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Courses for Officers.

Canadian.Trucker

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Out of curiosity, come up within the next 1-2 years I would like to get some extra courses under my belt.   I know the basic para is available, but how often are officers on it?   I suppose numbers are not available because it's all in what unit bids on those spots for it's soldiers.

Also, officers don't drive so I suppose the milcot and other driver courses for the LSVW etc. are out or is it possible to get on those?   Does this perhaps differ from unit to unit depending on the CO's stand on officers driving?

What other courses are out there that an officer can take that are basically extra's to increase his knowledge and participation but are not required courses?

I just noticed that I should have posted this in the training section, sorry bout that.

Thanks.
 

chrisp1j

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Motion carried...

I'll be in the same boat very soon, and would also be interested to know
 

Canadian.Trucker

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It would appear that there isn't a lot of info. on the subject.  I hope someone knows something, any info. is helpful.
 

Inch

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You're right, officers don't drive much, so don't expect to get LAV/AVGP/MLVW or even LSVW on your 404's (military driver's license). It's quite possible to get ILTIS/G-Wagon or civvie pattern vehicles, but you won't be doing much driving since that's what drivers do.

As for other courses, there's all the standard officer courses like the OPME's (Officer Professional Military Education) which consist of military law, defense management, politics, Cdn military history, leadership and ethics and one other one that I can't recall right now. This is stuff that will help advance your career, also second language school is a good thing to occupy your time.

I don't think you're aircrew, are you? If so there's Sea Survival, Basic SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance to Interrogation and Evasion), and Aeromedical Training. If you're helicopter aircrew you can also do the dunker course. Though these courses are all required for aircrew, not really extracurricular.

Maritime Warfare Basic is an other option if you'll be working in Maritime ops.

I hope that helps.

Cheers
 

Canadian.Trucker

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I've completed all of Reg. Force phase 1, so I am expecting to go on my CAP R and Phase 3 infantry this coming summer.  I'm infantry, so all the aircrew courses don't apply.  I was just wondering if there were courses I was not aware of.  I know about the basic para, and certain 404 drivers courses.  It does help a little, I just wish I could almost get a listing for what is out there though.
 

JP

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You should chat with the following people in your unit: other officers, the adjutant, the operations / trg offr or WO, tpt offr / WO.
They'll let you know what's available. You should get COTS, G-Wagen, Iltis and civi pattern fairly easily. The para course offr posns are usually snapped up by Area and bde officers, and very few trickle down to the units. There are quite a lot of great courses for infantry types, that you can get on, and become an instuctor / course offr for, just look at the tasks in your trade. Course such as hand to hand combat, rappel master or mountain ops are sometimes run through different bases or trg centres. You have to have an "in" to be aware of these courses and that's where your ops/trg staff come in. With the right approach, they can give you the heads up on opportunities.
Good luck.
 

RCPalmer

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As a reserve officer, your opportunities for "extra" courses are actually quite limited. You can get 404's, but likely for Civy pattern only, and the only requirement for that is a written test and a provincial driver's licence.  To become qualified on any other vehicle, you would have to take a driver wheeled course, and spots on those courses are usually quite limited and best left to the troops (units are always in need of more Cpl/Pte's who can drive).  Basic Para positions are available from time to time, and your unit should be conducting a para fitness test for interested personnel periodically.  OPME's as a course of study are for regular force only (reserves take the Militia Officer Staff Course instead, but that is for after you've completed your phase training), but that doesn't mean you can't go through them for your own personal development. 

I would recomend learning as much as possible about the material you will be learning during your next set of courses (BOTP, CAP, RPC) during your first months at the unit.  Every unit has a senior subaltern, who can assist you in finding course material, and provide some guidance.
 

Michael OLeary

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As a Regular Force officer, opportunities for courses are also limited. Principal factors for acquiring courses are usually their relationship to your primary duties, opportunity (i.e., it's being run and your unit has a vacancy) and availability (i.e., your CO can afford to have you away for the duration). Some courses will be required at times in your career, such as the Delegated Officers' training, so that you can conduct Summary Trials (generally senior Capts and above), some are received because it's good to share the knowledge (like General Safety Courses), and others will only be offered if they relate to your job (for example, Forward Air Controller). There's no general list of courses that officers can just sign up for, some officers accumulate a variety of courses, others do not. Don't plan your future based on the anticipation of the courses you think you want.

