Author Topic: Friendship and social life in the CAF  (Read 41476 times)

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Offline bananas

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Friendship and social life in the CAF
« on: June 08, 2009, 11:27:41 »
For all my life, I have played competitive sports and camaraderie, and team fellowship, has become a huge component of my life, and in turn a huge factor in choosing a future career path. I have worked numerous manual labor, and desk, jobs but have yet to find this vacuum filled in the civilian world. In part I am attracted to the forces, firefighting, paramedicine and policing because of this aspect.

I have a couple friends who are in the military and all of them talk highly of the camaraderie inherent in the forces. The problem is all of them are infantry, and it is very easy to see how that branch would have a high degree of bonding. What about the other trades, do they have the same aspect of team fellowship, camaraderie and brotherhood/fraternity?

*edit for moderators: I noticed my initial post was deleted... probablly because I have a similar question in the "military police" section, but that is geared specifically to police work. If you could allow this thread to exist it would be appreciated, as I am looking for answers from other non-combat trades in this thread. Thanks*

Offline cdnsoldier1982

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I can't speak about non combat trades as I am infantry but if things haven't changed from back in the day, BMQ is geared towards building comradeship and that continues on throughout the whole of the forces.  Whatever trade you are in teamwork is essential which is why it is instilled from the very start.  Hope this helps.

Offline Murray

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My personnel experience is probably quite dated, however after spending a dozen years in the Infantry, I remustered to Supply.   While there is no doubt a sense of camaraderie it was nowhere near the degree of what I experienced in an infantry unit.  I was really disappointed.  I suspect this has not changed.

Offline mariomike

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I am attracted to the forces, firefighting, paramedicine and policing because of this aspect.

Paramedicine is a four semester college diploma post secondary program. That's just to be a PCP like me. Or,  was, prior to last week.
These days, they want ACP. Add another two semesters for that. If you want to do right, you are looking at the four-year Bachelor of Science in Paramedicine from the University of Toronto.
I should add:
This info is accurate for Toronto.
Other provinces, and the CF, are different. 
Your comrade is your partner. Just the two of you.  Say, "Yes dear!" 
Your partner is permanent. It's not easy to get a divorce, so you had better buddy up to her/him.
They last longer than most marriages on the job.  :nod:
I should also mention that by now, the m/f ratio of Paramedics if not 50-50, must be very close to it.
Paramedics are the most friendly people I have ever known. I guess they have to be.
But, the social side is mostly off the job. Although, one good thing is that you do get to know a lot of nurses. I married one in fact. You don't see much of the other crews because they keep us spread thin, "mobile deployment" they call it.  >:( It's always been hectic. I prefer it that way. The time flies. We are relatively few in number compared to police and fire.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2009, 23:35:59 by mariomike »

Offline bananas

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mariomike, could you comment on the camaraderie in the military med tech trade? You seem to be in the know, and would appreciate your input on the matter.

Offline mariomike

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mariomike, could you comment on the camaraderie in the military med tech trade? You seem to be in the know, and would appreciate your input on the matter.

I'm just a civilian living on a pension. I was never a military medic. I have met some though, and was very impressed.

Offline CorporalMajor

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My personnel experience is probably quite dated, however after spending a dozen years in the Infantry, I remustered to Supply.   While there is no doubt a sense of camaraderie it was nowhere near the degree of what I experienced in an infantry unit.  I was really disappointed.  I suspect this has not changed.
No it hasn't.. I am RMS and have never been combat arms but when you look at both you really can see the difference, it's not quite the same.  It appears the sappers that work next door to me have more fun than we do.  Some people who have re mustered to Admin or Supply hated it and that was a major reason why.

It's not to say that there is NO camaraderie.  I'm on QL5 in Borden and many of the people on my course are certainly tight-knit.  Same is true of a Supply 5's course I have unitmates on.  And some trades, take the MPs or Signals guys for example, are also pretty close.

