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Link | Canadian Armed Forces: A New Vision for the Reserves | Canadian Military Journal

By The Cove September 26, 2020


In this article entitled Canadian Armed Forces: A New Vision for the Reserves from the Canadian Military Journal, Rob Roy MacKenzie and Howard G. Coombs explore the future role of their reserves.


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The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Australian Army, the Department of Defence or the Australian Government.



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Wouldn't this have been a great media release on 30 June 2020 .... TO OUR RESERVE FORCES – AUSTRALIA SAYS THANK YOU “Tomorrow is Reserve Forces Day. I ask all Australians to join with me in applauding the selfless sacrifice of reservists, both former and present, in helping to ensure the defence of our nation. The role of the Reserves is vital to our national security. The dedication and professionalism with which they undertake their part-time service is an example to us all. The Government is committed to ensuring that the Defence budget is adequate to meet their needs now and in the future. In this way, the force structure of the ADF is able to be clearly defined. Rather than a large standing army with Reserves limited to specialist civilian and simple military skills, we have a smaller regular army, with Reserves encompassing both specialist civilian and complex military skills. It is our Reserve forces that provide, as they have in the past, the surge capacity in time of defence emergency (whether it be a military threat or natural disaster).” The actual media release was very different; it solely referenced the recent bushfire and COVID-19 responses. Of course, appreciation for this effort must be made; but is this the ‘only’ acknowledgement that should be made. That suggested above clearly articulates the essential role of the Reserve as part of our national security, both now and in the future. If it was to have one. By comparison … this is what Canada’s Defence policy has clearly set out, ie. their intention to “fundamentally change the way the Reserve Force has been recruited, trained, equipped, and employed”. The following intention suggests the conviction behind this policy: “In the CAF, it can be said that ‘…we share our men and women with their families’; it can also be said that ‘…we share our Reservists with their families and employers’. It is vital to our success that we communicate with these stakeholders”. Furthermore, Canada sets out a practical means of achieving this goal: “Reserve integration may eventually lead to an ‘adaptive’ or ‘alternative’ career path, with all CAF members able to have ‘portable’ terms of service to encompass the levels of commitment and time that they can provide to the institution”. Canada’s goal is one that Australia must adopt: “In particular, the development, support, and retention of a ready-capable, motivated, and relevant Reserve Force as a strategic and operational resource for Canada and the CAF is required, both now and well into the future.”

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