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FORCE 2025: Informing the Army’s future structure

CBH99

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The Army robs O&M from bases, creating inferior quality of life to the other base operators, in order to run useless collective training events, wasting millions to bring vehicles to Wainwright, declaring units "ready", then posting out the leadership.

A single authority for bases would ensure common standards, appropriate facilities (not what petty empires want, but what they need), support services etc etc
I’ve enjoyed all of the suggestions in the last page or so, even if sometimes (as an observer to this thread) - one can see the minor details that things are getting snagged on.

Curious - it is mentioned above that the Army robs bases of O&M, creating inferior quality of life for the other base operators.


Genuinely curious what is meant by that?
 

KevinB

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I’ve enjoyed all of the suggestions in the last page or so, even if sometimes (as an observer to this thread) - one can see the minor details that things are getting snagged on.

Curious - it is mentioned above that the Army robs bases of O&M, creating inferior quality of life for the other base operators.


Genuinely curious what is meant by that?
O&M is Operations and Maintenance $'s. (General just internal operations - to keep the wheels turning as it where)
Beans, Bullets etc - and ensuring that the base doesn't crumble.

I suspect that DAP means that the supported Army units draw deeper into it - and so the Base itself cannot really support itself.
 

Kirkhill

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AUSA Presentation
BRIG. PAUL TENNANT, BRITISH ARMY
Thursday, June 24, 2021


1630884426396.png
British soldier
British soldiers
British soldiers and UAV


Apache helicopter
Night live-fire training
A prototype Boxer infantry fighting vehicle is put through its paces



Modernization parallels
 

MilEME09

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Given the massive infrastructure deficit we have, I agree. A central authority controlling bases and infrastructure would ensure needs a met where they are needed most. We also need aa part of economic recovery a infrastructure boost of a few billion as a one time injection
 

FJAG

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AUSA Presentation
BRIG. PAUL TENNANT, BRITISH ARMY
Thursday, June 24, 2021


View attachment 66341
Not to be too picky but an Army of 72,500 is 0.11% of the population of the UK (roughly 66million) and not 1.1%. Same issue re the US Army ratio. Tennant is obviously neither a gunner nor an engineer - Ah! He's an aviator. 😁

I've been waiting for this network centric army ever since someone stuffed 500 pounds of Brit Field Artillery Computer Equipment (FACE) and a ring line adapter into my M577 CP back in 1972. Any sign of it yet?

😁
 

ballz

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All I'll say is there is plenty of money for both Army units and the bases that support them, it is simply managed poorly (to be generous). Not a big surprise when your stance on managing money is that Commanders don't need to know anything about money because they'll always be supported by "experts," and then the experts we provide them don't even understand what a general ledger is, let alone how to manage a $2 billion budget.

The CAF's Deputy CFO [highest-ranking uniformed finance officer.... the CFO is ADM(Fin)] literally can't retire right now because there is a legal requirement from Treasury Board that for a department of a certain size, that the Deputy CFO be a designated accountant, and there are no Colonels in waiting that have one... they're literally trying to get the requirement relaxed to what is essentially just an accounting diploma (i.e. the first two years of a business degree). The knock-on effect is that if the current D.CFO retires then the DND will have no choice but to fill it with a civilian CPA, and of course once it's filled by a civilian it's going to stay civilian.

A few years ago the Army Compt, the "expert" advising the CCA, was a Transport Officer.
 

daftandbarmy

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All I'll say is there is plenty of money for both Army units and the bases that support them, it is simply managed poorly (to be generous). Not a big surprise when your stance on managing money is that Commanders don't need to know anything about money because they'll always be supported by "experts," and then the experts we provide them don't even understand what a general ledger is, let alone how to manage a $2 billion budget.

