Author Topic: Keeping wounded in CF - merged super-thread  (Read 114864 times)

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Keeping wounded in CF - merged super-thread
« on: October 04, 2007, 22:14:58 »
 Shared in accordance with the "fair dealing" provisions, Section 29, of the Copyright Act.

Wounded soldiers to be given opportunity to stay in uniform: defence sources
Canadian Press, 4 Oct 07
Article link

OTTAWA - Soldiers badly wounded in Afghanistan and who want to stay in uniform would be given the chance to do so under a new policy drafted by the Defence Department.

The plan, drawn up in the waning days of Gordon O'Connor's tenure as defence minister, would allow the military to avoid the controversy of dismissing injured soldiers who want to continue serving and - in some cases - have no other vocation.

Sources within the Defence Department told The Canadian Press that the policy has been stuck in bureaucratic limbo since O'Connor was replaced in August by the new minister, Peter MacKay.

The chief of defence staff, Gen. Rick Hillier, said recently that he has some of "his brightest minds working on it," but offered few details on the proposal or a timeline.

Sources who've seen a draft of the policy say it would allow soldiers who do not meet the military's universality of service rule to apply to stay as long as they meet some criteria.

Under the current system, a soldier who becomes disabled has three years to be rehabilitated and meet the fitness standard for overseas operations. If they cannot meet the requirement, they have no choice but to face a medical discharge.

The rule, introduced by Hillier, has been a source of concern as the number of wounded from the desert battlefields of Afghanistan grows.

Hillier has steadfastly refused to make changes to the current fitness requirement, but conceded that military has been trying to find a way to take care of its wounded with some dignity.

The authority to release an injured soldier, sailor or air crew member rests solely with the defence chief and Hillier has argued that the current system is flexible enough to let him decide the future of individuals.

But defence sources say clear criteria are needed to ensure fairness and to avoid potential legal challenges.

Lt.-Col. Stephane Grenier, a spokesman for the chief of military personnel, says the new policy will not supersede, amend or even soften the universality rule.

Its intent will be to recognize that wounded soldiers still have something to contribute to military life.

"The military is being challenged to balance the deployability factor with the gainfully employed factor," he said in an interview.

Grenier would not discuss what kind of criteria would be attached to the policy.

Liberal MP Dan McTeague, an advocate for wounded soldiers, said he wants to see the conditions and worries they will be too narrow and restrictive.

"We're talking about wounded human beings who fought for this country," he said.

"A soldier's commitment is open-ended and the criteria on whether they remain in the Forces should be too."

Grenier denied there's been any footdragging in addressing the issue, but said he understood the urgency some people must feel.

"This is not something that started yesterday," he said. "The process has been well underway. It happens to be a top priority for the chief of military personnel. It's not limbo. It might be in limbo, according to people who don't think it's moving fast enough."

Grenier couldn't say when the new policy will be given to MacKay for approval and also would not discuss what criteria applicants will have to meet when the new program is finally established.

Since the latest deployment to Kandahar in February 2006, 71 soldiers and one diplomat have been killed and as many as 325 troops have been injured. Most of the wounded have been able to return to their units.

Only a few dozen will likely be considered permanently disabled because they've lost a limb or suffered other traumatic wounds. The designation has yet to be made in individual cases because they have yet to complete their three-year rehabilitation period.

« Last Edit: May 06, 2017, 20:16:22 by kratz »
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Offline GAP

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Re: Keeping wounded in CF - merged super-thread
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2007, 22:45:00 »
I wonder how this is going to translate to personnel injured in the normal course of their duties here in Canada....this could turn into a real bag of worms....(but it would be nice if they were able to accommodate this)
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Re: Keeping wounded in CF - merged super-thread
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2007, 22:53:11 »
I wonder how this is going to translate to personnel injured in the normal course of their duties here in Canada....this could turn into a real bag of worms....(but it would be nice if they were able to accommodate this)

Good point -- still, like you say, there's gotta be SOMETHING that can be done by someone who may not be able to deploy.  Maybe backfill a staff job of some sort to free up another bayonet?  I know these things aren't this simple, but common sense tells me there's gotta be something there....
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Re: Keeping wounded in CF - merged super-thread
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2007, 23:01:02 »
I wonder how this is going to translate to personnel injured in the normal course of their duties here in Canada....this could turn into a real bag of worms....(but it would be nice if they were able to accommodate this)

What would be the difference?

