Author Topic: What’s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces  (Read 13819 times)

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Offline Eaglelord17

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Re: What%u2019s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces
« Reply #75 on: November 21, 2020, 06:04:24 »
Millennial's are a lost cause I think CAF should go after gen z kids born post 2000+ as they seem to be far more pragmatic and conservative then millennial's.

This isn't just a generational thing. I have relatives that spent their 30 years in uniform and got out recently, and if they had to start at the bottom in the CAF as it is, they would not have stayed themselves. Either way the CAF should be targeting Gen Z for the simple reason the youngest Millenials are about 24-26 now, and the area they should always be striving for is that 18-25 range.

*Edited because I miswrote oldest instead of youngest
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Offline lenaitch

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Re: What%u2019s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces
« Reply #76 on: November 21, 2020, 10:33:46 »
This isn't just a generational thing. I have relatives that spent their 30 years in uniform and got out recently, and if they had to start at the bottom in the CAF as it is, they would not have stayed themselves. Either way the CAF should be targeting Gen Z for the simple reason the oldest Millenials are about 24-26 now, and the area they should always be striving for is that 18-25 range.

I don't think that's unusual in most professions.  After 31 years, no way I would have wanted to go back to shift work and rolling around in the mud, blood and beer.  As well, in the beginning you are pretty much isolated and oblivious to matters and issues that you become more exposed to as your grow seniority (and possibly rank); you're content to just go in and do your job.  I know a few who went back after retirement but it mostly part-time, often not front line, and their numbers are comparatively few.
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Offline Underway

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Re: What%u2019s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces
« Reply #77 on: November 21, 2020, 11:07:17 »
This isn't just a generational thing. I have relatives that spent their 30 years in uniform and got out recently, and if they had to start at the bottom in the CAF as it is, they would not have stayed themselves. Either way the CAF should be targeting Gen Z for the simple reason the oldest Millenials are about 24-26 now, and the area they should always be striving for is that 18-25 range.

The oldest millennials are 39 or 40 now.  The last millennial was born in 1996 and is 24 now. But your age numbers are not incorrect.  You want to get people when they are young, because after that age they are less likely to make the changes needed to join the CAF.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2020, 11:10:20 by Underway »

Offline Quirky

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Re: What%u2019s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces
« Reply #78 on: November 21, 2020, 11:18:51 »
Somewhat regretfully I look back at when I was a younger and more callous youth and find that my opinion of those that kept hanging around was never very high.

You mean those 30-35+ year in MWOs and Chiefs that are completely out of touch with reality, but stay in because the military is all they know? These are the people that need to be shuffled out before any significant change can happen. All the good leaders that could've been in those positions left years ago, so we are stuck with "whats left" to manage and lead. This isn't always the case, but some of the people in senior NCO positions, just wow. Doesn't matter what you know, it's where you've been and how many ticks in the boxes you've had.
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Re: What%u2019s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces
« Reply #79 on: November 21, 2020, 11:34:19 »
, and the area they should always be striving for is that 18-25 range.

You want to get people when they are young, because after that age they are less likely to make the changes needed to join the CAF.

I read this years ago. It is about the RCMP. But, could also apply to the emergency services and CAF, back in the day.

Quote
Prior to the early 1980s, the emergency services recruited new members aged from 19 to about 25. The practice was relatively customary of those days, and based on three precise beliefs from the RCMP. First, policing could not be the second career of an individual. Second, young men were more moldable than older individuals to the police subculture. Third, criminal activity was linked to adulthood; by hiring young adults, the RCMP secured more chances that those individuals would have a crime free background.

I don't think that's unusual in most professions.  After 31 years, no way I would have wanted to go back to shift work and rolling around in the mud, blood and beer.  As well, in the beginning you are pretty much isolated and oblivious to matters and issues that you become more exposed to as your grow seniority (and possibly rank); you're content to just go in and do your job.  I know a few who went back after retirement but it mostly part-time, often not front line, and their numbers are comparatively few.

In my opinion, in a seniority-based system, people who stay with the same organization for long periods of time are rewarded for their loyalty.

