Author Topic: Family first  (Read 1468 times)

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Online stellarpanther

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Family first
« on: July 31, 2020, 08:26:04 »
So , I'd like some peoples opinions on what is meant by family first?  I hear it all the time but not sure how real it is.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2020, 08:45:22 by BeyondTheNow »

Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: Family first
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2020, 08:50:47 »
The CM's might say CAF first but Sr. leadership is constantly saying "family first"  everyone has heard it.  Here's an example of where the CM might be able to look out for the mbr and the CAF.  I had one of the Cpl's in my unit a few weeks ago ask me if I still had any contacts in the CM shop which unfortunately I don't anymore.  She has a friend currently in the Transition Centre for a mental health issue but will be going back to trade soon after making a successful recovery.  The CM wants to send this person to Petawawa.  The mbr is convinced it will destroy his family because of family needs.  So this guy busts his *** getting himself better when others would probably get the easy medical release and for everything he's gone through they want to send him to Petawawa, a place that might just cause him to relapse.  It's like a runner with a broken leg having his coach say as soon as you get that cast off, you have a marathon to run.  It isn't right but that's just my opinion. In my mind, people like that who fight an illness and want to save their career should get their choice of available postings.  That's what I mean when I say they could do more.  There are a lot of shortages in Pet, but there are shortages all across the country.

Isn't it 'people first, mission always'? 

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Family first
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2020, 09:37:17 »
So , I'd like some peoples opinions on what is meant by family first?  I hear it all the time but not sure how real it is.

I find that it's a useful policy when crossing crevasses :)
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Offline dapaterson

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Re: Family first
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2020, 09:59:00 »
To me, "family first" means understanding that there may be times in an individual's career that they will be unavailable for military duty due to their family situation and that the CAF will attempt to accommodate that situation.

If "some times" becomes "all the time", however, there needs to be some long, hard discussion and consideration on both sides as to whether that situation can be accommodated within the CAF on an ongoing basis.

CAF pay (before allowances) skews to the right hand side of Canadian incomes; that is because elements such as availability, overtime, and deployabiltiy are built into the pay model.  Once you can't be posted, deployed, work late when needed or cover for your boss, why would we pay that premium for military pay?


(For reference re Canadian income distribution: Canada: total income distribution, by income level 2017)
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Re: Family first
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2020, 10:22:54 »
Dinosaurs would say "if the CAF wanted you to have a family, they would've issued you one".

As EITS pointed out, the mantra is "People First - Mission Always" and given the unique conditions and terms of CAF service this must be the way.

Military familles are generally unusually resourceful and resilient. Sure, everyone has a bad day; sick kids, broken water pipe, spouse's car won't start, elderly mom is in the hospital and no one to look after dad. That's the normal potholes in life.  But when a member's life looks like a long country road in springtime, that member has to sort themselves out using the available resources inside and outside the CAF or risk becoming an administrative burden. And, from my days on the NCM side, I know that 5% of your troops consume 95% of your efforts.

"My Mission, My Troops and Me" is how a CAF member's priorities should be.  Family should be an enabler, not an obstacle to that.
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Offline dapaterson

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Re: Family first
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2020, 10:28:02 »
And, from my days on the NCM side, I know that 5% of your troops consume 95% of your efforts.

Admit it.  You were a fiver-percenter...
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Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: Family first
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2020, 11:34:35 »
Quote from: dapaterson

If "some times" becomes "all the time", however, there needs to be some long, hard discussion and consideration on both sides as to whether that situation can be accommodated within the CAF on an ongoing basis.

CAF pay (before allowances) skews to the right hand side of Canadian incomes; that is because elements such as availability, overtime, and deployabiltiy are built into the pay model.  Once you can't be posted, deployed, work late when needed or cover for your boss, why would we pay that premium for military pay?

I think you hit the nail on the head with this.

We've repeated family first so much and left out this vital component that when (some) members have to do anything that inconveniences their family it comes out "what about family first huh".

Missing your 3rd or 4th "deployment" to Wainwright because of child care issues (but you're collecting an extra $700 a month LDA on top $65K a year) doesn't fall within the realm of "but family first" IMO.
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Offline Haggis

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Re: Family first
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2020, 11:37:57 »
Admit it.  You were a fiver-percenter...

Yes, for a very brief period, I was.  A close call with the CSD quickly sorted me out.

But isn't every respectable CWO a five percenter for at least a brief period of their career?  ;D
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Re: Family first
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2020, 12:13:22 »
This posting made in accordance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, section 2(b):
Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication
http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/charter/1.html

Offline PPCLI Guy

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Re: Family first
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2020, 12:16:42 »
So , I'd like some peoples opinions on what is meant by family first?  I hear it all the time but not sure how real it is.

I have never, and will never, say Family First.

The output of "the Journey" is not supposed to be a fully self-actualised service member with a raft of benefits and a perfectly functioning and idyllic family life.

