Major General David B. Millar is the current Chief of Military Personnel (CMP) for the Canadian Forces (CF). On behalf of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), he makes things happen by setting goals that are in line with the CDS’ vision for Canada’s military, planning his strategies for accomplishing these goals, finding and processing all of the relevant information he needs to make the right decisions, and monitoring the outcomes so he can take corrective actions, if necessary. The CMP has an economic responsibility to use his allocated funds properly, while fulfilling a legal, ethical, and discretionary responsibility to the Canadian public.
Although our military doesn’t have any competition per se, we are often compared to militaries in other countries, particularly the US. Based on overall military strength, Canada’s military is currently ranked 19th in the world. (Global Fire Power, 2013) The CMP is accountable to produce a military made up of the best Canada has to offer, and mold them into a force which is tasked with defending Canada, defending North America, and contributing to international peace and security. The CMP is responsible for organizing the people, projects, and processes that deal with the military side of the CF.
He is charged with the responsibility of developing all strategies, policies, and programs that will promote and maintain the profession of arms in Canada. MGen Millar believes that the basis for personnel management in the CF is fivefold: Recruit; Train and Educate; Prepare; Support; and Honour and Recognize. Employing theses strategies ensures that he has the right person, in the right place at the right time. Not only is he accountable to the CDS, he is accountable to the CF’s primary stakeholders: the Canadian public.
In order to carry out his directive, the CMP must plan for, organize, lead, and control all of the military personnel in the CF, a daunting task considering that the CF is currently made up of about 60,000 Regular Force members and about 20,000 Primary Reserve members. (National Defense and The Canadian Forces, 2013) The first step is to set goals and determine how to achieve them. The CMP’s current priorities are to: Care for the fallen, injured and their families, Recruit Canada’s best to reflect Canada’s diversity, and Retain Canada’s best.
The second step is to delegate responsibilities to the various subunits under his command. Basically, he decides who will do what, and when it will be done. The third step is to monitor the progress, which he does, only stepping in to take corrective action, as necessary. The last step is probably the most challenging; he needs to be able to inspire and motivate 80,000 members of the CF so that, together, they can achieve their goals. He uses recognition, along with ensuring employment equity throughout the CF.
Taking all of the responsibilities of the CMP into account, his position is best categorized as Middle Manager, since he is “responsible for setting objectives consistent with top management’s goals, and planning and implementing subunit strategies for achieving these objectives. ” (Williams, Kondra, & Vibert, 2008) The PM, the Minister of Defence, and the CDS would be considered the Top Managers, while the remainder of the chain of command would fall into the First-line Managers and Team Leaders positions.
During his time as CMP, MGen Millar will play various roles. When dealing with the public he fulfills a spokesperson role (Informational). Alternatively, when he meets with the CDS for briefings, he is fulfilling a liaison role (Interpersonal). He also plays the role of resource allocator (Decisional) after receiving his annual budget. MGen Millar has a degree in computer engineering, is qualified as an aerospace engineer, and has obtained a masters degree in international strategic studies.
Along with these technical skills, he has also developed his ability to work well with others: a trait which is essential in any member of the CF, and honed his ablity to see the CF as a whole, as well as, see each individual part and how they affect each other, and how the CF affects, and is affected by, its’ external environment. He is extremely motivated to manage. He fully believes in/supports the CF, and is committed to helping ensure Canada’s military is one of the finest in the world. The CF offers an excellent example of the punctuated equilibrium theory.
During the 1990’s, the CF went through the “decade of darkness” (Gen. Hillier, 2007) caused by spending cuts to the military. During the early 2000’s, the CF experienced a more stable environment, thanks to better funding. With the release of the latest Federal budget, the CF seems poised to enter another “decade of darkness”. The CF’s environment is relatively complex. Not only is it affected by funding, it also has to deal with public opinion and the media, and changing political and legal trends. The CF’s environmental munificence is heavily dependent on its’ funding.
The CF goes through periods of where there is an abundance of funding, which allows the CF to enlist the proper amount of people and ensures that they have access to the required tools and equipment, and then the CF experiences budget cuts, which force the military to survive without enough manpower or equipment. MGen Millar ensures that he has up to date information on Canada’s economic, technological, sociocultural, and political/legal trends, as each one directly affects the CF and its’ day-to-day operations.
He strives to be aware of any regulatory changes, monitor public opinion of the military, (since the public are the CF’s ‘customers’ and he needs to be able to respond to any advocacy groups) and also monitor the military’s suppliers: companies that have contracts to provide the CF with various services, ensuring that the CF is getting value for it’s money. The CF doesn’t have any competitors. The CF has an extremely strong internal culture. There are four core CF values: Duty, Loyalty, Integrity, and Courage.
This culture is especially visible during ramp ceremonies, when a fallen soldier comes home. REFERENCES Countrys Ranked by Military Strength. Retrived from http://www. globalfirepower. com/countries-listing. asp, April 29th, 2013 National Defence and the Canadian Forces. How Many CF Members and DND Employees are there? Retrived from http://www. forces. gc. ca/site/about-notresujet/faq/index-eng. asp, April 29th, 2013 Williams, Kondra, & Vibert (2008) Management (2nd Ed. ) Toronto: Nelson Education Ltd.