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  #1  
Old 16 December 2000, 21:34
King King is offline
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Another one of These Questions.

Yah, everybody has read these personalized hypothetical questions before, there's a lot of them. But if someone out there could help me with one more...

Would someone be able to enlist in the CF after having completed a university degree (oh, let's say a BA) or would they make you joinas an officer?

Much appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 16 December 2000, 21:40
Enfield Enfield is offline
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You can join as whatever you want to. Want to go enlisted with a degree? No problem. There Reserves are full of enlisted guys with one(or multiple) degrees.
Petrsonally though, I'd recommend going officer if you plan to be Reg Force.

Enfield
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  #3  
Old 16 December 2000, 21:48
Cole Cole is offline
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I also have a question along these lines.
I am currently enrolling in the CF reserves as an enlisted Infantryman. I plan to stay in the reserves until I finish University (3 years...). With my degree I want to apply for an Infantry Officer.
My question is will my previous enlisted experience affect my application for a commission down the road? Will there be any negative effects (I can't think of any, but who knows?) Thanks for any help...
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  #4  
Old 17 December 2000, 00:08
Enfield Enfield is offline
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Cole;
Having previous enlisted experience will be beneficial when you apply and will help you in your career.
But, attending RMC will help you even more (old boys club = promotions)- if you want to have a successful officer career, try for RMC.

Enfield
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  #5  
Old 17 December 2000, 18:33
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garett garett is offline
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Your previous experience will only be beneficial if you do good while you're in. Get A's on your courses and try to get on JLC. I didn't do to good on QL3 but it didn't matter really because I did good on my QL4 this past summer so I was able to explain away my problems on QL3. The only thing they said negative at my last interview is that they wished I had more leadership experience to look at to assess my leadership abilities but of course thats not really possible because I just made Corporal a little while ago. Why don't you apply for RESO, the officer training phases are done in the summer with the cadets from RMC and its all Reg Force qualifications. Thats what I'm doing now and I plan to transfer to the Regs as an officer after university.
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  #6  
Old 17 December 2000, 23:22
Marauder
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I'm in the same situation as Cole; uni freshmen planning on joining an infantry Reserve unit as a private (untrained), serving three years, and then looking at my options. I've got a few q's as well.
First, what are the chances of going to jump school or dive school, if we still have either, as an enlisted in the Reserve?
Once I get my degree (a BScN), could the CF make me go active and become a military nurse (who I assume are O's like in the USA/USN)?
And is there such a thing as doing an exchange with a sister unit over in England for JUST two months during the summer?
I would appreciate any info so that I can walk into a recruiter's office with my eyes wide open.
Just one more thing that popped into my head: Since I am in Ontario, if I got called up to do a real-deal peacekeeping mission, would I be attached to an RCR unit that was going?

[This message has been edited by Marauder (edited 12-17-2000).]
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  #7  
Old 18 December 2000, 02:55
FNG FNG is offline
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Your chance of getting a jump course depends on what unit you are planning to join. If you are going for the QOR, then it is very likely. Some other units in the 32/33 Bde area also have a good chance of sending one or two qualified soldiers there, especially if their Ops staff is good.

As to your degree... the CF can't MAKE you go active if you don't want to. I would think it be a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedom.(?)

With regards to peacekeeping missions, they are voluntary. You will not be called up unless you have expressed the interest, and put in an official request to augment them. Also, the unit you become attached to also depends on which unit is scheduled to go on the next Rotation (Roto). Currently, Roto 8 (RCR) is preparing to go in April.

Which unit are you planning to join?
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  #8  
Old 18 December 2000, 03:20
Cole Cole is offline
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I see that there are marks for courses. If you do well on a QL3/QL4, will it increase your chances for getting into a high speed course like para. or recce?
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  #9  
Old 18 December 2000, 03:36
Marauder
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I plan on joining the Essex Kent Scottish regiment, in lovely Windsor,Ontario.
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  #10  
Old 18 December 2000, 03:39
King King is offline
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Enflied & others,

Everyone has heard and read on these forums the negatives of being an officer, they are stressed more then the positives. Less time in the field, away from the troops, many of them end up being paper pushers most of their careers... sure it's more money and authority but for most enlisted people I have spoken to (including neary all of them these forums) they seem to not like quite a few of the officers they deal with or at least would not want to do their jobs.

