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My odyssey to join the reserves

Reiper

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Hello,

Three years ago this month, I went down to the Guelph reserve armoury to speak with a recruiter. I was a first year university student, and I thought joining the reserves would be a great way to earn supplemental income, and to see if I would enjoy the full time force. The first question I asked the recruiter, was whether my vision (20/30 in the better eye, but non-correctable) would be an issue. He said no. At this point I submitted my application, hoping to gain entry as a reserve artillery officer.

I called about once a month to check up on the progress of my application, but was consistently told that no officer spots had become available. After about a year of this, I wizened up, and switched my application to NCM, since he did not think there would be any officer spots in the near future. This seemingly got the ball rolling, and that summer I was invited to take part of physical and mental aptitude testing.

Of course, during the medical test, they were interested in my vision. I submitted full medical documentation of the genetic condition I have, and why glasses could not correct it. They submitted this documentation to Ottawa for approval. At this point there were 10 spots available, and 20 applicants. I asked the chief medical officer if this would remove me from the process, since they might just skip me and hire the 10 guys before Ottawa approved me. He told me "that's not how we do things". One month later, I was approved by Ottawa with a V2 vision class, however the 10 spots at the reserve unit had been filled.

At this point I had grown somewhat despondent, but I resolved to persevere, as this was something I really wanted to do. Another year passed, and I continued to call to check if the unit had openings, but I was told that it was full.

At this point my file had been moved to the Hamilton recruiting centre, and they requested I come down for another medical and interview since it had been so long since my last one. I came down, and took the medical again, except this time, despite the fact that my vision was the exact same, they classified my vision as V4, and told me I was completely ineligible for service in the combat arms. I almost gave up at this point, but I was told that I could join a logistics or signals regiment.

So that is where I am at this point, waiting to see if a spot opens up in a signals regiment, that I will have to drive an hour both ways to attend.

This is not supposed to be a rant. I am not upset, but I do feel that my file has been treated unfairly, not due to the incompetence of any single individual, but rather because of the bureaucracy of the reserves recruiting process.

Does anyone have any suggestions for what I should do at this point? They told me to sit tight, but I am in my last year of university and very eager to expedite the process. 
 

Loachman

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Reiper said:
After about a year of this, I wizened up,

Sorry to hear that http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/wizened?s=b

Reiper said:
Does anyone have any suggestions for what I should do at this point? They told me to sit tight, but I am in my last year of university and very eager to expedite the process.

Unfortunately, vacancies are few and far between lately. Nobody here is likely to be able to explain the change in vision category, but somebody should be able to advise you regarding your next step.

 

Reiper

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Loachman said:
Sorry to hear that http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/wizened?s=b

Lol indeed, good catch. ;D


Loachman said:
Unfortunately, vacancies are few and far between lately. Nobody here is likely to be able to explain the change in vision category, but somebody should be able to advise you regarding your next step.

Yes, I found it quite strange and somewhat upsetting. I don't think anyone ever likes to hear that they are permanently and physically incapable of doing something.
 

Noctis

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Find a body (preferably fresh) and swap eyes with it.

In all honesty, nobody on the forum can help you. They decided you were V4. You can appeal the decision, your local recruitment center can explain to you how you can do this. That's about it.
 

mld

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Is your goal to end up in the reg force? If so, and you are in your last year of school I would suggest waiting until you are finished your degree and apply DEO. Component Transfers from reserve to reg force can take a very long time.

As for your vision, you could make an appointment with the medic at the RC to ask him why your status was switched. Like Noctis said, you can appeal, but I suspect V4 is where you should be, not V2.

Good luck with it all, and hang in there.
 

Bluebulldog

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You may not get the answers you want on here.

Wanting to be in the combat arms is noble, but there are a lot of interesting trades out there, and many of them are rewarding in their own respect.

The reserves do offer commuting assistance to troops who travel further than 16km one way. It's not much, but it is helpful. You will have to ask yourself how badly you want to be in, and if an hour away is what you're good with. For me, and hour each way was definitely worth the trouble.

