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This is a discussion on Australian Army Discussions and Updates within the Army & Security Forces forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by RubOneOut THE AGE Brendan Nicholson December 15, 2006 A $1 BILLION strategy to tackle the defence recruiting ...


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Old December 16th, 2006   #16
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THE AGE
Brendan Nicholson
December 15, 2006

A $1 BILLION strategy to tackle the defence recruiting crisis has been approved by federal cabinet.
Prime Minister John Howard today will announce plans to boost the army, navy and air force by 6000 men and women.
A major component will be spending $306 million over 10 years on a military "gap year" scheme that will allow up to 1000 17 to 24-year-olds each year to spend a year in the services within two years of finishing year 12. They would be able to taste the military lifestyle and training, and would not have to stay if they don't like it.

http://www.theage.com.au/news/nation...685825260.html

What are your thoughts? Personally, I applaud the government for shortening the general entry application time and I'd also like to see how far they relax the medical criteria, particularly when it comes to eyesight and orthotics.
Recruiting for ADF would be massively boosted if they ditched Manpower as the recruiting agency for ADF and started up the Defence operated recruiting centres again.

Manpower are the most useless bunch of ferkers I have ever met. There is nothing but a long list of complaints from everyone I know who has or has attempted to join since they took over. Even those that HAVE joined have often waited over 12 months to get a slot on a course at 1 RTB.

THAT is the cause of ADF's recruiting woes.

Now if only they could seriously address the retention woes, ADF would be laughing. Recruiting has never been the problem that retention is...
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Old December 16th, 2006   #17
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Manpower are the most useless bunch of ferkers I have ever met. .....Now if only they could seriously address the retention woes, ADF would be laughing. Recruiting has never been the problem that retention is...
Yes, couldn't agree more.

The problem is however far more complex then Manpower or Defence Recruiting think.

The point of recruiting is not to recruit, but to retain.

Not only is the point not to recruit, but the objective is not to conduct massed recruiting drives, but to recruit the right candidates that can be retained. For how long?

In commercial world, which is the model used by Manpower, or anyone else in the HR industry, the recruiting has steadily changed from lifelong to contract, i.e. from 20-40 years to annual or need to employ basis.

The Defence can't follow these models because the recruits are required to serve for periods of equipment utility which usually has no compatible equivalents in the commercial sectors.

What is the problem?

The life of type cycle in ADF is about 30 years across Services. For an operator to become truly proficient in its use in peacetime (i.e. where there is lack of realistic and intensive use of equipment) takes about 3-7 years (something like a university degree). However rapid technological advances mean that substantial changes in equipment or function they perform take place every 2-4 years through several generations. This means that the operator needs to commit to at least 14 years of career in the particular profession within ADF on day one of their recruitment to be truly useful to ADF and to achieve professional standards they can be satisfied with.

There is more. Having attained a professional proficiency, and a degree of command ability, the ADF naturally expects that such individuals will be retained in command capacity. In fact since this would be an expectation of at least another decade regardless of commissioned or non-commissioned rank, the total period of recruitment for ADF is 25-30 years.

Clearly this is a need that can not be satisfied using models of recruitment from the commercial world.

Where does ADF find appropriate model for recruitment and retention? What other industry has a 30 year career commitment requirement?

There is only one such ‘industry’, the marriage. In marriage individuals expect life-long commitment. Further, marriages transit through very similar stages of ‘professionalism’. It takes about 3-7 years to become ‘domesticated’ (failure results is end of relationship) and if children are involved then change in the ‘job’ comes every 2-3 years (stages of life), and culminates with the child's transition from a teenager into an adult, and also ‘graduates’ the parents. After that, the parents are truly able to offer trustworthy advice based on solid expereince to their ‘junior’ peers.

Looking at the Australian society, the issue of marriage has been a problematic one. Marriage as an institution has been reducing in importance within the Australian society since 1920s, and has followed a trend very much paralleling trends in commercial employment – increasingly shorter duration relationships. Fully 30% of the population will never marry or have children, and 50% of the rest will divorce at least once following 3-7 years of marriage (contributing to need for immigration). There is no effective solution being offered by government programs outside of registered participating counselling organisations, dominated by church based organisations.

There is a larger issue though then just inability the individual's ability to commit to ADF service as a career choice. Making such a choice initially requires a certain aptitude of the personality. It also has to co-exist with the life choices ADF personnel (and civilian employees to some degree) make just like all other Australians. ADF service personnel still want to have relationships, and children, participate in community and enjoy interests outside of their profession. The fact that much of the service is spent in areas that make this difficult if not impossible, and that service requires greater degree of mobility then the average Australian, suggests that the model used in recruiting and retention has to be far more robust then any used by the commercial world now.

