Post-graduate study abroad for JAG officers: a wise use of public funds?

POST-GRADUATE TRAINING FOR CF OFFICERS

Each year,  the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) sends a restricted number of officers on post-graduate {PG} training. These officers are  paid their full salaries and allowances while undertaking post-graduate studies. If required, these officers as well as their dependants, furniture and effects [D F&E] are also moved a public expense under the CF Integrated Relocation Program to attend these graduate schools whether those are located in Canada. In return for such training an officer incurs a period of obligatory service which is calculated on the basis of two month’s service for each month of education.

Statistic Canada puts the average post-graduate tuition fee at $16,252.

Studying abroad – Only a few chosen people can afford

During period 2011-2016, ten (10) legal officers from the Office of the Judge Advocate General [JAG]  attended post-graduate legal training on a full-time basis and at public expense.

As shown below, 80% of these JAG officers attended an international institution of repute located in the United Kingdom, Switzerland and the United States where the tuition fees are at least twice the  Canadian average for PG tuition fee.

COSTS – POST-GRADUATE TRAINING FOR JAG OFFICERS 2011-2016

Names  Locations Fiscal Years Tuition Books Instruments Other TOTALS
1.      Major A. B, University of Cambridge 2010-2011 $22,727 $940.68 1,520 $16 $25, 204
2.      Major T.T. University of Geneva 2010-2011 $16,232 898.23  – $63 $17,195.
3.      Major S.T. Duke University

North Carolina

2011-2012 $49,487 $668.96 $785 $247 $51,189.
4.      Major S.B. McGill University Montreal

2011

2012

$4,491 527.98 $293 $172 $5,489.
5.      Major R.R, University College of London, 2012

2013

$24,69 $270.72 $608. $15. $25,589.
6.      Major P.F. Columbia University

New York

2012

2013

$55,346 $953.55 $91 $585 $57,798
7.      Lieutenant-Commander A.T. Colombia University

New York

2013

2014

$61,309 $1,137.48 $991 $157 $63,595.
8.      Major A.L University of Ottawa 2013

2014

$9,187 $88.83 $96 $9,372.
9.      Lieutenant-Colonel J.W. University of London 2013

2014

2015`

$28,723  –  – $3,455 $32,298.
10.   Major V.S. University of London 2014

2015

2016

$32,917 $939.39 $1,111 $5,372 $40,363.
TOTAL $328,092.

Source: DND ATI Request No A-2017-00401 dated November 1, 2017

ECONOMY OF RESOURCES IS A PRINCIPLE OF WAR

A CF Legal Officer serving in the rank of major is paid a salary between $117,000 to $154,000. A Lieutenant-Colonel is paid between $165,444 and $174,756.

When such a Legal Officer officer is posted to the USA to attend a year-long  LL.M  course of study at Columbia University at public expense, the total cost to the federal treasury for their tuition, their salary, foreign service allowances and the relocation expenses for the move of their of DF & E  to and from the USA, is at least 1/3 of a million dollars.

In the military, the universal Principles of War,  developed by giants such as Clausewitz and Napoleon, consider “ECONOMY” as one of the fundamental truths that have stood the test of time in the management of armed forces. Economy means using one’s assets with prudence with minimum expenditure or resources to accomplish a given task. Perhaps DND should rely on this principle when next considering posting CF members abroad to attend PG training.

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