Personally, I would put loyalty ahead of cleverness. And never, EVER, admit the dept. has done anything wrong.  :)



« Last Edit: November 21, 2020, 14:05:31 by mariomike »
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Offline CBH99

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Re: What’s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces
« Reply #80 on: November 21, 2020, 17:54:35 »
From a PR, organizational image, and recruiting perspective -- I'm curious to hear what some of your thoughts are in terms of "Rebranding the CAF" from some of the stereotypes/public perceptions we have now, to what it could be like if we "rebranded"?

Big ideas and small.  Curious to hear  :)
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Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: What’s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces
« Reply #81 on: November 21, 2020, 18:01:35 »
Quote
It's not a career it's a calling

I've found the ones who shout this the loudest are the first ones to think they deserve special treatment when something doesn't go their way. They're also the first ones to dump the kool-aid glass they've been shaming everyone else for not drinking.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: What’s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces
« Reply #82 on: November 21, 2020, 18:39:11 »
From a PR, organizational image, and recruiting perspective -- I'm curious to hear what some of your thoughts are in terms of "Rebranding the CAF" from some of the stereotypes/public perceptions we have now, to what it could be like if we "rebranded"?

Big ideas and small.  Curious to hear  :)

Don't lie to people anymore. There's a good marketing plan.

The CAF is about being able to destroy our nation's enemies. We are the 'in case of a threat to national survival, break glass' people.

The more we spin the BS about 'family, career, balanced lifestyle' and all that jazz, the more people will smell a rat and disturst us.

Especially the newer generations who connect most strongly with authenticity.

Tell them it's hard, lonely and dangerous, and that you won't get much of a choice about what you have to do sometimes. It's hard on families too, and we need to be clear why.

Also tell them it's exciting, you will be in continual learning and upgrading mode, and you will be part of a huge family filled with the finest people you will ever meet and will be friends with some of them for life.

Compared to civvy life, tell them the pay, benefits and living conditions aren't great, depending on the job you do or where you work or live, or how much you p*ss away on smoke, drink or gambling.

Also tell them that you won't care much about that when the waves are breaking over the bridge, the bullets are flying, or the slipstream whacks you in the face as you exit the starboard door of a Herc doing 120knts, at night.

The more we lie, or tell them what we think they want to hear, the less they'll believe us and the more our brand suffers.

My tuppence worth... ;)
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Offline GR66

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Re: What’s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces
« Reply #83 on: November 21, 2020, 18:56:25 »
Don't lie to people anymore. There's a good marketing plan.

The CAF is about being able to destroy our nation's enemies. We are the 'in case of a threat to national survival, break glass' people.

The more we spin the BS about 'family, career, balanced lifestyle' and all that jazz, the more people will smell a rat and disturst us.

Especially the newer generations who connect most strongly with authenticity.

Tell them it's hard, lonely and dangerous, and that you won't get much of a choice about what you have to do sometimes. It's hard on families too, and we need to be clear why.

Also tell them it's exciting, you will be in continual learning and upgrading mode, and you will be part of a huge family filled with the finest people you will ever meet and will be friends with some of them for life.

Compared to civvy life, tell them the pay, benefits and living conditions aren't great, depending on the job you do or where you work or live, or how much you p*ss away on smoke, drink or gambling.

Also tell them that you won't care much about that when the waves are breaking over the bridge, the bullets are flying, or the slipstream whacks you in the face as you exit the starboard door of a Herc doing 120knts, at night.

The more we lie, or tell them what we think they want to hear, the less they'll believe us and the more our brand suffers.

My tuppence worth... ;)

That would be a better selling point if the government actually provided the CF with the proper equipment to "destroy our nation's enemies" and presented the CF as a real military, not as glorified mall cops.  I think the general public doesn't really take the CF seriously as a military.  Some people may have an interest, but don't want to play in what they consider the minor leagues compared to other countries military forces.  Equip and present the CF as elite and you'll draw people that want to be part of an elite force.

 :2c:

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Re: What’s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces
« Reply #84 on: November 21, 2020, 19:58:35 »
That would be a better selling point if the government actually provided the CF with the proper equipment to "destroy our nation's enemies" and presented the CF as a real military, not as glorified mall cops.  I think the general public doesn't really take the CF seriously as a military.  Some people may have an interest, but don't want to play in what they consider the minor leagues compared to other countries military forces.  Equip and present the CF as elite and you'll draw people that want to be part of an elite force.

