Informal Buddy Support System for Military Reservists
DEFENCE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT TORONTO (CANADA)
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Deploying military members have a variety of support requirements which need to be met in order to ensure that they remain connected with home and family. Within the Canadian context, this role is fulfilled for Regular Force members by their unit s rear-party located at their home base in Canada. One of the duties of the rear-party is to address any family or personal matters that individual unit members experience during their deployment. Yet Reservists typically do not receive this type of unit support when they deploy. Recently, in response to the challenges faced by Reservists in Canada, a Commanding Officer instigated a rear-party advocate system as an initiative to better support Reservists and their families. This paper examines this system, colloquially known as the buddy system, developed for Canadian Forces CF Reservists. This involved assessing the ways in which the system has been set up, how buddies were matched with deploying Reserve members, the role of the buddy in supporting the deploying Reservist and their family, the benefits and limitations of the system, along with recommendations for improving this system. These findings can be used to improve upon the existing system and assist other countries who either have, or are interested in developing such a system to better support their Reserve community.
- Military Forces and Organizations