If a troop was severly injured in training, and has  much experience, we should just write him off due to where the injury happened?

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Re: Keeping wounded in CF - merged super-thread
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2007, 23:05:31 »
The impression of the article is that this would only/primarily apply to tour related injuries, but I agree it should apply to all.
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Re: Keeping wounded in CF - merged super-thread
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2007, 00:11:24 »
it would of be nice if they re-wrote this process, some armies allow individual either injured soldier or civilian to enter into specific trade that allow to cover those that are on tour or transfer to different trade because of their qualifications needed there

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Re: Keeping wounded in CF - merged super-thread
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2007, 07:43:25 »
What would be the difference?

If a troop was severly injured in training, and has  much experience, we should just write him off due to where the injury happened?

I agree, Tess, if they do it for one, they are going to have to do it for all.
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Re: Keeping wounded in CF - merged super-thread
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2007, 10:46:16 »
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Re: Keeping wounded in CF - merged super-thread
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2007, 11:13:40 »
Agreed.  Surely someone doesn't need to be in fighting trim to man a HQ desk, or many other, non-combat type positions.
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Re: Keeping wounded in CF - merged super-thread
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2007, 11:33:08 »
Agreed.  Surely someone doesn't need to be in fighting trim to man a HQ desk, or many other, non-combat type positions.

...or pass along valuable "lessons learned" face-to-face (even if they can't teach the entire curriculum), or provide advice from experience garnered at a pretty high cost to planners, purchasers and trainers.
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Re: Keeping wounded in CF - merged super-thread
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2007, 11:43:20 »
Agreed.  Surely someone doesn't need to be in fighting trim to man a HQ desk, or many other, non-combat type positions.
Agree. There have been many good soldiers forced out of the system that could have added great value in our training system.

Adjust the Pay Scale and insert a couple of columns. We already have Basic, Spec 1 , Spec 2 ....

Why not introduce something to the effect of Column 1: Basic ; for those soldiers unable to deploy or perform BFT for what ever reason or, have entered PCAT status. Column 2: Deployable, Column 3: Spec 1, Column 4: Spec 2 ...etc.

All recruits must be deployable !

Those soldiers on TCAT must fully understand that if it leads to PCAT and they are retained (and positions are available), they would take a drop in pay.

Just a thought.

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Re: Keeping wounded in CF - merged super-thread
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2007, 11:59:43 »
Adjust the Pay Scale and insert a couple of columns. We already have Basic, Spec 1 , Spec 2 ....

Why not introduce something to the effect of Column 1: Basic ; for those soldiers unable to deploy or perform BFT for what ever reason or, have entered PCAT status. Column 2: Deployable, Column 3: Spec 1, Column 4: Spec 2 ...etc.

All recruits must be deployable !

Those soldiers on TCAT must fully understand that if it leads to PCAT and they are retained (and positions are available), they would take a drop in pay.

Just a thought.


So your saying that an injured soldier is worth less then a healthy one? is his work in some way inferior?

And if you lump those permanently wounded do to operatons in that idea I think it's just wrong. Nope I don't like that idea at all. I think it's almost insulting honestly
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Re: Keeping wounded in CF - merged super-thread
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2007, 12:08:08 »
I think it's almost insulting honestly
Only a suggestion. And no one said changing the system would be easy. Clearly something has to be done to retain good soldiers currently being forced out.