The CAF's Deputy CFO [highest-ranking uniformed finance officer.... the CFO is ADM(Fin)] literally can't retire right now because there is a legal requirement from Treasury Board that for a department of a certain size, that the Deputy CFO be a designated accountant, and there are no Colonels in waiting that have one... they're literally trying to get the requirement relaxed to what is essentially just an accounting diploma (i.e. the first two years of a business degree). The knock-on effect is that if the current D.CFO retires then the DND will have no choice but to fill it with a civilian CPA, and of course once it's filled by a civilian it's going to stay civilian.

A few years ago the Army Compt, the "expert" advising the CCA, was a Transport Officer.

One of my former Pl Comds is an accountant, quite highly regarded apparently, and worked for the BC Ministry of Health. He's since been promoted and moved on to another ministry.

If only we could leverage the talents lurking in the reserve world, eh? :)
 

dapaterson

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No need for DND to have any military finance officers above the rank of Major (for deployed ops), except that the generals want one of their own up close.

Civilianizing the hard finance portfolio within DND would be a positive first step in professionalization.
 

ballz

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No need for DND to have any military finance officers above the rank of Major (for deployed ops), except that the generals want one of their own up close.

Civilianizing the hard finance portfolio within DND would be a positive first step in professionalization.

I'm on the fence, I'm not in total disagreement, or agreement, I have grappled with what the fix is for a while.... a born and bred finance officer is almost as out-to-lunch when it comes to "how things work in the Army" as a civilian, so at least if the civilian is a designated accountant they get one major aspect of the job

That said, there's no requirement for a CPA unless you're what, an FI-04 I believe? Most of our civilian finance positions are filled by people no more qualified... if you have a degree, you can be an FI-02 for sure, not sure about FI-03... FI-02 is the highest level of civilian finance position we have in 3 Div... of course, filled by former Majors because heaven forbid we bring in some outside perspective.

It's funny you chose the rank of Major... all of the Div Comptrollers are Majors and the Base Comptrollers are usually Majors. They can do an awful lot of damage at that rank, completely unchecked, before their inevitable promotion no matter how bad they've f'd things up.

A CPA in Edmonton can easily start at $150k as a financial controller (comptroller, different word, same meaning) in industry and eventually top out between $200k-250k once they're experienced in that role. An FI-04 tops out at $134k after 7 years. So if we're going to attract the proper quality of professional into the Div Compt and Base Compt roles to do the actual job properly, we'd probably need to replace the Major and make it an EX-02 position.... extrapolate that across the CAF, its a hard sell because the decision-makers thing everything is working relatively fine.... they don't know what they don't know.

We're quite simply trying to get blood from a stone.

If only we could leverage the talents lurking in the reserve world, eh? :)

Good luck.... the problem with telling people they are an expert is they start to believe it. If an audit partner from KPMG told them how an accounts payable cycle is supposed to work they'd say "oh no, that's not how we do things." They've got experience, didn't you know?


Anywho, I guess my point was, you can restructure who controls what when it comes to bases, it isn't going to fix anything. Money makes the world go round especially when it comes to institutional support and so if you can't control/understand the money, you can't really fix the problems.
 

KevinB

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No need for DND to have any military finance officers above the rank of Major (for deployed ops), except that the generals want one of their own up close.

Civilianizing the hard finance portfolio within DND would be a positive first step in professionalization.
As long as people don't start trying to show a profit by selling their items to other parts of the Mil.
You get range costs of 5k plus a day that way (cost of a days range time at NSWC Crane).
Or an arsenal building items (like a M4/M16 Front sight post) and selling it back to the system at a massive mark-up.
 

Weinie

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As long as people don't start trying to show a profit by selling their items to other parts of the Mil.
You get range costs of 5k plus a day that way (cost of a days range time at NSWC Crane).
Or an arsenal building items (like a M4/M16 Front sight post) and selling it back to the system at a massive mark-up.
I never understood that angle for the US military, but experienced it several times.
 

ballz

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As long as people don't start trying to show a profit by selling their items to other parts of the Mil.
You get range costs of 5k plus a day that way (cost of a days range time at NSWC Crane).
Or an arsenal building items (like a M4/M16 Front sight post) and selling it back to the system at a massive mark-up.

