Operations

General Vance shares way forward in letter released March 27, 2020

Posting season, among other fundamental procedures of the Canadian Armed Forces, will see significant changes this year as the military continues to adjust to the growing COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is not ‘business as usual’ in most areas and will not be so until the virus subsides and there is a vaccine in place to prevent reemergence. This will take time, disciple and patience,” said Gen. Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff in a letter released on Friday.

Posting Season

“It is our intention to execute as many of the planned postings as responsible and reasonable to do,” said Gen. Vance.

That being said, the CDS stated that this year’s postings will be significantly reduced and must be vetted and approved by L1 Service Chiefs as “operationally essential,” stated Gen. Vance.

Posting season will also be lengthened to Dec. 31, and Change of Strength Dates will be later than normal to adjust to each family’s needs.

Additionally, new OUTCAN postings will most likely be delayed, and those returning from OUTCAN posting will need to be vetted by the VCDS.

More information about posting season will be available in a CANFORGEN in the coming days, said Gen. Vance in his letter.

Domestic Support 

The Canadian military may soon be called upon the support governments at all levels.

“The health of the CAF will be critical in the days and weeks to come as we may be requested to support Federal, Provincial, Territorial and Municipal response to COVID 19 scenarios with specialized and general duty capabilities, and we must carry on with domestic and employed operations,” stated the letter.

As part of Operation LASER, the CAF is currently looking to identify forces required to support the government, including Primary Reserves and Canadian Rangers.

These military members could be called on to support venerable populations, provide logistical and general support to communities.

Additionally, the CDS noted that Op LENTUS, the CAF’s response to domestic emergencies, will go-forward if necessary and maybe coinciding with Operation LASER.

Release 

In light of the current situation, the CDS also noted that it is very likely that those looking to continue their release may face significant disruptions.

Those releasing for medical reasons, however, could potentially remain in the military. The CAF is currently looking at ways to retain these personnel so that their transition is not “jeopardized” under current circumstances until they feel comfortable to release.

Additionally, since there are no new recruits, those wishing to delay their retirement voluntarily will be allowed to and welcomed to continue.

More information about posting season will be available in a CANFORGEN in the coming days, said Gen. Vance in his letter.

Leave Compensation 

“Some of the disruption is just unlucky and there is little we can do about it. Where unlucky becomes unfair is where we will look to try to address any concerns,” stated the CDS regarding the severe disruption to leave many members have seen in the last few weeks.

Compensation could include buy-out, Compensatory Time Off and accumulation, or some combination thereof.

More information about posting season will be available in a CANFORGEN in the coming days, said Gen. Vance in his letter.

Health and well-being 

In his letter, Gen. Vance addressed many of the concerns military members and their families have had in the last few weeks as the CAF saw a dramatic shift in its day-to-day operations. He acknowledged the situation while continuously stressing the importance of staying safe and healthy, at work, and at home.

“I am counting on your self-discipline and your motivation to serve the welfare of Canada, the CAF and your families,” said the CDS.

He concluded the letter encouraging CAF personnel to look out for one another.

“These are unique and stressful times, take care of yourselves and your families, both physically and mentally. Stay in contact with your colleagues and reach out to support one another,” said Gen. Vance.

Above image courtesy of Combat Camera. 

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Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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