This is the impression I have gotten. Some officers are good, some are not so good, but you can't do all the interesting high speed stuff as an officer. More time in the office, less time in the field. It's more money, but there seems to be a general mistrust of the really junior officers when it comes to combat leading. I believe garett said over on the Delta forums that the only this worse then a 2LT. with a map is a 2LT. with a radio. The more senior officers, Major and above tend to be looked down upon as well because they are too far removed from the men they command. Then there is the career management people always trying to push you from one job to the next, moving constantly up the ladder. Being stationary as an officer is like a crime. If you have a good command you don't have it for very long because the establishment is always trying to push you upwards. Then there is the idea of RMC and becomming a ring knocker. From my very limited point of view, these officers tend to be less respected simply because they went to RMC. Look at the book The Sharp End, that point of view is taken. Maybe it's because RMC is seen as necessary for promotion and career advancement and officers concerned with this stuff tend to lose prespective and ignore the welfare of their soldiers, or at least put it below their own. Maybe it's something they do to you at RMC, I think the same kind of attitude is taken in America with grads of West Point or the Naval Academy.

When people complain about lax standards officers are always to blame. Enfield, you recently mentioned that Canada still has a good core of NCO's to train the lower NCM's. This is the attitude everone seems to take. No "hard core" officers are ever mentioned.

These are the impressions I have of officers, right or wrong.
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  #11  
Old 18 December 2000, 05:42
Enfield Enfield is offline
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King: hmm.. good post. I have to qualify any statements I've made in the past though - at the moment I'm enslisted, but if I were to ever go career (as I hope to) I would become an officer. To me, the planning and coordination is more interesting than grunt work (in the long run). At the moment I'm sticking to enlisted because I want to polish up the basic soldiering skills and get some time in the ranks, and being a Militia officer doesn't appeal to me very much (though the Phase training would be excellent). Maybe in a couple years I'll go for it to get the experience.

Also, Reserves officers aren't the best example.. not enough room to let them shine (to few troops, restricted ex's, etc.) And the 3 platoon commanders I've had in my Militia time were all excellent, extremely hard core soldiers who I respect and look up to. The rest of the chain of command, well...

Like any Army, the NCO's are the backbone. I for one have very little respect for RMC because a lot of cadets there are just there for a free education. And a study by RMC showed that their performance in the Forces was not any better than direct-entry troops. And it doesn't matter so much how the troops respect you, it's how the guy who can promote you respects you (and he may look at how the troops feel, or ask a sgt-major)

Cole- No, unfortunatley, it will not. There SHOULD be a point or merit system, be there is not. If you plac at the top of your courses your unit will take notice, and that may get you in line for more courses be looked upon favourably. Also, doing a lot (like everything that comes up) of work wth the Regiment will help you because they know your keen.

Para is selected either by a)the first person who answers the phone when the sgt-major starts calling around b)through try-outs held in-unit. And Para is a once in a blue moon thing - there can many years between it being offered, and even then often only the one or two most fit people in the regt. can go.
For Recce, you raise your hand when the course list comes out and if there's a spot on the course and your NCO's think you can handle it (ie, you aren't a fat fuck), off ya go, same as any other course. Recce is more rare though... you'll do MG or Drivers or Comms first, usually. I might get lucky and do Recce this summer, so I'm crossing my fingers. I tied for 3rd on the Airborne PT test we did last month (still did a lot better than a pass) so no para for me - but it was soon discovered that the course they were offering was in French, so the 2 guys have to wait till the next english serial.


Garrett- so why did you decide to go officer? Just to get the transferable training? And I thought you were going for the Paras?

