Reserve Force and Regular Force Transition Process

Message from the Ombudsman | September 19, 2016

Medically releasing from the Canadian Armed Forces is complicated. The burden has taken its toll on members transitioning from military to civilian life, and their families.

In 2014, my office and the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman set out to map the transition process for medically releasing Canadian Armed Forces members. As a result of this, the first visual process maps of the medical release processes for both Regular and Reserve Force members were developed. Both sets of maps represent an overview of the key steps and players involved; from the time a member sustains an injury to her or his release from the Canadian Armed Forces.  The maps also seek to better inform members of the different actions required.  The objective of this joint mapping initiative was to construct a model of the current reality. It is important to keep in mind that each stakeholder in the medical release process has different roles, priorities, and a unique perspective on the transition process. The visual maps, representing this process, are a high-level illustration of the activities that take place among stakeholders.

The work done to develop these process maps and demonstrate the complexity of the medical release process has driven informed conversations between Veterans Affairs Canada and Canadian Armed Forces through their joint Team 2020 initiative. 

Moving forward, these maps can serve as a reference tool for decision makers to chart necessary changes to the medical release process, so as to reduce the administrative burden that is currently placed on ill and/or injured members.  A version of the map for medically releasing Regular Force members will be included in my report: Simplifying the Service Delivery Model for Medically Releasing Members of the Canadian Armed Forces, with recommendations for the Canadian Armed Forces which will be released shortly.

Furthermore, my Office will be releasing an educational piece in the coming weeks for members who are currently transitioning from the Canadian Armed Forces to the services and benefits of Veterans Affairs Canada, who may use the information that will be provided as a guide to better understand the steps required to complete their journey.

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