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Systemic Problems and Leadership Short Falls in the Canadian Forces Essay

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Canada’s military leadership structure has gone through considerable changes since 1896 when changes to promote professionalism began. However, the Canadian Forces has done very little towards evolving since the exemplary leadership and professionalism shown during the Hundred Days War of World War 1. Instead Canada’s Armed Forces leadership has regressed into a state of systemic problems and lack of professionalism. Our armed forces are not reaching its potential as one of the world’s most professional because of educational flaws, politics and civilianization.

Education has always been a part of leadership development and culture of the Canadian Forces. Major J.W Hammond (1998) wrote “The present Canadian Forces leadership doctrine was for the most part completed in 1973... For the most part the 1973 manuals remain the textbooks for leadership today.” (p. 2) 38 years have passed since the inception of the leadership doctrine and very little has changed. The Canadian Forces is now committed to the inclusion of different ethnic origins into our forces. This should be reason enough to change how the doctrine is written as needs, demands and motivation will change. The Canadian Forces has also changed its mandate to provide a larger scope of aid to NORAD, the UN and other organizations. Which should also be reason to change what the Canadian Forces teaches about leadership. In reality the scope of the leadership doctrine should be written to reflect the modernization of the Canadian Forces. The doctrine should also be re-written to encompass the demands of the twenty-first century. The problem with teaching the ideals and leadership rules of years ago is that it simply does not represent the constantly changing state of our mi...


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...nd you have taken the first step toward failure.” (Hillier, 2010, pp. 17-18) The Canadian Forces need to step back from the politics and civilianization and focus on the people who will lead the identity of the military tomorrow not to do so would be a colossal failure and perhaps even the complete demise of the Canadian Forces as a whole.



Works Cited

Dallaire, L. R. (2004). Shake Hands With The Devil: Failure Of Humanity In Rwanda. Vintage Canada.
English, A. D. (2004). Understanding Military Culture: A Canadian Perspective. McGill-Queen's University Press.
English, J. A. (1998). Lament For An Army: The Decline of Canadian Military Professionalism. Irwin Publishing.
Hammond, M. J. (1998). First Things First: Improving Canadian Military Leadership. National Defence.
Hillier, G. R. (2010). Leadership:50 Points Of Wisdom For Today's Leaders. Harper Collins.



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