Author Topic: Friendship and social life in the CAF  (Read 41469 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.

Offline Kat Stevens

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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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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Camaraderie and brotherhood in the CF.
« Reply #25 on: July 14, 2013, 12:19:51 »
As with any human organization, one must be alert for the backstabbers. Fortunately, there's a game that will help you practise this important activity in a military context  ;D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf2Z7uaCz1I
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Offline Teen_Cadet

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Re: Camaraderie and brotherhood in the CF.
« Reply #26 on: July 14, 2013, 13:22:20 »
Thanks for all the feedback :) it was very reassuring. If I was to be an officer I would definitly want to endure with them and form those bonds. I appreciate the constructive responses.

Offline NSDreamer

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Re: Camaraderie and brotherhood in the CF.
« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2013, 09:35:41 »
 
Thanks for all the feedback :) it was very reassuring. If I was to be an officer I would definitly want to endure with them and form those bonds. I appreciate the constructive responses.

 Let me just add, if you're joining as an officer, grow rhino thick skin. The first few years while you're OCdt, 2Lt and even Junior Lt you are going to get hazed razzed almost non stop. Take it in stride and appreciate that this is your NCMs and NCOs way of making sure they can trust you in time. It's just part of the process.
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Offline cbak11s

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Re: Camaraderie and brotherhood in the CF.
« Reply #28 on: July 15, 2013, 13:40:30 »

 Let me just add, if you're joining as an officer, grow rhino thick skin. The first few years while you're OCdt, 2Lt and even Junior Lt you are going to get hazed razzed almost non stop. Take it in stride and appreciate that this is your NCMs and NCOs way of making sure they can trust you in time. It's just part of the process.

Do you know where I can buy this 'rhino skin' ?  ;)

Offline NSDreamer

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Re: Camaraderie and brotherhood in the CF.
« Reply #29 on: July 15, 2013, 13:53:58 »
Do you know where I can buy this 'rhino skin' ?  ;)

 The good Sgts and MCpls on your CAP/BMOQ-L keep plenty in store, but they really make you work for it. :nod:
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Offline pbi

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Re: Camaraderie and brotherhood in the CF.
« Reply #30 on: July 26, 2013, 11:40:11 »
Sage advice from all posters on here. Having lived on both sides of "The Fence", I'd lke to add a few personal observations on this ancient and honourable relationship. (You've probably heard them all before...)

-You can't demand the respect of Canadian soldiers: you can only earn it. The law allows you to demand lawful obedience; custom and practice allow you to expect deference and even courtesy, but any officer who wants to be respected has to work for it. Respect is the hardest thing to win and the easiest thing to lose;

-You're not their buddy. Sometimes, in some cases, you can form close relationships with subordinates (I enjoyed at least one, with one of my CSMs), but don't go drooling around trying to be the Nice Guy that everybody thinks is cool. It will blow back on you, believe me; and

-for God's sake, listen to your WOs and NCOs. They have done many things, many times, and they usually know where the traps and pitfalls are. Besides that, they are a lot closer to the troops than you will ever be. By "listen" I don't mean automatically do whatever they say. I mean seek them out, ask them questions, and hear what they are telling you. Then, you decide. You are the boss, so you make the call. As an officer, I always found that NCOs were ready to accept this approach if you were genuine about it, even if the decision wasn't what they had hoped for. As an NCO, I was usually pleasantly surprised when an officer asked me anything other than "WO, have you seen my rifle?"

I hope that helps. Good luck.
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Offline Teen_Cadet

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Re: Camaraderie and brotherhood in the CF.
« Reply #31 on: July 26, 2013, 12:08:11 »
Thank you, all these posts have been extremely helpful, and very interesting to read. I have definitely taken this all to heart, and will remember it all if I am lucky enough to get in to the Canadian Forces.

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Re: Camaraderie and brotherhood in the CF.
« Reply #32 on: July 26, 2013, 12:40:04 »
I wholeheartedly agree with everything that pbi said.

I have always maintained a familiar relationship with my soldiers and NCO's and it worked for me, it doesn't work for everyone.  Be genuine in all that you do, because what works for one doesn't work for others in their command style and approach.

