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Should Canada have mandatory military service?
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why don't we have a Canadian Peace Corp. The Libs and Dips bitch about how our historical reputation as peace keepers is being tarnished. Maybe if their kids were forced to serve 2 years in Afganistan peace keeping they would shut their traps!

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KPK Good point! Some facts: Sweden has less than one-third the population of Canada, less than one-eighteenth the land-mass of Canada; spends 1.5% of its GDP on its military (compared to Canada’s 1.1%) and has around 55,000 troops to Canada’s 60,000. Not bad eh! Not to mention those Saab's (lets not talk about our Bricklin) mrsocko Nothing wrong with a Peace Corps idea - I like the concept (although it's nice to have a C7 close by just in case). Our "historical reputation" as Peacekeepers is a bit of a myth, we have more of a reputation as damned fine soldiers. Soldiers make great Peacekeepers and Canada has great soldiers so it all falls in-line.FascistLibertarian I appreciate your comments. It depends what you want to get out of your investment. I for one, think it would be awesome to see a multi-provincial contingent of our younger folks getting together to see parts of the Country that few of us ever see, and under demanding circumstances. I think this would be a great thing, especially for Quebeckers, who get the impression that they're on their own. No - maybe the idea of military service might not be for everyone; but how about giving a break (educational grant, credit) to those who would be interested in such a commitment? Q. How many of you would be interested in taking a break from your jobs (if they were protected) and doing a high-arctic sovereignty patrol with the Canadian Rangers? Cheers...Barry

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conscription is a form of slavery. As a libertarian, I oppose forced labor in all but the most exceptional circumstances.

As for the discipline-building aspect, I have several thoughts. First of all, does the military actually teach discipline over and above what the family, school and workplace do? Is there any evidence that veterans are more disciplined in their personal lives than those who have not served? From my studies of epidemiology, I see little evidence for it. American veterans for example are not more likely to be physically active and to eat healthy meals, nor do they appear to have more successful and stable marriages.

I also don't see it as the state's role to propagandize for certain outlooks, be it pride in one's country, or environmental concern, or tolerance for other racial groups. This doesn't mean that I am opposed to nurturing these goals, but that they shouldn't be the purview of the state.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there any evidence that veterans are more disciplined in their personal lives than those who have not served?

It would take me some time to find them, but I do know that studies have demonstrated veterans are far less likely to commit crimes and less likely to have substance abuse problems than the general population. Former soldiers often have higher levels of education and greater disposable income as well.

I don't find it too suprising that they are no healthier in civilian life than other civilians, as exercise and diet decisions are made for them while in service / training. So the answer to the above may be sometimes, but not always.
Sean McAllister

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a tough question. I think that there are pros and cons to both sides of this issue. It would stop the trend towards teens dropping out of school. It would teach a lot of positive things to our young people. And it would provide the country with a solid base of trained people. Think of all the good it would do for the economy to have our young people trained in all the hi tech and other fields provided by the military. They serve their time and then go to the private sector. In a time of war, yes I think all citizens have an obligation to do what they can to defend the country.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that is a great idea. But can this country offord it?

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we should allow immigrants to serve in the military in return for an expedited path to citizenship. If they are willing to die for this country, then they deserve to be a citizen of this country.

As for mandatory service, I think we should require all Canadian youths to engage in one year of service when they turn 18. It doesn't have to be military, they should be allowed to choose between military or civilian service.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a 25 year veteran of the Canadian Forces (Retired Warrant Officer), I'm of 2 minds about this proposal.

On the one hand, I see a lot of young men lounging about the streets of Toronto who could sorely benefit from a short stint in the Army. With their baggy pants around the middle of their ass, no job, no skills, no work ethic etc, a year or so of military training would do wonders for their outlook.

On the other hand, the Candian Forces routinely exceeds expectations due to the fact that every member of the Forces is a volunteer, and WANTS to be doing whatever it is that they're doing.

I'm all in favour of keeping it the way it is, however if the powers that be could come up with a way to entice young men into the Forces as part of a Trade Apprenticeship, then I think it would be best for all concerned.

