PRAXIS - The Canadian Army Command and Staff College Dispatch

The Canadian Army (CA) is currently undergoing a Managed Readiness System (MRS) review to address the misalignment of operational missions with the existing MRS. The MRS is the framework for synchronizing and prioritizing the personnel, equipment and training plans required to generate a defined set of force elements at defined states of readiness on an enduring basis. The Managed Readiness Plan (MRP) assigns specific tasks to force elements at the appropriate level of readiness as generated by the MRS. The CA continues to force generate for several overseas missions even while conducting large-scale collective training at home—for example, Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE. The pressures on an MRS designed to be sustainable for three years and beyond are considerable and lead to some critical questions. Should the CA follow a tiered or a cyclical MRS? Is it possible to follow both? How long should the Road to High Readiness be? The paper at the link below, written by a student from the Joint Command and Staff Program at the Canadian Forces College, explores ways to improve the MRP.

Students are taken on a deep dive into the idea of resilience, a term in use in the CA for more than fifteen years. Why is resilience given such weight, and why has it seemingly superseded “maintenance of morale,” which is a principle of war? Several questions are asked of the students, including the following: Is resilience an inherent sub-process of mental toughness, or is it something that soldiers can demonstrate only after mental incapacitation? What do “bounce back,” “recover” and “recover quickly” actually mean in a CA context? Students are urged to answer these questions in the context of their own experiences in the Army. See the link for some of the latest ideas on resilience.

An outstanding source for the soldier-educator is the winter 2019 edition of Army History from the U.S. Army Center of Military History. Contents include “Innovative Doctrine, Topics and Techniques for the Twenty-First Century,” “Staff Riding in the Twenty-First Century: A Need for Pedagogical Change?” and “Virtual Staff Rides: Their Benefits and Methodology.” Getting practitioners to embrace academic study is never easy, but the staff ride is perhaps the best way to merge both perspectives into a common aim, which should be to enhance judgement, flexibility and professionalism. Staff Rides also need to be designed to effectively study future war. See the CBC link below for one view of future warfare and consider how the staff ride could address the problem sets.

PRAXIS is produced monthly by the CACSC Professional Military Education Staff. Have questions? Contact us via email at: +CACSC PME@CACSC@Kingston (internal DND only).

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Praxis (from Ancient Greek: πρᾶξις, translit. praxis) is the process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, embodied, or realized. "Praxis" may also refer to the act of engaging, applying, exercising, realizing, or practicing ideas.

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