NEW! The CAF Retention Strategy is now online

October 6, 2022 - Defence Stories

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Adventure, education, and a supportive work environment are just some of the reasons people choose to enroll in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). However, a life in uniform is not without its challenges. As we build upon our mission successes, it’s important we also find new and innovative ways to grow. The CAF Retention Strategy, recently launched October 6, aims to improve the military experience and retain valuable members, so that we can continue to deliver on our mandate to Canadians.

Read on to learn more about the CAF Retention Strategy and what it means for you, your career and your family.

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What is the CAF Retention Strategy?

The CAF Retention Strategy was developed to help retain valuable members. To continue to grow the CAF and keep it healthy, we must ensure we are providing talented and capable members with the best possible opportunity to stay in uniform.

The CAF Retention Strategy aims to:

Who is the CAF Retention Strategy for?

The CAF Retention Strategy is for all CAF members within the Regular Force and Reserve Force. The strategy aims to retain men, women, Indigenous Peoples, visible and ethnic minorities and Persons with Disabilities – as well as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, two-spirited and other non-conforming or non-heteronormative (LGBTQ2+) individuals.

Why we need a strategy?

At any given time, the Government of Canada can call upon the CAF to undertake missions for the protection of Canada. It is critical that the CAF builds and maintains a full force – we must retain valuable members throughout their careers.

Maintaining a healthy organization means we must always strive to continuously improve. As we seek to retain members, it’s important to compare current and past issues, efforts, and influencing factors, to see what more can be done.

At the time the strategy was written, the attrition rate was in line with the historical average.  Attrition was higher than normal during FY 21/22, but lower than normal during FY 20/21. For FY 22/23, preliminary estimates indicate an upward trend, possibly due to a number of releases delayed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How will the CAF Retention Strategy affect me?

The CAF Retention Strategy aims to improve quality of life for CAF members and their families. Members can expect more initiatives focused on wellbeing, workplace culture, and work-life balance. By improving the military experience, CAF members will be better supported to continue a challenging and rewarding career in uniform.

You may have already noticed some changes to the CAF that are related to retention. The CAF Retention Strategy is closely aligned with many plans and initiatives, including the Total Health and Wellness Strategy, Seamless Canada, and The CAF Offer (accessible only on the National Defence network) – which all fall under the umbrella of The CAF Journey and seek to improve the livelihood of CAF members and their families. The strategy was also written in collaboration with the Chief of Professional Conduct and Culture. DND and CAF share a mandate to increase diversity and promote inclusion as a core institutional value, and it is a mandate that we take very seriously.

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