Reserve Force - RPP 2013-14

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Reserve Force

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

Primary Reserve

A vital link to Canadian communities, the P Res consists of predominantly part-time professional CAF members who contribute to the defence and security of Canada. The mission of the P Res is to provide the CAF with professional personnel at directed levels of readiness who contribute to the CAF's capability to achieve its roles and missions.

A robust and well-trained, predominantly part-time Force located throughout Canada will remain key to the ability of the CAF to meet the security and defence needs of the future.

The P Res structure includes the Naval Reserve, the Army Reserve, the Air Reserve, the Health Services Reserve and the Legal Reserve. Although primarily part-time in nature, the career of a Primary Reservist will include some full-time service to attend individual training, professional development or those duties necessary to maintain military competencies as part of their occupations' normal career progression. These periods of full-time service may range from several days to several months depending on the complexity of the skill or competency to be learned. Additionally, Primary Reservists will sometimes be employed on full time service for temporary and definite duration to meet a specific need, generally as a surge capacity. Finally, Primary Reservists may be employed for a longer period of full time service in positions established in the CAF organizational structure to support an enduring requirement, consistent with Defence priorities and managed within the context of the whole DND and CAF workforce.

On average, approximately 7,000 P Res are expected to be employed in P Res force generation, P Res professional development, and in support to the institution while approximately 800 P Res will support international and domestic operations.

There is a requirement to stabilize and realign the P Res workforce in order to sustainably meet the current and future requirements established in the Canada First Defence Strategy (CFDS). Work force requirements are being reviewed across the defence team to determine the force structure needed to meet our operational and institutional commitments. This initiative is reviewing the way in which our P Res are managed, funded, trained and employed. As a result of this review, there will be improved oversight, enhanced monitoring methods and updated personnel policies allowing a greater flexibility for the Reserves.

Plans for Enhanced and Ongoing Support to Domestic and International Operations

Reservists make a substantial and valued contribution to Canada's security. The past decade has seen an increase in the Canadian Armed Forces' operational tempo both at home and abroad, with a significant share of the CAF personnel deployed being Primary Reservists. With respect to domestic operations, the P Res provides the personnel for coastal, air, and arctic operations and the Territorial Battalion Groups. Reserve contributions to operations and connections with Canadians are critical to the nation and to the environments and communities in which they serve and we must ensure that we attract, develop, support and retain a ready, capable, motivated and relevant P Res force as both a strategic and operational resource for Canada and the CAF well into the future. The Primary Reservists have performed with skill and dedication as a vital asset and respected partner that is an integral part of the CAF. The willingness of Primary Reservists to volunteer when needed and the devotion to duty is recognized. Reserve units are located in Canadian communities across Canada, and are residents of those communities.

Naval Reserve

The Naval Reserve generates trained individuals and teams for CAF operations at home, particularly within the country's coastal approaches, and abroad. The Naval Reserve is focused on providing a sustainable strategic source of personnel for CAF operations within a "One Navy" concept. As well, through its Naval Reserve Divisions, the Naval Reserve is the Navy's link to communities across Canada and supports, through a broad national presence, the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN)'s efforts in connecting with Canadians.

The Naval Reserve is continuing to re-align its structure to support the CAF's direction on Primary Reserve employment along with trade rationalization, enhanced delivery of training and fleet scheduling as is needed to realize the RCN's strategic objectives.

Army Reserve

Canada's Army Reserve is organized into 143 units, located in 177 cities and 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.

After a period of very high operational tempo, the Army Reserve is focusing its efforts on reconstitution and expanding to meet its funded strength target of 19,471 part-time soldiers. It continues 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 CAF at all levels of responsibility. These demands will be balanced against the needs of the Army Reserve for its own leadership and management of personnel.

Domestically, the Army Reserve continues to develop and refine the force employment concepts of Territorial Battalion Groups (TBGs), Domestic Response Companies (DRC) and Arctic Response Company Groups (ARCG). 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 provide 20 per cent of required land force personnel to expeditionary operations through individual and formed capability augmentation.

Air Reserve

The Air Reserve is employed in total force establishments throughout Canada, working side-by-side with members of the Regular Force and other departmental employees. Air Reservists receive the same training as their Regular Force counterparts and Air Reservists maintain their occupational skills through a combination of specialized training opportunities and routine support of daily Air Force operations. The close integration of the Air Reserve into total force establishments provides a surge capacity to ensure that the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) is able to deliver strategic effects for the CAF particularly during periods of high operational tempo, in support of the CFDS.