However the complexity doesn’t stop there. Let’s assume that an individual goes through all the hurdles above and chooses to stay in ADF, having found a spouse, and begun a family…what then? Neither the spouse, not the children that soon follow, have been through the ADF recruiting process, nor are they part of the retention policy!
There are numerous programs to make ADF service personnel relationships easier and less painful, but from my impression, and I am ready to be convinced otherwise, most retention issues relate to service personnel life issues outside of ADF control.

Given the complexity of the problem, the solution needs to be similarly complex. At the outset the solution needs a whole-of-government approach.
To some degree this has already been forced on the Government by realisation, and inclusion in the policy, the need to approach potential recruits during their last years of high school. However this is clearly inadequate.

I would propose that the first step is to identify individuals with appropriate personality for jobs available in the ADF well before they have made career choice, which usually already takes place after Year10 by those who choose to undertake final two years (majority these days), and even earlier for those who will make the choice of career in trades. This occurs at ages 14-16!

Assistance needs to be provided for these individuals to enable them to achieve satisfaction in creating lasting and robust relationships with spouses that will cope with the stress ADF service life places on the families. Not only that, but spouses also need an ability to find professional fulfilment within the area of posting of a serving partner.
In addition the ADF needs to be able to cope with changes in individual’s personality during their life, and adjust to this change while still retaining the individual’s knowledge and experience.

In short, the need is for a non-commercial model, applied on whole-of-society scale through whole-of-Government (Federal, state and local) as a very long term Government policy, in fact one imbedded into the structure of Australian society in the way cognitive education (primary, secondary and tertiary) is, as relationship education.

The benefit of such an approach however goes beyond recruitment and retention, but also in training and group integration within the ADF by allowing better group relationship management since any individual joining the group would have been assessed for suitability for at least 4 years prior to induction.

Unfortunately what this approach requires is innovation. Commercial contracts such as that with Manpower, or assessment of unsolicited proposals process make integration of innovative technology from inventors or small business incapable of penetrating ADF bureaucracy and the tendering process, never mind that of Government echelons capable of taking such wide-sweeping reform, i.e. the Prime Minister’s office. This means that ADF will continue to pay exorbitant amounts of money for its personnel on par with that in US where the cost of recruiting and retention has surpassed US$200,000 per recruit.
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Old December 17th, 2006   #18
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I think people forget when the current government put the knife through the Army back in the late 90's. We had a lot of people who were suitable for non combat role's that were kicked out instead of letting them Corp transfer to service corps positions. In the 3Bde most of these people who were deemed not suitable for further service really wanted to stay in and had years of experience. With the change from DFRDB to MSBS it was clear that the Army was going from a career based environment to a short-term 4-year job and then leave environment. The Ready reserve scheme was another blow to the Army and with out fail, it started to show that the Army was not a viable organisation to be in. Now, in today’s high tempo climate that we find ourselves in, the government is now paying for those errors. Change is one thing but what happened in the end was morale falling to an all time low with some unit’s of 3Bde having large numbers of discharges, requests for Corps transfer and just plan mental wig outs by some members.
I witnessed massive problems in 3Bde and in other units elsewhere.
· The unfair push in supporting married members and giving them what they needed at the expense of the single members was getting beyond a joke i.e. overseas deployments both training and operational with the terms “He is married he needs the money” commonly used and then the single members who could have been sent and with less problem put out in the cold.
· No chance of going on a training course.
· The lack of training ammo.
· Highly aggressive PT training sessions during the summer months, which caused a lot of injuries and some of these lead to Med D/C’s.
In General there was a general lack of trust in the chain of command esp. Senior NCOs. The cause to these problems was not confined to the units themselves, IMO it was caused by the “Yes man” affected members of the chain of command.
In 97, we received 60 of the new 6 week wonders from Singleton, 20 were D/C and the remainder were not suitable for deployment until doing in house training for six weeks and sometimes more.
This was in the era of (The great leap forward- It’s a Chinese thing). The writing was on the wall back then and just after ET. By the looks of things nothing has really changed since then it has continued to get worse.
Now millions of dollars are been spent fixing a system that IMO didn’t need changing at all. All that needed to change was the equipment and developing the doctrine to use the new equipment. Not gutting the Army of decades worth of combined experience.
IMO a lot of people who left the Army in the last 5 year’s were the one’s who weren’t “Yes men” and they should be encouraged to re enlist. Bring back experience and the qualities the Army is lacking.
End of Rant.
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Old December 17th, 2006   #19
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It seems the ADF is happy to copy US practice. In this case recruiting from school as is evident form a snipet from a story "A dozen Army and Marine recruiters who visited high schools were among the personnel caught in a major FBI cocaine investigation, and some were allowed to keep working while under suspicion, a newspaper reported Sunday.
None of the recruiters was accused of providing drugs to students."
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Old December 17th, 2006   #20
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From my time working in recruitment (and with a link to ex-ADF personnel), the impression I get is that they begin to hate being in the ADF as a job, not the personal difficulties (deployments, travelling, etc) that comes along with it.

They generally don't go into great detail, but I've heard mention of problems with those they're "under", some complaining of equipment problems, and others who for example may have a lot of skill in mechanical trades and know that they can easily get a job FIFO to mine sites making a hell of a lot more money with a lot less risk, and can get out at any time.

I would've joined the ADF myself upon finishing school, but I'm colour blind and so I was going nowhere. Others (in fact, heaps of others), that are potential recruits wont consider the defence force thanks to the reputation it gets from young army fellow acting like absolute tools out in the street - people don't want to live with that image, probably much the same reason the police force has trouble recruiting the bright ones out of school.

As for ADF recruiting versus Private sector, I generally agree that it's a totally different game. The closest thing is probably mining - working in difficult conditions, working away from home for periods of time (however in their case generally only 10 days at a time), do well at mixing with various types of people. The difference, as stated by FutureTank, is the service time.

IMO that's partially void - most people, in any industry, will be in that industry for their whole life. The difference is they'll work under different people (change employers), can stay in the one city/town for quite a while (maybe forever) - could the defence force do the equivelant?

I'd also be interested to hear how the deal with Manpower works. They'll do recruitment for more than just the ADF, do they get more money if they can convince somebody to get into mining rather than the ADF?
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Old December 18th, 2006   #21
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I cant help but wonder if the two year time table of a fully manned and ready mech brigade will co-incide with another partner ship of the willing in Iran/North Korea or some such place. I feel that we are building up for something other than our own region. I know that we need a bigger and stronger army, and im all for it, but the recent desions lead me to believe that Australia has thown its hat in the ring for a future confict off shore.
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Old December 18th, 2006   #22
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I cant help but wonder if the two year time table of a fully manned and ready mech brigade will co-incide with another partner ship of the willing in Iran/North Korea or some such place. I feel that we are building up for something other than our own region. I know that we need a bigger and stronger army, and im all for it, but the recent desions lead me to believe that Australia has thown its hat in the ring for a future confict off shore.
With a brigade with upgraded M113s (if they are all in service?) and no SP Artillery would not be my choice to go into Iran, North Korea.

Compared to a similar British/American brigade with Warrior/M2 etc I'm not sure that it would make sence to send such a brigade into action as you describe above. My opinion anyway.
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Old December 18th, 2006   #23
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I agree, i cant see the gov sending a brigade...however, a task force attached to a multi national force of say a mech bn, a cav unit and an amoured sqn plus SF all on rotation is not far fetched...and would leave the rest of the Army at home to deal with regional operations...
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Old December 18th, 2006   #24
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I agree, i cant see the gov sending a brigade...however, a task force attached to a multi national force of say a mech bn, a cav unit and an amoured sqn plus SF all on rotation is not far fetched...and would leave the rest of the Army at home to deal with regional operations...
I agree that a task force is the most likely scenario, but I have my doubts around the mech infantry with 13 ton M113s opposed to M2s and Warriors that are approaching the 30 ton mark with 25mm-30mm cannon.

I also wouldn't mind seeing one of the cav regiments go slightly heavier either.
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Old December 18th, 2006   #25
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I agree that a task force is the most likely scenario, but I have my doubts around the mech infantry with 13 ton M113s opposed to M2s and Warriors that are approaching the 30 ton mark with 25mm-30mm cannon.

I also wouldn't mind seeing one of the cav regiments go slightly heavier either.
The upgraded M113's are up to 18 tons WITHOUT the "additional applique" armour kits they are getting. They are deficient in firepower compared to Bradley/Warrior etc but roughly equivalent in most other ways.

The lack of SP guns may be fixed sooner than most think. DMO has sent a detachment to the Netherlands to discuss Afghanistan but also a deal to acquire 18x PZH-2000 guns that are surpluss to Dutch requirements and have been mothballed.

This would allow for 1 Brigade to be outfitted with it's guns immediately AND the School of Artillery, with addtional new builds ordered to equip 7 Brigade when they are manufactured.

It is a realistic proposition that the SPG part of Land 17 will be completely by passed with this decision...

If we were to prepare a force for Korea, it would comprise at least 2 mech inf battalions, a medium artillery regiment, a tank regiment, a cavalry regiment, a combat engineer regiment, combat support regiment, armed recon helicopter sqn, air defence battery, special forces task force and combined RAN/RAAF elements.