As for insulting. Perhaps to some. But my wife would have gladly taken a drop in pay to stay in the Military. Instead, because of a broken bone in her foot sustained in Petawawa, she was forced out after 21 years as a Sgt. She would have made a fine instructor.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2007, 12:12:53 by Scot57 »

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Re: Keeping wounded in CF - merged super-thread
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2007, 12:13:02 »
But why should she have been paid less to be an instructor is what I am getting at. I agree with universitality of service and the need to maintain deployable troops. But I think perhaps something need to be reexamined, perhaps not those injured in the normal course of duty in domestic operations but certainly for those who sustain life changing and body altering injuries do to combat.

I personally don't think a sliding pay scale is the answer though.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2007, 12:16:13 by HitorMiss »
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Re: Keeping wounded in CF - merged super-thread
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2007, 12:25:08 »
But why should she have been paid less to be an instructor is what I am getting at. I agree with univeritality of service and the need to maintain deployable troops. But I think perhaps something need to be re-examined, perhpas not those injured in the normal course of duty in domestic operations but certainly for those who sustain life changing and body altering injuries do to combat.

I personaly don't think a sliding pay scale is the answer though.
I think its an option (a choice for that member) that has to be explored. I spent time as a CSM in Petawawa and saw too many good soldiers injured (or for other medical conditions) in Garrison, forced out. 

As for soldiers injured in combat .....my opinion  ...... yes, its a different matter.  Those able to return to duty in another capacity should be able to be retained their current rank and pay.

Again - for those not injured in combat, and are facing PCAT ....more options must be made available. A cut in pay and retention is a good option for many.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2007, 12:28:28 by Scot57 »

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Re: Keeping wounded in CF - merged super-thread
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2007, 12:29:19 »
There's 2 kinds of injuries we have to look at here:
 1) Operational injuries sustained from action against an enemy / during a mission.

 2) Injuries sustained through normal training / peacetime operations.

If you are injured as a result of attending what one instructor of mine calls "the final PO check," then there is no reduction of pay and every possible effort is made to retain you.  Whether that is in another trade or instructing doesn't matter.  The retention of people with real world combat lessons learned is vital to the future of the CF.

If you bust yourself up playing ball hockey or skateboarding, well then a sliding pay scale would be the best for the CF.  Paying an individual full pay if they cannot deploy just doesn't make sense and encourages others to malinger with no consequence.

Remember though that it should still be up to the member whether he / she even wants to stay in the CF.  There is no point retaining a soldier if all they want to do is fish and golf and never put on relish again.

Now, there will be cases where an individual is injured during normal training / peacetime ops but has deployed in the past.  There may be exceptions and each injury should be looked at in a case by case sort of way.  Pte Bloggins with 2 haircuts in who busted his femur at the skatepark obviously has less to offer than WO Johnny Cash with 12 tours and combat experience who destroyed his spine jumping with CSOR for example.

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Re: Keeping wounded in CF - merged super-thread
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2007, 12:33:05 »
Agreed Grunt, But the if every PCAT is a case by case that system will indeed clog the medical system perhaps DMCARM would need a whole new sub section to deal with it, then again it could also just be a case of looking at a soldiers MPRR.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2007, 12:43:16 by HitorMiss »
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Re: Keeping wounded in CF - merged super-thread
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2007, 12:45:02 »
The more complicated we make this, the faster it will fail a charter challenge.

My proposal:

1.  Must meet deployable/standard or no further career progression unless approved by trade, and even then:

2.  Cannot be meritted/career course loaded while fit soldiers of same rank are any where on the merit list and do not have the same qual.

3.  If broken, cannot be promoted ahead of any same rank on the merit list who is fit.

4.  This way, those who are broken still contribute, but do not gum up the succession plan with people who cannot deploy.

5.  If you are in a command position and broken, and a fit soldier wants your job - he/she gets it.





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Re: Keeping wounded in CF - merged super-thread
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2007, 12:49:07 »
Agreed Grunt, But the if every PCAT is a case by case that system will indeed clog the medical system perhaps DMCARM would need a who new sub section to deal with it, then again it could also just be a case of looking at a soldiers MPRR.

+ 1 for MPRR.  Makes it easy for a unit to look and see if an individual has any current and relevant knowledge that should be retained at full pay. 