In concert with renewed efforts within the Chief of Military Personnel organization's efforts to work towards a single, integrated Human Resources Management system within the CAF, the Air Reserve will be introducing a more robust Career and Succession Management program to ensure that Reservists can continue to serve in key positions throughout the RCAF and CAF command structure.

The focus of the Air Reserve in 2013-14 will be to continue to execute on a CAF wide draw-down of full-time Reserve personnel employment that peaked during 2011-12. Full-time Reserve employment was increased to support:

  1. the procurement and introduction of four new aircraft fleets (CC-130, C-17, Chinook and Maritime Helicopter);
  2. simultaneous Operations including: combat operations in Afghanistan, the Vancouver winter Olympics, recovery efforts following the devastating earthquake in Haiti and security support to the G8/G20 Summit; and
  3. Air Force occupations experiencing unusually low manning and experience levels.

CAF 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 the 1 Canadian Field Hospital Detachment Ottawa. Core tasks assigned to the Field Ambulances include force generating trained personnel to support, augment and sustain CAF 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. The members of the 1 Canadian Field Hospital Detachment Ottawa include specialist clinicians and serve to provide depth and breadth to the Health Services Group on international operations and in military clinics within Canada.

Priorities for the Health Services Reserve in fiscal year (FY) 2013-14 include:

  • Field Force Review. Review Reserve Field Ambulance capabilities including establishments and equipment to ensure they have an appropriate field structure to meet current and future tasking requirements. This will be harmonized with the Regular Force review to ensure interoperability and compatibility for training;
  • Develop a Health Services Reserve career management program. Develop a comprehensive program of career management and merit boards to ensure viable succession for Health Services Reserve units. This program will be tied to career progression and training plans to allow members to gain the professional development opportunities and experience needed to be employed in various jobs over their entire career;
  • Enhancing the clinical capability of the Field Ambulances and 1 Canadian Field Hospital Detachment Ottawa through targeted recruiting and a harmonized recruiting and training plan. This will allow the Health Services Reserves to continue augmenting and sustaining the CAF Health Services Group in meeting its tasking and operational commitments to the Canada First Defence Strategy (CFDS) and relevant six core missions, as well as provide a robust health services support capability to their affiliated Canadian Brigade Groups. The Health Services Reserve will continue to participate in the Health Services Annual Military Occupation Review (AMOR) to ensure synchronization with the overall recruiting strategy of Health Services Group;
  • Reserve Casualty Support Initiative - Field Ambulance Medical Link Teams (FAMLT). Provide coordination, support and unit liaison to facilitate medical follow up process for all personnel returning from deployed operations – primarily dealing with Cl A members. Entails contacting each deployed Reservist 3 times. Another primary function of the FAMLT is to conduct annual health care entitlement briefings to Primary Reserve units (Army, Navy, Air) within the Res Fd Amb's area of responsibility;
  • Post Afghanistan Operational Readiness training opportunities. Continue to develop collective training opportunities that will increase the domestic operational response capabilities of the Reserve Field Ambulances as well as train to meet CFDS imperatives;
  • Primary Reserve Operational Readiness care. A trial to conduct Periodic Health Assessments (PHAs) to Class A members of the Primary Reserves is being conducted to determine the personnel and resource requirements to provide this service nationally. Providing PHAs to the Primary Reserves would ensure their members were ready to meet its domestic and international operational commitments on short notice; and
  • Implementation of Performance Measurement Framework. The Health Services Reserves has developed a Performance Measurement Framework focused on quantifying Reserve activities. Assessment of data will be geared toward converting the Health Services Reserves potential and capacity into operational capabilities.

Legal Reserve

The planned strength of Judge Advocate General Primary Reserve List (PRL) for FY 2013-14, will be 100% staffing of the 63 legal officer positions. Reserve Force legal officers will be employed on Class A service providing legal advice in all areas of military law. They will also continue to be employed on limited Class B (full-time, temporary) service from time to time, as well as on Class C service on international operational tours of duty.

