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Change of VCDS, with messages to government and to CAF

McG

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The change of VCDS came with some good messages to our political leadership (from the outgoing) and to those CAF leaders who would be wasteful of organizational resources (from in coming).

Give military the tools and 'get out of the way,' senior officer rails in last speech
Lee Berthiaume , The Canadian Press
05 Aug 2016

OTTAWA -- One of Canada's top soldiers used his last speech in uniform Friday to rail against an excessive amount of oversight and outside interference in how the military manages its own affairs.
Minutes before he stepped down as vice chief of defence staff, Lt.-Gen. Guy Thibault told his audience that if anything needs to improve, it's the direction coming from the military's political masters.

"If I were king for a day, rather than providing more oversight and controls over National Defence, I'd simply give us clear direction as to the outcomes we're looking for, with predictable and sustained funding, and then I'd get out of the way and watch," Thibault said.
"And you would be amazed."
Thibault's sharp tone, coming from a man who has served as the military's second-highest ranking officer for the past three years, was especially notable at a time when trust in National Defence has reached new lows in parts of Ottawa.

Much of the damage was caused by the military's handling of the F-35 stealth fighter project, which became a political nightmare for the previous Conservative government and is threatening to do the same for the Liberals.

But there are other issues, such as concerns about the national shipbuilding program and former prime minister Stephen Harper's insistence while in office that the military find a way to have "more teeth and less tail."

Several independent panels, along with other third-party reviews such as those done by the parliamentary budget office, were established to double-check the military's work, particularly on budgetary issues and procurement.

Other departments have also taken a more active role in traditionally military files, most notably Public Services and Procurement Canada.
Shortly after Thibault's remarks, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman -- his successor in the role of vice chief of defence staff --delivered a clear warning of his own: he plans to run an especially tight ship.

Three years ago, National Defence launched an effort to find about $1.2 billion in waste that could be redirected back into the military. Progress has been slow, however, which likely contributed to the previous Conservative government's frustrations.
Norman made it clear Friday he plans to press on with it, full speed ahead.

"I give you fair warning: You will receive no quarter with me," he said. "I intend to root out unnecessary and non-value added bureaucracy and process inside our own lines here at National Defence."

The department and military could be more effective and efficient in some ways, Thibault acknowledged.

"But I completely reject the notion that we in the defence team are not and have not been good stewards of the resources we were allocated to accomplish the tasks given to us by the government."
http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/give-military-the-tools-and-get-out-of-the-way-senior-officer-rails-in-last-speech-1.3017195
 

Rifleman62

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"I give you fair warning: You will receive no quarter with me," he said. "I intend to root out unnecessary and non-value added bureaucracy and process inside our own lines here at National Defence."

Sure.
 

PuckChaser

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Shame Gen Thibaut is retiring, fantastic officer.
 

Halifax Tar

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PuckChaser said:
Shame Gen Thibaut is retiring, fantastic officer.

Removed. If I don't have anything nice to say I shouldn't say anything at all.
 

Edward Campbell

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Popularity does not equate to competence. LGen Thibault was not always popular but he was, much more often than not, on the "right" side of issues. The fact that he is a genuine "nice guy" helps, but it's not a critical factor in his success.
 

Halifax Tar

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E.R. Campbell said:
Popularity does not equate to competence. LGen Thibault was not always popular but he was, much more often than not, on the "right" side of issues. The fact that he is a genuine "nice guy" helps, but it's not a critical factor in his success.

Fair enough.  Having sailed with him when he was CO of St. John's and experiencing his command of the RCN I guess I may be standing a little close to the fire. 

The age old saying comes to mind though, "you get more with sugar than you do with vinegar" ...

 

PuckChaser

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Halifax Tar said:
Fair enough.  Having sailed with him when he was CO of St. John's and experiencing his command of the RCN I guess I may be standing a little close to the fire. 

The age old saying comes to mind though, "you get more with sugar than you do with vinegar" ...
LGen Thibault was an Army Signals Officer, do you have the same guy, or did he lead a double life?
 

PuckChaser

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Gotcha, you removed the original post and I got confused there for a second. Definitely need coffee.
 

Edward Campbell

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daftandbarmy said:
Now we just need some serving Officers to do the same thing.

No, we need the government to think about what Guy Thibault said ... about clear direction and stable funding. It is the civilian government's responsibility and right to manage the nation's defences ... soldiers do what they can with what they're given, and they do it silently ... until the day they retire.
 

FSTO

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E.R. Campbell said:
No, we need the government to think about what Guy Thibault said ... about clear direction and stable funding. It is the civilian government's responsibility and right to manage the nation's defences ... soldiers do what they can with what they're given, and they do it silently ... until the day they retire.

Totally agree. Without clear direction from the government we get all sorts of "special projects" coming up from the bottom. The most dangerous officer is a bored officer and we seem to have a bunch of them right now.

Now I hope and pray that after this round of consultations there will be a clear white paper on defence that all parties in the HoC can agree upon and we in the military can get on with the job of equipping, training and employing our Navy, Army and Airforce in roles that make sense for a country our size.

Not holding my breath though.
 

Jarnhamar

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daftandbarmy said:
Now we just need some serving Officers to do the same thing.

I was thinking along the same lines.
It would be nice if this speech was given on the way in instead of on the way out.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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Unfortunately:

A speech like that given by a general or flag officer on the way in, would ensure that he/she finds himself/herself extremely quickly on the way out.

 
J

jollyjacktar

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Honestly though, do our political masters even pay more than scant attention to exit speeches like this, nevermind act upon them?
 

Eye In The Sky

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FSTO said:
Now I hope and pray that after this round of consultations there will be a clear white paper on defence that all parties in the HoC can agree upon and...

People+Laughing.jpg
 

FSTO

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Oldgateboatdriver said:
Unfortunately:

A speech like that given by a general or flag officer on the way in, would ensure that he/she finds himself/herself extremely quickly on the way out.

It would be quite impressive for a new CDS or VCDS to say this in their assumption of command speech with the full knowledge that they could have the shortest tour in that slot ever. But I would assume that there would be a day or two of noise on the news cycle (at best) while the government finds someone more than willing to follow direction to get that position. Just like the General/Flag Officers revolt over unification, the Liberals were able to find someone who would do the job they wanted them to do.
 
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