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Training after BMQ, Excatly what happens?

kkramar

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I've tried searching on this site and forum for definitive answers as to what training happens up too the first posting. I haven't gotten a real answer, but variations. I've also tried talking to a recruiter online and still the answer I got is different.

So any Field Artillery guys that could help would be appreciated.

After BMQ what are the course I will have to take? What are they called and how long are they? I don't know if the forces.ca site is up to date.

I just want to know how long until I will be able to live with my wife again, and how long we are going to be separated.
 

jeffb

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After BMQ you'll be posted to the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery School (RCAS) at CFB Gagetown. After that, you'll be on PAT troop for a period of time. The length of your time on PAT before your first course is really hard to predict. For some people it's a matter of days, for others it can be months. The median time though is probably in the 3 month range. Your time on PAT will be spent doing a PT twice a day with the remainder of your time on various short-term taskings with the bulk of your time spent in the classroom. Sometimes you will receive informal classes on various topics relating to your future career but most of the time you will be left to your own devices.

Your first course after BMQ will be SQ followed by your DP1 Field course. Both courses are run by the School and tend to blend together with little more then a day or two between them. Someone on the NCM side will be able to offer you more information on the length of these courses. After you are done these courses, you will be posted out to a Regiment or kept at the School at "W" Bty. Either way, after this period your posting status will probably be changed from prohibited and you should be able to get your family moved to you.

Right now, there's a shortage of instructors and resources at the school. This means that there are a ton of students awaiting training (well over 100 on the NCM side and about 80 on the officer side). In the year that I've been at the school on and off PAT, this is by far the most number of people that I've seen. The longest person on PAT right now on the NCM side has been at the school about a year but has been RTU'd (returned to unit) off a 2 SQ's due to fairly severe injuries.

Hope this helps.
 

kkramar

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jeffb said:
After BMQ you'll be posted to the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery School (RCAS) at CFB Gagetown. After that, you'll be on PAT troop for a period of time. The length of your time on PAT before your first course is really hard to predict. For some people it's a matter of days, for others it can be months. The median time though is probably in the 3 month range. Your time on PAT will be spent doing a PT twice a day with the remainder of your time on various short-term taskings with the bulk of your time spent in the classroom. Sometimes you will receive informal classes on various topics relating to your future career but most of the time you will be left to your own devices.

Your first course after BMQ will be SQ followed by your DP1 Field course. Both courses are run by the School and tend to blend together with little more then a day or two between them. Someone on the NCM side will be able to offer you more information on the length of these courses. After you are done these courses, you will be posted out to a Regiment or kept at the School at "W" Bty. Either way, after this period your posting status will probably be changed from prohibited and you should be able to get your family moved to you.

Right now, there's a shortage of instructors and resources at the school. This means that there are a ton of students awaiting training (well over 100 on the NCM side and about 80 on the officer side). In the year that I've been at the school on and off PAT, this is by far the most number of people that I've seen. The longest person on PAT right now on the NCM side has been at the school about a year but has been RTU'd (returned to unit) off a 2 SQ's due to fairly severe injuries.

Hope this helps.

That's a solid amount of information thanks.

But a year away from my wife right at the start sounds like a lot. Any suggestions as how to deal with that?

Or is she pretty much stuck at home and never see me for a year?
 

Crockett

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There is never any guarantees about getting home to see loved ones, but in general the training system will likely (depending on course dates) have you burn off leave during a specific block period, and well you always have Christmas. Can always use LTA once a year to assist in travel.

The long and the short of it is.... theres no guarantees and every situation is different.

Its good that your trying to figure out time frames in advance, I did the same with my spouse, but its still just an educated guess, there could still be significant delays added into your schedule.
 

jeffb

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kkramar said:
But a year away from my wife right at the start sounds like a lot. Any suggestions as how to deal with that?

Or is she pretty much stuck at home and never see me for a year?

I'm not going to lie to you, it's no fun and is probably the biggest problem for most people. The CF does have some things built in to help lighten the load though. Depending on when you are here you will have several leave periods (block leave) in which you use your annual leave combined with a few "freebies" (Short, Special, etc.) to get some fairly long periods of vacation. These happen in August, December and March with the longest being in December.

You are also entitled to LTA (Leave Travel Assistance or Allowance) after you have been in for 6 months. LTA doesn't reimburse you directly for the cost of going home but it does help out rather substantially. You get LTA once per year and it must be to visit your next of kin. There are almost certainly some threads on LTA and I am no expert on it so do your own research. There are not too many jobs that give you 4 weeks of paid vacation as a minimum starting day 1.

The best thing you can do is to prepare your wife for the separation. Make sure you have your financial house in order. If you don't have integrated finances with your wife, consider it.

Ask friends, family etc. back home to check in with her periodically. If you are close with some of her friends, let them know what you are up to, explain why it's going to be good for your wife (long-term financial stability etc.) and get them on board with what your family is going to be facing. When it's hard for her, they are going to be the ones she turns to when you aren't around. If you have a brother or a really close friend, ask him to drop by and help out with some of the house work that you normally do (cutting the lawn is a big one around here). Basically, if you put the systems in place to make your wife's life easier when you are gone, she will be better able to manage the year, or more, which will ultimately result in you being able to focus on your training. Most importantly, remember that while you are going off to St. Jean to do BMQ and then off in Gagetown pursuing your dreams, she's at home missing you and left to carry on.

Finally, when you have those nights where you are having a rough go, and you will, stick it out. Remember why you joined and what you want to accomplish for yourself, but more importantly, your family. The hard times on course do come but are more than overcome by the good times and are often the times most fondly remembered at the course party and with your course mates in the years to come. (41 hours on gate duty in the driving rain at near zero temps...  :)

Best of luck...
 

jeffb

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I asked one of the NCM's today at work to fill me on their training and here's what I was told. SQ is 5 weeks long. After that, your course will either be another 5 weeks for Field Gunners or longer for Air Defence. He wasn't able to give me a definitive answer on the length of the AD course so I won't pass along his speculations here 3rd hand.