Supplementary Reserve

The Supplementary Reserve is administered by Director Reserve Support Management (DRSM). With the current policies in place, the Supplementary Reserve will consist of approximately 15,000 members as of 1 April, 2013. However, DRSM will be requesting approval of a reduction of the Supplementary Reserve period of service from 10 years to 5 years and the elimination of Supplementary Reserve Retirement Age 65. If these initiatives are approved, the Supplementary Reserve will consist of approximately 9,400 members as of 1 April, 2013. DRSM will also be adding the Retirement Age 60 election (in accordance with Chief Military Personnel Instruction 14/04) as a prerequisite for transfer to the Supplementary Reserve. In order to ensure our database accuracy and to increase the visibility of CAF employment opportunities for Supplementary Reserve members, DRSM conducted its annual correspondence campaign. A General Information Letter was sent to all Supplementary Reserve members in October 2012. The letter included key contact information, including the Supplementary Reserve's 1-800 contact number, e-mail address, fax number and mailing address. It also included Retirement Age 60 (RA 60) election information, employment information, links to various CAF employment opportunity websites, information regarding the recent changes to hiring and employment practices for Reg F annuitants, limitations with respect to transfers and attached postings, and information regarding the process for obtaining copies of personnel file documents.

Cadet Organizations Administration and Training Service

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 CAF. In addition to the CIC officers, it includes two other classifications, the COATS General Service Officer and the COATS General Service Non-Commissioned Member which permit personnel from other sub-components of the Reserve Force to augment the existing staff when required.

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 CAF components. Canadian Rangers also support the Junior Canadian Ranger (JCR) program, a program sponsored by the CAF for youths 12 to 18 in remote and isolated communities.

Canadian Forces Liaison Council

The Canadian Armed Forces Liaison Council (CAFLC) is a group of more than two hundred Canada-wide senior civilian business executives and educational leaders who volunteer their time and efforts to promote the primary Reserve Force by highlighting the benefits of Reserve Force training and experience to the civilian workplace. Supported by a full-time military Secretariat and a national network of Reserve officers, CAFLC assists individual Reservists as well as Reserve units in matters related to employer support.

The Council's mandate is to enhance the availability of Reservists for their military duties by obtaining the support and co-operation of organization leaders in Canada. As a force enabler, the Council encourages civilian employers and educational institutions to grant Reservists military leave on a voluntary basis, without penalty, to participate in their military activities, duties and training.

CAFLC's operational activities are based on two key defence tasks – Provide Force Elements and Program Governance – and contribute directly to the achievement of two of the Vice Chief of Defence Staff's strategic objectives – Generate and Sustain Forces and Contribute to Canadian Government, Society and the International Community.

The Council has five programs. Two programs, namely the ExecuTrek and the Outreach programs, are focused on generating awareness and educating employers, academic leaders and other organizations as to the value of Reserve service. Two other programs, the Reservist's Assistance program, the Reserve Unit Support program, exist to support Reservists in their discussions with employers when there are challenges regarding a Reservists request for military leave for operations or training. Finally, the Awards and Recognition program is designed to recognize Canada's organizations that have been highly supportive of their Reservists. All of these programs have been implemented with the intent of significantly improving employer and educator support for Reservists. In this manner, the Council continues to play an important role in the ongoing availability of Reservists for domestic and international operations.

Primary Reserve Planned Expenditures

The Primary Reserve accounts for 7.4 % 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.

Primary Reserve Full Cost Estimate

Financial Resources

($ Thousands) Forecast
Type of Expenditure
Reserve Pay 657,210 587,901
Regular Support Staff 143,022 146,776
Reserve Operating 70,998 69,131
Subtotal Direct1 871,229 803,808
Ammunition 21,048 21,651
Equipment Usage 58,763 61,680
Clothing 27,492 27,602
Facility Operating 61,210 59,981
Subtotal Indirect 168,513 170,914
Base Support 246,933 252,361
Training 7,213 7,321
Subtotal Attributed 254,146 259,682
Subtotal Primary Reserve Operating 1,293,888 1,234,404
Dedicated Capital 22,627 47,964
Shared Capital 50,266 70,683
Subtotal Capital 72,893 118,647
Total Primary Reserve Cost 1,366,781 1,353,051

Source: Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff Group /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 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.

Human Resources

The table below reflects the planned strength for the next three years.

2013 –14
2014 –15
2015 –16
Primary Reserve paid strength (All Classes)1 27,000 27,000 27,000
COATS 8,000 8,000 8,000
Canadian Rangers 5,000 5,000 5,000

Sources: Vice-Chief Defence Staff Group / Chief Military Personnel


  1. The Primary Reserve paid strength represents the average paid strength for the fiscal year.

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