In the early 80's, there was the YTEP program (Youth Training Employment??). At the time, I didn't think much of it, but looking back, I think a revamped YTEP program today would benefit society in many ways.

my $0.02

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scarbarian wrote:
As a 25 year veteran of the Canadian Forces (Retired Warrant Officer),

Thank you for your service!!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, just no to any sort of draft, national service, conscription, military service requirements for citizenship.

Mandatory Military Service goes against the customs and traditions of our armed forces, as well as provides a unworkable system and more drawbacks than benefits. Read Starship troopers for an example of this.

I am a former military officer and I can say that I would not want one soldier under my command who was not a volunteer.

What I recommend instead is to increase our Reserve Forces, and increase them. Here is 20 suggestions to help improve our military. Some are big ticket items, some are small ticket, all have the idea of increasing the sustainability of our military in the environment that it operates. I am not one of those people who believe the myth of the reserve forces in the defense of Canada. Instead I believe that our reserve should be used as just that, a reserve and basis for mobilization and expansion. I roughly in my head estimate that these measures would cost in the range of 2 billion-3 billion dollars a year maximum.

1 - Re-establishment of the COTC (Canadian Officer Training Corps). These will not have the liability of the ROTP Programme nor the indefinite reserve engagement.In wartime they could fill out valuable training and administration roles possibly even taking combat assignments. Not to mention the COTC Establishment on Stage 3 and 4 Mobilization could take the load off of CFLRS and the Combat Training Center. However, the traditional goal of the programme must be maintained, that is a part time job for students and an introduction to military life, possibly/ hopefully resulting with a Reserve Commission. A young person in university receives pay, benefits and training that will hold them in good stead for their life. Perhaps as well we can integrate these students into the local reserve and regular force units as needed. Yes, one only recieves 4 years hopefully out of each entrant, however it will help defray the costs of university for students, as well as provide us with another commissioning source.

2 - A wartime role for the Cadet Instructor Cadre. An immediate removal of the order that prohibits CIC officers from working out side of the cadet movement. CIC Officers hold a Queen's Commission, the same as all regular and reserve officers. The Cadet Instructor Cadre could fill vital administration, support, supply and rear area roles on any sort of domestic or foreign operations. For example, CIC officers on a hypothetical wartime scenario could take over recruiting, military career adviser or even a lot base jobs, possibly going as far as to say they could become Civil Government liaisons or Town Majors. Right now, in peacetime, we could offer some of them the potential to do the same, in order to reduce the strain on our Regular and Primary Reserve forces.

3 - Revitalization of the Primary Reserve. An increase in funding of days from 37.5 to 45-60 days a year, as well as the establishment of a second mission element for all reserve units across Canada. Not to mention, doubling the military manning overhead positions that each unit does receive. We should also look at tasking some reserve units in specialized roles. I am talking about tasking reserve units in STA Roles, Long Range Patrolling, NBCD, Rear Area Security). On the Navy side, we need to task reservists with port and harbor security, river patrol, shipping and transport as well as providing incremental increases in regular force manpower. This will take years, and incentives would have to made.

Within this point, a Reserve Unit would look like this;

Notational Reserve Infantry Unit
- Regimental Headquarters
- Orderly Room
- Regimental Quartermaster Stores
- Support Platoon (TN Section, Supply Section, Maintenance Section)
- Specialized Element or Tasking
- 30x Military Manning Overfill Positions (Including no more 1 Legal Officer Position, 2 Chaplain Position, 1 Educational Officer, 1 Intelligence Officer, 1 Linguist,2 Electro Mechanical Engineering Officer, 3 Logistics Officer, 1 Signals Officer, 2 Medical Officer, 1 Health Care Administration Officer, 2 Nursing Officer, 3 Other Combat Arms Officer - This accounts for 20/30 of these positions. These positions would not be required, however there is to be no more than this amount of position in a Regiment). One thing that could happen with the Military Manning Overfill positions is that for example, an infantry unit had a group of willing people who wanted to form an armored recce troop, this would of course be a very useful vehicle, or for example

1st Mission Element
- Company Headquarters
- 3x Rifle Platoon
- 1x Support / Weapons Platoon

2nd Mission Element
- Company Headquarters
- 3x Rifle Platoon
- 1x Support / Weapons Platoon

Training Company
- Company Headquarters
- Training Platoon
- Recruitment Section

I of course believe the ideal strength of said reserve units would be around 250-300. Each mission element having 2 rifle platoons and a headquarters, as well as the Regimental Headquarters up to strength.

4 - New Uniforms, more bells and whistles. Cheap idea, but it increases pride. Buttons and ribbons sunk unification back in the late 1960s. The Military is a very traditional environment, they place a lot of pride in Regiment / Branch / Service loyalty. We need to honor and respect it. I would even start to recommend that we return to more traditional uniforms, for ceremonial occasions. Perhaps an introduction of a new form Garrison Dress / Service dress to increase our visibility. I know many people will decry this as a return to parade ground soldiering, however we do need to increase the Military's presence. I also recommend a few more ceremonial / demonstration units, such as perhaps a national drill team, or a national shooting team. Things that get media attention, such as the Snowbirds?

5 - Reformation of 1 Canadian Division. This is practically happened. We have NSE / NCE elements on any theater, these are normally plug and play units drawn up from actual field units in order to serve their purpose. I recommend we create an actual divisional headquarters structure, as well as divisional support units; The recommended order of battle would be ;

1 Canadian Headquarters Divisional Headquarters and Signals Regiment.
- Divisional HQ
- Signals Regiment (1 Satellite Communications Squadron, 1 Network Squadron, 1 Rear Link Squadron, 1 Tactical Communications Squadron, 1 Support Squadron)
- Liason Officer Pool.
- Signals Dispatch Service
- Division Escort Company (HQ Defense / CP Defense)

1 General Support Service Battalion
- Transport Company
- POL Company
- Second Line Maintenance Company
- Administration Company

1 General Support Engineer Regiment
3x Construction Engineer Squadron
1x Headquarters
1x Support Squadron

1 Canadian Air Division Element.
- Air Traffic Control, Forward Air Control/Tactical Air Control Parties
- Aeromedical Evacuation Unit
- Combat Search and Rescue
- 1 Air Squadron with Liason Aircraft / Helicopter.

1 Movement Support Company
- Air Movements Center
- Logistics Control Center.

1 Military Police Company
- Rear Area / Division Military Police
- Prisoner of Warfare control

1 Electronic Warfare Squadron
- Division Level Electronic Warfare Support

1 UAV Regiment
2x UAV Battery
1x Support Squadron

1 Armoured Recce Regiment
- Division Armoured Recce / Defense. Also can be used as a Quick Reaction Force / Convoy Escort.
- Consisting of 2x Recce Squadron in a Light / Dismounted Role (Nyala / GWagen)
2x Recce Squadron in a Mounted Survelence Role (Coyote)
1x Recce Squadron for Long Range Recce / STA

1 Military Intelligence Company
1x Human Intelligence Platoon
1x Psychological Operations Platoon
1x Liason Officer Pool/Cell
1x Intelligence Co-ordination Center
1x Counter Intelligence Platoon
1x Analysis Platoon
1x Signals Intelligence Platoon

1 CIMIC Company

1x Field Ambulance
1x Medical Company
1x Ambulance Company
1x Support Company
1x Headquarters
1x Preventitive Medicine Company
1x Treatment Company
1x NBCW Company (Decontamination, Monitoring, Etc)

All of these units would have to be manned, as well sadly equipped. I would recommend purchasing additional equipment for these units. I would estimate that we are looking for a position growth of around 2-3000 people for this, perhaps with a roll back of some elements from 1,2, 5 CMBG as there would be duplication. Ideally this would not happen.