Marauder- On the peacekeeping, it ain't that easy..You volunteer, you usually have to be a corporal (not always, pte's have gone), usually have a bunch of courses and field experience, be a squared away troop in good shape, and then you get sent to work-ups for 3-6 months. If you perform well in work-ups, and pass the Battlefield Fitness Test, you can go overseas. That's the goal for most switched-on soldiers, to get a tour (I know it's mine). I think tours are offered every year or two, with occasional misc taskings (we just got one for a a driver to drive a Liason Officer around in some theatre, and another for a Serb-Croat speaker)

And you'll never get a Dive course... I think the Navy reserve offers it though. And you'll never do a 2 month secondment. I'm looking at a secondment right now (as you probably noticed) and I'm betting the paperwork, phone calls, and foot work will take many, many months. So I doubt you can get a 2 month vacation with 10(V) Para or the Aussie Commandos. Wish we could tho...

Hope this helped...
Enfield

PS Just had this thought.. it's probably easier, if your a hard core troop, to get into JTF selection than the Para course... what a mixd up world...
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  #12  
Old 18 December 2000, 12:56
Marauder
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Smile

Enfield, thank you VERY much for the intel. Like I said, I wanna be able to walk into the recruiter's office having at least an idea of WTF, and your info has helped clear some things up.
About JTF-2: If what you said is right, then maybe guys who want the para course should just try to join JTF. I'm sure they would make sure you got para-qual'd. But that kinda like buying a box of cereal to get the prize. (Sorry, bad analogy, I know.)
But seriously, I know you guys have said it's damn nigh impossible for a guy in the Reserve to even try to get a slot in Selection, but if someone were to want to try to get to Selection anyway, what would your Regimental higher-ups look for in a soldier? Psychologically, performance, and physical wise? Any minimum grade or TIS?
Again, any info would be greatly appreciated.
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  #13  
Old 18 December 2000, 14:23
TonyM TonyM is offline
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Get in, put in some time, and go for it. However, it's no accident that most SF personell are usually late 20's-early 30's. By this time you've got some experiance, should be in good shape and have the mental toughness required for the job. Talking to guys from US SF and ex-SAS the most common mistake is to put all your efforts into physical training. Yes, this is important but DS staff on any good course are not looking for guys who can PT the en to death. Besides, the tests are not done to your schedule, it's when you've been up for 2-3days, need to take a big dump and not fully hydrated. This is where the real tough ones come through. Best path seems to be reg force, then recce pl, para, sniper or pathfinder if you can get it. Throw in a couple of tours. That should be about 5-7 yrs. If you make it that far, you've shown you're ready for Selection. Or put 3 years in as a reservist and go for it. Yes, reservists can and have made JTF, but I don't know the individual circumstances.
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  #14  
Old 18 December 2000, 14:48
Reverend B Reverend B is offline
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Yup. Reservists can go to selection. I know a few that have gone through and failed. Like Tony says, there is a mental toughness that I am not going to say that Reservists do not have, but usually the ones that want to go have no life experience, can do a couple of chin-ups and think that they are the hardest guys on the block. They usually find out that they aren't. Most of them come back with lame excuses like..."they failed me 'cause I was militia", or, "I got injured". (although the latter may be truthful, just teaching in battle school, I have seen more non-hackers than I can remember using this copout to save a bit of their dignity.)
Anyway, I think that I am off the original topic, so I'll sum up. It is all about drive and motivation. Most peoples egos are bigger than their brains.
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  #15  
Old 18 December 2000, 14:55
King King is offline
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Enfield,

So when an officer makes Captain or Major it's only the very best of them that get the respect of their troops and keep in touch with their concerns? The rest just become too busy or concerned with other things?
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  #16  
Old 18 December 2000, 15:01
King King is offline
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One more thing,

I suppose that the lower officers do get to do some of the grunt work as well. I was flipping through Tested Mettle by Scott Taylor last night and read that a WO and a Capt. were sent over to Yugoslavia in the mid 1990's s a sniper team. Although I think things like that are the exception rather then the rule. Maybe officers get more field time in the JTF2.