With the familiar style I had with my subordinates such as playing cards or seeing how they were doing, there were still boundaries I maintained and lines I did not cross because in the end the professional relationship had to be maintained.  My soldiers always knew that I was easy going and just loved shooting the poop with them, but they always knew that when it was time to work and a job had to be done I didn't mess around.  I had high expectations of them and myself and would hold to those expectations.  At times my Coy Comd's would pull me aside and question if I was spending too much time around my soldiers, but in the end I explained my command style and approach and that it worked for me and my personnel.  I had the great fortune of having OC's that would understand this and give me the latitude to apply my command style because it worked for me very well.  I can honestly say the bond that was formed with soldiers and NCO's alike in my Platoon still exists to this day and I would have gone to hell and back for my guys and they would have done the same for me.  It took time, but the camaraderie was present and still is, it's just a little different when in reference to the officer < - > NCO/NCM relationship vice the soldier to soldier relationship.
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Re: Camaraderie and brotherhood in the CF.
« Reply #33 on: July 26, 2013, 12:55:44 »
As an NCO, I was usually pleasantly surprised when an officer asked me anything other than "WO, have you seen my rifle?"

...and of course the good NCO's knew exactly where it was secured but wanted to see if the officer had the moxie to ask. ;)
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Offline pbi

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Re: Camaraderie and brotherhood in the CF.
« Reply #34 on: July 26, 2013, 13:19:41 »
...and of course the good NCO's knew exactly where it was secured but wanted to see if the officer had the moxie to ask. ;)

Actually, I have to confess...one time I hid it. And his webgear. I will probably go to one of the deepest circles of the Inferno (right above the one for politicians...)
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Friendship and social life in the CAF
« Reply #35 on: June 28, 2014, 12:21:59 »
Now I'm prepared to get some backlash on this topic, in fact i look forward to it.

Now before i start, please be advised I'm still a pup when it comes to the military. I wish I had of joined when I was eighteen rather then thirty-two, maybe  then i would have seen the level of camaraderie that i have heard so much about. Now I'm not saying there is no camaraderie in the forces, but i have noticed a major decline. It would seem to me, that the newer and younger generations have little to no understanding of what it means to truly work as a team, to befriend one another and support each other.

I have talked to many of the older generations, I hear the stories of how close everyone was, how supportive everyone was. I look around and i see little, to none of this now. I live in the PMQ's, and I can't get so much as a hello, let alone someone helping out with shoveling snow. I have heard stories of how great the mess was and how you worked hard and played hard with each other. I go to the mess, and it's dead. Worse off when we have a meeting, it's the only time the troops have been there, and most of the time not by choice. I end up hearing people complaining about the mess that they never attend,  and how they have to pay into it, it should be a choice.

I'm a little older, i like traditions and embrace them. I believe, in order to know where one is going, they need to understand where they have been. So i ask the older generations, what does it take to build the camaraderie of old, and what can i do to help. Help me and the next generation, build what seems to be lost, and carry on what is and should be, a familiarity of friendship and support for each other, a bond and devotion like no other.


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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #36 on: June 28, 2014, 12:39:59 »
So i ask the older generations, what does it take to build the camaraderie of old, and what can i do to help.

A couple of discussion that may help.

Camaraderie and brotherhood in the CF.
https://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=111347.0

Fellowship, fraternity/brotherhood and Camaraderie in non-combat arms trades?
http://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,86552.0/nowap.html

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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #37 on: June 28, 2014, 12:45:00 »
Necessity is the bane of tradition.


Times have changed and the 'mess life' has fallen out of favor.   Mess functions are viewed as forced events where younger members have to show up just to listen to older generations (if you will) talk about the halcyon days of old and how much the new generation sucks. 


All you need to do is organize some events for your immediate team. 
Skip PT one morning and do a section or platoon breakfast at a local restaurant.
Set up a Sunday morning bowling event for the kids of your platoon members, go to the dollar store and buy a bunch of prize.
Try to put together a platoon team for a Spartan Race.
Organize a trip to the local shooting range.
Platoon BBQ


Quote
It would seem to me, that the newer and younger generations have little to no understanding of what it means to truly work as a team, to befriend one another and support each other.
I bet that's news to the newer younger generation who deployed in and out of Afghanistan for 12 years working as a team covering each others backs.
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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #38 on: June 28, 2014, 12:56:48 »
Thank you for your responses. I appreciated any advice.


I bet that's news to the newer younger generation who deployed in and out of Afghanistan for 12 years working as a team covering each others backs.


When I speak of younger generations, I mean those who have yet to be deployed and are still getting there feet wet. Combat arms have it running through there blood ( which I am secretly jealous of) and have learned the true meaning comadery through training and deployment. I would not place them in this topic.   

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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #39 on: June 28, 2014, 12:57:46 »
To put it bluntly, THE MESS is what YOU make it.  If you don't see and use the opportunities offered by the Mess, then of course it will suck.  It is the membership who make the Mess, not the building.  If your Mess sucks, it is the people who make up the Mess who suck. 