Whatever trade you're in, it's important to help build camaraderie with people, even outside of your trade, because it helps build trust in the people you serve for.  If you have a good rapport with someone you're dealing with already, it can only help your cause.  In the CSS world having connections is always a good thing. 
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Offline scas

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I am now EME, ex- res infantry. My experiance, the camaraderie is much more... there in the combat arms rather in the support trades. I can't even describe the reasons why.. But its a much different beast.
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Offline basrah

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I am now EME, ex- res infantry. My experiance, the camaraderie is much more... there in the combat arms rather in the support trades. I can't even describe the reasons why.. But its a much different beast.

In the infantry it has to do with the amount of pain and suffering we go through together. When you are sitting there, soaking wet and cold in a trench half full of water, or carrying a 90 pound  rucksack for 3 days after jumping out of a C130, or watching the arty drop 400 metres in front of you after being in a 3 hour firefight, you know that there is nothing that you and the guy beside you cant accomplish together. The level of trust builds that camaraderie. Before I went on my last tour I was paired with a guy I had never even met for my OMLT team partner, now less than 2 years later he is my best friend and I trust him more than I trust family.
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Offline Eye In The Sky

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I am now EME, ex- res infantry. My experiance, the camaraderie is much more... there in the combat arms rather in the support trades. I can't even describe the reasons why.. But its a much different beast.

I'll second that.  I am an AES Op (U), ex-ATIS Tech (2 years), ex-Armour (17 years).  After spending 17 years in a cmbt arms trade and working with (mostly) cmbt arms folks, I was shocked (and pretty f**king angry) at how (IMO) f**ked up folks are that have never been in the cmbt arms, or atleast have never served in a combat arms unit.  I started calling people I worked with "mivilians" as they weren't civies, but they damn well weren't what I call military either.  Now, that is my opinion from the people I had to endure 2 years with in my particular unit.  I am not saying ALL tech's/tech trades are like that, but if you go to N6, you might find that the Unit Motto I came up with fits.

N6 - 'AS GAY AS IT GETS"

I remember watching a guy who spent more time editting his brag sheet than actually doing anything.  In my previous trade, I found about 75% of the Jnr NCOs were garbage as a Jnr NCO, although they might have been decent techs.  In my mind, you gotta be both.  It the Jnr NCOs suck and are all about making sure their PER is as high as they can get it...well, thats what the new guys were learning that I saw. 

Monkey see, monkey do.

I *still* believe every mbr of the CF should do time in a cmbt arms unit when they first get in.  I've thought that for 20 years now, and I doubt there is anything that will convince me otherwise.

Last point...being back in a '0' trade now, well it is kinda like 'going home after being away for a few years'.  Not everything is the same, but it sure is nice to be part of a Sqn again.  Provided I don't fail out of the trg system, this is the one I'll finish off my career with. 

Anyone who was thinking of remustering into the AES Op trade, check your Wing/Base/Formation PSO website.  The 2010 COTP message is out.  I'd bet if you asked about the MOC at the CFRC, you'd find out there are spots open for it too.  Don't miss the opportunity to get a chance to join the best NCM trade in the CF.
Do I love my job?  No.

But does it afford me the ability to go on lavish vacations and buy anything I want?  Also no.

Offline Simian Turner

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mariomike, could you comment on the camaraderie in the military med tech trade? You seem to be in the know, and would appreciate your input on the matter.

Although I am not a Med Tech, I have supervised them at various levels and units over the last 11 years.  They will normally work in small groups that have a good social relationship, however, you may only feel part of something bigger when you are attached to a combat arms/navy/air force unit. To feel part of that bigger team you must earn their respect by keeping up and proving you can contribute.

