Section IV - Reserve Force - DPR - 2011-12

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Reserve Force

The Reserve Force is composed of Canadian Forces (CF) members who enrolled for service other than continuous full-time military service. The Reserve Force has four sub-components: the Primary Reserve, the Supplementary Reserve, the Cadet Organizations Administration and Training Service (COATS), and the Canadian Rangers.

Primary Reserve

The Primary Reserve structure includes the Naval Reserve, the Army Reserve, the Air Reserve, the Health Services Reserve and the Legal Reserve. In international operations, the role of the Primary Reserve is to augment, sustain and support deployed forces. With respect to domestic operations, the Primary Reserve provides the personnel for coastal, air, and arctic operations. 7,700 Primary Reservists are employed full-time in performing staff duties in various headquarters, schools and units across the country while approximately 1,000 Reservists support international and domestic operations.

The growth of the Primary Reserve is a government priority. The Primary Reserves continue to connect with Canadians, as well as conduct training and education to progress in the profession of arms.

Plans for Enhanced and Ongoing Support to Domestic and International Operations

The Reserves provide continued support to deployed operations and have demonstrated leadership by making important contributions when called upon for contingency operations at home. Reserve units are located in Canadian communities across Canada, and as residents of those communities, Reservists regularly work with local first responders when called up in the event of an emergency. Their involvement contributes to reducing the effect of the crisis and assisting in a return to normalcy.

Naval Reserve

The Naval Reserve's primary mission is to force generate highly trained, combat-capable sailors and officers in response to Naval and CF tasks. These tasks include standing and non-standing security operations, defence missions, domestic safety operations and the maintenance of a national presence. In fulfilling these tasks, it remains a Strategic Reserve ready to be called upon to assist in domestic and international operations. As well, through Naval Reserve Divisions, the Navy connects with Canadians, informing them of the Navy's relevance to Canadian economic well-being and sovereignty. The Naval Reserve's secondary mission is to connect with Canadians.

Army Reserve

Canada's Army Reserve is organized into 10 headquarters groups with 143 units, located in 177 communities across the country. The role of the Army Reserve is to provide the framework to mobilize, augment and sustain the Canadian Forces and serve as a link between the military and civilian communities as guided by the key Connect with Canadians initiative.

The Army Reserve continued to work towards its Total Average Paid Strength target of 19,997 soldiers, and continued to provide augmentation to the Regular Force for domestic and international operations and to backfill Regular Force personnel shortfalls within the land forces and the CF at all levels of responsibility. These demands were balanced against the needs of the Army Reserve for its own leadership and management of personnel.

Domestically, the Army Reserve continued working toward Full Operational Capability (FOC) of the Territorial Battalion Groups (TBGs) and Arctic Response Company Groups (ARCGs). These nascent capabilities represent the force employment framework through which the Army Reserve will leverage existing unit structures and capacities and eventually take the land forces lead in domestic operations, with support from the Regular Force as required.

Internationally, the role of the Army Reserve has expanded to provided approximately 16 per cent of required land force personnel to expeditionary operations through individual augmentation.

Air Reserve

The Air Reserve is employed in total force establishments, working side-by-side with members of the Regular Force and Departmental employees. The Air Reserve has continued to be an integral part of RCAF support to domestic operations, flood and forest fire relief efforts, and increasing presence in Canada's north. RCAF aircraft fleet transition efforts (CC130J, Cyclone, Chinook) have leveraged the flexible surge capacity of the Air Reserves to facilitate the ongoing introduction of new aircraft to support the Canada First Defence Strategy (CFDS) and maintain RCAF support to international operations. The average strength of the Air Reserve in 2011-12 was 2270 personnel. Utilizing both a part-time and flexible full-time surge model, the Air Reserves generated the equivalent of more than 1,500 person years of support to the CF.

Full and part-time Air Reserve members are fully integrated into the tactical, operational and strategic levels of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). This model provides a flexible and responsive capacity to meet ever changing demands for CF domestic and deployed operations.

CF Health Services Reserve

The Health Services Reserve, with approximately 1,700 members, is organized into two functional groups: Primary Reserve units known as Field Ambulances, and a national level unit called 1 Canadian Field Hospital Detachment Ottawa. Core tasks assigned to the Field Ambulances include force generating trained personnel to support, augment and sustain CF Health Services Group's domestic and expeditionary commitments, to provide health services support to their affiliated Canadian Brigade Groups and to conduct community outreach activities. Members of the 1 Canadian Field Hospital Detachment Ottawa include specialist clinicians who serve to augment Health Services organizations on international operations and in military clinics within Canada.

