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J.J. Bennett
View J.J. Bennett Profile
J.J. Bennett
2015-03-23 15:35
Reservists bring a wealth of important skills, training, and experience to the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces, and represent the wide diversity of this nation. We serve as both a strategic and operational resource for the Canadian Armed Forces by providing depth and breadth to the military's capabilities, as well as a vital link to Canadian communities.
With respect to today's topic, it's important to note that the reserve force consists of four very different subcomponents, not all of which are trained for or serve on operations or contribute to the defence of North America. Our cadet instructors are not trained for, nor will they be called upon to serve on, any domestic response or operational capacity. The primary reserve—closely aligned with the Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force, Canadian Army, health services, judge advocate general, and special ops—and the Canadian Rangers are the only reserve subcomponents trained and employed for domestic operations.
The Canadian Armed Forces' unified force of maritime, land, and air elements is based on a total force concept that integrates full- and part-time military personnel to provide multi-purpose, combat-capable armed forces. Under this concept, regular forces are maintained to provide the government with a ready response capability. Reserve forces are intended for augmentation and sustainment for regular units and, in some cases, unique complementary tasks.
The total force concept also provides the framework for training and equipping the reserves. With the total force concept in mind, environmental commanders have designed their delivery of capability based upon a scaled response in conjunction with the required speed of response. Simply put, the regular force can more readily respond to crises due to its breadth of training and full-time nature, and is usually called upon as first responder for the Canadian Armed Forces. However in the case of a domestic response, owing to the immense geography of our nation and current Canadian Armed Forces footprint, the reserve would often be in a better position to respond due to their proximity and familiarity with the affected community.
However, reserves are generally held at a lower level of readiness and agree to serve voluntarily for operations. Therefore, there are a few distinct considerations to keep in mind for the employment of reservists in domestic operations, including notice, preparation time, as well as the fact that more than 80% of the reserve force who serve the military on a part-time basis need to return to civilian employment or studies in a timely manner following any operation.
Mr. Chair and committee members, BGen Bury and I are very pleased to be here to speak to you regarding the role of the reserve force in the defence of North America.
The Chief of the Defence Staff's vision for the primary reserve is a force that consists predominantly of part-time professional CF members, located throughout Canada, ready with reasonable notice to conduct or contribute to domestic and international operations to safeguard the defence and security of Canada.
The contributions of reserves to operations and their connections with Canadians are critical to the nation and to the environments and communities in which we serve. We must ensure that we attract, develop, support, and retain a ready, capable, motivated, and relevant primary reserve force as a strategic and operational resource for Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces well into the future.
In addition to our work to renew the Canada First defence strategy, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces continue to review and refine our readiness levels and training requirements as well as the balance of full- and part-time military and civilian personnel to meet our institutional needs into the future. There have been and continue to be ongoing reviews and validation of primary reserve roles, missions, and tasks; establishment, recruiting, and retention; the balance of full- and part-time personnel; budget, compensation, and benefits; equipment and infrastructure; training; and care of our ill and injured and their families.
We are interested in expanding the use of reservists' civilian skills based on our success in operations with civil-military cooperation and civilian medical expertise through our health service reserves. We are also considering expanding reserve areas of expertise in the future to include capabilities like cyber.
Recent history has demonstrated the value of a highly trained and well led primary reserve that can be seamlessly integrated into the regular force whether that is on a mission or backfilling positions while others deploy.
Our successful integration of primary reservists on operations over the past two decades, combined with the provision of domestic capabilities for the Canadian Armed Forces, like the Arctic response company groups, sovereignty patrols, and coastal defence, has confirmed that our reserve force remains a foundation of Canada's defence and security. A sustainable reserve trained and equipped to meet the operational and security needs of our nation is critical to the operational success and the defence of North America.
Primary reservists are essential to the Canadian Armed Forces' ability to successfully execute international and domestic operations, and the Canadian Rangers have proven themselves to be critical not only to our domestic response in remote and isolated parts of this nation but to the training and employment of forces members in the Arctic.
The past 15 years have seen an exponential growth in the trust and dependence upon reserves to support and deliver on the defence of North America. Reservists have also deployed to every corner of the world in the delivery of operational excellence that has made Canada and Canadians proud.
Our collective challenge is to maintain the momentum of our total force approach and integrated model, and ensure we attract, train, employ, and retain a highly professional and motivated reserve force that will continue to be an effective and relevant part of Canada's defence well into the future.
Thank you. Merci beaucoup.
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
That is 8,000.
You announced a year ago that there would be a reduction in the number of administrative people within the cadet instructors from 800 to 400.
J.J. Bennett
View J.J. Bennett Profile
J.J. Bennett
2015-03-23 15:52
That's full-time personnel, employed year round.
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
These are not people who deliver the programs in the army across the country.
J.J. Bennett
View J.J. Bennett Profile
J.J. Bennett
2015-03-23 15:52
Not generally at the corps and squadron level, no; these are people who work in headquarters or who work in support of the program.
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
How have these numbers gone down? Have we seen individuals, this money...?