Like many other trades they have ample opportunity for deployments, however, if chosen for a Role 1 FOB or Patrol Medic position they are rather separated from most of the peers while providing direct casualty care.  If they deploy with Role 3 MMU (hospital) they are doing something different than they were initially trained to do by providing bedside patient care in an environment dominated by Nurse, Med Offr. Similarly in garrison you may be part of a Care Delivery Unit (Unit Medical Section), a Health Care Centre (clinic), the Field Hospital or kicking/packing panniers in the Fd Ambulance lines. At most you may find 5-7 individuals from a QL3 course serial that are posted to any one unit.  Within the unit they will quickly be separated into the sub-units so the social relationships may continue but the amount of time at work to maintain camaraderie is minimal.

Those with common experiences (courses, deployments, exercises and posting) have a familial bond but with the variety of activities for which they may be tasked it requires an adaptable, outgoing and confident individual to thrive.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2009, 20:04:27 by Frostnipped Elf »
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Offline Greymatters

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:2c:

I believe that the higher level of risk to life and health to be encountered or endured, the higher level of camaraderie.  However this is a stereotypical assessment.  It is not limited to merely a single occupation (i.e. infantry) or occupations (i.e. combat arms in general), and can occur in units with multiple different trades present, all depending on the level of risk/danger/crisis the unit encounters (i.e. flight crews). 

Further, it is also highly influenced by where soldiers are posted and how many have families or activities outside the military.  In trades with high numbers where most soldiers are single and travel a lot (i.e. infantry), there will be greater camaraderie than in trades where soldiers stay at a single base most of their time and are more involved with family and local activities (i.e. support trades at an HQ).

Camaraderie will also be greatly influenced in cases where trades/occupations are involved in unique tasks that isolate them from the rest of the military (i.e. JTF2, Intelligence, MP's).  Unable to discuss their work with anyone outside the military (or even their unit), they will have only their co-workers with whom they can comfortably socialize and discuss people/subjects/historical events.     

There are other reasons, but I think these are the big three... 


Offline bananas

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After reading this post it seems that:

1) There is lots of bonding in the combat trades
2) There is some camaraderie in the supply and admin trades but no where close to that of the combat trades.

In extension, it seems that most people here when they refer to supply and admin trades, they are not referring specifically to med techs... apart from Simian Turner who mentioned that med techs require an adaptable, outgoing and confident individual to thrive [in relation to the lack of time at work to maintain social relationships within the med tech trade; i.e. camaraderie]

The idea camaraderie is very important for my career choice - along with the notion of helping others, challenge, growth and physical labor. Are there any med techs on board that could chime in on their experiences within the med tech trade?

Offline bananas

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sense of belonging and camaraderie within the med tech trade?
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2009, 13:11:36 »
I posted a thread on this matter a couple months ago but have yet to receive an answer from a med tech and was hoping someone here might chime in their opinion.

From the thread (http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,86552.0.html) I gathered two things:

1) There is lots of bonding in the combat trades
2) There is some camaraderie in the supply and admin trades but no where close to that of the combat trades.

However, it seems that most people in the thread when referring to supply and admin trades, were not referring specifically to med techs... apart from Simian Turner who mentioned that med techs require an adaptable, outgoing and confident individual to thrive [in relation to the lack of time at work to maintain social relationships within the med tech trade; i.e. camaraderie]

I ask about this notion of camaraderie because it is very important to me for my future career choice - along with the notion of helping others, challenge, growth and physical labor - and i want to make sure I am making the right decision.

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Re: sense of belonging and camaraderie within the med tech trade?
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2009, 13:29:59 »
And you thought posting the exact same topic in another thread would hasten a reply?
Apparently, a "USUAL SUSPECT"

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Offline sprl

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Re: sense of belonging and camaraderie within the med tech trade?
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2009, 13:46:24 »
My take given limited experience:  camaraderie levels are usually a direct function of the trade.  All trades have a default level of camaraderie based on mere fact of being in the military, and expressed mostly via tradespeke.  A medical unit is no different; based on my observations, there's a cerebral level of bonding that's proportional to the vertical stuff you happen to be talking about.  (For example, MO's will talk to Med Techs about specific clinical topics.)  It's a professional level of interaction that is very rich, informative and useful for the trade.