One of the best Messes I was ever in was a tiny room in Aldershot.  What made it great, were the people who frequented it. 
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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #40 on: June 28, 2014, 13:05:17 »
To be a little more clearer. What i would like to see is a hightened level of camaderie in all the forces, regardless of element, training, or depolyment. I understand that those that have faught together are close, and thus have created great bonds and love for each other. I am more referring to camaraderie as a whole, here at home. Also, like I said I'm still just a pup, if I say anything out of context, please forgive me as that is not my intent, but by all means fill me in, the more I learn the less ignorant I am

Offline Gannet

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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #41 on: July 02, 2014, 15:02:32 »
To be a little more clearer. What i would like to see is a hightened level of camaderie in all the forces, regardless of element, training, or depolyment. I understand that those that have faught together are close, and thus have created great bonds and love for each other. I am more referring to camaraderie as a whole, here at home. Also, like I said I'm still just a pup, if I say anything out of context, please forgive me as that is not my intent, but by all means fill me in, the more I learn the less ignorant I am

I would say you should try to be the change you want to see.  I've noted some of the things you've brought up in the mess I belong to; a lot of members asking why they should pay dues(although the people who moan about how much better things used to be and then do nothing to improve it is what really bugs me, particularly when they piss on the new kids; that'll sure encourage them). 

If you want things to happen, boost for it. Volunteer. Be positive when things do happen.  We've had some successful events this year, and it all comes down to people working their butts off.  Outside of your Mess, find other things that are going on.  I don't know what it's like in Sydney, but in Halifax there's all kinds of extra-curricular stuff on the go.

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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #42 on: July 02, 2014, 21:52:33 »
Proximity has something to do with it as well.  If most people live far enough from the base that going to Mess becomes a chore, most won't go.  Also, in some areas esp near cities, members may not live near each other.  I'm not saying that we have to live in PMQs or such near the base (I completely understand the need to separate between "work" and "home" life), but that distance will decrease Mess membership.

I personally still try to go to Mess though, if nothing more than for networking purposes.  It's a great place to just talk to people you wouldn't normally talk to at work (about work or otherwise).  People in the business world pay to do that stuff, while we have the opportunity and many choose not to take it.
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Offline trustnoone73

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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #43 on: July 12, 2014, 18:41:21 »
Now before i start, please be advised I'm still a pup when it comes to the military. I wish I had of joined when I was eighteen rather then thirty-two, maybe  then i would have seen the level of camaraderie that i have heard so much about. Now I'm not saying there is no camaraderie in the forces, but i have noticed a major decline. It would seem to me, that the newer and younger generations have little to no understanding of what it means to truly work as a team, to befriend one another and support each other.

I have talked to many of the older generations, I hear the stories of how close everyone was, how supportive everyone was....

I'm a little unclear on what you mean by "have noticed a major decline."  I know 2013 was an incredible year for mess steeple chase and crud. We are not likely to see those days again.  Well, maybe in 2015 we'll get some euchre going.

You've heard a few stories, maybe watched "Tunes of Glory" but I hate to burst your bubble it hasn't been like that in a very long time, at least not in the regs.  PRes in my experience has a much better mess culture.  Night time, a captive audience, and beer money goes a long way.  The other messes seem to be those that share a common hardship.  One of the best messes I've been a member of was in Wainwright.  Again captive audience.   

In the good old days more people lived on base or lived in which leads to the captive audience theme again. The more remote or foreign the better.  Living in better communities, off base, reasonable standard of living with families all detract from the mess and the camaraderie you speak of.  Being a decade older than your peers won't make it easier and your trade or at least the size of the trade matters somewhat.  If you are one of one vice one of thirty, bonding may be harder but that doesn't necessarily follow that there is a lack of teamwork or community.

One thing I've learned though is that mess culture and camaraderie can't be forced and saving the 'New Generation' from themselves is not likely to meet with much luck.   It is what it is. 
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #44 on: August 06, 2014, 09:27:15 »
Camaraderie is expressed much differently these days.

I have been around long enough to remember when the first thing anyone did when there was a bit of down time was to pull out a deck of cards and get a game of eucher going. Now, the second there is down time, everyone reaches into a pocket, pulls out a smart phone and does their own thing on line (even in the deepest woodlines of Wainwright in MR 14, you could see people wandering around looking for the best avaiable signal. Try to talk to someone in the DFAC and you are almost garunteed to get a "huh?" response as they look up from a phone. (It is even sillier when they look up from the phone to comment on a news story they just read while you are watching the same story on the big screen TV in the DFAC).