 
A

AndrewWGrieve

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Was somewhat misinterpreted.  Didn't mean for people to do anything wrong. 
 

George Wallace

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YoungOfficer said:
............ As an officer, you can sign the course report. Just get the approval of your CO and you do just about anything.

Excuse Me!!!!!!

Who do you think you are?   You can not make up a Course Report on yourself and sign it off.  

GW
 

Michael Dorosh

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RCPalmer said:
As a reserve officer, your opportunities for "extra" courses are actually quite limited. You can get 404's, but likely for Civy pattern only, and the only requirement for that is a written test and a provincial driver's licence.  To become qualified on any other vehicle, you would have to take a driver wheeled course, and spots on those courses are usually quite limited and best left to the troops (units are always in need of more Cpl/Pte's who can drive).  Basic Para positions are available from time to time, and your unit should be conducting a para fitness test for interested personnel periodically.  OPME's as a course of study are for regular force only (reserves take the Militia Officer Staff Course instead, but that is for after you've completed your phase training), but that doesn't mean you can't go through them for your own personal development. 

I would recomend learning as much as possible about the material you will be learning during your next set of courses (BOTP, CAP, RPC) during your first months at the unit.  Every unit has a senior subaltern, who can assist you in finding course material, and provide some guidance.

Nice to see another Highlander here, Sir, welcome aboard.

Unlike Young Officer, the fellow who posted the crap two posts above, the Calgary Highlanders have been fortunate to get a lot of bright and energetic junior officers into the fold; Mr. Palmer is certainly one of those and speaks with genuine authority.

Young Officer, you are either bending the truth a bit, or else serving in a shitty unit if junior officers think they can simply get away with doing whatever they want. 

I'd think twice before making serious allegations like that again.  If you are serious about these allegations, this messageboard is not the place to be making them - contact your chain of command, or the Ombudsman.  Consider yourself to have been warned by the STAFF here.
 

Michael OLeary

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YoungOfficer said:
If you're a reservist, you can actually end up taking a fair amount of courses, like the driver courses, under the table.  One of my friends was the Course O for a drivers course and he showed up for all the lectures and got the qualification as well.  I was offered the opportunity to take a tech course with the soldiers at my unit just by showing up, sitting in the back, and writing the final qualification exam.  Technically, I would not be on the course, and it was not an officer course, but I could still do it.  Things like that happen all the time in the reserves.  Any course that is locally run, (as in run by the reserve units in your area), you can do.  Wanna take a comms course?  Show up.  heck, if you're willing to show up for a comms course, you're probably the Course O.  Same goes for a drivers course.  No one else wants to be a Course O for those courses.
Generally in the reserves you are really only limited by your time and competence.  If you have a fair amount of time, and you are competent, you can do just about anything.  Not high enough rank to be the Course O?  Who cares, they'll send you anyways.  heck, if people have time, they can even run a private course for you or for you and a few friends.  Take a bit of extra class A time from the budget, give it to your transport NCO, and he can teach you how to drive.  As an officer, you can sign the course report.  Just get the approval of your CO and you do just about anything. 

I have also seen officers "acquire" course qualifications while appointed the Course Officer. Those who do it properly attend all training lectures, practice skills on their own time (thus ensuring they were not taking instructor or equipment time from the students), and honestly prepared for and completed every test (written and practical). This also means that their Course Officer duties are either done on their own time, or when they necessarily took precedence over course training, the course training was be made up to meet the conditions of the Course Training Plan. Others may have 'cheated' as described, and received exactly what they earned, a worthless piece of paper supported by falsehoods provided to the superiors who signed the course report.

Allowing an officer to pursue qualification in this manner is only worthwhile when the officer will acquire useful skills, such as completing a basic support weapons course when they know they will eventually command that weapons platoon. Done simply to "rack up quals" for bragging rights on qualifications the officer will never practice, is simply cheating the system.

Any time I found myself employed as a course officer, I found my professional duties kept me sufficiently busy to prevent me from attending enough of the training to proclaim myself eligible for the qualification. That doesn't mean I didn't learn much of the material being taught, it did mean I did not participate suffiently enough to honestly complete all PO checks.  For those officers that a CO wants to receive a basic qualification, the CO will ensure they are loaded on the course.

