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So You Want to be an officer, eh!

Gunner98

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I agree 48th, it took me 8-10 years of commissioned service to earn the respect of Sgts and WOs and have the confidence to challenge their ways.  After that first decade, I came to truly understand that importance of relationships built on trust and respect rather than rank and experience, my career took on a whole new dimension.  It is kind of like building a good marriage - only in that case it took me the first 20 years to reap the same benefits (those being the same - trust and respect). 
 

Dilanger

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the 48th regulator said:
Dilanger,

This is a phenomenal post.

However, after you have been to RMC, for the full term, I want you to come here and validate this post.

I am not busting your balls, but I will say this.  You will not be taught that in RMC, trust me.

And if you go against the grain, you will be a pariah...

Trust me,

dileas

tess

I wont forget too
 

McG

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the 48th regulator said:
And, in this day and age, you believe there is room for a separation of leadership, within the Canadian public, based on not scholastic acceptance but how they apply for the military?

Is that not an insult to our military, on how we train our leaders?

A kid, at 17, can apply to be a leader, go to school and be "respected" with an archaic method of recognition, however a cpl. who took the same course has to bow down to him?

Is this modern Canada?
You've lost me.  Are you suggesting (& simultaneously lamenting) that the difference between an officer & an NCM is the university degree hanging on the wall, or are you upset by the fact that the officer corps even exists?

Certainly, the difference between officer & NCM is not simply how an individual chose to apply.  Officers & NCMs are enrolled based on different entrance aptitude requirements, they are trained differently, they have different education requirements and follow different career paths.  All of this is because they have different jobs which require emphasis of different knowledge & skills.

And yes, this absolutely is modern Canada.  You will find very few (if any) large commercial organizations in which the executive came all the way up from the level of the wrench turners & nail drivers.

... If your complaint is that the Officer - NCO distinction creates a false class system that brings out petty dysfunctions by members of both groups, well you might be right there.  However, that is a problem with individuals & not either group as a whole.  Maybe we could identify some ways to ease macro officer-NCM tensions.

I suspect the first step is respect both ways & recognition that each group has a different role to play.
 

Roy Harding

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I've been studiously and deliberately staying out of this thread, up 'till now.

But I can't resist.

Here's an OLD quote from some guy named Roy Harding - from 2005:

Roy Harding said:
... but don't make the mistake of thinking that Jr Ranks, Sr NCO/WOs, and Officers are different "levels" on the same continuum.  That may hold true for Jr Ranks and Sr NCO/WOs - to a certain extent - but an Officer is NOT simply a tradesmen with a university degree - their function is different...

You can read the whole thread here (it's not that interesting - has to do with an individual who couldn't decide whether to be a Log Officer or an RMS Clk):  http://forums.army.ca/forums/threads/32385/post-237237.html#msg237237

This is a tired, hackneyed, emotional, and rarely logical argument.

You fella's that want to be Officers - go for it.  Understand that being an Officer doesn't make you "better" than your NCOs, indeed you will probably be less technically proficient than your NCOs at whatever function you may choose to pursue.

Being an Officer means that if you do well in your career - you will exercise "executive" authority.  Which basically means - when your plan fails - YOU wear it.  And by "wearing" it, I mean legally, morally, and physically.

For the record - and for those who do not yet know how to check an individual's profile - I retired a Warrant Officer, not a Commissioned Officer - which is what is being discussed here.
 

RubberTree

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Back in IAP/BOTP we were told (and retold, and retold) that upon commissioning it would be in our best interests to listen to, seek advice from, pay attention to and get to know the NCMs working under us. For the simple reason that as a young 2Lt with 4 years in...we don't really know how things work. Sgts are a wealth of knowledge...use them or ignore them at your own peril we were told. Maybe I just had good course staff but I thought that this point was being driven home to most OCDTs now.

George Wallace said:
Yes you are partially correct.  I am getting frustrated, pissed off, etc. when I see so many lazy, self-centered, egos with humongous senses of entitlement come onto the site and use illiterate means to communicate that they want to become our future leaders.  On the other hand, I wanted to temper that frustration and try to ask a balanced question: "Are you para 1 or are you para 2 and have you bothered to do some research as to what may be expected of you?  There are just as many who come onto the site, and have used their initiative to do some research, or at the very least admit to their lack of knowledge, and ask questions pertaining to answers they have discovered on the site.  I look at these people as showing more potential and probably more likely to have people give them constructive answers.  Perhaps I need a vacation. 

