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New Dress Regs 🤣

Navy_Pete

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That would depend on what the tradition is. Some traditions are good. The Troops Christmas Dinner being but one.

Should we abandon that and many other good traditions in order to satisfy the woke?

A lot of things became tradition started for a good reason. Polishing boots? Keeps them from falling apart in the mud, good idea Napolean!

Short hair/shaving and other general cleanliness? Keeps off lice and other disesases from living in close quarters, good idea Romans!

Everyone on the same side has some kind of identifying uniform so they don't stab their winger by accident, and so they can fight in formation with the same equipment? Good idea too.

Sometimes the practical reasons for doing things no longer apply, or there is a different context, so tradition is a generally a stupid reason to keep doing things just because. In most cases you can just adopt it to the new context, and maybe have a better solution (like a dedicated boot paste that is much better at protecting your boots, because it's not just designed to be shiny).

I think there are lots of good traditions (like the Xmas dinner) which, if done right, can be great to build morale, unit cohesion etc, but if folks are just going thru the motions to do a thing because it's tradition, that's arguably worse. The ones on ships are still a lot of fun with the officers doing all the serving and cleaning up (with the cooks supervising) but even those have shifted a fair bit as they used to be big booze ups. Doesn't translate to doing it ashore though, and personally prefer a smaller potluck with the section, vice a big giant catered meal.
 

RangerRay

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Parliaments, common law, partial eradication of slavery...the horror. Yes, I know there were some bad things in the mix. But it won't do to only add up one side of a ledger.

After seeing how French, Spanish, Belgian, German, American etc. colonialism treated indigenous populations, British colonialism looks downright enlightened. Not to excuse any of the racism of the time and other bad bits, but it could have been much worse.
 

btrudy

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The problem with the "good times" was there was always a risk of someone getting drunk and doing something stupid. Usually it wasn't too serious, but it was guaranteed at every event.

Over the last 20ish years the CAF has started cracking down more and more on alcohol abuse/use, and has become more risk adverse when it comes to media headlines. That has meant that bosses don't want to risk their careers by letting their pers have "too much" fun, and at the same time pers in general have become more worried about throwing away their own careers after a few drinks. The end result is, people don't want to socialize too much at work events, because there is too much potential cost to a slip of the tongue, or a drunken argument.

Barring a shooting war, I don't see any of that changing for the better anytime soon.

I think it is really really important here to emphasize just how many of those "getting drunk and doing something stupid" events resulted in sexual assault or misconduct.

Go have a look through the court martial decisions database. I'd ballpark a good 80-90% of the sexual assault ones (or stuff that was actually a sexual assault but got plead down to assault) had intoxication as one of the leading contributing factors, and probably a good half or more of those involved people who got drunk at the mess.

...it's because we've forgotten why it started; otherwise, we'd know why we were keeping, modifying, or removing it.

Inertia alone is not a good reason to keep doing something. We should be examining what we're doing and seeing if the reasons we're doing it is still valid. If so, keep it, if not get rid of it (or change it).

If we literally forget why and can't figure it out, well then it probably can't have been that important now can it?
 

Brad Sallows

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If we literally forget why and can't figure it out, well then it probably can't have been that important now can it?

"Chesterton's Fence" still applies.

"That bolt doesn't look like it's fastening anything. It's just sitting there screwed into a chunk of metal. I guess I can just remove it."
 

Kilted

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I think it is really really important here to emphasize just how many of those "getting drunk and doing something stupid" events resulted in sexual assault or misconduct.

Go have a look through the court martial decisions database. I'd ballpark a good 80-90% of the sexual assault ones (or stuff that was actually a sexual assault but got plead down to assault) had intoxication as one of the leading contributing factors, and probably a good half or more of those involved people who got drunk at the mess.



Inertia alone is not a good reason to keep doing something. We should be examining what we're doing and seeing if the reasons we're doing it is still valid. If so, keep it, if not get rid of it (or change it).

If we literally forget why and can't figure it out, well then it probably can't have been that important now can it?
I guess it comes down to how much we are willing to trust our people around alcohol. I have started to see more duty people put in place and earlier last call times for some events. I'm still waiting for the day when the government trys to do something to fix sexual harassment, without actually doing anything and disbands all messes. If it can happen to the airborne...
 

KevinB

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I guess it comes down to how much we are willing to trust our people around alcohol. I have started to see more duty people put in place and earlier last call times for some events. I'm still waiting for the day when the government trys to do something to fix sexual harassment, without actually doing anything and disbands all messes. If it can happen to the airborne...
My experience is when you treat people like adults - they (for the most part) act like adults, when you coddle them like a child, they act like a child.
That said 99% of the trouble I got in when in the CAF was alcohol related - bored soldiers with access to alcohol is never a good mix.
 

btrudy

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"Chesterton's Fence" still applies.

"That bolt doesn't look like it's fastening anything. It's just sitting there screwed into a chunk of metal. I guess I can just remove it."

Now, this example I really like. Because it perfectly exemplifies my point. Not really yours.

You don't go around removing bolts willy-nilly. But if you want a good fence, you examine it determine the purpose of the components, evaluate how well they're doing that job, and eliminate or adapt as needed.

If a bolt is literally just screwed into a chunk of metal, it's entirely possible that it was originally installed in order to attach something to the fence that has since been removed. That is after all, the purpose of bolts: to attach components together. It may have served a purpose at one point, but it doesn't any more, and thus continuing spend time and money maintaining that bolt is wasteful.

Or, there may be a bolt that did the trick back in the day, but now due to changing circumstances it's failing on a regular basis, and thus a new design is needed.

I am not proposing that we get rid of all traditions. I am proposing that we be mindful, examine the traditions we have, and eliminate or adapt those traditions that are doing more harm than good, or which don't provide any actual benefit anymore.

And yes, if upon examination, we literally can't figure out why something was implemented, then there probably wasn't a good reason for it.
 

Navy_Pete

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My experience is when you treat people like adults - they (for the most part) act like adults, when you coddle them like a child, they act like a child.
That said 99% of the trouble I got in when in the CAF was alcohol related - bored soldiers with access to alcohol is never a good mix.
I don't think that's a CAF problem, bored people with booze can always go wrong, especially a band of mostly young guys.

Similarly, the 'drinking culture' in the CAF has changed a fair bit, but alcohol is still pretty prevalent in society and can cause lots of issues.

The CAF was still more restrained than the hard boozing I saw at uni or had gotten up to on my own before joining up. The fact that folks are behaving poorly when drunk and facing consequence is a good thing, not necessarily an indictment of the entire CAF. (The recent example of the MP CWO getting promoted despite being a drunken bellend who was CM is an example of the CAF shitting the bed as an institution).

The CAF is made up of Canadians, so unfortunately will mean people will get drunk/high, misbehave and/or break the law, just like other Canadians. Expecting perfection is ridiculous, expecting people face consequences for failing to uphold either our ethical standards or face criminal charges is a completely reasonable yardstick that we should be using to beat people over the head with every time they try and protect their winger, gloss over misdeeds or otherwise be a greasy bastard.
 

Brad Sallows

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And yes, if upon examination, we literally can't figure out why something was implemented, then there probably wasn't a good reason for it.

If you don't understand something, your opinion on its utility is just something you make up.
 

btrudy

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If you don't understand something, your opinion on its utility is just something you make up.
Look, I'm going to go out on a limb here and make an assumption that the CAF collectively isn't a bunch of absolute morons.

We as an organization are perfectly capable of making reasonable assessments on the utility, purpose, and impact of our organizational policies and directives. And sometimes that assessment is going to come back with "serves no actual purpose". You can't pretend like no one in the CAF has ever implemented something solely due to their personal preference.

If we let the "Chesterton's Fence" example guide our decision making processes, then the end result of that would be that the only untouchable policies we have are the ones which are literally useless
 

Brad Sallows

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Sure, so almost all of the time people should be able to answer the question. But people can be lazy and take shortcuts.

And it still doesn't follow that just because no-one can figure out why something was done, that it had no purpose in the first place.
 

btrudy

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expecting people face consequences for failing to uphold either our ethical standards or face criminal charges is a completely reasonable yardstick that we should be using to beat people over the head with every time they try and protect their winger, gloss over misdeeds or otherwise be a greasy bastard.
This is why we need to start firing or demoting the people who mishandle sexual misconduct cases, not just those who commit them. Trust in the system will never be restored (restored is perhaps the wrong term given that that implies the system could be trusted at some point in the past) as long as the people in charge can continue to try and abuse it in order to shield their buddies with no consequence to themselves.

Dismantling the Old Boys Club will require some demolishing.
 

Navy_Pete

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And yes, if upon examination, we literally can't figure out why something was implemented, then there probably wasn't a good reason for it.
Bit of a sidebar, but I've heard that a few times and it's a reflection of the persons lack of knowledge, not necessarily the requirement. Lots of times there is a good arguement that if you don't know what something is for, but it's not doing any harm just leave it alone.

Sometimes even without knowing the origins of a tradition, you can still keep something and make it worthwhile. For example, Xmas itself, (which was put on 25 December by Constantine to help convert the pagans on the Saturnalia feast) is no longer a religious celebration for a lot of people, but you don't need to be a practicing Christian to enjoy a get together with your family and provide a celebration for the kids.

I don't think anyone has open bars or cheap booze at events anymore, but holiday dinners etc is all pretty common in most workplaces. You don't need to cancel them just because some people don't behave.

Edit to add: agree the old boys club will need some demolishing, but also needs to start by doing things like 360 reviews much earlier. If someone has gotten to a CO job by being an abusive arsehole that probably started as a Jr. Officer when they saw people behaving badly but getting results rewarded, and they've probably already done a whack of damage.