The output of the Journey is supposed to be resilient members whose families are supported while the members win the nations's battles.

Let's remember what we signed up for, and what we get paid to do....and not lose sight of the fact that the average Canadian Salary is 55K a year, and all but Ptes get paid more than that.
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Re: Family first
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2020, 13:05:31 »
Let's remember what we signed up for, and what we get paid to do....

"I joined to serve, not to be served."

CWO (retd) Gino Moretti
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Re: Family first
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2020, 14:35:23 »
I do have to admit that when I hear “family first” part of me reflexively thinks that it is code that means “the crappy jobs go to the single guys”. Two specific unofficial policies I’ve seen (in the same unit) were that single parents didn’t do shift work and that married people didn’t get the duty cell phone over the weekend. So “family first” does sometimes make me roll my eyes that the expectation is that there will always someone without family issues to pick up the slack, even though we’re all getting paid to do the same job.

That being said, I’m not entirely without compassion, and realize that we have to be flexible if we want to become an employer of choice. But unit leadership have to strike a balance between accommodating the needs of families and ensuring that everyone is carrying their share of the work.

Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: Family first
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2020, 14:57:01 »
I do have to admit that when I hear “family first” part of me reflexively thinks that it is code that means “the crappy jobs go to the single guys”. Two specific unofficial policies I’ve seen (in the same unit) were that single parents didn’t do shift work and that married people didn’t get the duty cell phone over the weekend. So “family first” does sometimes make me roll my eyes that the expectation is that there will always someone without family issues to pick up the slack, even though we’re all getting paid to do the same job.

That being said, I’m not entirely without compassion, and realize that we have to be flexible if we want to become an employer of choice. But unit leadership have to strike a balance between accommodating the needs of families and ensuring that everyone is carrying their share of the work.

Sounds like Meafords unwritten policy a few years ago where posted members didn't usually do week-end duties over the summer.
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Offline Old Sweat

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Re: Family first
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2020, 15:38:05 »
I do have to admit that when I hear “family first” part of me reflexively thinks that it is code that means “the crappy jobs go to the single guys”. Two specific unofficial policies I’ve seen (in the same unit) were that single parents didn’t do shift work and that married people didn’t get the duty cell phone over the weekend. So “family first” does sometimes make me roll my eyes that the expectation is that there will always someone without family issues to pick up the slack, even though we’re all getting paid to do the same job.

That being said, I’m not entirely without compassion, and realize that we have to be flexible if we want to become an employer of choice. But unit leadership have to strike a balance between accommodating the needs of families and ensuring that everyone is carrying their share of the work.

Another reason I don't miss the old army was the plan announced at a 1 RCHA officers' mess meeting in Gagetown circa 1964 that involved a family luncheon on Sundays after church. The plan was that the married officers would bring their wives and kids to the mess for lunch. To give the parents a break, the single officers would baby sit the kids, while the moms and dads enjoyed a nice luncheon, My comments to the assembled officers about not going to ride herd on unwashed urchins did little to put me in the running for subaltern of the year.
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Offline Hamish Seggie

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Re: Family first
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2020, 16:03:27 »
I've had time now to look back on my career and I think my wife should have received the CD or something equivalent. It was her who was left back taking care of kids and a house and her own job.

BUT - Niner Domestic may not have liked my deployments etc but she always supported them.
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Re: Family first
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2020, 16:34:03 »
I do have to admit that when I hear “family first” part of me reflexively thinks that it is code that means “the crappy jobs go to the single guys”. Two specific unofficial policies I’ve seen (in the same unit) were that single parents didn’t do shift work and that married people didn’t get the duty cell phone over the weekend. So “family first” does sometimes make me roll my eyes that the expectation is that there will always someone without family issues to pick up the slack, even though we’re all getting paid to do the same job.

That being said, I’m not entirely without compassion, and realize that we have to be flexible if we want to become an employer of choice. But unit leadership have to strike a balance between accommodating the needs of families and ensuring that everyone is carrying their share of the work.

When I was married and lived in Qs in Edmonton, I was one of the first on the list for weekend dog and pony shows involving the armoured engineer equipment or any other thing of that nature. Reason given was that I lived closer and didn't have to drive "all the way in" from Morinville (MQ patch North). I didn't mind nearly as much as she who's name we dare not speak did, as it also got me on some pretty jammy goes, too.
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Re: Family first
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2020, 16:47:47 »
I joined the CAF purposefully, by choice. Though I had many other opportunities for employment, as sappy as it may be interpreted, I chose to serve my country. As the old recruiting slogan stated, "IT'S NOT A JOB, IT'S AN ADVENTURE". I have no regrets.

It takes an extremely special and solid relationship to endure the demanding commitments of military life. It's not for everyone. And yes Mr. Seggie, our spouses are heroes.