Much of the time, they are actually texting friends and acquaintences, looking at and responding to social media sites, playing on line games with like minded others etc....

Combined with the reality that most people live off base and are going home to families, or living in an economy which offers a plethora of choices and you can see why institutions like the mess have died out in many bases (and why people would be resentful of being forced to pay into something which has absolutely no bearing on their lives). Even arguments like networking are moot when you can "network" with far more people and far more effectively on line.

As for not even getting to hello in the PMQ patch, you can get that just as easily in an apartment building or suburban neighbourhood in the economy as well. There are many complex historical and sociological reasons why this is so, you are up against an entire culture here, and I am not sure where the solution lies.
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Offline MilEME09

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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #45 on: August 10, 2014, 03:43:21 »
Camaraderie is expressed much differently these days.

I have been around long enough to remember when the first thing anyone did when there was a bit of down time was to pull out a deck of cards and get a game of eucher going. Now, the second there is down time, everyone reaches into a pocket, pulls out a smart phone and does their own thing on line (even in the deepest woodlines of Wainwright in MR 14, you could see people wandering around looking for the best avaiable signal. Try to talk to someone in the DFAC and you are almost garunteed to get a "huh?" response as they look up from a phone. (It is even sillier when they look up from the phone to comment on a news story they just read while you are watching the same story on the big screen TV in the DFAC).

Much of the time, they are actually texting friends and acquaintences, looking at and responding to social media sites, playing on line games with like minded others etc....

Combined with the reality that most people live off base and are going home to families, or living in an economy which offers a plethora of choices and you can see why institutions like the mess have died out in many bases (and why people would be resentful of being forced to pay into something which has absolutely no bearing on their lives). Even arguments like networking are moot when you can "network" with far more people and far more effectively on line.

As for not even getting to hello in the PMQ patch, you can get that just as easily in an apartment building or suburban neighbourhood in the economy as well. There are many complex historical and sociological reasons why this is so, you are up against an entire culture here, and I am not sure where the solution lies.

I must be one of the few that only have a phone on me on an EX for emergencies, being only 22 i must be a rare breed, a deck of cards and a small radio can go a long way while you have lots of down time.
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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #46 on: August 11, 2014, 12:46:32 »
Maybe it is a generational thing, but if it is a new phenomenom, it doesn't mean it's automatically something that needs to be corrected.

I'm one of those guys that only goes to the mess on order. Frankly the whole thing bores me and I never had time for drinking culture. I go to work, do a good job and at the end of the day, the thought of spending more time talking about military stuff or gossiping doesn't cross my mind. I much rather get home to my wife and spend time with her.

From my perspective, the people who go straight from work to the mess to talk more about work are the unhealthy ones. They need to get a life outside of the military.

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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #47 on: August 11, 2014, 13:02:22 »
Maybe it is a generational thing, but if it is a new phenomenom, it doesn't mean it's automatically something that needs to be corrected.

I'm one of those guys that only goes to the mess on order. Frankly the whole thing bores me and I never had time for drinking culture. I go to work, do a good job and at the end of the day, the thought of spending more time talking about military stuff or gossiping doesn't cross my mind. I much rather get home to my wife and spend time with her.

From my perspective, the people who go straight from work to the mess to talk more about work are the unhealthy ones. They need to get a life outside of the military.

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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #48 on: August 11, 2014, 21:33:15 »
Maybe it is a generational thing, but if it is a new phenomenom, it doesn't mean it's automatically something that needs to be corrected.

I'm one of those guys that only goes to the mess on order. Frankly the whole thing bores me and I never had time for drinking culture. I go to work, do a good job and at the end of the day, the thought of spending more time talking about military stuff or gossiping doesn't cross my mind. I much rather get home to my wife and spend time with her.

From my perspective, the people who go straight from work to the mess to talk more about work are the unhealthy ones. They need to get a life outside of the military.

The point of a Mess isn't to talk about work after work - the point is to talk about other things (weekend plans, etc) and get to know some of the other folks you work with/around*, whether with a beverage or not.  Unless your wife has a strong objection to meeting people you work with, I'm sure she's welcome to the mess as well.  Do people talk about work?  Of course they do, but that's not the point of the Mess.

* Or, even better, people you don't work with so you don't get stovepiped into just your unit.
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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #49 on: August 11, 2014, 22:35:27 »
The point of a Mess isn't to talk about work after work - the point is to talk about other things (weekend plans, etc) and get to know some of the other folks you work with/around*, whether with a beverage or not.  Unless your wife has a strong objection to meeting people you work with, I'm sure she's welcome to the mess as well.  Do people talk about work?  Of course they do, but that's not the point of the Mess.