 

Ex-Dragoon

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Ah nice to see certain regiments require their officers to still lead by example.  ::)
 

Canadian.Trucker

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Right.  So a basic support weapons course might be of use to me because I am being earmarked for a riflemans position in a Scout Section that is being created in my unit.  At least that's what I remember it being called.  This has been of great help, basically take the courses that are of actual value and will server what I'm doing.  Alright, excellent.
 

bossi

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Chipping in with another two cents' worth ...
On one hand, part of this thread has been a discussion of "how to get qualifications".
And, on the other hand, once or twice there has been a hint of "how do I improve myself" ...

So, it's kinda like "Selection and Maintenance of The Aim".   Is the goal to obtain merit badges like in Cub Scouts, or ... is the real goal actually professional development ... ?

In order to become a better officer, it's not uncommon for officer cadets or 2Lts to "shadow" a course being run by the unit - they learn whatever is being taught (which helps to make them a better soldier, as opposed to "ticking the box" and getting another qualification ...).

If a unit has its' act together, Professional Development training can also be organised by the Adjt (i.e. through reading lists, mutuals/presentations amongst the subalterns, or lectures/lessons by the more senior offrs).   More formal courses might also be available from a local university - I once took "War and Morality" at U of T (offered by the Philosophy Department) and would highly recommend it to everybody (which reminds me - there are also correspondence courses available from RMC).

And, I don't think I saw this mentioned above - there's also the CF Harassment Advisor/Investigator trg (although a friend with the HI qual said it's the "kiss of death", since you'll end up being shanghai'd off for lengthy investigations that nobody else wants to tackle).   $0.02
 

COBRA-6

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What I have found out as a reserve infantry officer is that it is very difficult to take real "fighting" courses... basic para, urban ops, recce, anti-armour, mountain ops, etc are as rare as honest politicians... there are more than enough spots on other courses such as staff officer training, general saftey, environmental, harassment, and all sort of other things that have nothing to do with operational issues... This is one reason I parade with LFCA CIMIC, it's operationaly focused, and there are all kinds of training opportunities out there. No you don't get to blow anything up, but it is interesting, you get to use your head and you can go on tour...

That being said you can get some usefull quals if you work at it, civy-pat 404's are top of the list... first-aid training as well (advanced, instructor, BTLS)... biggest thing is to make your wishes known to the Ops O, keep asking and something will come up, but be prepared to jump on it... I'm kicking myself for not taking a jump course, even though it was 3 days notice and I was in university... hahaha gotta love the mo!

Cheers
 

Canadian.Trucker

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Super duper old topic that I started a dogs ago but thought that perhaps I could give some update and insight for any new (or old) junior officers thinking about what courses are available.

The discussion of being the Course O and also attending the training came up and does happen every now and then.  This happened with my rappel master course where I was the Course O and did all the required admin support that my duties required, but also was on the tower and helo to participate in and complete all required Performance Objectives needed to pass.  It was a juggling act, but in the end I had excellent NCO's working for me that helped out in this balancing act.

Sometimes in the end though it is just all about right time, right place and you are a lucky son of a gun.  Basic para is one of those for sure as unless you're in a unit that has a jump tasking the availability of getting a position is slim.  This past summer the first all reserve run (and mostly reserve attended) jump course was ran so units in LFCA for the first time were offered up jump positions on purpose to send candidates.  I say for the first time because instead of soldiers showing up standby or last minute when a spot couldn't be filled, units were intentionally allocated positions in advance that did not have a jump tasking.

The moral of the story, opportunities are out there so stay active, be keen and keep your ear to the ground.  Just because a your unit getting a certain course is not the routine doesn't mean it can't happen.

As an afterthought the post from YoungOfficer of "making up a course report and signing it" is horrible.  That even a thought of doing such a thing should ever cross ones mind makes me sick because it speaks to the ethics of not only the person, but potentially the whole.  If I ever caught an officer or NCO doing such a thing I would have to seriously take a walk first before acting so I wouldn't lose my mind and do something I shouldn't.  Sitting in on a course and doing all the necessary PO's and tests so that you can get qualified while doing the job of course O is one thing, trying to lie and circumvent the system is another.
 

heavy reader

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For staff stuck behind a desk, here are some online opportunities for PD:

https://www.natoschool.nato.int/academic_courses.asp


 
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