Hope this helps.
 

kkramar

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Your info has been the best help I've received so far.

Now if only you could get me on course right away instead of getting stuck on PAT.
 

jeffb

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If I had the ability to do that, I wouldn't still be on PAT myself!  :)
 

Lerch

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jeffb said:
I asked one of the NCM's today at work to fill me on their training and here's what I was told. SQ is 5 weeks long. After that, your course will either be another 5 weeks for Field Gunners or longer for Air Defence. He wasn't able to give me a definitive answer on the length of the AD course so I won't pass along his speculations here 3rd hand.

Hope this helps.

When I did my ADATS course it took 10 weeks start to finish, the only thing is, the ADATS is on the line to be retired in the next two years, so I'm not sure how many courses will be run.

Jeff, the PAT is really 100+ people now? Holy hell...when I was there we hit 30 or so and went straight into SQ...

Oh, and Kramer, WRT your wife, you'll be seperated, save for leave, until you're posted following DP1 (either to 1RCHA, 2RCHA, 5RALC or to WBty at the Arty School). Once you get there you'll be able to push your memo's to get a PMQ and move your wife out to you.
 

kkramar

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Well I was talking to an online recruiter, and he mentioned that any no offers were being made for trades unless the training can be completed with little or no gaps in between. And that anyone that will be on PAT would just be injuries.

So if that's true, then that's good news to me. Hopefully that's the case and he wasn't just feeding me BS.
 

jeffb

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kkramar said:
And that anyone that will be on PAT would just be injuries.

So if that's true, then that's good news to me. Hopefully that's the case and he wasn't just feeding me BS.

Far be it from me to contradict the online recruiter but their information was not accurate for the RCAS. I can assure you that there are a ton of people on PAT right now at the artillery school and very few are on any sort of chit nevermind being unfit for a course. I do know that the issue of training time is one that is in the minds of the chain of command and that they are working to resolve it. However, at this time the fact remains that there are individuals on the officer side who are going to be at the school in excess of 18 months for training and NCMS who will be there over 6 months.

Oh, and yes, up to Friday there were about 200 officers and NCM's on PAT. That number will reduce dramatically on Tuesday when there are 3 serials of DP 1.1 and 1 serial of 1.2 for the officers starting. I believe that a SQ is starting next week as well. I figure the total number will reduce to somewhere around 75 in total with only about 20 officers awaiting training.
 

kkramar

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Well keep in mind I don't even start bmq till September. Even if I get through bmq with no recourse, it will be January before I even get to Gagetown, so who knows by that time.
 

Lerch

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Well regardless of how long things take to process and the waits you may endure, good luck on your recruitment, Basic, and everything to follow!  :salute:

Who knows, maybe you'll end up being posted to 1RCHA and I'll see you in the future :D
 

andreola1

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i've been on Pat for 6 months and have a month to go. when i first got to gagetown , the platoon was at 118 people and man .. what a crappy first month lol .. it was just really hectic. no im waitin still and we only have 61 people. If you want to work in the field alot, then W Battery will be your best choice. you get trained and qualified on more things faster but you spend like 280 days in the field a year or possibly a bit more. shilo and petawawa are a bit more family oriented bases for training. being here has been a pretty good time tho. but you need to find yourself things to do or you will go insane lol .. it can be boring, especially if no taskings are goin on and you are stuck in the classroom for 8 hrs a day. Even worse when you're the Platoon senior ( like me at the moment lol )  because you basically have no choice but to stay in the classroom waiting for the next deligation from the warrant ..  :D
 

George Wallace

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andreola1 said:
i've been on Pat for 6 months and have a month to go. when i first got to gagetown , the platoon was at 118 people and man .. what a crappy first month lol .. it was just really hectic. no im waitin still and we only have 61 people. If you want to work in the field alot, then W Battery will be your best choice. you get trained and qualified on more things faster but you spend like 280 days in the field a year or possibly a bit more. shilo and petawawa are a bit more family oriented bases for training. being here has been a pretty good time tho. but you need to find yourself things to do or you will go insane lol .. it can be boring, especially if no taskings are goin on and you are stuck in the classroom for 8 hrs a day. Even worse when you're the Platoon senior ( like me at the moment lol )  because you basically have no choice but to stay in the classroom waiting for the next deligation from the warrant ..  :D

Perhaps you could rewrite this in English so that we can understand it.
 

owa

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George Wallace said:
Perhaps you could rewrite this in English so that we can understand it.

Not to be flippant, but I found it quite easy to read and understand.
 

Fishbone Jones

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owa said:
Not to be flippant, but I found it quite easy to read and understand.

Go read the Guidelines, and your 'flippant' caveat doesn't work.

Milnet.ca Staff
 

owa

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recceguy said:
Go read the Guidelines, and your 'flippant' caveat doesn't work.

Milnet.ca Staff

Wait, what exactly do you want me to read in the guidelines?  He gave an opinion on the post and I gave mine.  I wasn't rude about it by any means.
 

Nfld Sapper

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owa said:
Not to be flippant, but I found it quite easy to read and understand.

The post was one big run-on sentence. It lacked capitalization and punctuations.

recceguy said:
Go read the Guidelines, and your 'flippant' caveat doesn't work.

Milnet.ca Staff

owa said:
Wait, what exactly do you want me to read in the guidelines?  He gave an opinion on the post and I gave mine.  I wasn't rude about it by any means.

Don't poke the MOD's because you will come back with a stump......


Nothing more to see here, please move along.......


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