 :2c:

That's a bit of a "chicken and egg" scenario.  The public doesn't take it seriously, so the govt doesn't put money into it.  There's nothing to convince the govt otherwise (even with the antics down south) so they won't put money, so the public won't change their perception.

What D&B proposes is good - just be honest and let them decide if it's for them.
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Offline Brihard

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Re: What’s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces
« Reply #85 on: November 21, 2020, 20:47:56 »
Question with our career structure, our human resources assumptions, etc... Take a given year's worth of recruits: How many do we need/want to stick it out to 6 years? How many to 10? 20? 30+?  I realize it will vary heavily by trade.

Do we need one monolithic recruiting approach where we try to pretend that anyone can have a good balanced family-yet-career-oriented service in the forces? Or is it fine to appeal to some with 'Come do cool stuff for 6 years ten frig off and take your school money' while telling others 'Come do some cool stuff for a while then pick up skills and switch to something different for a longer more sustainable career lifestyle'? Do we need to try to recruit combat arms NCMs the same way we try to recruit logistics or engineer or communications officers?
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Offline CBH99

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Re: What’s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces
« Reply #86 on: November 21, 2020, 21:12:19 »
Question with our career structure, our human resources assumptions, etc... Take a given year's worth of recruits: How many do we need/want to stick it out to 6 years? How many to 10? 20? 30+?  I realize it will vary heavily by trade.

Do we need one monolithic recruiting approach where we try to pretend that anyone can have a good balanced family-yet-career-oriented service in the forces? Or is it fine to appeal to some with 'Come do cool stuff for 6 years ten frig off and take your school money' while telling others 'Come do some cool stuff for a while then pick up skills and switch to something different for a longer more sustainable career lifestyle'? Do we need to try to recruit combat arms NCMs the same way we try to recruit logistics or engineer or communications officers?


That's a really solid point Brihard.  Well said.

One thing the US does seem to recognize is that not everybody is going to be there for the long haul.  They do a great job of promising adventure & access to education/opportunities for those that are in for a few years, and try to promise a decent work/life balance for those possibly seeking to stay in over the long haul.

Recognizing the 2 different general 'career paths' sort of speak, like you mentioned, would really help in how we present ourselves to those 2 very different types of prospects. 
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Re: What’s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces
« Reply #87 on: November 21, 2020, 21:15:02 »
The average Reg F member lasts about 14 years (7% annual attrition, on average).  Exit spikes are seen at the end of the initial engagement (which varies by occupation and entry plan), at the 25 year point (initial pension eligibility) and at the 35 year point (maximum pension eligibility).
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Re: What’s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces
« Reply #88 on: November 21, 2020, 21:54:01 »
Question with our career structure, our human resources assumptions, etc... Take a given year's worth of recruits: How many do we need/want to stick it out to 6 years? How many to 10? 20? 30+?  I realize it will vary heavily by trade.

Do we need one monolithic recruiting approach where we try to pretend that anyone can have a good balanced family-yet-career-oriented service in the forces? Or is it fine to appeal to some with 'Come do cool stuff for 6 years ten frig off and take your school money' while telling others 'Come do some cool stuff for a while then pick up skills and switch to something different for a longer more sustainable career lifestyle'? Do we need to try to recruit combat arms NCMs the same way we try to recruit logistics or engineer or communications officers?

Absolutely bang on. We tend to get too focused on getting everyone prepped for a long term career with broad experience when what we need just as much, if not more, is a large number of people who can fill the ranks with the bayonets or spanners that they need to do their job. Think of how many more vehicles could be maintained if we didn't run craftsmen or their supervisors off on courses on a continuing basis and left them in the workshops more.

Stuff like this doesn't make sense. At my twelve year mark I'd been accepted to Law school as a mature student the following year but wanted to finish off my undergraduate qualifications so that I could go as a regular academic student. Concurrently I was loaded on the Army's then six month long Command and Staff course in Kingston. I marched myself in to see the CO and told him that right after the course in January I'd be giving him my six month notice so give the course to someone who will be staying around. Long story short: I was sent on course and loved it like I knew I would; finished my last correspondence course with UofM; and gave my six months in January like advertised. I never quite understood why I was still sent on the course. Maybe they thought it would change my mind? As it was a perfectly good career opportunity was wasted on someone who had already indicated he wasn't interested in the career anymore. (I guess not totally wasted as I put in another 28 years as a reserve grunt and legal officer after that, but who knew it would go that way?)