Priorities for the Health Services Reserve in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011-12 included:

  • Enhancing the clinical capability of the Field Ambulances and the 1 Canadian Field Hospital Detachment Ottawa through targeted recruiting and a harmonized recruiting and training plan;
  • Reserve Casualty Support Initiative - Reserve Medical Link Team (RMLT) has evolved into a new program called the Field Ambulance Medical Link Team (FAMLT).

Legal Reserve

In FY 2011-12, the Office of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) achieved a primary reserve list (PRL) fill rate of 88%, with JAG reserve legal officers occupying 56 of it's 63 positions. During the reporting period, reserve JAG officers provided legal support to CF units as well as to domestic and international operations. Of the 56 occupied positions, 53 JAG PRL legal officers were employed on Class A and short term Class B while 3 Legal Officers were employed on full time class B. The Office of the JAG also had 7 reserve legal officer members on Class C service providing legal support to international operations, namely OPs Attention, Mobile and Proteus.

In addition to the 63 legal officer reserve positions, the Office of the JAG also has 2 full time Class B RMS clerks who provide administrative support to the JAG PRL.

Supplementary Reserve

The Supplementary Reserve consisted of 15,701 members as of March 31st, 2012. In order to ensure our database accuracy and to increase the visibility of CF employment opportunities for Supplementary Reserve members, the Director Reserve Support Management conducted a mass correspondence campaign. A General Information Letter was sent to all personnel in the Supplementary Reserve in November 2011. The letter included the 1-800 Supplementary Reserve contact telephone number and the Supplementary Reserve e-mail address, instructions for updating personal contact information, information regarding the Supplementary Reserve period of service and the release process, requirements with respect to election of retirement age 60, employment information, links to various CF callout employment opportunity websites, limitations with respect to transfers, attached postings, and deployments, and instructions for obtaining copies of personnel file documents. A Contact Information Verification Form was also included with the General Information Letter to confirm Supplementary Reserve members' mailing addresses, street addresses and phone numbers. This form also offered members the opportunity to request a release under QR&O 15.01 item 4(c) Voluntary from the Supplementary Reserve.

Canadian Rangers

The Canadian Rangers, whose special contribution is expert local knowledge, are reservists in sparsely settled areas that cannot be supported conveniently or economically by other Canadian Forces components. Canadian Rangers also support the Junior Canadian Ranger (JCR) program, a program sponsored by the CF for youths 12 to 18 in remote and isolated communities.

Canadian Forces Liaison Council

The Canadian Forces Liaison Council (CFLC) exercised its mandate through the use of the Council's five-program structure to further strengthen the ties between Reservists and their employers and educators. Notably this year, thirteen ExecuTreks were held across Canada and reached out to over 260 senior executives and human resource professionals to highlight the values found in employing Reservists. The Outreach program also operated at an additional twelve venues to engage communities and businesses in supporting Reservists. This year, the National Awards program was a success, by serving to recognize the outstanding support of employers and educators over the past two years. These efforts have contributed to our overall success in supporting CF force enabling objectives for domestic and international operations.

Cadet Organizations Administration and Training Services

The Cadet Organizations Administration and Training Service (COATS) is staffed by Cadet Instructor Cadre (CIC) officers who have undertaken, by the terms of their enrolment, to perform such military duty and training as may be required of them, but whose primary duty is the supervision, administration and training of cadets 12 to 18 years of age. Their mandate is to ensure the safety and welfare of cadets while developing in them the attributes of leadership and citizenship, promoting physical fitness and stimulating their interest in the sea, land and air activities of the CF. In addition to the CIC officers, it includes two other classifications, the COATS General Service Officer and the COATS General Service NCM which permit personnel from other sub-components of the Reserve Force to augment the existing staff when required.

The table below reflects both planned and actual strength of COATS for the last three years:

Reserve Force
2009-10 2010-11 2011-12
Planned Actual Planned Actual Planned Actual
COATS 7,500 7,643 8,000 7,936 8,000 7,958

Primary Reserve Expenditures

Primary Reserve Full Cost Estimate

The Primary Reserve accounts for 6.1% of the total Defence Services Program. The costs are divided into four categories: direct, indirect, attributed and capital costs. This method of reporting is intended to provide greater clarity on the makeup of the total costs of the Primary Reserve.

