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Army March 3, 2011
OVER the last few years, many offic-
ers and soldiers have attended overseas
urban instructor courses in such places
as Canada and the UK.
I attended the UK course in 2007 with
a sergeant from the School of Infantry
and an officer and warrant officer class
two from Combat Command Wing.
I find it intriguing that even though
Defence paid a lot of money for attend-
ance on these courses, that there has been
no proficiency number created and there-
fore no record on PMKeyS of anyone
having ever attended these courses.
I have tried on several occasions to
get this rectified but to no avail.
Obviously there are a couple of down
sides to the current situation: there are
many selective jobs where these people
could be identified for consideration at
the push of a button.
They could be put in an instructor/
assessor pool for MREs, or activities
such as Exercise Hamel, or a unit CO
could appoint the individuals as OIC or
SME for urban-specific training.
If we are not going to recognise and
exploit the qualifications, then let's save
the funds and call it an SRP initiative.
But personally, I think it would be a
loss if we let it slip away.
Capt Robert Varcoe
WHY does a married member
with children, who is unac-
companied, get up to six free
travels a year to see his/her
family while a member who
has children but is separated/
divorced from his/her spouse is
only entitled to one free travel
per year or two if in a remote
A trainee is entitled to three
next-of-kin travels a year. Does
the ADF think that because we
are no longer with our spouses
that our children don't need to
see us as often?
Without getting into a politi-
cal debate, child support pay-
ments are, in most parts, quite
high (not to say my children
don't deserve it) but to fly to and
from our children can cost a lot
of money too.
I fail to see why we, as sin-
gle members with dependents,
should miss out on spending time
with our children.
Cpl Richard Rodway
Defence Force School of Signals
Simpson Barracks, Watsonia
Lt-Col Martin McKone, SO1
Personnel Policy, responds:
AS HAS been stated in previ-
ous replies to similar letters,
the inability of Pacman to meet
contemporary lifestyle situa-
tions is well recognised in the
personnel policy arena.
Draft policy on non-custodial
parents, which includes a reun-
ion-travel entitlement, has been
under development but not final-
ised due to competing human
capital initiatives and the need to
seek additional funding.
DGPers-A staff remain
actively engaged with Personnel
Strategies and Policy Group
(PSPG) to ensure that non-custo-
dial parenting and the proposed
entitlement for serving members
on the breakdown of marriage
remains topical at the Higher
Amendments to Pacman are
constantly being made to support
our personnel and review situa-
tions, but these all come at a cost.
This cost must be found from
within our existing budget at
the expense of, or streamlining,
other existing conditions of ser-
vice. It remains a constant bal-
ance to provide benefits to all.
DGPers-A has been involved
in this policy area since late
2006. The timeframe that this has
gone on for does not diminish the
sincerity of the message or the
resolve to continue to work with
PSPG to improve Pacman so it
better supports Army's members
who are recognised as non-custo-
Lt-Col Martin McKone, SO1 Personnel
CAPT Varcoe, thank you for your letter,
in which you have highlighted a short-
fall in Army's HR information record-
You are correct; Defence invests a
component of its finite training dollars
in sending officers and soldiers to attend
overseas courses. It is anomalous that
some of these courses have no proficiency
numbers created and are not recorded on
I agree with you that our HRIS should
be an accurate record of all recognised
courses that have been attended by an
DGPers-A staff are now reviewing the
extant processes to ensure that this situa-
tion is rectified, and to ensure that your
records accurately reflect your attend-
ance at the 2007 UK Urban Instructor
Rectified: An oversight in PMKeyS recognition of overseas urban operations
instructor courses will be fixed after being brought to the attention of
Photo by AB Jo Dilorenzo
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