Camaraderie gets more visceral with other trades, especially combat trades.  It's by necessity, I think:  in practice, you depend directly on each others life while on the job and vice versa.   Medtechs within a unit have a certain degree of that (say, working together to save a life in the field under stressful conditions - this can be seen in peacetime during enactment of scenarios on ex, entering paramedic competitions, etc.)  I've observed that under non-stressful circumstances, it doesn't bleed as much into everything the unit does together.  I can't speak for other units, but my unit farms out medtechs and supervisors to other (mostly combat) units, so that level of camaraderie between mates within the unit seems to be less visceral (perhaps it is greater between the farmed-out medtechs and the units they are attached to.)

Myself, I think it's most important to choose a trade that you're into.  By virtue of that choice, you're doing what you like, and you'll find that the camaraderie amongst your mates should be at the level it needs to be to foster good cohesion in the unit if it's a good unit.  Good luck on your choice.

Offline bananas

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Re: sense of belonging and camaraderie within the med tech trade?
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2009, 12:53:45 »
And you thought posting the exact same topic in another thread would hasten a reply?

No, i thought posting the exact same topic in another forum would hasten a reply from people who were in the trade. I.e. coming from people directly in the medical field.

Offline George Wallace

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Re: sense of belonging and camaraderie within the med tech trade?
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2009, 12:57:11 »
Ah yes!  The Department of Redundant Redundancies. 




Topic merged.
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Offline wamoine

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I was a reserve Med-A/Tech for ± 20 years, some of which with the regular force.

What presently keeps me a reservist is specifically camaraderie and dedication to the mission. In my civy job (Health care admin and previously paramedic), everybody punches in and then punches out. End of story.

In the medical reserve, I had a second family for which I was ready to make sacrifices. I think it has to do with unit spirit. In the reserves, you can be in the same unit for 20 years. It's different in the regular force, you don't "belong" to a unit, it's just another posting. Medics do develop a sense of camaraderie, but it depends a lot on the individual, it's much easier to be an individualist in the trades. But if you're up for it, you can be in a tightly knit team. You get separated from your buddies a lot because everyone gets posted separately, you realise what you've got when you meet up with buddies on courses or on postings. There are strong bonds that resist time.

If you're able and willing, there are opportunities to live something different, even in the trades.  If you go on a mission, you might get to serve with the combat arms and that's a great opportunity. When you're a medic with the infantry, the guys know you're there for them. You have to gain the guys' respect, and when you do they'll treat you like family. But you do have to keep somewhat apart because you have to be sufficiently independent from the group that someone will feel free to come and talk to you about suicidal thoughts and other (mental) health problems that can't be discussed in the group. Comments regarding medics on deployment have been very good in general. There are a number of opportunities for camaraderie in the forces, in the trades too, in fact, it's one of the defining features of military life. It certainly isn't as intense as in the combat arms, but that's not always bad either. It depends a lot on you...

Offline FastEddy

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Very interesting assortment of comments.

It is a established and accepted fact that the Military, does and enstills all of the Traits and way of Life mentioned in this Thread. But only if those exposed to it, fully accept it, embrace it and appreciate it.

On the subject of Combat Arms vs Trades.  One can definitely assume that those volunteering for the Infantry and Combat Arms are prepared to and want to . Proof of that, why would anybody with a Steady, Good Paying Job and Family and Social Life Join ?. Not to mention, putting themselves in Harms Way.

I won't hazard a guess as to how many who are in the Trades, whether chosen or selected are there  only for a
secure and good paying job or previously  the lack of one.  Of course this does not apply to the vast majority of Personnel employed in the Logistic and Support Areas.

Its been my experience that just being Part of and Accepted into this Great Body of Men and Women was  enough. Whether you are inside or outside the wire, you are important, needed, serving and part of the Canadian Armed Forces.

