Current and Forecast Issues / Initiatives Affecting the ADF Reserves

Rear Admiral Bruce Kafer RANR
Head Reserve and Youth Division / Commander ADF Cadets


Defence’s Reserve and Youth Division (RYD) has undergone significant changes in the past six months, including a change of name from Cadet, Reserve and Employer Support Division. However its important roles and functions in support of ADF Reservists have not been altered or diminished.

Why the change to RYD / ADF Cadets Headquarters

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse held its Defence Case Study in June 2016.  The Royal Commission highlighted that Defence had to improve its policies and practices to prevent and better respond to child sexual abuse, both within its internal programs involving young people and within the three Services’ Cadets organisations.

Almost concurrently, in July 2016 amendments were made to the Defence Act 1903 that invested much greater authority in CDF and VCDF for the administration of the ADF Cadets program. Consequently, in October 2016 the Chiefs of Service Committee (COSC) confirmed the requirement for a single point of accountability for the ADF Cadets child safety regime, and other common aspects of the ADF Cadets ‘enterprise’ (Commander ADF Cadets). COSC also agreed to an extensive reform program (‘One Cadet’).

What has / has not changed?

The ADF Cadets Headquarters was formed on 1 February 2017. As a result some senior military staff are ‘dual-hatted’, including the Head Reserve and Youth Division / Commander ADF Cadets and the Deputy. The Commander ADF Cadets plays a greater role in governance of the ADF Cadets program, particularly in the common aspects such as youth safety, where a consistent methodology is required. However the Service Chiefs remain responsible to CDF for the administration and day-to-day operations of the three Cadet organisations.

However, as indicated earlier, there have been no changes in the roles/functions of the Reserve and Employer Support Directorate – ‘business as usual’ has been maintained.

Current RYD Initiatives / Activities in support of ADF Reservists

Reserve Service Protection

Amendments to Reserve Service (Protection) legislation are imminent. The Amendment Bill has progressed through the Senate Scrutiny of Bills Committee and we are now awaiting the passage of the amended legislation through Parliament.

The Office of Reserve Service Protection (ORSP) has continued its sterling work. In FY 2016/17 ORSP:

  • provided administrative support for changes to legislation;
  • managed 1,300 enquiries (800 from Reservists and 500 from employers);
  • signed 10 new MOUs with large employers and renewed 9 MOUs;
  • delivered 21 awareness sessions and assisted 21 companies with leave policies; and
  • worked with the Defence People Group to improve policies affecting Reservists.
Employer Support Payments Scheme

The new ADF Reserve Employer Support Payments Scheme Manual and Guide have been published, for use by the Services. The new ESPS Manual supersedes Defence Instruction (Personnel) 05-42, which has been cancelled.

HRYD collaboration with Services

HRYD liaises regularly with the three Directors General (Reserves) within the Joint Reserve Working Group (which meets quarterly). The Joint Reserve Working Group’s membership also includes the Surgeon General ADF – Reserves, and the Director General ADF Legal Services. These officers also brief each meeting on employment of the many legal and medical ADF Reservists. The Defence People Group is represented in the Joint Reserve Working Group by the Assistant Secretary Personnel Policy and Employment Conditions.

HRYD also liaises directly with the Deputy Service Chiefs on Reserves issues when required.

The Joint Reserve and Cadet Policy Committee (chaired by VCDF) meets 6-monthly; HRYD and the Deputy Service Chiefs are members of that committee. Current actions include standardisation of Reserves’ management processes and terminology across Services.

International Engagement / Liaison

RYD staff maintain ongoing liaison with senior NZDF staff responsible for management of Reservists, and one joint meeting is held each year. HRYD and RYD staff also participate in the NATO National Reserve Forces Committee (including participation in Working Groups and Staff Officers’ forum). NATO nations are currently considering broader roles for Reservists in internal security and cyber operations, and are working on a project to better prepare Reservists for military operations.

RYD represents Defence at the two-yearly meetings of the International Conference on Employer Support for Reserves. The next meeting is occurring in October - RYD staff will deliver a paper, and the Chair of the Defence Reserves Support Council (Ms Jane McAloon) is attending.

Reviews of outcomes - 2017 ‘Your Say – Reserves’ survey and 2016 Active Reservists’ Employment Package survey

The reports from both surveys will be analysed by RYD to determine where tri-Service advocacy might be required.

ADF Total Workforce Model (Project SUAKIN)

Issues have been encountered with SERCAT 6 implementation; however SERCAT 6 (Interim) went live on 24 August 2017. A model for SERCAT 6 in its mature state has been considered by the Chiefs of Service Committee.

The Services are now assessing the resource impacts of the SERCATs framework; particularly SERCAT 5 – which requires a longer-term financial commitment. The Project SUAKIN Team is now working with the Services on cultural and behavioural changes needed for the Total Workforce Model (TWM) to be fully effective.Responsibility for further implementation of the TWM is to transition to Director General Workforce Planning (probably in December 2017).

Employment of ADF Reservists in Cyber

Employment of Reservists in cyber operations/security is currently being considered by Head Information Warfare, Major General Marcus Thompson, as part of a broader review of Defence’s future cyber workforce.

DHOAS Legislation

Amendments to the Act are currently Category B status for the current sitting of Federal Parliament.

ForceNet Update / Statistics

34,900 ADF personnel are now registered users:

  • Navy: 9100; Army: 18500; Air Force: ,300

Registered users by nature of Service:

  • Permanent: ~ 14400; CFTS: ~ 600; Reserve: ~19900

New functionality coming on line:

  • Families Project – rollout in early 2018.

Potential projects (FY 2017/18):

  • Mobile device applications (iOS and Android)
  • Infrastructure review and upgrade
  • Low bandwidth ForceNet
  • Enhanced jobs functionality
  • PMKeyS interface enhancement (increased HR data capture).

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