Having said that, needs to be a fair process if there are consequences; demotion should only be done by a CM but lots of admin actions that can also be done which are pretty serious on their own. Reading the media story on the racism in the CAF study, then reading the actual study showed a massive gulf between the study and the press conference conclusions and some straight up manufactured talking points, which was pretty funny when one of the recommendations was the 'CAF become a data driven organization' (which it really is at higher levels, and 30 potential white supremescists in an organization of 70k+ doesn't represent a statistically significant number).
 

btrudy

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Sometimes even without knowing the origins of a tradition, you can still keep something and make it worthwhile. For example, Xmas itself, (which was put on 25 December by Constantine to help convert the pagans on the Saturnalia feast) is no longer a religious celebration for a lot of people, but you don't need to be a practicing Christian to enjoy a get together with your family and provide a celebration for the kids.

And this is an example of the original purpose no longer being valid, but it still being worthwhile so we'll keep it around (or, those who find it enjoyable keep it around, and others don't).

All I want is for us to be mindful of the things we're doing, and to stop doing things which are doing more harm than good (including the opportunity cost of what we otherwise could have been spending our time on).
 

Weinie

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Look, I'm going to go out on a limb here and make an assumption that the CAF collectively isn't a bunch of absolute morons.

We as an organization are perfectly capable of making reasonable assessments on the utility, purpose, and impact of our organizational policies and directives. And sometimes that assessment is going to come back with "serves no actual purpose". You can't pretend like no one in the CAF has ever implemented something solely due to their personal preference.

If we let the "Chesterton's Fence" example guide our decision making processes, then the end result of that would be that the only untouchable policies we have are the ones which are literally useless
While I agree with your statement above, CAF history in the last thirty years says those eternal agencies that can influence our policies and directives often disagree, whether through agendas, financial/political considerations, scandals etc. and subsequently that policies/decisions are imposed. Though you are talking to dress regs, the confidence in our (CAF) collective ability to offer the best advice/guidance on CAF matters has been continually eroded. Thus, we seek to win the "small" things where we still have some semblance of control, whilst trembling to tread where we have been slapped down.
 

Eye In The Sky

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I think it is really really important here to emphasize just how many of those "getting drunk and doing something stupid" events resulted in sexual assault or misconduct.

Go have a look through the court martial decisions database. I'd ballpark a good 80-90% of the sexual assault ones (or stuff that was actually a sexual assault but got plead down to assault) had intoxication as one of the leading contributing factors, and probably a good half or more of those involved people who got drunk at the mess.

The important part of this that you’re omitting though is that not everyone goes bonkers in the mess, not everyone who drinks commits crimes like impaired driving, sexual assault etc.

So, those of us who don’t go bonkers on alcohol etc, should be have to pay for someone else’s stupidity?

If anyone answers yes, then we need to:

- get rid of cars because some people drive impaired. If some do, all must stupid driving.

- get rid of doctors. Some of them make mistakes, and some of them misdiagnose patients, perform the wrong procedures etc.

- get rid of air and sea travel. Captains In both services have made mistakes that have killed people.

OR…punish the people who break the laws, rules and policies.
 

btrudy

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The important part of this that you’re omitting though is that not everyone goes bonkers in the mess, not everyone who drinks commits crimes like impaired driving, sexual assault etc.

So, those of us who don’t go bonkers on alcohol etc, should be have to pay for someone else’s stupidity?

If anyone answers yes, then we need to:

- get rid of cars because some people drive impaired. If some do, all must stupid driving.

- get rid of doctors. Some of them make mistakes, and some of them misdiagnose patients, perform the wrong procedures etc.

- get rid of air and sea travel. Captains In both services have made mistakes that have killed people.

OR…punish the people who break the laws, rules and policies.

Now you're just being disingenuous.

I am arguing that we need to examine the things we're doing, evaluate the effect they have, and change what we're doing if needed.

This involves measuring the negative and positive impacts of the things we do, and weighing them against alternatives. Not this absurd strawman argument you've crafted that focused entirely upon possible risks without any regard for the benefits of those things that do have risks.

Please at least attempt to make your arguments in good faith.
 

Eye In The Sky

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I’m being overboard, like you are. Wide brush punishments for all because of the actions of others make my blood boil, because I am 51 and don’t need some other adult to tell me how to adult.
 
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btrudy

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... and I literally have not suggested the imposition of any wide brush punishments.

Quit with the strawmanning: stop making arguments about things that you're just pretending or imagining I said, and maybe address the things I'm actually saying here.
 

Eye In The Sky

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I did. I quoted your fucking post. After that, I added my comments that I wanted to. I used examples to demonstrate "punishing all for the failings of some" is a stupid idea, and also to demonstrate that individuals should be held accountable for their actions...not the rest of us. I did it to counter your point that I quoted; I thought the point was pretty clear - "punish the guilty, not the masses". If there are 50,000 "mess events" in the CAF in 2022, and 25 sexual assault / misconduct charges stem from those events and 100 cases of alcohol misuse/conduct, that's not a reason to not have mess events.

:rolleyes:
 
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