One of my earliest articles, “Leaving the Military Felt Like Divorce,” has a misleading title. I didn’t leave the military. I left the Regular Force, but remained a member of the Primary Reserve. I thought that with a different focus, service without aspirations of career advancement, only with the intentions of trying to provide some leadership and some horsepower to my unit, that I would feel rewarded and and could accept things I didn’t like about the Canadian Armed Forces.
It worked, for a brief stint. I love my unit. We are small, we are inclusive, we are committed. But alas, we cannot operate in a bubble, isolated from everything else. And I cannot seem to stop caring. I have been critiqued for caring too much, and for not being smart enough to pick my battles. I don’t accept that critique very well to be honest. We need people to care. We need people to fight for change, because folks, it is a fight. And I openly admit that I am running out of steam, again.
I read what the then Army Commander had to say about agility and change. Nothing has transpired in the last 5 years of my Reserve service to make me believe we (the CAF) is getting any better at change. LGen Eyre’s words are aspirational to be sure, and listening to him in his current appointment as Acting Chief of Defense Staff, I know he truly desires change. But forgive me, my cynicism, a product of my lived experiences, tells me it briefs a hell of a lot better than it does being put into practise. Click here to read my answer to “Agility and Change.”