The army must adapt better to the army with exceptional family needs: guard dogs


Canadian military guard dogs call on the army to better respond to the army with children with disabilities and other exceptional family situations, and some people choose between their loved ones and their careers. I warn you that you are forced to.

Approximately one in four Canadian troops need to relocate each year due to training and operational needs, but those with special family needs can apply for an exemption.

Compassionate posts and status are intended to provide flexibility to members in special family situations, such as children with disabilities and older parents in need of support.

However, in a new report, military ombudsman Gregory Rick said that the military’s current approach to determining whether the military is eligible for such compassionate posts is a drawback that needs to be addressed. Say it’s full of problems.

They include unclear criteria for who can qualify, lack of transparency in how such a request is approved or rejected, and some troops not to apply in the first place. It even includes putting pressure on.

“Most CAF members and families interviewed believed that family needs were second only to CAF needs,” he reads the report. “Many people reported that they felt disrespected or stigmatized when they requested a compassionate post.”

In an interview, Rick said he was particularly impressed by the stories of military personnel and families about the difficulty of caring for children with disabilities and children with special needs when visiting military bases and wings. rice field.

“They are a very vulnerable community,” he said. “They are on the waiting list so they can get the help of their children, and suddenly they receive a posted message.”

Compassionate posts and status were very beneficial to military members and families who were able to take advantage of them, he added. The problem lies in the gaps and uncertainties that surround them, which leads to non-uniform applications.

Part of the question is the lack of clear criteria, including definitions of what constitutes both “family” and “exceptional personal situations”, and whether to approve the army seeking compassionate posts. Causes confusion in the deciding army.

Also, there is a lack of understanding of how such decisions are made, there are few ways to update or inform, long delays, and even uncertainty about who actually made the decision. was.

“CAF members reported cases where their chain of command was unaware of the steps involved in the process and could not identify the decision-making body,” the report said.

That uncertainty can explain why only about half of all requests from September 2017 to March 2021 were approved, Rick said.

The Ombudsman’s report was issued when the Canadian Army was struggling to recruit and maintain its troops, and despite the troops facing significant demands at home and abroad, thousands of positions are now vacant. I am.

Deputy Chief of Defense Staff Lt.-Gen. Francis Allen last week showed that senior commanders are considering how the military will deal with garrison and relocation to improve the balance between military and family needs.

Rick acknowledged that military leaders need to make sure that members of the army are where they need to be, but better containment of families and families with special needs is long-term. Claimed to be useful in recruiting and maintaining.

“This will show the general public they are trying to hire that this is an organization that better supports its members and their families,” he said. “There may be some short-term pain …. But in the long run, these are what they have to do.”

By Lee Berthiaume

Canadian press