Should bilingualism become a basic requirement of Canadian military recruitment?

View Poll Results: How would you answer the quesiton in the OP?
Yes. 0 0%
No. 6 85.71%
Other answer. 1 14.29%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

When we consider how important hearts and minds campaigns are to the winning of a war, and that even McDonald's restaurants expect their staff to know the local language, should bilingualism in a common military language plus a second language (preference being given to the local languages of the front lines) be the most basic prerequisite for joining the Canadian Armed Forces, even if it means having to hire mostly non-nationals?
I answered 'other answer'. If an international force existed that could take on the role of attack force, while the Canadian forces restricted themselves to combat on their own soil, then I might consider it less important that they each know a second language.
But if Canada's armed forces are expected to be able to fight foreign wars, when we consider how hearts and minds campaigns can be the determining factors in whether we win the war, and that language is the most basic component of communication, then I'd answer yes, that all our troops should know a second language, preferably one of the front lines, even if we must recruit mostly non-nationals.
the simple fact of the matter is that the Armed Forces have a difficult time recruiting enough manpower further restrictions are necessary, and they would be extremely counter-productive.
Quote: Originally Posted by Colpy View Post

the simple fact of the matter is that the Armed Forces have a difficult time recruiting enough manpower further restrictions are necessary, and they would be extremely counter-productive.

I could agree with that as long as we then restrict Canada's military operations to within the operational competence of those troops. Nation-building is not something they should be engaged in unless they can in fact interact with the local population in a constant struggle to maintain friendly relations with them. The sheer importance of hearts and minds have long been neglected by the US and Canadian armed forces; thye can be and have been the determining factor of victory in previous wars, even against militarily inferior foes.
Socrates the Greek
Colpy you are right, now is not the time to impose conditions that may hurt the recruitment.
Quote: Originally Posted by Socrates the Greek View Post

Colpy you are right, now is not the time to impose conditions that may hurt the recruitment.

What's the point of sending them abroad if they're insufficiently capable of engaging in hearts and minds campaigns, which necessarily requires interaction with the local population? If that's the case, we might as well bring them back home now. Look at the US invasion of Afghanistan, the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, and now we're there, and just this week Harper of all people has confirmed that we're not winning. Of course we're not. To win a war abroad, we need to win the people to our side. We don't do that with superior military migth alone.
Also, we could always compensate for the higher criteria by not requiring recruits to be Canadian citizens. After all, why couldn't Afghans themselves be recruited into the Canadian military? If they're worthy of our help, they're also worthy to join us, no?
And they would know the local language and culture better than anyone.
Free Thinker
It is a requirement now if you wish to get above the rank of corporal,unless of course you only speak french and then it does not matter.
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslave View Post

It is a requirement now if you wish to get above the rank of corporal,unless of course you only speak french and then it does not matter.

True, but it's a closed bilingualism (i.e. you have to learn French if you're an English speaker, and you have to learn English if you're a french speaker). While I agree that a common operational lanuage is necessary, if our military is to operate abroad most of the time, as it has in the last few decades, then it would be wise to have soldiers speak not the same 2 common languages (1 common language is enough), but rather have them speak 1 common operation al language plus a 2nd language that shoud ideally be different from soldier to soldier. For example, if, let's say, English is to be the common operation al language, then we might want one soldier knowing English and Arabic, another English and Pesian, another English and Russian, another English and Chinese, etc. Not all English and French. Would seem like common sense to me if they're going to be operating worldwide.
I'm taking French this summer, so that when I graduate this coming Christmas, and apply to the Military, I won't have to go to Quebec for second language training. Honestly, I think it would be a good idea if all high school grads were bilingual. But I doubt that's palatable to an already stretched education curriculum.
No Party Affiliation
Mabye have the languages the military needs us to learn available to high school students?
Quote: Originally Posted by Johnnny View Post

Mabye have the languages the military needs us to learn available to high school students?

Stroke of genious! In many European countries, schools can choose which second language to teach, and in two countries (England and Hungary) high school students can even choose the language to be tested in. All they have to do is inform the school ahead of time, the school informs the Ministry of Education, the Ministry sends a copy of the test to the school, the school administers the test and then sends it back to the Ministry to be graded. England and Hungary are truly countries to be emulated in this respect.

In Canada though, this is not possible in most if not all provinces. French is compulsory in English-medium schools and English is compulsory in French-medium schools. I think one reason this is is because education is a provincial responsibility whereas foreign affairs and defence are federal. As a result, provincial curricula fail to reflect real social needs. One possible solution would be for the Federal Government to establish a Ministry of Provincincial and Territorial Educational Co-ordination, whereby they would encourage provincial and territorial Ministries to co-ordinate their curricula according to the needs of a larger world beyond Canada's borders. This could include promoting the second-language education model followed in England or Hungary, essentially guaranteeing students the freedom to choose which second language to be tested in.
Just to take Hungary as an example, last I'd checked, their high school students coud choose from among 20 different languages! Name me one Canadian province that comes even close.
This calls for a new thread.

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March 14, 2009
What is it about Canadians that we bend over backwards so eagerly for the French? The fact that Quebec has done its damnest to promote the French language & culture at the expense of the English-speakers; the fact that they have been allowed to institute linguistic policies that have cleansed at least half a million English-speakers from Quebec; the fact that the policy of Official Bilingualism has effectively worked as an affirmative action hiring policy for the French so that right across Canada, all senior positions are held by Francophones or Francophiles; the fact that Equalization payments has transferred more of our wealth to Quebec than they deserve; the fact that they are given more public funding for all sorts of reason than any other group, & on & on. They are given first dibs at jobs, they are treated with so much deference and respect – and for what? The reasons given are varied; the French language is a dying language and it is our duty to keep it alive, the French were mistreated by the English in the early days of the settlement of this country and now we have to pay retribution & compensation??!! Enough already!!
When do we get off our knees and stop apologizing because the English-speakers were stupid enough to allow Trudeau and his Liberal friends to bamboozle us with so many lies? How did the French get so powerful that nobody dares to tell them that they’ve already had more than their share of government jobs and political power? Did their power come from the Constitution which treats them as a group to be protected, promoted & preserved? Does it make sense when this kind of protection elevates them above the rest of us, effectively making them 1st class citizens and the rest of us 2nd & 3rd class?
What have they done to deserve the kind of attention paid to them by Mayor O’Brien in Ottawa and all the other mayors of all the cities where the French have used their access to public funds to give themselves a powerful voice. Is this the fault of the majority English-speakers who are ignored because they have no public voice, funded by the generous taxpayers? Is this the fault of English-speakers who are not willing to support any politician who is willing to come forward and stand as our leader? Is this the fault of English-speakers who have lost faith in the political system & lost faith in all political parties because none of them are willing to fight for us? Instead of getting together to fight as a group, most of us are quite content to walk away and give up!! How many of us even write to the politicians anymore? Are our children's future not worth fighting for? In politics, number counts. In politics, the amount of noise made in protest counts!! English-speakers are too complacent and unwilling to fight so they are ignored by all political parties. In Quebec, English-speakers are rendered “invisible” because they are the minority; in the Rest (Most) of Canada, the English-speaking majority are rendered just as “invisible” because they are not willing to fight back. Conclusion - we deserve what we get.

No need to join the military to fight.
Ah, Zoofer. You obviously never read the thread. We weren't talking about English-French bilingualism specifically.

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