* Or, even better, people you don't work with so you don't get stovepiped into just your unit.

But people are talking to others about their plans for the weekend etc.; they're just doing it on FaceBook and other social media sites rather than the mess. In fact, if you want to prevent people from being "stovepiped", there is no better way to do it, since social media can involve civilians, foreign military members, and the entire global community of whatever your particular interest is. This is the 21rst century, after all.

And you are about 20 years too late. People have been drifting away from the mess as an institution in every place that isn't isolated that I have ever been posted/ tasked to/taken a course at. I now work at CFB Kingston, and it is a very unusual day when I see more than 2 or 3 cars parked in front of the Sgt and WO's mess. Who are you going to talk to when there is no one there? Course "meet and greets", end course parties and farewell luncheons happen downtown 100% of the time, the mess internet is so unreliable that going across the street to Tim's to do any coursework is SOP and even "special events" have to compete with downtown Kingston (where would you rather watch the World Cup or a hockey game: the mess or a downtown pub with its greater selection of beverages, food and possible company?). This has been true since I started coming to Kingston in 2008 for courses.

The best way to deal with this is to stop trying to freeze the mess in amber, but let it evolve. If some people wish to partake, then they are welcome to. If people are rather attracted to their homes, families or the lights of downtown, then they should not be punished for their preferences. Let the mess become a voluntary institution. If the people who choose to go have enough good ideas, they might even attract others to come back, rather than depending on the RSM to push people through the door twice a year for a mess meeting.
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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #50 on: August 11, 2014, 23:43:48 »
* Or, even better, people you don't work with so you don't get stovepiped into just your unit.

I rather avoid getting stovepiped in the army as a whole. I'm at work 9 out of 24 hours in garrison and 24 out of 24 hours about 2 months of the year. Sorry to break the bubble of some of the 3rd marriage RSMs out there but I'd rather spend time with my 1st wife then listen to other people complain about their work or homelife.

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #51 on: August 12, 2014, 07:15:26 »
I rather avoid getting stovepiped in the army as a whole. I'm at work 9 out of 24 hours in garrison and 24 out of 24 hours about 2 months of the year. Sorry to break the bubble of some of the 3rd marriage RSMs out there but I'd rather spend time with my 1st wife then listen to other people complain about their work or homelife.

Not to be derogatory, but why did you join the military with such an attitude?
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Offline Pre-flight

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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #52 on: August 12, 2014, 07:37:45 »
Not to be derogatory, but why did you join the military with such an attitude?

Joined for the fun, benefits, and the challange. Doesn't mean I want to bury myself in the army. I've got plenty of interests outside the military that I also pursue in my spare time.

Offline MrBlue

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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #53 on: August 12, 2014, 07:57:14 »
Maybe it is a generational thing, but if it is a new phenomenom, it doesn't mean it's automatically something that needs to be corrected.

I'm one of those guys that only goes to the mess on order. Frankly the whole thing bores me and I never had time for drinking culture. I go to work, do a good job and at the end of the day, the thought of spending more time talking about military stuff or gossiping doesn't cross my mind. I much rather get home to my wife and spend time with her.

From my perspective, the people who go straight from work to the mess to talk more about work are the unhealthy ones. They need to get a life outside of the military.

I wouldn't go so far as saying that people who go straight to the mess after work are unhealthy (other than maybe drinking to much) I mean maybe they do all their socializing there and that's healthy.  It's all about priorities, 1 person's priorities might be to go slam some beers back or throw darts after every day of work (with or without friends) whereas my priorities for example are far different, mine are to get home to my wife, hang out with her and my dogs, go train a couple hours, get my meals in and get food ready for the next day, etc...

I agree i've only gone to the mess when it was mandatory other than 1 time to watch UFC I believe, I don't drink so for me there's no point in going to the mess unless its for PPV, and i've got a big TV at home so if there's any sport that's on regular TV I want to watch (almost never because I don't really care to watch sports on tv) then I am covered, not to mention half my weekends I leave the area for a real city.

I am the same, I do my job and go home and/or see my friends sometimes, because I honestly don't really want to see/talk to people from work outside of work, partly because I don't particularly like many of them and partly because I don't have much in common with majority of them; I have no kids, I'd rather hit the gym or watch a movie than drink/play darts, etc...so besides work stuff I don't have much in common or to talk about with them.

I tended to use the mess more when I lived in barracks in gagetown and didn't own a tv or anything, so bunch of other buddies (who also lived in barracks) and I would hit it up to go watch some of our favourite shows once or twice a week.