You don't have be sitting shoulder to shoulder in a mud filled trench to feel or have Fellowship, Fraternity, Brotherhood or Comradeship. You got that when you joined.

Cheers.

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Offline Teen_Cadet

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Camaraderie and brotherhood in the CF.
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2013, 23:39:13 »
Hey everybody, I've been around here for a while an I've posted a few questions and got great feedback so far. So I'm going to give this a shot. I hope it is not a silly or offensive question.

I have read a lot about how you can find camaraderie in the forces that you don't find anywhere else, and how strong the brotherhood is between the troops in combat arms jobs. What I'm wondering is, do officers feel this brothers in arms type of camaraderie between themselves and their soldiers/fellow officers? I think it would beige difficult since you are supposed to be more detached and a "boss" to them.

However, I have heard of soldiers admiring their officers who have been good leaders and treated the men well, and that Te officer is grateful is for his troops; so is this the most usual/common relationship between officers and soldiers/fellow officers?

I'm wondering because I am very interested in being an officer in the CF, and the camaraderie is one of my big reasons, among many others.

I've been wondering about this for awhile and have been kind of embarrassed to ask, because I'm told by my friends and family (who aren't affiliated with the military) to not worry about it. I'd just like to understand the concept, since all articles and documentaries I've read/watched only cover the bonds between ncm's.

Thank you for your time.

Offline PrairieThunder

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Re: Camaraderie and brotherhood in the CF.
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2013, 03:45:42 »
Brotherhood does not stop at officers.

Offline NSDreamer

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Re: Camaraderie and brotherhood in the CF.
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2013, 08:06:00 »
Brotherhood does not stop at officers.

 To be fair it is kind of different though. Between troops and officers it's more of an 'old man' relationship if you're doing it right in my opinion, that being said still 'family'. Of course I'm as eloquent as a shot gun round so someone else can probably explain this better.

 Between Officers, Mars excluded  >:D , we're pretty tight.
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Offline Pat in Halifax

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Re: Camaraderie and brotherhood in the CF.
« Reply #23 on: July 14, 2013, 08:45:37 »
Brotherhood does not stop at officers.
Agreed...and brotherhood does not stop at the 'combat arms jobs'. Like anything else in life, it is what you make of it but I think it is because you share so much whether deployed or working in an 8-4 posting (are there any of those left!). Everything that happens in the work place, good and bad, is shared amongst all so the burden is shared...generally. The people you meet are an extended family and in some cases I suspect for those who have served in active combat roles, even more. You aren't taught this nor can you go 'looking' for it; it just happens. I always tell people that the thing that sets us apart from any other organization is that single word we all carry on our shoulder, no matter where we are, what uniform we wear, how cold or hot it is, that is ALWAYS there. It is what is behind that word; the history, the traditions, the loyalty and the pride that pulls us together. I have seen bitter rivals become stalwart allies in the face of diversity and that is something you will be hard pressed to find anywhere else. The old recruiting tag line "It's more than just a job" is more than just a tag line.
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Offline GnyHwy

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Re: Camaraderie and brotherhood in the CF.
« Reply #24 on: July 14, 2013, 09:24:02 »
I believe it comes down to sharing the same experiences.  Like real brothers come from the same town, grew up in the same neighborhood and had most of the same hardships, they understand each other like no other can.

In the military it is the same, even though you are not blood related.  The sharing of experiences, especially in the combat arms where those experiences may be hellish, the camaraderie is even greater.  Camaraderie can certainly come from good experiences as well, such as winning a competition, but I believe it is a stronger bond when the experience is more negative.

This can easily translate for Os to NCMs.  It depends on if they are sharing the experience, good and bad.  If an O is consistently engaged with their troops and is with them through thick and thin, they will be included in the group.  If the O is disengaged, and only shows up for the highlights, they will most certainly not be part of the group.

Now of course, some persons would say that the O or higher NCM should stay disengaged because they are the boss, but they are wrong.   A good and strong leader can be part of the group and discipline if necessary. 
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