I can't speak to the specific example being used above, but "transfer pricing," which is when different divisions of the same corporation, or sometimes subsidiary corps that all belong to the same parent corp, is a big issue in proper managerial accounting that the DND is also oblivious to.

Transfer pricing affects decision-making and improper transfer pricing leads to bad decisions.

Let's take for example, quarters which each base just decides whatever it wants to charge. We have good quarters like the French Grey Inn or Yukon Lodge almost completely vacant, meanwhile shoving a soldier on a 4 or 5 month task into a run-down 4-bed room with new roommates coming in and out as required (since they only look at it as bed spaces) simply because the Base decides to charge $65/night for the French Grey Inn / Yukon Lodge type facilities and $15/night for the communal living spaces. Therefore, schools who don't care about the soldier and only their operating budget go with the cheaper option. Meanwhile we're wondering why we have retention problems. The incremental cost of using the better room is zero.

At one point 3 CDTC was able to get a better deal at a motel, and so here the DND was bleeding out cash to the private sector meanwhile having empty rooms in the Yukon Lodge that had no incremental costs if they were filled.

And then even better, since revenue from quarters and costs of using quarters are built into financial plans, any time plans change (and usually no one base-side knows about it) it has a huge knock-on effect... suddenly the Base is reporting huge financial pressures since they did not get the expected revenue, meanwhile the units that didn't spend that money are spending it all on March madness items.

The fluctuations in financial reporting are magnified to the degree that the room costs... it was 50% the cost, the fluctuation would be 50% less, and more of the money would be in the right hands from the start.

I mean, if we had proper comptrollership, the Div Comptrollers would get a grip on this.... but just go ask a finance officer what "transfer pricing" is and take note of the confused look on their face.
 
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dapaterson

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... Reg F pay as a hidden cost that's utterly ignored enters the discussion ...
 

dapaterson

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There's over $6B annually in Regular Force pay and allowances that is centrally held (for valid reasons), but is also centrally attributed, instead of being charged to local, organizational cost centres. The latter would permit better review and analysis; the former is "how we did it under the old, pre-1997 finance system, so why change".

But Reg F labour being perceived as "free" creates negative behaviours: for example, suppose you're an ACSO in BC who needs to recertify on a trainer that's in NS. Your fearless clerks in the orderly room may well "save" $50 in airfare by giving you a 14 hour flight plan (commercial), where the additional $50 would have reduced that flight time to 7 hours. The "saved" seven hours are invisible, so the clerk will be commended for making you travel YYJ - YVR - YYC - YWG - YUL - YFC - YHZ and saving $50 over letting you fly YYJ - YVR - YYZ - YHZ (and not lose your luggage).
 

daftandbarmy

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There's over $6B annually in Regular Force pay and allowances that is centrally held (for valid reasons), but is also centrally attributed, instead of being charged to local, organizational cost centres. The latter would permit better review and analysis; the former is "how we did it under the old, pre-1997 finance system, so why change".

But Reg F labour being perceived as "free" creates negative behaviours: for example, suppose you're an ACSO in BC who needs to recertify on a trainer that's in NS. Your fearless clerks in the orderly room may well "save" $50 in airfare by giving you a 14 hour flight plan (commercial), where the additional $50 would have reduced that flight time to 7 hours. The "saved" seven hours are invisible, so the clerk will be commended for making you travel YYJ - YVR - YYC - YWG - YUL - YFC - YHZ and saving $50 over letting you fly YYJ - YVR - YYZ - YHZ (and not lose your luggage).

Which is why we should go with a time based system, like other professions, of course :)
 

Kirkhill

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I'm on the fence, I'm not in total disagreement, or agreement, I have grappled with what the fix is for a while.... a born and bred finance officer is almost as out-to-lunch when it comes to "how things work in the Army" as a civilian, so at least if the civilian is a designated accountant they get one major aspect of the job

That said, there's no requirement for a CPA unless you're what, an FI-04 I believe? Most of our civilian finance positions are filled by people no more qualified... if you have a degree, you can be an FI-02 for sure, not sure about FI-03... FI-02 is the highest level of civilian finance position we have in 3 Div... of course, filled by former Majors because heaven forbid we bring in some outside perspective.