Furthermore to this point I would recommend a set of National Level Units comprising;

(Canada Special Warfare Command);
Canada Special Operations Regiment
Joint Task Force 2
427 Tactical Helicopter Squadron
Brigade Headquarters and Signals Squadron
Pathfinder Company (New Addition)
Logistics Forward Support Company
Canada Advanced Land Warfare School
Intelligence Company
CIMIC Company with attached Preventive Medical Unit
Engineering Squadron
Joint Co-ordination Cell (Liason Parties, Tactical Air Control Parties, Naval Gunfire parties, etc)
Possibly with attachments of a Jump Company or even if we want to get ideal the old Airborne Battle Group?

Disaster Assistance and Recovery Team, with prepositioned stocks of equipment, transport, manpower and material. This unit could be dual tasked with them helping domestically by training the new Terorrital Defense Battle Groups, as well as other emergency services organizations.

A National Communications Regiment/Brigade, along the lines of 2 (National Communications) Signals Brigade in the United Kingdom. This would include an Electronic Warfare Squadron.

Nuclear Biological and Chemical Warfare Response Company, this would of course be similar to the NEST in the US, as well as have decontamination facilities in case of accident or terrorist attack. This could be integrated into the Disaster Assistance Response Team.

6 - A true role for the supplementary reserve. More than the show up one day a year and receive 300 dollars. I believe all members should be encouraged to enroll in the supplementary reserve force, there should be a lot of interaction between all three forces. There are many tasking s that could be performed by these members. I think that at a minimum, there should be a 2 weekend / year, 2 evening a year responsibility for these members who do enroll or elect to serve. These weekends / evenings could be performed at any reserve unit, and perform individual battle task standards (Fieldcraft, Range work, First Aid refresher, Administration), So that a qualified member of this reserve could augment the primary reserve when available, yet not steal man days/ a hard position from the unit or go on tasking s with other primary reserve members. I would also recommend that due to the lack of benefits, a certain Supplementary Reserve bounty be established, perhaps 500-1000 dollars tax free in completing their Individual Battle Task Standards each year. These members would also be entitled to keep their Distinctive Environmental Uniforms, and perhaps some of their combat clothing.

7 - Creation of a Community College NCM Programme. Some NCM trades are highly skilled, as well some are actual hard trades positions. To reduce the burden on our training system, as well as increase professional competence, I recommend that for the trades that are selected we begin to send 25% of entrants on 2 year community college programmes related to their discipline, similar to ROTP. These students would receive military training during the summer, as well as parade with a Reserve Unit during the school year. In return for their free education, I recommend a longer enlistment period than the standard 3 year basic engagement, perhaps a 4 or 5 year. For other, non technical trades, I also recommend that we send a small percentage of students on to community college, in exchange for longer service commitments. This also reduces the amount of new entrants leaving after their 3 year basic engagement.

8 - Increasing the retirement age to 65 for NCM, 70 for officers. This will give us the benefit of Senior Leadership. It should not be a matter of asking for extensions past the age of 55, it should be automatically granted upon passing a medical exam and a physical fitness test. Now, for some roles, simply the medical would be needed, should these people be placed into a non deployable unit or into a base job.

9 - An emphasis on holding a Reserve Commission or any Military Commission. This is something similar to point number thirteen. This is something that must come from within. Holding a commission in the Armed forces should be something people identify with, similar to being a Kentucky Colonel. Even retired or inactive members should try to show their loyalty and devotion. Even something as similar to signing their name with their rank, branch of service, or as small as a lapel pin (Similar to the Year of the Veteran pin that was issued). Military Service should not be seen as somthing that only the poor, unemployable and social misfits partake in, as the view is from the Mainstream Media. Families, especially wealthy and middle class should be pushing for their children to take commissions, or to perform enlistments, as should parents. The regimental system worked because of a family tradition, a warrior tradition so to speak. This is something we need to push, as in return it will pay dividends as people become politically and socially active.

