Gordon O’Connor has been forced to backtrack on statements that have apparently come out of his ministry and the lips of Forces Chief Rick Hillier in recent days. Hillier suggested last week that, in order to meet ongoing committments in Afghanistan they might have to “look outside the box” to find more grunts. He suggested that they would look to retrain other trades to infantry, including those in the Air Force and Navy. Officials from “the ministry” said yesterday that it is also possible that they may look to extending the current tour rotation from six to nine months.
Either the grumbling from the trenches has gotten loud or officers in Ottawa began to worry that pencil-pushers might get hauled over to do real work and word got to Defense Minister Gordon O’Connor, because today he denied that Navy or Air Force personnel would be re-badged and that there was any consideration of extending the rotation.
Of course that means Army supply techs and admin clerks might be sleeping a little less well tonight. At least I would be.