To be fair...this isn't your average site and these aren't your average forums. Sure, people are supposed to read the rules before they post their first response but I dare say that that doesn't always happen. Today's tech savy kids (35 and under....myself included) have clicked "I Agree" to so many online legal documents that internet rules don't mean much if anything except being one step closer to where you wanted to be 10 clicks ago. They (we) have been to numerous different sites and forums, have sought advice on everything from acne to changing a tie rod end to how to hack a cell phone.
This site...where they (we) are chastised for repeating an already answered question is an anomaly, a total black sheep. Most forums don't instruct users to search first and certainly don't include hostile "get it together...you want a job...learn to search" responses.
I'm not saying that new users shouldn't search (God knows I've used the line on other forums) I'm simply saying that newbies aren't used to having to search and aren't used to getting online attitude. I cringe when I think of how many potentially excellent members have been turned off of the military by the attitude they have received here (although we aren't associated with the DND).
In the end...my point is this...once in the military, this type of behaviour (repeating questions, using shorthand or textalk) isn't tolerated, which is a good thing (I think). I think its very bold if not a little unreasonable to expect the same of non CF members who are unfamiliar with how things work in "our" real world but are intimately familiar with usual online etiquette and use. Site rules can be posted until you are blue in the face but in this day and age you will never get rid of the repeated questions or the shorthand completely, it is simply too prevalent online. So, do we learn to accept it? Do we continue to chastise posters in the hope that we can teach them a thing or two about the military before they even apply or is there another answer?
I think a vacation is in order.
 

Blackadder1916

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George Wallace said:
. . .  I am getting frustrated, pissed off, etc. when I see so many lazy, self-centered, egos with humongous senses of entitlement come onto the site and use illiterate means to communicate that they want to become our future leaders. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you!  Great minds think alike . . . (I'll leave the second part of that saying to whomever wishes to apply it to me.)

...this isn't your average site and these aren't your average forums.

. . . I cringe when I think of how many potentially excellent members have been turned off of the military by the attitude . . .

But then, the CF shouldn't really be looking for "average" people, especially to be its leaders.  If someone is turned off a career in the CF by the (comparatively mild) upbraiding to follow the rules/customs of this site, then I would question how serious they were or how suitable.

-------------------------------------------------------------

However, a discussion of "officership" could be useful for those contemplating a commission (or what seems more likely from a number of recent threads - contemplating the subsidized education, certain specific exciting jobs or cool sounding titles that come along with it). 

While the principles and practices of leadership can be applied to those both commissioned and non-commissioned, there is a specific difference that officers "should" have at the onset - a conscious desire to lead.  Not all do, I've known far too many who didn't; they were really just highly credentialed technician-managers (and sometimes not very competent managers).  Of course, these (IMHO) often based their worth on their "superior" knowledge and credentials and expected others to accept their authority on the same basis.

While NCOs and WOs are (or should be) skilled leaders, they've come to their positions in a more gradual fashion. Though they may have a "conscious desire to lead", it would not be requirement at the lowest rank levels. Their leadership aptitude and skills would have been evaluated (formally and informally) as their careers progressed - and "no-duff", not just (like potential officers) in the artificial environment of BOTC/BMOQ/RMC/Phase trg (or whatever they're called these days).



 

Gunner98

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RubberTree said:
So, do we learn to accept it? Do we continue to chastise posters in the hope that we can teach them a thing or two about the military before they even apply or is there another answer?

I would suggest that people who change their mind about joining the military based on a poor impression from time spent on this site are either: not that committed in the first place or received the necessary wake up call that the military is inflexible to individual quirks and ignorance toward rules and guidelines.  Therefore as stated in the Guidelines: "First and foremost, we're all representatives of the CF. We may not want to be, but ultimately, we don't have the luxury of choice. The truth is when you post a message even on an unofficial site like this, your comments reflect upon the CF."

The guidelines also state (http://forums.milnet.ca/forums/index.st /topic,24937.0.html): You will not use excessive webspeak, or other shorthand styles of typing. Please use English or French to the best of your ability; this makes it easier for those who are not posting in their native language.

In the same manner, experienced users will minimize the use acronyms and abbreviations without showing them out in full on first use.