Direct expenditures include funds specifically budgeted for the Primary Reserve such as pay, travel and goods and services which are locally procured.

Indirect expenditures reflect the Primary Reserve share of departmental resources, which are controlled centrally. Included are ammunition, equipment operating costs, clothing and the cost of maintaining facilities such as armouries.

Attributed expenditures are departmental overhead costs, which are allocated, for reporting purposes, to all activities including the Primary Reserves. In reality, these costs do not vary directly as a function of activity and would largely be incurred whether the Primary Reserve existed or not.

Capital expenditures are shown for the year in which payments have been made, and do not reflect an amortization of cost over the life of the asset. The capital expenditures can vary significantly from one year to the next, depending on priorities established within the capital equipment plan and the cash flow requirements of individual projects.

Financial Resources
($ 000)

Type of Expenditure
Reserve Pay 706,834 673,992 716,278 676,551
Regular Support Staff 150,194 168,091 158,698 160,844
Reserve Operating 91,460 80,845 85,782 97,909
Subtotal Direct 948,487 922,928 960,758 935,304
Ammunition 14,819 16,172 15,014 17,387
Equipment Usage2 57,098 58,887 60,856 74,462
Clothing 21,390 28,030 30,693 27,477
Facility Operating3 40,498 48,163 49,126 65,949
Subtotal Indirect 133,805 151,252 155,689 185,274
Base Support 238,147 230,185 255,158 244,962
Training 5,544 7,890 4,097 7,643
Subtotal Attributed 243,691 238,075 259,255 252,604
Subtotal Primary Reserve Operating 1,325,984 1,312,255 1,375,702 1,373,183
Dedicated Capital4 105,013 11,607 63,526 19,035
Shared Capital5 21,610 48,361 89,676 20,235
Subtotal Capital 126,623 59,968 153,202 39,269
Total Primary Reserve Costs 1,452,607 1,372,223 1,528,904 1,412,452

Source: Assistant Deputy Minister (Finance and Corporate Services) Group

* Due to rounding, figures may not add up to totals shown.


  1. Direct pay and operating amounts do not reflect forecasted/planned spending involving members of the Canadian Rangers, the Cadet Organization Administration and Training Service (COATS) personnel or the Supplementary Reserve sub-components. They do however include the cost of employing Primary Reservists in positions that would normally be occupied by the Regular Force.
  2. The increases in Equipment Usage and Facility Operating actuals are mainly explained by more accurate cost allocation practices.
  3. The decrease in Dedicated Capital 2011-2012 actual expenditures is mainly attributable to schedule changes in the Naval Reserve Division Recapitlaization Project- HMCS Hunter, House 5th Command Support Batallion - Montreal Garrison project, and Construction of a New Facility for the Relocation of Jerico Beach Units project.
  4. The decrease in Shared Capital 2011-2012 actual expenditures is mainly attributable to schedule changes in the CTS - Temperate Combat Boot project, Medium Support Vehicle System project, and Land Command Support System Life Extension project.
Human Resources
Primary Reserve average paid strength (all classes)1 27,000 26,140 860
Primary Reserve total strength (All classes)2 34,750 32,451 2,299
Cadet Organisation, Administration &
Training Service (COATS)3
8,000 7,958 42
Canadian Rangers 5,000 4,748 252

Sources : Vice Chief of the Defence Staff; Chief Military Personnel; Chief of the Land Staff


  1. Primary Reserve average monthly Paid Strength reporting, planning and allocations are based on monthly reports provided by Assistant Deputy Minister (Finance and Corporate Services) Group / Directorate of Strategic Finance and Costing and Assistant Deputy Minister (Information Management) / Director of Human Resources Information Management.
  2. Primary Reserve Total strength figure is a forecasted end-year snapshot. This includes all Primary Reservists whether effective or non-effective.
  3. The average paid strength and total strength numbers, reversed in FY 2011-12 RPP submission, have been corrected in above Human Resources table.
  4. The Cadet Instructor Cadre component of the Reserve was renamed as Cadet Organisation Administration & Training Service.

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