From Cold War to Present Day

The Army Since 1945

A New Militia

The commission recommended that the militia be organized into an army corps of seven militia brigade groups, each responsible for training and administering nine to 11 units. Again, the objective is the amalgamation of numerous existing units. For example, Ontario region, with 43 units, should consolidate its units for a maximum of 22. The commission recommended that the militia participate in the rationalization process and that its allocation of funds be spent on recruiting and maintaining reservists, not on keeping pointless headquarters and officers with no troops.

The commissioners found an army of two "cultures" - a militia distrustful of a Regular Force that it finds condescending, and a Regular Force resentful of militiamen whom they believe have it too easy. This is the basis for the commission's call for a rapprochement in all areas and for similar standards, such as in physical fitness. 87

Reforms notwithstanding, the reserve, reduced in numbers once again in 1995 by government decree, remains prey to a problem it seems unwilling to solve: Although recruitment for the units functions well, maintaining strength is problematical. As well, the regimental system for militia units continues to survive despite the many attacks against it. Since 1954, the strategic scenario has been thoroughly overhauled so many times that all the recommendations of the commissions of inquiry have been no more than temporary solutions. This structural instability hardly encourages stability in strength.

Like it or not, the militia does not possess the political strength it did a hundred years ago. Even if thousands of reservists are given a more realistic role to play, they will not necessarily stay in the reserve after an operational tour. 88 Here again, the recommendations of the recent commission of inquiry included the following: a guaranteed number of monthly training days from September to May, over and above the two weeks of camp; equal pension and other benefits for professionals and reservists; and job protection for a reservist who leaves on a tour of duty. Recruitment for the Regular Force and the Reserve Force is already conducted jointly.