It would take some rapid acquisitions and a fair amount of training, to accomplish, most notably the SPG's and a considerable amount of combat engineering equipment, but it COULD be achieved in less than 2 years.
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Old December 18th, 2006   #26
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The upgraded M113's are up to 18 tons WITHOUT the "additional applique" armour kits they are getting. They are deficient in firepower compared to Bradley/Warrior etc but roughly equivalent in most other ways.

The lack of SP guns may be fixed sooner than most think. DMO has sent a detachment to the Netherlands to discuss Afghanistan but also a deal to acquire 18x PZH-2000 guns that are surpluss to Dutch requirements and have been mothballed.

This would allow for 1 Brigade to be outfitted with it's guns immediately AND the School of Artillery, with addtional new builds ordered to equip 7 Brigade when they are manufactured.

It is a realistic proposition that the SPG part of Land 17 will be completely by passed with this decision...

If we were to prepare a force for Korea, it would comprise at least 2 mech inf battalions, a medium artillery regiment, a tank regiment, a cavalry regiment, a combat engineer regiment, combat support regiment, armed recon helicopter sqn, air defence battery, special forces task force and combined RAN/RAAF elements.

It would take some rapid acquisitions and a fair amount of training, to accomplish, most notably the SPG's and a considerable amount of combat engineering equipment, but it COULD be achieved in less than 2 years.
And seems to that it will! It really feels like a build up at the moment,not a panicked build up, but a faster than normal build up. There is an element of urgency.
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Old December 18th, 2006   #27
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The upgraded M113's are up to 18 tons WITHOUT the "additional applique" armour kits they are getting. They are deficient in firepower compared to Bradley/Warrior etc but roughly equivalent in most other ways.

The lack of SP guns may be fixed sooner than most think. DMO has sent a detachment to the Netherlands to discuss Afghanistan but also a deal to acquire 18x PZH-2000 guns that are surpluss to Dutch requirements and have been mothballed.

This would allow for 1 Brigade to be outfitted with it's guns immediately AND the School of Artillery, with addtional new builds ordered to equip 7 Brigade when they are manufactured.

It is a realistic proposition that the SPG part of Land 17 will be completely by passed with this decision...

If we were to prepare a force for Korea, it would comprise at least 2 mech inf battalions, a medium artillery regiment, a tank regiment, a cavalry regiment, a combat engineer regiment, combat support regiment, armed recon helicopter sqn, air defence battery, special forces task force and combined RAN/RAAF elements.

It would take some rapid acquisitions and a fair amount of training, to accomplish, most notably the SPG's and a considerable amount of combat engineering equipment, but it COULD be achieved in less than 2 years.
Call me a sceptic, but I just can't convince myself on the upgraded M113. I try but it just does not seem ‘right’ to me.

Good news if the army gets the PZH-2000, I consider it one of the best SPG out there at the moment and better than anything that the US army operates! Would like to see another 3-4 added to make up for training and spares.

Also I guess it leaves 3 batteries to support 5 units. So a follow-on for another 14 would be a good idea IMO. But I am getting ahead of myself!!

Great news if it goes ahead. And going back to Old Faithful’s comment would seem to be aimed at a more high intensity conflict than would seem warranted fore the immediate region!
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Old December 18th, 2006   #28
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And seems to that it will! It really feels like a build up at the moment,not a panicked build up, but a faster than normal build up. There is an element of urgency.
I agree. Though Army would also probably need to have it's new battlefield communications system in place by then and operational Tiger ARH's, which may be a bit difficult to pull off in 2 years or so.

3 years though???
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Old December 18th, 2006   #29
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Given the 2 x Mech Inf, 1 x M1, and 2 x 'Medium' Cav, there is the capability to keep 2-3 task forces deployed for a year of operations but, past that there is no real depth.

Assuming 18 SPGs, with 59 M1s, they almost need to double that to allow for an extra regiment of armour and artillery to sustain a 50% deployment out to the 12-18 month mark.
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Old December 18th, 2006   #30
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The Australian military will have to increase its training capacity (facilities & man-power) to deal with the influx of young men and women who select to opt for a one year’s commitment. Also, I have a number of searching questions / comments, listed below as follows:

1.How long will the training package be, and will it be restricted to basic infantry skills?

2.Will these individuals be eligible for active service, overseas deployment, or will they be restricted to homeland defense? You could end up attracting personnel away from taking up a regular career, particularly if the ‘one year wonders’ don’t have to serve in difficult and dangerous overseas environments.

3.If after one year you wish to stay on, would you be required to attend additional trade specific training or go back to infantry school to upgrade basic tactics etc.?

4.This smacks of a voluntary national service to me, which traditionally lasted at least two years to ensure the Government got its value for money!
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