Finally, I know the avg. tour in the JTF2 is 4 or 5 years or whatever, but I'm sure soliders can serve longer. If anyone can guess for me, how long could an officer serve?
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  #17  
Old 18 December 2000, 15:38
FNG FNG is offline
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Many of your early QL courses are scored only for the top three candidates, and then the rest are ranked in the categories of 'Upper third', 'Middle', and 'Lower third'.

Like Enfield said, doing well in your QL2, QL3 and QL4 won't make it easier for you to get a jump course, but you may be one of the first ones the Ops staff calls when a spot does become available. They'll probably give it to someone who they think have a good chance of passing the course, and that probably means a hard charging soldier with a good track record in past courses.

You have to realize first that jump courses are only offered in Trenton several times a year, and Reg force, or any other airborne tasked units have priority. If there are spaces open, then the rest of the units in the area will try to fight for one of those spaces. And so within the regiment itself, you have to compete with others to get that space.

On the topic of officers...although I am not an officer, or have the qualifications, I have realized this from reading about battles in Italy carried out by the Hasty Ps.
I have previously thought the same as others about Os, but after consideration, I realize that they are not to blame.

The reason high ranking officers are detached to the troops is because it simply isn't their job to pay much personal concern. Think about it... if reserve units were all at full strength, with regiments numbering at nearly a thousand. How can the regiment's CO possibly worry about the welfare a thousand people? They can't... not directly at least.

It is the job of his RSM or CSM to tell him of any problems within the CO's coy. Likewise, it is the job of the Pl. WO to inform the CSM or RSM if there exist a problem in a Platoon. And as you may have already guessed, it's your Sect. Comd.'s job to keep the Pl. WO informed. That's why the chain of command exists. It is unrealisitic for troops to expect a high ranking officer to keep track of the status of everyone of his troops, especially in battle.

An officer thinks of his troops as battle assets. A regiment's CO thinks of his assets as three or four companies, and the OC of each company thinks of his assets as three platoons. So when they issue orders, they issue three or four sets of orders, one to each Coy or Pl... not a hundred set of orders, one for each soldier in a Coy.

So if you think it is always the officers who don't think about the troops, you may have to ask yourself... is your Pl. WO or CSM keeping the Os informed? Did YOU let your Sect. Comd or Pl. WO know about what your situation is?

Yes, in the current peace time reserve system, with only a few hundred soldiers in each regiment, it is easy to think that the CO should know everything, such as personal history, performance in duty, or moral of each individual soldier; and many COs do in fact know all their troops. But they are not trained to do that. We, the troops and NCO always want training to be realistic... so shouldn't the officers also carry out their peacetime duties as with accordance to wartime?



[This message has been edited by FNG (edited 12-18-2000).]
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  #18  
Old 18 December 2000, 17:12
Cree Warrior Cree Warrior is offline
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King,
email me at
jbwilson@ualberta.ca

I'll be back in The Pas for XMas.

Sua Sponte
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  #19  
Old 18 December 2000, 17:53
King King is offline
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FNG,

I understand what your saying, and agree. But then why are there all these complaints comming from the enlisted ranks about the CO's and OC's and such? Is it ignorance on the part of the junior ranks of the duties and abilities of their senior officers, or do most of these officers give stupid orders to their subordinates? Do unit CO's pass down their ignorance to the OC's and then to Plt. Cmdrs. and so on?
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  #20  
Old 18 December 2000, 18:45
TonyM TonyM is offline
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Officers vs enlisted is the age old master-slave, management-labour, etc. argument. Completely different ethos, and can never fully appreciated by the other. Never will be. Don't worry about which job is better / worse. You cannot compare the two, there're worlds apart. It's not about "natural" leadership, I know some cpls that are better leaders than some cpts. Ask yourself if you can accept responsibility for others and if so how much?
In the Canadian army the distinguishing difference between NCM's and Officers is that by holding a commission you are legally responsible for people. Being responsible for people means it's not about your benefits anymore, your concern is other peoples welfare. Only you can decide if this is for you.
Please don't try for a commission because of what good it's going to do for you. We've got enough of those shitbirds already.
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