# 2015-311 - Summary Investigation

Summary Investigation

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2016–04–21

The grievor sustained injuries as the result of a parachute jump done while off-duty. A summary investigation (SI) determined that the injuries were not attributable to military service. The grievor argued that his injuries were related to military service because the CAF paid for several of his courses and because his qualifications and credentials were utilized by his unit.

The grievor's commanding officer supported the grievor's arguments and found that there was a link between the grievor's civilian parachute jumps and the performance of his military duties. However, during the review of the SI, the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff found that no such link had been established.

The Committee found that the evidence showed that the grievor's parachute training and qualifications were authorized (by tacit approval), organized, and paid for by the CAF. Further, having the grievor obtain and maintain these qualifications was in the "best interests" of the CAF, as the CAF used the grievor's credentials as a means to save both time and money. Though the grievor was off-duty at the time of the parachute jump in which he was injured, he was conducting the jump in order to maintain his credentials. Therefore the Committee found that his injuries were attributable to military service.

The Committee recommended that the CDS conclude that the grievor's injuries were attributable to military service and direct that the SI be annotated accordingly.

FA Decision Summary

The CDS agreed with the Committee's findings and recommendation that the grievor's injuries be found attributable to military service and that the summary investigation and his personnel records be amended in that sense. The CDS also directed that CMP review the grievor's release item to assess whether it should be changed from a 4a Voluntary to a 3b Medical. The CDS observed that the chain of command's endorsement, approval, funding and ultimate reliance on the grievor's civilian qualifications created a reasonable expectation on his part that maintaining these qualifications was a military requirement. By creating this expectation, without also generating and approving a CAF sanctioned plan to maintain these qualifications, the grievor's chain of command unintentionally set the conditions for his failure in this regard. As such, the CDS agreed with the Committee and found that, given the unique circumstances of the case, a causal link between the jump in question and the grievor's military service was established.

Relying on the Committee's observation, the CDS concluded that the policies and guidance to COs and CAF on the management of potentially dangerous extra-curricular activities have become ambiguous. He therefore asked the CMP to turn her mind to this matter and ensure that the chain of evidence between military service and off duty activities is well understood and properly documented: a refresh of the policy on this matter is required. Given the circumstances of this file, the CDS also directed the Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force, with CMP's support, to review the practice of employing and benefiting from the trade qualifications obtained outside of the official military curriculum, and confirm that procedures are in place to ensure that the training required to maintain such qualifications is properly identified and authorized as required. The CDS added that the CMP should also consider other occupations with similar requirements for related and potentially dangerous civilian recreational certifications.

Page details

Date modified: