who can pull together the info on short notice.
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Offline Wanderingaimlessly

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Re: Obligatory Service in the CAF
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2012, 22:39:13 »
The member is in his period of obligatory service now.  I realize those sorts of calculations are tough, but I would love to tell this guy he won't be hit for $400,000.  My napkin math on that might be in error, but it blew me away. 

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Obligatory Service in the CAF
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2012, 22:52:52 »
The member is in his period of obligatory service now.  I realize those sorts of calculations are tough, but I would love to tell this guy he won't be hit for $400,000.  My napkin math on that might be in error, but it blew me away.

That is your calculation for reimbursement to the Crown for the 'Education' the CF has provided him with for his tenure at RMC?
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Re: Obligatory Service in the CAF
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2012, 22:54:07 »
Seen.  Keep in mind that periods of leave and periods of military employment during the individual's time at school can be removed from the oblig service calculations on request (per DAOD 5049-1).  There's also the MND's power under QR&O 15.07 (5) to reduce amounts owing.

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