It's funny you chose the rank of Major... all of the Div Comptrollers are Majors and the Base Comptrollers are usually Majors. They can do an awful lot of damage at that rank, completely unchecked, before their inevitable promotion no matter how bad they've f'd things up.

A CPA in Edmonton can easily start at $150k as a financial controller (comptroller, different word, same meaning) in industry and eventually top out between $200k-250k once they're experienced in that role. An FI-04 tops out at $134k after 7 years. So if we're going to attract the proper quality of professional into the Div Compt and Base Compt roles to do the actual job properly, we'd probably need to replace the Major and make it an EX-02 position.... extrapolate that across the CAF, its a hard sell because the decision-makers thing everything is working relatively fine.... they don't know what they don't know.

We're quite simply trying to get blood from a stone.



Good luck.... the problem with telling people they are an expert is they start to believe it. If an audit partner from KPMG told them how an accounts payable cycle is supposed to work they'd say "oh no, that's not how we do things." They've got experience, didn't you know?


Anywho, I guess my point was, you can restructure who controls what when it comes to bases, it isn't going to fix anything. Money makes the world go round especially when it comes to institutional support and so if you can't control/understand the money, you can't really fix the problems.

Just as a point: Samuel Pepys was a civilian. As was the entire Commissariat.

senior officer of the Commissariat (a department of HM Treasury responsible for the procurement and issue of various stores and victuals to the army and the provision of transport). The Commissariat officers were uniformed civilians, appointed by the Treasury but issued with letters of commission by the War Office;[2] they were given rank as follows:

The department was overseen by a Commissary-in-Chief from 1809-1816, and by a Commissary General in Chief from 1858 to 1869.

Between 1793 and 1859 Assistant Commissary, Commissary and (from 1810) Chief Commissary were (civilian) ranks in the Field Train Department of the Board of Ordnance (the field force element of the Ordnance storekeeping system).[3]
 

MJP

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There's over $6B annually in Regular Force pay and allowances that is centrally held (for valid reasons), but is also centrally attributed, instead of being charged to local, organizational cost centres. The latter would permit better review and analysis; the former is "how we did it under the old, pre-1997 finance system, so why change".
It is a good example. Lots of centralized costs on the institutional support side that are not attributed well that led to poor decisions because the decision maker(s) often don't deal with the downstream or upstream costs because we don't use a transfer pricing model
 

ballz

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Your fearless clerks in the orderly room may well "save" $50 in airfare by giving you a 14 hour flight plan (commercial), where the additional $50 would have reduced that flight time to 7 hours. The "saved" seven hours are invisible, so the clerk will be commended for making you travel YYJ - YVR - YYC - YWG - YUL - YFC - YHZ and saving $50 over letting you fly YYJ - YVR - YYZ - YHZ (and not lose your luggage).

To be fair, that is management's fault for abrogating their responsibilities to clerks. It is the approving authority that is supposed to determine your method of travel and itinerary, balancing out these factors. The non-clerk management have determined they are "too busy" to do their jobs and have handed it off to a clerk and blindly follow whatever they say. And most people claim they are too incompetent to do their own ITA up / book their own travel, they need a clerk to babysit them.

A proper comptroller function would also help sort this out. For example, if Brigades had a proper finance platoon, with the G8 in command of it (which is actually in our CSS doctrine), no way in hell would FSAs be wasting time doing people's personal admin (i.e. booking travel, leave passes, etc.) for them.... just like in the private sector where the accountants don't do your personal admin. Instead we've got 3x FSAs in a unit and it's a complete mess and a travesty how they are employed.

We have the shitty management we deserve.
 
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