I think when you announced this program, you said you'd have money available to focus on the program and to ensure support for the cadets at the local level. Can you advise what funding has been made available as a result of this program?
J.J. Bennett
View J.J. Bennett Profile
J.J. Bennett
2015-03-23 15:52
Yes, we're only partway through a five-year renewal program, which goes out until 2018, but we have been able to reduce some of the administrative overhead to the program. The number of people working full time is being reduced slowly.
We have provided additional support at the local level, the corps and squadrons, in terms of resources available to them for activities, as well as increasing the number of adults who are working directly at the community level.
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Perhaps you can provide that to us.
We were told it was cadets and reserves, so if you don't mind I have a couple of other questions on cadets.
One issue that came up a long time ago, but has been very concerning to people involved, is the advanced training that cadets might receive, such as pilot training. Can you give me an answer to that? Have the hours of pilot training been reduced?
J.J. Bennett
View J.J. Bennett Profile
J.J. Bennett
2015-03-23 15:53
No, there have been no significant changes to the cadet flying program, either gliding or power flight. There was some discussion of our reducing glider flight in favour of allowing more cadets to have a greater experience and a greater number of hours of flying, because the glider program is quite expensive in terms of maintenance and supervision. But we have not made significant changes. The same number of cadets continue to enjoy the experience in both glider and power flight.
View John Williamson Profile
CPC (NB)
I just don't want to leave you out.
Could I have you comment on the recruitment process for reservists? And how does it differ from the recruitment process for regular forces?
J.J. Bennett
View J.J. Bennett Profile
J.J. Bennett
2015-03-23 16:01
The only variation is that reserve units can be at a source of information or a point of contact, as opposed to the regular force who must initiate the process at a recruiting centre. The army and the navy use their local units as an attraction centre, to assist with the initial processing, although all files, regular and reserve, primary reserve, and our cadet instructors, must go through the recruiting processing that is centralized across the Canadian Forces recruiting group. There are different standards and different testing for those on the cadet side of the house and Canadian Rangers. The primary reserve recruiting process is exactly the same as the regular force, with the exception, as I say, of being able to do part of the processing at a local unit.
View Corneliu Chisu Profile
CPC (ON)
Okay.
How did you deal with these three areas—reserves, regular force, and cadet corps? Did you have events in the reserves or in the regular force? I know that the article is speaking mostly about the regular force component. What about the reserves and the cadet corps?
View Jack Harris Profile
NDP (NL)
Thank you, Chair.
First of all, congratulations, Mr. Walbourne, on your appointment. I understand that you are from the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. While that's not a qualification in itself, it's certainly a very good start and we are proud to have someone from our province in this important role in the Canadian Forces.
I have a number of questions about a variety of issues, but I'll start with one that is dear to my heart and which was presented to your predecessor, Mr. Daigle, around this time last year. It is regarding the fact that 40 years ago there were six cadets killed in the cadet camp at Valcartier as a result of a grenade explosion during, of all things, a safety demonstration. Some 60 people were injured and there were about 160 survivors of that incident. We are 40 years down the road and many are still suffering and have been seeking assistance from government, but to no avail.
Your predecessor wrote the Minister of National Defence last summer with the recommendation that it was in the public interest for a full investigation to take place, with recommendations to be made to the government. That was necessary because the events were pre the establishment of your office in 1998 of the CF ombudsman. Can you tell us, first, of your familiarity with that and whether you have looked at that already, and whether or not such approval is forthcoming?
View Corneliu Chisu Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Thank you very much to the witnesses for coming to testify to our committee.
I served in Afghanistan in combat. I will quickly go back to the concept of universality of service. You mentioned that it is very clear, except that you have a branch that does not have the universality of service, which is the cadet corps. The cadet corps allows the uniformed members to have, for example, an age limit of 65 instead of 60, and so on, and they are not rigorously physically tested.
Why I'm making these remarks is that I'm going through a transition, a transition in the military from the military to other branches of DND or to civilian life. I have a couple of very short questions.
First, on average, how long can a CF member be on the medical category list until you start the process of releasing them? Second, on a yearly average, how many CF members are on the medical category list? Also, how long does it take for a member to be discharged from the CF due to a medical or a requested release? I'm asking this about timing because it can be very long. The CF members are held in so-called holding platoons, and that is very much a deterrent to their morale. When I was serving in Meaford, they had a couple of suicides in these platoons.
Also, I have a question for Ms. Rigg. How many civilian DND personnel have a military background?
View   Profile
2011-11-15 9:54
I encourage as many of you as possible to come with us. What you'll see at Vimy and in Italy is quite remarkable because it grows every year.
One of our largest areas of growth is with our cadets. Going to Vimy we have the sea cadets of Winnipeg—which brings me great delight—and army cadets. We feature them in our ceremonies. We have our students side by side with our cadets in full uniform at our ceremonies. That ongoing relationship is going to continue through the future.
In addition, as I mentioned briefly, we're setting the stage for the 100th anniversary. We're bringing the flame home and that flame is going to travel across Canada. That will carry the message even more.
Results: 1 - 15 of 15

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