I know it's hard to tell at the beginning who are the folks who are in it for the long haul but maybe if at the beginning we took in more folks for short contracts with the intent of working them and holding on only to the best and most dedicated who have shown their commitment for further advancement and letting the rest move on. (Of course how would we then fill all those empty cubicles in Ottawa?)

 :cheers:
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Offline MilEME09

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Re: What’s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces
« Reply #89 on: November 21, 2020, 22:33:00 »
Absolutely bang on. We tend to get too focused on getting everyone prepped for a long term career with broad experience when what we need just as much, if not more, is a large number of people who can fill the ranks with the bayonets or spanners that they need to do their job. Think of how many more vehicles could be maintained if we didn't run craftsmen or their supervisors off on courses on a continuing basis and left them in the workshops more.

The fact VOR rates went down during the initial stages of covid, during critical manning/ essential only tasks, to me shows techs get bogged down with a lot of extra stuff that prevents them from turning wrenches.

Stuff like this doesn't make sense. At my twelve year mark I'd been accepted to Law school as a mature student the following year but wanted to finish off my undergraduate qualifications so that I could go as a regular academic student. Concurrently I was loaded on the Army's then six month long Command and Staff course in Kingston. I marched myself in to see the CO and told him that right after the course in January I'd be giving him my six month notice so give the course to someone who will be staying around. Long story short: I was sent on course and loved it like I knew I would; finished my last correspondence course with UofM; and gave my six months in January like advertised. I never quite understood why I was still sent on the course. Maybe they thought it would change my mind? As it was a perfectly good career opportunity was wasted on someone who had already indicated he wasn't interested in the career anymore. (I guess not totally wasted as I put in another 28 years as a reserve grunt and legal officer after that, but who knew it would go that way?)

What you described back then I have seen many times, and it puzzles me why when a soldier has put in an OT or a CT (for sake of example and argument a different trade in this case) and still waste resources for sending them on a career course for a trade they are leaving. While in the case of PLQ I can see how it helps the member, I see it as those resources could send someone who is sticking around with the unit on a course, and let the members next unit foot the bills for their career courses.

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Offline Eaglelord17

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Re: What%u2019s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces
« Reply #90 on: November 22, 2020, 06:11:51 »
I don't think that's unusual in most professions.  After 31 years, no way I would have wanted to go back to shift work and rolling around in the mud, blood and beer.  As well, in the beginning you are pretty much isolated and oblivious to matters and issues that you become more exposed to as your grow seniority (and possibly rank); you're content to just go in and do your job.  I know a few who went back after retirement but it mostly part-time, often not front line, and their numbers are comparatively few.

Except there has been significant changes to how we do the jobs and not necessarily for the better. For example the Navy of today and the Navy of 30 years ago are no where near the same beast.

The oldest millennials are 39 or 40 now.  The last millennial was born in 1996 and is 24 now. But your age numbers are not incorrect.  You want to get people when they are young, because after that age they are less likely to make the changes needed to join the CAF.

I miswrote oldest instead of youngest, my bad. Not only that the younger they are the more we can train them. Up until 25 the brain is still developing after that point it is somewhat fixed. Also the physical aspect is a big part too as things like the infantry aren't necessarily best suited to older people.

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Re: What%u2019s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces
« Reply #91 on: November 22, 2020, 09:11:05 »
Not only that the younger they are the more we can train them.

My PRes BMQ was entirely 16-17 year-old boys. They say at that age, our brains are more like soft, impressionable Play-Doh. Moldable.  :)
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Offline lenaitch

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Re: What%u2019s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces
« Reply #92 on: November 22, 2020, 09:58:30 »
Except there has been significant changes to how we do the jobs and not necessarily for the better. For example the Navy of today and the Navy of 30 years ago are no where near the same beast.

Oh, for sure.  I imagine few professions are the same over a 30-year time span; perhaps artisanal candle maker.  My comments were in response to the post that stated: "I have relatives that spent their 30 years in uniform and got out recently, and if they had to start at the bottom in the CAF as it is, they would not have stayed themselves."  Kind of a 'if I knew then what I know now" perspective.

It's also an age thing.  A few years we had a member retire with 50 years service, still a road warrior.  I can't imagine.

