The Canadian Armed Forces required to adopt a slimming diet
Also affected by the labor shortage, the army is in the process of recruiting.
While Canada is called upon, like others, to intensify its military deployment abroad, the difficulties of recruitment and renewal of equipment are all the more problematic, underline two senior officers of the Canadian Armed Forces ( CAF).
The Canadian Army is currently preparing to send hundreds of additional soldiers to Latvia, where NATO wants to expand a battle group in response to the war from Russia to Ukraine. In this context, Lieutenant-General Jocelyn Paul looks at his recruitment data with a hint of concern.
In 2021, it saw its forces reduced by 1,200 soldiers, as departures exceeded recruitment. And the year 2022 does not bode well. If we stay on the same trajectory, unfortunately, we can probably anticipate a decrease of 800 [military], he told The Canadian Press. This would correspond to a total reduction in troop numbers of approximately 5% in two years.
While discussions between the allies engaged in Latvia have already begun, Lieutenant-General Paul indicates that they will seriously intensify over the next year in order to determine the contribution of each country to the improvement of the force.
Among the issues discussed are the number of soldiers and the type of equipment that Canada will need to have a permanent presence in Latvia, and what #x27;he can guard in Canadian soil.
The calculations are not only based on the logistical challenges associated with rapidly deploying troops, equipment and ammunition to Europe during a war with Russia, but also the needs of the military in Canada.< /p>
“So how much gear can I afford to preposition in Latvia without impacting my training too much? at home, without affecting my ability to do domestic operations?
—Lieutenant General Jocelyn Paul
Of Wendat origin, Jocelyn Paul was the first Indigenous commander of the Canadian Army.
According to retired Brigadier-General Gaston Côté, the roots of the recruitment problem are multiple and deep and date back several years
According to him, Canada placed a lot of emphasis on deploying troops that would help train other armies. However, the removal of leaders who can contribute to training in the country has caused “an absence of role models and has harmed the establishment of an esprit de corps”, mentioned Mr. Côté in an interview with the ;broadcast First the info at RDI.
In addition, the difficult replacement of certain emblematic equipment, such as F-35 planes or frigates, creates expectations which are then disappointed, which affects the morale of the troops, according to this retired officer.
< p class="e-p">To explain the recruitment difficulties, Mr. Côté also points the finger at the media. The two themes that surface most often are post-traumatic stress and sexual misconduct.
“I don't want to minimize the phenomenon of sexual misconduct, but always hitting on the same nail, it gives the perception that cruising is fun, which is not the case in the Armed Forces, I tell you. ;assures. »
— Gaston Côté, retired brigadier-general
In an attempt to address the understaffing, Lt. Gen. Jocelyn Paul says the military is looking at some long-established practices to see where it can be more effective. This includes determining if certain large-scale training exercises are necessary. We don't want to overtrain, we don't want to undertrain, argued the lieutenant general. We want to strike the right balance.
It also involves reviewing the type of equipment the military plans to deploy in the coming years and whether more automation and even artificial intelligence can reduce some of its military requirements. personnel, as part of a broader reassessment.
In the face of delays in hiring 5,900 new members by March 2023, the CAF recently indicated that people with permanent resident status could now enlist. In addition, the policy on military dress was reviewed this fall and the skirt can notably be worn by all members of the CAF.
According to Gaston Côté, these changes are almost clownish and have no meaning.
It's not the length of the hair or the color or what we put on our nails that will define a person on the skills plan, said Major André Jean, who is also the national military co-chair of the Defense Team Pride Advisory Organization, at the time.
With information from La Presse  ;canadian