Ignorance of the guidelines of the site or in the military is no excuse and you will be judged accordingly.  I see no need for change. As The RCR on this site and in real life kindly remind us of their slogan regularly, "Never pass a fault."


 

 

PMedMoe

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RubberTree said:
I cringe when I think of how many potentially excellent members have been turned off of the military by the attitude they have received here

I have to agree with Frostnipped Elf.  How "excellent" do these people have the potential to be if they get so quickly turned off the military solely from a response on this website?
 

The Bread Guy

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While there's merit in the aim of "what should a leader be able to do?" thrust of the thread....
Frostnipped Elf said:
Likewise without a leadership role you can provide support to your team/sub-unt/unit through:
- enthusiasm
- commitment
- honesty and
- the calm ability to say I don't understand at the appropriate time, rather than asking why continually?
.... thanks also for this mention of the other side of the coin - not everybody necessarily wants to be (or needs to be) the boss.
 

Greymatters

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RubberTree said:
To be fair...this isn't your average site and these aren't your average forums. Sure, people are supposed to read the rules before they post their first response but I dare say that that doesn't always happen. Today's tech savy kids (35 and under....myself included) have clicked "I Agree" to so many online legal documents that internet rules don't mean much if anything except being one step closer to where you wanted to be 10 clicks ago. They (we) have been to numerous different sites and forums, have sought advice on everything from acne to changing a tie rod end to how to hack a cell phone.
This site...where they (we) are chastised for repeating an already answered question is an anomaly, a total black sheep. Most forums don't instruct users to search first and certainly don't include hostile "get it together...you want a job...learn to search" responses.

This site should act a key source of information for visitors in two ways:

1) What you read and how content is controlled tells any visitor a lot about past and current CF members and how they think.  if you want to join the CF, regardless of trade or desired rank, get used to the idea of dealing with this mindset on a daily basis.

2) This site is highly critical of visitors (or anyone really) who cant obey rules, cant abide by a moral code, act wishy-washy, or think they can use excuses to get out of trouble.  If they cant handle it here without getting offended, how will they be able to do it for real once they join?   

And for a 'PS' kinda third: "this isn't your average site and these aren't your average forums"; this should be a clue that the CF isnt an average job!
 

Michael OLeary

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Greymatters said:
This site should act a key source of information for visitors in two ways:

1) What you read and how content is controlled tells any visitor a lot about past and current CF members and how they think.  if you want to join the CF, regardless of trade or desired rank, get used to the idea of dealing with this mindset on a daily basis.

2) This site is highly critical of visitors (or anyone really) who cant obey rules, cant abide by a moral code, act wishy-washy, or think they can use excuses to get out of trouble.  If they cant handle it here without getting offended, how will they be able to do it for real once they join?   

And for a 'PS' kinda third: "this isn't your average site and these aren't your average forums"; this should be a clue that the CF isnt an average job!

And how long and how much guidance should be allow before we condemn someone to abuse and say "good riddance" when they leave?  If we want to compare this to a CF environment, when was the last time someone was ridiculed and driven out of the CF on their first day because they asked a "dumb question"? 

 

Kat Stevens

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Not driven out, but ridden like a rented mule for a few hours.
 

Greymatters

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Michael O'Leary said:
And how long and how much guidance should be allow before we condemn someone to abuse and say "good riddance" when they leave?  If we want to compare this to a CF environment, when was the last time someone was ridiculed and driven out of the CF on their first day because they asked a "dumb question"?

Hmmm... perhaps not a such a good example when put that way...

 

mariomike

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Kat Stevens said:
Not driven out, but ridden like a rented mule for a few hours.

That's a good way of putting it. With "Progressive Discipline":
http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/labour/publications/employment_standards/discipline.shtml
 

Michael OLeary

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Greymatters said:
Hmmm... perhaps not a such a good example when put that way...

Or would any of them be dogpiled and chased out of the Recruiting Centre because they didn't come from a military family and no-one told them they shouldn't ask about sniper training, pay or when they will get promoted next before establishing their reasons for joining as pure enough for a Templar knighthood?

If any new member's knowledge of the CF, the infantry or any other trade has come from the History and Discovery channels - because where else is there mainstream info on the military - who are we to fault them for misunderstanding something that has been virtually invisible to them in Canadian society?

Leadership also implies offering understanding, guidance and teaching, just like the CF does in the CF in individual training.  If we don't offer that here to every new member, we are not offering an introduction to life in the CF, no matter what any of us want to think we are achieving.
 