Interesting comment about the US experience.  I think military service as part of one's 'life arc' is more engrained in US culture and they get more opportunity to continue their trades on a part-time basis in their National Guards.

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Re: What%u2019s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces
« Reply #93 on: November 22, 2020, 10:12:36 »
A few years we had a member retire with 50 years service, still a road warrior. 

Almost be worth getting a ticket from him / her, just for the experience.  :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnvPJtJf6uo

Interesting comment about the US experience.  I think military service as part of one's 'life arc' is more engrained in US culture and they get more opportunity to continue their trades on a part-time basis in their National Guards.

Possibly, at least in part, because they had the Draft until 1973.
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Re: What%u2019s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces
« Reply #94 on: November 22, 2020, 12:11:55 »
You mean those 30-35+ year in MWOs and Chiefs that are completely out of touch with reality, but stay in because the military is all they know? These are the people that need to be shuffled out before any significant change can happen. All the good leaders that could've been in those positions left years ago, so we are stuck with "whats left" to manage and lead. This isn't always the case, but some of the people in senior NCO positions, just wow. Doesn't matter what you know, it's where you've been and how many ticks in the boxes you've had.

WO/PO1s and above aren't Snr NCO.  They are Warrant/Petty Officers.  Just to keep it accurate...https://www.canada.ca/en/services/defence/caf/military-identity-system/air-force-ranks.html#step5

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Re: What%u2019s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces
« Reply #95 on: November 22, 2020, 12:24:12 »
WO/PO1s and above aren't Snr NCO.  They are Warrant/Petty Officers.  Just to keep it accurate...https://www.canada.ca/en/services/defence/caf/military-identity-system/air-force-ranks.html#step5

OK Boomer :)  :sarcasm:
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Offline Navy_Pete

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Re: What%u2019s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces
« Reply #96 on: November 22, 2020, 12:41:18 »
WO/PO1s and above aren't Snr NCO.  They are Warrant/Petty Officers.  Just to keep it accurate...https://www.canada.ca/en/services/defence/caf/military-identity-system/air-force-ranks.html#step5

Uh... your link says they are 'Warrant officers and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers'. If you go to the main page, they are all grouped as 'Warrant Officers, Petty Officers and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers' (from Sgt up).

Did I miss something? Think senior NCO is generally understood to be Sgt and up (which is a bit confusing as there are no junior NCOs, but anyway).

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Re: What%u2019s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces
« Reply #97 on: November 22, 2020, 12:56:36 »
Uh... your link says they are 'Warrant officers and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers'. If you go to the main page, they are all grouped as 'Warrant Officers, Petty Officers and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers' (from Sgt up).

Did I miss something? Think senior NCO is generally understood to be Sgt and up (which is a bit confusing as there are no junior NCOs, but anyway).

It is common vernacular for all but pendants :). The QR&Os makes the distinctionclearer but for 99% of the CAF we lump them all together to no ill effect. 
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Re: What%u2019s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces
« Reply #98 on: November 22, 2020, 15:06:16 »
It is common vernacular for all but pendants :). The QR&Os makes the distinctionclearer but for 99% of the CAF we lump them all together to no ill effect.

Yeah, I got that; I was just confused as it was a sort of pedant argument strain using a common vernacular ref. :dunno:

Anyway, agree that the assumption that it has to be a long term job should be relooked at, especially as a lot of the second careers are directly related to CAF support in some way. If knowledge retention was a bigger concern, they could make transition to DND civie jobs a lot easier. Found it really stupid to have to do the full testing for a position that I was previously qualified to do with a posting message.

Offline CBH99

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Re: What’s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces
« Reply #99 on: November 22, 2020, 15:43:06 »
I tried to quote someone here, but my computer isn't liking me right now...  (P.S.  Don't update the 'newest windows update' nonsense if possible.  Not liking it!)

But someone made a good point about the US military knowing that a vast majority of it's people aren't going to make a 20 year + career out of it.  Get in, do some cool stuff for a few years, have a chance to participate in operations that will be exciting & globally relevant, take your education money & off ya go!

One factor that might play into the above is how much more expensive college & university is in the US, compared to here.  That could be a real driving force behind young people choosing to do a stint, maybe extend, and then leave - especially folks from low income areas that only have student loans or military service as options.


 :dunno: :2c:
Fortune Favours the Bold...and the Smart.

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