Offline Pusser

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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #54 on: August 12, 2014, 10:26:06 »
I have to agree with the OP on this one.  The spirit of camaraderie has definitely changed over the last 30 years and in my opinion has declined significantly.  Of course every generation always laments the changes in life and complains about how things aren't like they used to be, but in this case, I think it's kind of sad.  The very fact that many of the above posts refer to folks doing their "jobs" and doing them well is very telling.  In my younger days, we didn't feel we had "jobs," we were members of the CF and that was something more (a calling so to speak).  Unfortunately, over time our leaders have fallen into the "management" mindset and have treated us so much like employees that we react accordingly.  People are much more inclined than they used to be to treat work and home completely separately.  When I first joined the Reserve, we came to the unit whether we were paid or not because it was fun, that's where are friends were and we enjoyed bing there.  When I went to the Regular Force, it was a similar situation.

As for messes, as others have said, they are what YOU make of them.  If they don't appeal to you, get involved and turn them into something that you want.  It puzzles me that we get to belong to one of the most exclusive clubs in town for an incredibly low cost and folks complain about it.  A lot of civlians actually pay huge sums of money for the same opportunities and are quite jealous of us as a result.  I'm very lucky at the moment in that I'm posted OUTCAN to a location with a very active social calendar.  We have at least seven major events a year, including a summer and winter ball.  These events are always well attended and they're a lot of fun.  BOTH my wife and I are going to miss all this when we come home.  Yes, my wife actively participates in the mess as well and thoroughly enjoys it.  I expect that when we do return to Canada, I will once again join the entertainment committee and organize the kinds of parties I like. If you get involved, you can do the same.

Having said all of this, I do actually believe in a life outside the military.  With one brief exception, I have never lived in married quarters (in fact, I think the CF should get out of the housing business altogether, but that's another discussion) and I even try to avoid living in neighbourhoods that are heavily populated by other military families.  I also get involved in other activities completely outside the military community (e.g. civilian sports teams) and so have multiple circles of friends.  The secret, in my view, is to reach out in all directions....
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Offline MrBlue

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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #55 on: August 12, 2014, 10:57:05 »
Pusser: I would love nothing more than to not have to live in PMQs, but with work opportunities for non military spouses being so horrible in Pet, and the house prices being ridiculously high, its not going to happen anytime soon, and then you also have the point of it being a very small town so almost EVERY neighbourhood has lots of military in it, its not like Kingston for example, where you can actually live somewhere withouth bumping in to coworkers/other soldiers.

I don't think its entirely the "generational" issue or the leadership issue people make it out to be, I mean look back and what was something that was a necessary "evil" drinking and smoking at the mess with coworkers and bosses...people nowadays are far more health conscious and less people smoke and drink compared to back then.  People have more varied interests also, not everyone cares about parties, dancing, drinking, and things that go on at the mess, some people are super outdoorsy and would rather be mountain climbing, mountain biking, hiking, etc, others who are more on the intellectual (nerdy) side might have more book-ish or technological interests...I just feel that in this day and age people feel more comfortable doing things that not EVERYONE is into, and so more people get out there and do their own thing.

Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #56 on: August 12, 2014, 11:20:23 »
I personally found the greatest camaraderie when I was posted to various HMC Ships.  I found the confided living and shared adversity created the camaraderie.  The "main cave" was always a busy spot when in a foreign port and you found different trades going ashore and mingling together often.  We even had great theme parties in home port that were always well attended and gave our significant others a chance to become part of the ships family as a whole.

I think that is a product of that environment though.  I have found in my current posting (CFB Kingston) the mess is a more of a bother to most and really just an institution most use when forced or when its conveniently tied in with another occasion. I personally love the TGIT nights at the Sgts and WOs mess here.  I get to see people I don’t work with anymore and catch up over a beer or pop.

I also thoroughly enjoy the new Sgts and WOs mess at CFB Borden.  Their TGIT is great.  Mostly because I find I often win tickets to different events. ;)

I don’t hinge camaraderie on mess life though.  We do things in my section like pot luck lunches and Christmas parties and these always have solid attendance and participation, none of them are forced fun.  I also know many of my subordinates socialize together outside of work.  As the PO2 I separate myself from this as I don’t want to blur the lines of leadership.

So I would surmise that camaraderie had evolved from the days of yore not that is has degraded.  Having said that, where does it leave the necessity of mess life?  I don’t know but it should attempt  adapt and evolve with the times, in an effort to stay relevant, or it will find itself fighting an uphill battle to survive when the bean counters start looking further at unnecessary infrastructure.
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Offline Pre-flight

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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #57 on: August 12, 2014, 12:01:33 »
As for messes, as others have said, they are what YOU make of them.  If they don't appeal to you, get involved and turn them into something that you want. 