To all who are presently serving, BRAVO ZULU!! :cdn:

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Offline Hamish Seggie

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Re: Family first
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2020, 18:47:04 »
The CAF shouldn't take the back seat but they could spend a little extra time trying to find something that works for both the mbr and CAF's needs.  If both sides can be happy should that be the goal?
There's a ton of undesirable postings and someone has to fill them.  Believe me - the CAF will do its utmost to attempt to make things work HOWEVER the mission comes first.
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Re: Family first
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2020, 21:11:24 »
Not that long ago (~10years), the US Navy managed to achieve something you wouldn't expect: the best daycare and family care programs in the world, full stop.  Things have slid backwards quite a bit in the past 6-8 years, but this does establish that a very large military organization can do the right thing for its members by providing quality family support at all times and not just deployments.

However, and take this as a bit of a lesson learned, like all things it costs money and there was a strong push to dilute some of the best benefits (example- care for special needs children)  and then open the program up to other federal government DoD positions. So much so, that by 2020 the Navy families had in some cases been pushed out of their own spaces.  Recently, Esper (SecDef) stepped in to re-prioritize military families to be "first" in a care system that had been taken over by non-military members. Whether he will also restore the program to its previous levels of excellence is TBD. 
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Re: Family first
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2020, 00:35:18 »
I do have to admit that when I hear “family first” part of me reflexively thinks that it is code that means “the crappy jobs go to the single guys”. Two specific unofficial policies I’ve seen (in the same unit) were that single parents didn’t do shift work and that married people didn’t get the duty cell phone over the weekend. So “family first” does sometimes make me roll my eyes that the expectation is that there will always someone without family issues to pick up the slack, even though we’re all getting paid to do the same job.

That being said, I’m not entirely without compassion, and realize that we have to be flexible if we want to become an employer of choice. But unit leadership have to strike a balance between accommodating the needs of families and ensuring that everyone is carrying their share of the work.

In my experience means that's exactly what it means. I spent my time on the West coast sailing in the place of others because they had "family issues", I have been posted because I didn't have a "good" reason to stay where I was, and I have had every BS excuse shoved down my throat to explain it.

So based on this treatment, I'm considering getting out when my 20 hits. I don't hate the CAF, I love my job, but I'm tired of picking up the slack for the "green welfare" types.

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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Family first
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2020, 11:03:18 »
"I joined to serve, not to be served."

CWO (retd) Gino Moretti
Former CA SM

Awesome.

I think there’s a Roman Army quote that goes something like ‘All we ask is to serve.’

In many ways we have probably oversold the ‘personal‘ at the cost of the ‘collective’.

That’s why I derive inspiration from the 20 year olds in the rifle sections: all they want to do is kick a$$. There’s a first class ‘reverse mentoring’ program in there somewhere :)
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Offline Brihard

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Re: Family first
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2020, 11:40:09 »
Not that long ago (~10years), the US Navy managed to achieve something you wouldn't expect: the best daycare and family care programs in the world, full stop.  Things have slid backwards quite a bit in the past 6-8 years, but this does establish that a very large military organization can do the right thing for its members by providing quality family support at all times and not just deployments.

However, and take this as a bit of a lesson learned, like all things it costs money and there was a strong push to dilute some of the best benefits (example- care for special needs children)  and then open the program up to other federal government DoD positions. So much so, that by 2020 the Navy families had in some cases been pushed out of their own spaces.  Recently, Esper (SecDef) stepped in to re-prioritize military families to be "first" in a care system that had been taken over by non-military members. Whether he will also restore the program to its previous levels of excellence is TBD.

That’s an interesting approach. Take it a step further- tie eligibility closely to deployability, however you wish to define that. There would be plenty of nuts and bolts to get into, but if family care were treated as a supporting capability to readiness, there could be interesting benefits. It would certainly remove some excuses.
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Re: Family first
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2020, 13:45:09 »
That’s an interesting approach. Take it a step further- tie eligibility closely to deployability, however you wish to define that. There would be plenty of nuts and bolts to get into, but if family care were treated as a supporting capability to readiness, there could be interesting benefits. It would certainly remove some excuses.

So, DAG red, no daycare for you, one year?
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Re: Family first
« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2020, 14:19:11 »
That’s an interesting approach. Take it a step further- tie eligibility closely to deployability, however you wish to define that. There would be plenty of nuts and bolts to get into, but if family care were treated as a supporting capability to readiness, there could be interesting benefits. It would certainly remove some excuses.

I'm not sure this would be the best approach. There's lots of bone-fide reasons to DAG red.
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Re: Family first
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2020, 14:45:57 »
That’s an interesting approach. Take it a step further- tie eligibility closely to deployability, however you wish to define that. There would be plenty of nuts and bolts to get into, but if family care were treated as a supporting capability to readiness, there could be interesting benefits. It would certainly remove some excuses.


So, DAG red, no daycare for you, one year?

Equating "DAG" to deploying, then daycare could be the least of a single parent's (or a service couple deploying at the same time) worries.  At that time the struggle is not about finding somewhere to put the rugrat during working hours but to find someone who will completely take over  parenting duties.
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