I also like TCBF's proposal, and the KISS principal should definitely be employed here.

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Re: Keeping wounded in CF - merged super-thread
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2007, 13:00:02 »
So what he have then in essence is this

Member injured in combat is retained at current rank and pay till his contract is concluded (though it can be renewed in the case of BE's) to pass on his hard earned knowledge.

Member is injured due to non deployed reasons. His MPRR is reviewed to ensue that member as relevant experience needed to be kept in the system ( Ref the example Grunt used) If member does he is retained in a training capacity at full pay. Member cannot advance in rank past fit soldiers.

Member does not have relevant knowledge. Member is moved to a non deployable postion at a reduced pay if he so desires and cannot advance in rank.

All Members above can choose Medical Release vice staying in CF
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Offline TCBF

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Re: Keeping wounded in CF - merged super-thread
« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2007, 13:37:55 »
... Member does not have relevant knowledge. Member is moved to a non deployable postion at a reduced pay if he so desires and cannot advance in rank.

- Cannot reduce pay.  Maintain, or spend the money DND saves in wages on court costs.

All Members above can choose Medical Release vice staying in CF

- Not all.  "Exigencies of the Service" will dictate who gets offerrd what - and where.  Don't need a barrack warden living in a Iron Lung in Yellowknife.

- This cannot be loosened up too much!  Pers serving in a Special Duty Area and Wounded in Action are the priority.  If we do not specify that, people living in wheelchairs will (again) inundate us with applications claiming that they can do the same job as the 'injured on basic training' soldier. 

- IOT sort this out, we must get RUTHLESS in our quest to weed out those who joined the CF with pre-existing mental and physical incapacities.But,

- Looming problem: recent research indicating possible familial/genetic pre-dispositions towards PTSD.  Keep an eye on THAT research!
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Re: Keeping wounded in CF - merged super-thread
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2007, 13:59:22 »
In theory the CF is now expanding; which should leave plenty of positions (especially as instructors) with an actual CF “need” to be filled, which should allow for the CF to keep non-deployable personnel employed.

There should be no need for a special pay scale or an absolute denial of promotion. As an example: If there were a lot of WO positions open but not enough qualified deployable Sgts to fill them, then there would be no reason not to promote a qualified non-deployable Sgt to non-deployable WO (if the need exists).

There is no reason to look at how non-deployable status was achieved - qualifications to fill the CF "need" is all that matters.

As CF training and retention of deployable personnel meets demands then you start to buy out the non-deployable contracts (which were only ever there on a CF “need”).

Right now there seems to be a CF “need”; in a few years there may not be. CF “need” should be the determining factor; or else you’re just recreating a problem that was previously fixed: the problem of too many non-deployable personnel causing deployable personnel to be redeployed at a faster rate than what was anticipated?

Pro Patria

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Re: Keeping wounded in CF - merged super-thread
« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2007, 15:58:11 »
Or how about this…

Let’s revisit the scenario that got me into so much trouble a while back (this time I promise to be polite and won’t scratch).

Link:http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,51761.0.html

The object of the game here is for DND and the CF to save face, avoid controversy and make job security for military personnel comparable to that found in the Public Service and other government departments. 

So...transfer the contracts of wounded military personnel into DND civilian contracts.

Stop hiring fresh faced university students and civilians into DND- and begin to create a civilian force out of (mainly-nothing is absolute) former military personnel- a static non-deployable force that would exploit the skills and expertise and the incredibly expensive training and education that they all possess.

Currently, we (taxpayers) are paying thousands of people ? hundreds?; insurance adjusters, case managers, rehabilitation folks, vocational experts, employment experts, many, many, many lawyers, etc, to prepare our ex-military personnel for job hunting and employment.

It’s already been acknowledged that it is only a very small minority of those being released who will never work again and who actually require this extensive rehabilitation.  Most simply need jobs.

Most are already highly skilled and trained.  Those who aren’t and who require job training are currently being re-educated at government expense- only to take those skills to other companies and employers.

God…don’t get me started.