I think this is where the disconnect is. It's not that the mess staff don't do a good job trying to make the best of it for people, it's that people are busy with other things in their life and are not interested in spending time in any club, no matter how exclusive it may be.

On top of that, I think spending 1/2 of my waking life in garrison and 100% of my waking life on Op and on Ex with the military is plenty. The rest I rather spend with my wife and family, and not going back to the same bar every night.

It's not an issue that camaraderie needs to be fixed, or that the messes are disfunctional. It's that going back to the same bar all the time is not an interest for people. If I have time and money I rather spend it eating at different restauraunts and pubs with people that don't have the same job as me. There's more to life than buring yourself deeper and deeper in the CAF.

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #58 on: August 12, 2014, 12:20:58 »
I think this is where the disconnect is. It's not that the mess staff don't do a good job trying to make the best of it for people, it's that people are busy with other things in their life and are not interested in spending time in any club, no matter how exclusive it may be.

On top of that, I think spending 1/2 of my waking life in garrison and 100% of my waking life on Op and on Ex with the military is plenty. The rest I rather spend with my wife and family, and not going back to the same bar every night.

It's not an issue that camaraderie needs to be fixed, or that the messes are disfunctional. It's that going back to the same bar all the time is not an interest for people. If I have time and money I rather spend it eating at different restauraunts and pubs with people that don't have the same job as me. There's more to life than buring yourself deeper and deeper in the CAF.

It is interesting reading your posts where it would appear that you are a rare person who can not juggle "two families".   So many others have successfully committed to their 'military family' while maintaining their commitments to their biological family, leading successful careers with broad networks of friends and family. 
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Offline Pre-flight

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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #59 on: August 12, 2014, 12:32:13 »
It is interesting reading your posts where it would appear that you are a rare person who can not juggle "two families".   So many others have successfully committed to their 'military family' while maintaining their commitments to their biological family, leading successful careers with broad networks of friends and family.

Then I would say you must be one of the rare people whose marriage did not fail because of their overattachment to the military. Most of the people I see at the mess are at least on the second wife, if not third or fourth.

Offline Haggis

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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #60 on: August 12, 2014, 12:47:39 »
Then I would say you must be one of the rare people whose marriage did not fail because of their overattachment to the military. Most of the people I see at the mess are at least on the second wife, if not third or fourth.

I daresay that the bolded portion of your quote is a generalization and, quite honestly, a presumption.  Do you know exactly why those marriages broke up?  Could it be PERSTEMPO? Infidelity by the spouse left behind during deployments?  A general imcompatability?  The list of possible stressors on a military (or any) marriage is long.  I hardly think it's overwhelmingly because of an overattachment to the military.
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #61 on: August 12, 2014, 12:57:13 »
Before this goes off the rails, remember that for today's generation, juggling "two families" might mean a biological family and one or more interest groups connected via social media or networking in the civilian community.

Reading the replies you can amost guess the age of the posters, the ones connected via outside interests and social media vs the traditionalists who connect face to face. A very interesting datum, and one which should fill supporters of the mess as an institution with dread: the traditionalists are retiring and becoming a dwindling minority, while the social media crowd expands by leaps and bounds.
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Offline Pre-flight

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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #62 on: August 12, 2014, 12:58:17 »
I daresay that the bolded portion of your quote is a generalization and, quite honestly, a presumption.  Do you know exactly why those marriages broke up?  Could it be PERSTEMPO? Infidelity by the spouse left behind during deployments?  A general imcompatability?  The list of possible stressors on a military (or any) marriage is long.  I hardly think it's overwhelmingly because of an overattachment to the military.

No, not neccessarily. But we do know the impact of op tempo on marriages, military life can be unpredictable, and we can be sent away for long stretches with little notice. That's why the time I do have, I rather spend with my wife and family, and not in the mess. We all have our personal priorities and family is my number one. Maybe other people make their job or their work buddies their number one. To each their own, but just because many people rather head home than head to the mess after work, doesn't mean that something is broken or needs to be fixed.

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #63 on: August 12, 2014, 13:01:37 »
Then I would say you must be one of the rare people whose marriage did not fail because of their overattachment to the military. Most of the people I see at the mess are at least on the second wife, if not third or fourth.