10 - A GI Bill for Canada. You serve 3 years, the CF puts you through school with a commission and a posting to a Reserve Unit, you do 1 more year of Officer Training and then 5 years in the Primary Reserve. I think this works, it would increase recruitment, however if someone is not keen on a 13 year contract, we could edit it. Perhaps a 5 or 6 year engagement in the Regular Force followed by a 4 year degree. This again would keep NCMs in longer, as well as provide more viability for the reserve force. Not to mention all of the benefits involved with having a post secondary graduate in the work force.

11 - Varied Entry Plans. Lets keep the standard regular 3 year NCM / 5 Year officer, however lets go for some different ones, such as a NCM Entry of 2 years Regular, 2 years primary reserve, 2 years supplementary reserve. Possibly on the Regular Side for Officer's - 3 years Regular, 5 years Primary Reserve, 5 Years Supplementary Reserve.

12 - Creating holding and lodging units such as the UK's HQRA or the All Arms Watch keeper pool. Each Land force Area should have a holding company. Those who do not have exact positions yet, or are awaiting training are formed into these holding companies. It works in two ways. There would be a Reserve Element, that would consist of Officers and NCMs supernumerary to the establishment of their units, that exist as an On Call force for HQ Personnel, Staff Officers,Observer Controllers, Other positions as required. On the Regular side, personnel awaiting training could be used as a manpower backstop for Land Force Area activities (Enemy Force, Drivers, Storemen, General Duties) as required, as well as be given the opportunity to be more local to units, gain an understanding of military life and attend non career courses as required.

13 - The increase focus of the Officer's Mess and the Sergeants Mess as a pillar of social life in the community. Similar to point nine. This is something we need to start to push, more events, more publicity, more formal balls, more levees, more local and regimental holidays. Most regiments have connections and inroads into the community, and what better way of raising awareness than to have formal community celebrations or open to the public celebrations of historic days to their local military unit. This may be disliked by people on the left as embracing militarism, however we could push this from a historic point of view.

14 - Officer Cadet Entry Plans for the Regular Force. I think these need to be brought back. What I recommend is the following, the Officer Cadet in Question goes through a 1 year Military Studies course, similar to Sandhurst, as well as their Officer training. They sign on for a 5 year enlistment, with the possibility of a semester or two at RMC. This 1 year of Military Studies of course counting towards a degree. If they choose to stay in the Military for another engagement, they then go back to RMC for the remaining 2 years of their degree, or to another University in Canada.

15 - Abolishment of the Canadian Forces Medical Group, Communiciations Reserve. These groups essentially are small empires, and hard to integrate into the standard Canadian Brigade Group structure, I recommend these be pulled back into the Brigades (I understand the Communiciations Reserve is moving this way, however CFMG there is no plans for such at this time.)

16 - A little bit of a throwback, but how about creating Yeomanry Units and Volunteer units similar to what was created in the United Kingdom? The last privately raised regiment in Canadian history was the PPCLI. If the wealthy in Canada would pay to raise and equip regiments for the service of their country, as well as purchase both public and non public items for their units, and help with recruiting. I think we should encourage the practice. Yes, perhaps 5-6 units would be created, and yes there is a lot of issues involved, however I think it is the perfect way for the wealthy to help their country. Now, I'm sure we can throw in a few tax incentives. If not raising new regiments, then perhaps sponsoring existing regiments. Similar to what the regimental associations do now. These figures could also help units pay for recruiting and other Non Public Fund activities.

18 - Distance Learning / Computer Based Training / Simulations - We can reduce the amount of instructors and facilities needed, as well as the costs for temporary duty and travel by trying to push more and more education over to webbased / distance learning models. It would more than likely be cheaper to buy everyone in the CF a laptop for this use than to pay the temporary duty costs for one year if every member had to make just one fewer trip to a training establishment or base. With the advent of things like VOIP and high speed networks, we can push a lot of 'attendance' courses out to DL methods, while not compromising the training or information.