Gunner98

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Michael O'Leary said:
And how long and how much guidance should be allow before we condemn someone to abuse and say "good riddance" when they leave?  If we want to compare this to a CF environment, when was the last time someone was ridiculed and driven out of the CF on their first day because they asked a "dumb question"?

In my case the first time would be early July 1983 in a CFB Cornwallis parking lot just before sunrise.  We all know there are no dumb questions, but only a fool logs on to an unofficial army/military web site with thousands of members who have made hundreds of thousands of posts and immediately thinks they have a new, important, unique question that will be best asked using all small letters, a little profanity and a wise-cracking tone.  Try that approach at the local Legion/ANAF/Kinsmen/Rotary/YMCA/Civitan/Lion's/Elk's/Shriner's/your choice club and see what kind of response you get.  It would probably result in the outside door handle hitting you in the behind before you knew what happened.

As for the last time a new arrival was ridiculed for an important, unique, untimely question...since it is Friday afternoon, I would have to say last Monday in a Saint Jean sur Richelieu parking lot just before sunrise.
 

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Frostnipped Elf said:
In my case the first time would be early July 1983 in a CFB Cornwallis parking lot just before sunrise.  We all know there are no dumb questions, but only a fool logs on to an unofficial army/military web site with thousands of members who have made hundreds of thousands of posts and immediately thinks they have a new, important, unique question that will be best asked using all small letters, a little profanity and a wise-cracking tone.  Try that approach at the local Legion/ANAF/Kinsmen/Rotary/YMCA/Civitan/Lion's/Elk's/Shriner's/your choice club and see what kind of response you get.  It would probably result in the outside door handle hitting you in the behind before you knew what happened.

As for the last time a new arrival was ridiculed for an important, unique, untimely question...since it is Friday afternoon, I would have to say last Monday in a Saint Jean sur Richelieu parking lot just before sunrise.

How easily we forget that adage that "there are no dumb questions".

New members of the CF or any forum don't necessarily have the context to know when something, once asked, will invite ridicule.  What test do you propose to make sure people have searched before asking?  What method will you use to ensure they understand the right vocabulary so they know what to search for?  How will you coach them in using the search page so that they can realistically narrow the responses to an answer, and not just the last 50 times the question was asked and slammed without proving any useful information?

The bottom line is that the forum has developed a nasty edge that doesn't want to give some new posters even a first chance, let a lone a second.

And can I take it from your response that those members were both "ridiculed and driven out of the CF on their first day", because that was the point being made.
 

Gunner98

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I read what was written and stand by my statements -  in some cases recruits including officer cadets were/are ridiculed on the first day and not long after some will leave or have left because, of among other things, their hurt feelings.  I did not forget the adage in fact I included it in second sentence of my post.

I do agree that the nasty edge is spreading and perhaps more of the rebukes could be done by PM.  I think it might be appropriate to create a "newbie wading pool without sharks" with perhaps a thread topic title - Please post your first posts/questions here.  The first post in the thread could state -  Be forewarned there are grouchy, sharks in all other regions of the park - swim beyond the ropes with caution.
 

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Michael O'Leary, you have officially become my idol on these forums. Always a voice of reason and justice! :salute:
 

Engineer79

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One thing I've noticed on this forum is how much pride CF members have (which is usually a good thing). Once you offend anyone (knowingly or unknowing) on this forum, you will never earn back their respect back (clearly noticeable through my negative MP points), even after your apologize through a PM.

As for new members coming here and asking question, I agree that there are a few posts that are very redundant. However, there are a few posts that can be contradicting – which leads to more searching and possibly more contradictions. It is essentially a good thing that once in a while there are redundant question to clear up any such confusion and to get an updated answer.

As for this thread, Wallace did many people a great favor by bringing out the question MANY of the experienced CF members on here would like to ask every new member that comes on here and asks “I want to be an officer…blah blah…”. Are you fit to lead? This thread will help new members (myself included) understand the meaning of being an officer (or anyone in a leadership position).

My grandpa always used to say “Education makes the wise wiser and the fool more foolish.” – was a quote by someone who I can’t recall.

I don’t believe there are any “Easy” routes through life, there are always consequences and challenges that will result because of your choices. If a member wishes to lead and made a choice to go through DEO/ROTP, I wouldn’t necessarily call that the “easy way” out.
 
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