I know a few of the sigs guys at JFA, good bunch. You maybe should go down and meet with their unit recruiter, and check out what they do.
 

Reiper

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Well, I have some good news. I was called the other day, and they want me to start this Thursday and start basic training this weekend.

Does anyone know how many weekends basic training is in the reserves, and do they have to be done consecutively, or is it possible to take one weekend off?
 

Bluebulldog

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Reiper said:
Well, I have some good news. I was called the other day, and they want me to start this Thursday and start basic training this weekend.

Does anyone know how many weekends basic training is in the reserves, and do they have to be done consecutively, or is it possible to take one weekend off?

You'll do 11 weekends between now and Mid May. Mostly every second weekend, but with holidays and such, and scheduling, you'll probably see a couple of times where you're on course two weekends consecutively.
 

JRH93

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Hey reiper, I have 4 weekends left for my BMQ, normally its the first and 3rd weekend of the month, this month we had 3 back to back due to time restrictions I suppose, from Friday at 8 until sunday around 4 your doing your basic training, then on unit Thursdays your bmq/pat platoon will cover what you learned the previous weekend.

Few tips, Even though theres no standard for the shacks - make one right away and stick to it, nothings worse then a new course senior changing the standard every damn weekend, give out section cleaning tasks and even if you think your cleanings done, clean it again.

bring every single piece of issued kit, even if you think its useless you don't want to be that person who didn't bring their toque and the whole course has to suffer, your a team not an individual.

If you notice your missing kit that you signed for, don't wait haste and get what you signed for right away, one guy didn't have winter gear until the first week of January when cs opened again.

Write/remember everything your course staff tells you, it will become vital later on, whether for a written P.O test, or from there own experience.

Have FUN its a great time  :snowman:.

-JRH

 

Bluebulldog

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JRH93

A couple of things.

1. Course weekends will not necessarily follow the same "1st and 3rd weekend" type of schedule. It depends on what 31 brigade sets out, as they tend to factor in things like FTXs, and such so that qualified course staff are available.

2. Units vary as to what is done on parade night. there might be review, or they might simply have the recruits doing PT, or GD, some units may not even want recruits parading until they are completed BMQ.

3. The OP is going to be with a unit in Hamilton, so no shacks, he will have lovely accomodations in the middle of a parade square.
 

JRH93

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Was giving him an example blue, just noting things that have happened up here in Ottawa.. That sucks your not on a base to do bmq though
 

Bluebulldog

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JRH93 said:
Was giving him an example blue, just noting things that have happened up here in Ottawa.. That sucks your not on a base to do bmq though

Actually, being on cots on a parade square has some distinct advantages over the shacks in some respects. ;)
 

PMedMoe

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JRH93 said:
would you still recieve TD pay?

They get TD plus pay for BMQ?  ???  I mean, I can understand TD if you are on BMQ away from home....

Just curious, where are these "shacks" in Ottawa?
 

brihard

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PMedMoe said:
They get TD plus pay for BMQ?  ???  I mean, I can understand TD if you are on BMQ away from home....

Just curious, where are these "shacks" in Ottawa?

We stick 'em out at Connaught Ranges for weekends. Extended portable ATCO style housing, two dudes per crappy little room. "Shacks" is a good word for them. And yes, they're getting two days TD per weekend under a strict reading of what qualified for that entitlement.
 

PMedMoe

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Brihard said:
We stick 'em out at Connaught Ranges for weekends. Extended portable ATCO style housing, two dudes per crappy little room. "Shacks" is a good word for them. And yes, they're getting two days TD per weekend under a strict reading of what qualified for that entitlement.

I know them.  Used to go inspect in the summer to see what damages the Cadets had done.  ::)  I suppose, technically, if ordered into shacks, then TD it is.  I got it on my PLQ in Petawawa.  Well, Mon-Fri anyway.  :nod:
 
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