19 - The Delayed Entry Program for Canada, Allow high school and college/university students to enroll in the military now for 3 years /5years but delay the start of their contract until their studies finish. This will help our training and planning system as recruits aren't just brought off the street and enrolled, it will give us time to align the training system to cope with induction of new personnel. Perhaps even an enrollment for students in the primary reserve in the meantime, with the idea that the reserve unit will allow them to eliminate all or some of the basic training required, further reducing costs. The idea I have is something like this, 16 year old joins up under the delayed entry programme. He receives parental permission and will become a regular force member at 18, so for his summers in high school, he serves in his local reserve unit during the year, receives a DP1 / QL3/ TQ3 (Basic reserve qualification) in a trade, or in his chosen trade, and then during the summer, or even in the early fall after his high school graduation, reports in to his base for employment. Alternatively, a student in grade 11 joins up during the year, and ships out to start his service after graduation or perhaps up to 1 year afterwards.

20 - This goes beyond the focus of the Army. Integration of the Coast Guard into the Armed Forces. The old coast guard and their vessels being used for search and rescue, marine patrol, etc. The coast guard college is transformed into one of three things 1 - A small craft training establishment for port security, movement control,boarding parties, auxillary vessel command, riverine operations, amphibious operations. 2 - A Merchant Marine / Naval Academy for use in teaching nautical subjects. 3 - A combination of 1 with an additional wing being used for a dedicated Army Training base for combat divers, as well as the opening of a Patrolling school to use the Cape Breton Highlands as a training area, or elements there in. The coast guard of course over a course of 5-10 years will integrate itself in the navy, perhaps forming a domestic wing, while the current navy maintains an expeditionary posture. New equipment, as well as a clear mandate. Such things as traffic control and such could be taken care of by Fisheries and Oceans, however this means that we have one naval service that will be better able to allocate priorities. Not to mention, it helps eliminate a lot of liability issues that the coast guard, as well as any non military organization has that the military lacks.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IanM wrote:
I am a former military officer and I can say that I would not want one soldier under my command who was not a volunteer.

Welcome to the Blogging Tories forums and thank you for your service!!

Now... I'm going to go read your excellent first post again!! My only critique so far is you're a bit light in the electronic warfare squadron. Ideally, there should be two squadrons; one for defensive and one for tactical. Similar skills sets but remarkably different mindset.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll second Mac. Thanks for your thoughtful post. I'm sure I'll be returning to read it over a few times - have you considered sending something similar to Peter MacKay ?

I definately agree that we could be using the Reserves more effectively. My own opinions are mostly limited by reservists I know personally, but it seems like many view it as a source of supplemental income while attending school and a way to resume build, without any expectation to perform any services (this seemed to be most common among the Communications people, who of course only recently were merged with the Army). This was much less the case with the reservists I knew who were with the 18 AD Regt, which was hybrid regular / reserve at the time. My understanding is also that very few, if any, of our current reserve units are deployable as is.

Re: your suggestion number 4, why not steal a page from the US? We could establish an Army / Navy / Air Force / RCMP hockey tournament, comparable to their Army / Navy Football engagement...

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conscription degrades the quality of the military but taking finite resources and spreading them extremely thinly. Also, it demoralizes the ranks because you end up getting those who wouldn't and shouldn't be there.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FF_Canuck wrote:
I'll second Mac. Thanks for your thoughtful post. I'm sure I'll be returning to read it over a few times - have you considered sending something similar to Peter MacKay ?

If IanM doesn't want to, I will do so with his kind permission!!

FF_Canuck wrote:
Re: your suggestion number 4, why not steal a page from the US? We could establish an Army / Navy / Air Force / RCMP hockey tournament, comparable to their Army / Navy Football engagement...

Mounties like playing hockey but we're known to be a bit rough in the corners...


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It needs a lot of polishing before we could do so, I can write up somthing a lot better, most of that was stuff off the top of my head.

If anyone wants some good reads;

Canada's Army
Who Killed the Canadian Military
and Understanding Canadian Defense

are all good reads.

Also, if you can get a copy, read Canadian Forces Publication 201 - The Army, it pretty much lays out the role of the armed forces.
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Mandatory military service

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