Army ombudsman blasts treatment of reservists and Rangers

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Army ombudsman blasts treatment of reservists and rangers

Shortcomings previously reported by the Ombudsman related to the reporting, treatment and compensation of illnesses and injuries suffered by Reservists and Rangers.

The Forces Ombudsman Canadian Armed Forces, Gregory Lick, criticizes the military's treatment of Reservists and Canadian Rangers who are ill or injured, saying it fails to address long-standing shortcomings for part-time Canadian soldiers.

These shortcomings were first identified by the ombudsman's office during four separate investigations conducted between 2015 and 2017. The army then promised to act by implementing nine recommendations of the

But in a new report released Monday evening, the ombudsman's office found that none of the nine recommendations had been fully implemented. over the past five years.

Admittedly, I'm disappointed that they weren't able to act or make progress on all the recommendations, expressed Gregory Lick in an interview.

“There are nine recommendations across the four reports, and none have been fully implemented.

—Gregory Lick, Canadian Armed Forces Ombudsman

The ombudsman's report comes as the military grapples with a personnel crisis, with around 10,000 vacancies, representing about one in 10 positions. The shortage is particularly acute in the middle ranks .

The situation has become so dire that Chief of the Defense Staff General Wayne Eyre issued an order earlier in October making recruiting and personnel retention the top priority of the military.

General Wayne Eyre during a discussion with the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau. (Archives)

Resolving issues identified by his office would help those efforts, Ombudsman Lick says, particularly in retaining experienced reservists and rangers who might otherwise hang up their uniforms due to untreated illnesses and injuries.

If they want to make a move and make big strides – which they need – on Force Replenishment, the reserve force being an important part of that, they need to get the basics right , he said.

“Making progress on our recommendations will provide a stronger and better basis to move forward with replenishment . »

— Gregory Lick, Canadian Armed Forces Ombudsman

Previous ombudsman studies have identified gaps in the reporting, treatment and compensation of illnesses and injuries. injuries sustained by Reservists and Rangers, who operate primarily in the North on a part-time basis, due to their military duties.

Shortcomings include a lack of follow-up after reservists deploy on military duties, excessive bureaucracy to seek help and compensation, as well as issues with the military failing to communicate on the military. x27;help available.

The update comes as many reservists are being asked to step up their missions both in Canada and abroad. This includes the recent deployment of approximately 700 part-time military personnel to Atlantic Canada following the onslaught of post-tropical storm Fiona.

Last week, senior commanders expressed to members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defense on the impact of the current shortage of full-time and part-time members of the Canadian Armed Forces on the entire Canadian Armed Forces. army.

We are making tough choices about what we can do for operations, said Lieutenant-General, Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Eric Kenny.

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