Employ those who we’ve already trained in DND- as civilians.  Those who don’t already have the skills to work in the government- train them so that they do- and then employ them. (We already pay to re-educate them so that other employers will hire them-why not do so and keep them?)

Currently, there are people- mostly the higher ranks and more educated ones-in the right place at the right time- who are released, get a fat VAC award, high medical pension…and then I (as a taxpayer) have to pay them a PS salary on top of that.

I don’t feel the need to do that, really.

I’d rather see these people have their contracts extended-transferred from military to civilian- and then see their benefits progress and mature naturally into one pension when they retire.

Also, the system won’t be based on luck then- or rank- or connections. 

Every contract is switched to a civilian contract- and employment will be found.  If the positions can’t be found- create them.  Create positions that enhance and improve military services. There will be money available to do that- because we will no longer be paying hundreds of people to do a job that is not really required. Put the money into paying released military personnel to do actual constructive jobs that improve military ops and services- not into paying civilian personnel to teach released military personnel to find jobs with other employers.

Anyway, as many of you would say, “rant off”.

I did my happy dance this week when I heard Canada’s Labour Minister actually say that no person who has worn a military uniform should ever have to go from the front line to the employment line. I was also astonished when I read about the turnabout in U of S policy.

Then they started waffling again, talking about conditions and exceptions, and I stopped dancing.  It has to be all or nothing- or the challenges will continue- we’ve been through this before.

Get them out of the military- maintain the U of S- transfer their CF contracts to DND contracts and make them civilians who will then work in support of military- if they wish to continue doing so.

Who better to work in support of military operations than those who have already been there?

Idealistic?  Definitely.  Will it ever happen?  No…or it will take one heck of a fight- because veterans are currently big business and many people earn wages based on the fact that veterans continue to lose theirs.

I’m not saying this type of move would be easy to do- I'm also not saying that my thoughts consitute the perfect solution. I can’t even imagine the union problems, legislation changes, negotiations something like this will entail.  I do think, however, that the government has to start looking at something like this if there is every to be harmony and fairness for our men and women in uniform.

To those of you who actually waded through this book I’ve just written, thanks for listening.

Should I duck?

Bren

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Re: Keeping wounded in CF - merged super-thread
« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2007, 16:15:27 »
Lots of good input here...

I note that New Zealand is brave enough to set up a wiki to allow people to, literally, rewrite their Police Act.  Could the same thing be done here?

How's this for an experiment:  With all the expertise (both theoretical AND first-hand) Army.ca folks can bring to the table, could "the collective" develop a policy on this one?

On a whim, I've set up a little wiki - http://servingwounded.pbwiki.com/ - to see if this can happen.  I've just put in the headings - if you're interested in contributing, PM me and I'll send you the PW.  The wiki system is dead easy to use/edit.  I've set up headings, and if you click on the headings, you get to a blank page ready to fill.  As people write, others can log in, edit, post comments, etc.

Then again, it could just be like the proverbial lead fart, but nothing ventured.  If it the postings get ridiculous, or obviously pointless or non productive, the wiki will disappear.

Anyone up for it?



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Re: Keeping wounded in CF - merged super-thread
« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2007, 16:17:56 »
Bren,

Good ideas, but political suicide.  Bases are tolerated in ridings because of the civilian employment they create.  If bases began restricted hiring policies with veterans as a top priority the protest lines would be up in a minute.  Larry Lunchbox and Susie Sewingkit would get political for the first time in their lives.

Sure, you can open 'competitions' to vets, but how many of those competitions for civ positions are filled even before the poster goes up?  A done deal.

Some tried to make CFE hire spouses on a priority basis in Germany and even there it was a problem.
"Disarming the Canadian public is part of the new humanitarian social agenda."   - Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axeworthy at a Gun Control conference in Oslo, Norway in 1998.


"I didn’t feel that it was an act of violence; you know, I felt that it was an act of liberation, that’s how I felt you know." - Ann Hansen, Canadian 'Urban Guerrilla'(one of the "Squamish Five")