Sorry, but I know a larger number of people who have very successful marriages and can socialize within and outside of their military and biological families, both as individuals and as couples.  That you have such a tainted view and constantly put it out there for all to judge, does not make your view the sole correct one.  Your point of view is a lot more common in some Trades than in others.  It is less common in those in the Combat Arms (Air, Land and Sea) who live in close proximity with their comrades for extended periods, than for those in Trades who maintain a relatively repetitive "9 to 5" type of job.   It is the camaraderie developed among those who experience the same extremes in life that create social circles which are so useful as a tool for healing during and after traumatic events.  In your case, you would be bringing all your problems home to a family who have no clue what your problem, nor what the cause of your problem, may be.   

I don't really think that you have clued into any of this in any of your years of service.  Some don't. 

Just to clarify, camaraderie does not have to be attendance to a Mess only.  It can include so many other activities within a military sponsored environment or outside of the military environment.  Just because one is a colleague at work, does not dictate that all conversation has to be work related. 
« Last Edit: August 12, 2014, 13:06:56 by George Wallace »
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Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #64 on: August 12, 2014, 13:22:56 »
Sorry, but I know a larger number of people who have very successful marriages and can socialize within and outside of their military and biological families, both as individuals and as couples.  That you have such a tainted view and constantly put it out there for all to judge, does not make your view the sole correct one.  Your point of view is a lot more common in some Trades than in others.  It is less common in those in the Combat Arms (Air, Land and Sea) who live in close proximity with their comrades for extended periods, than for those in Trades who maintain a relatively repetitive "9 to 5" type of job.   It is the camaraderie developed among those who experience the same extremes in life that create social circles which are so useful as a tool for healing during and after traumatic events.  In your case, you would be bringing all your problems home to a family who have no clue what your problem, nor what the cause of your problem, may be.   

I don't really think that you have clued into any of this in any of your years of service.  Some don't. 

Just to clarify, camaraderie does not have to be attendance to a Mess only.  It can include so many other activities within a military sponsored environment or outside of the military environment.  Just because one is a colleague at work, does not dictate that all conversation has to be work related.

There are portions of your post that almost constitue and act of plagarisim on my last post.  I guess the old ignore function works eh! ;)
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #65 on: August 12, 2014, 13:35:51 »
There are portions of your post that almost constitue and act of plagarisim on my last post.  I guess the old ignore function works eh! ;)

I know those points have been pointed out several times, by several others as well, and still seem to keep sailing over the heads of some.
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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #66 on: August 12, 2014, 22:27:36 »
Then I would say you must be one of the rare people whose marriage did not fail because of their overattachment to the military. Most of the people I see at the mess are at least on the second wife, if not third or fourth.

First thing is you don't go to the mess, second if the majority is 2nd and 3rd marriages, there must be only two people there. Even in some of the worst outfits, in the lousiest of places, I never found the exaggerated numbers you're spouting. You're in Kingston if I remember correctly, so what your saying is bullshit to bolster your points.

I'm also guessing that people that go from unit to unit encountering the same problems should probably look at the common denominator in their equation. Not their surroundings.
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Offline Pre-flight

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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #67 on: August 12, 2014, 23:15:32 »
First thing is you don't go to the mess, second if the majority is 2nd and 3rd marriages, there must be only two people there. Even in some of the worst outfits, in the lousiest of places, I never found the exaggerated numbers you're spouting. You're in Kingston if I remember correctly, so what your saying is bullshit to bolster your points.

I'm also guessing that people that go from unit to unit encountering the same problems should probably look at the common denominator in their equation. Not their surroundings.

Yes, it's my fault that most of them are repeat divorcees. If only I spent more time in the mess their marriages could have been spared.

Offline MCG

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Re: Camaraderie
« Reply #68 on: August 12, 2014, 23:28:21 »
It is time for a brief lock.  Maybe in 24 hrs everyone can come back and play nice in this sandbox.

If someone wants to constructively continue this discussion, ask a mod to open it not before tomorrow evening.

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Friendship and social life in the CAF
« Reply #69 on: September 19, 2017, 23:17:04 »
Can anyone who has been in the CAF for a while tell me what their experiences have been in terms of being able to maintain friendships and an active social life? I have heard a few people say that because of the constant moving, deployments, training and so on, that it is really difficult to form any type of strong bond, or maintain any kind of long term friendship, and that a lot of people become quite lonely and isolated. Do you think this is the case, or have you found it possible to make and keep good friends, people who you see regularly and do things with? Thanks.

Offline Dimsum

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Re: Friendship and social life in the CAF
« Reply #70 on: September 20, 2017, 00:27:41 »
I think it's the opposite; those moves, deployments, training courses, etc form some of the strongest bonds due to shared circumstances.  I haven't maintained as many friendships from high school and university, but I can (and have) not seen someone since Basic almost two decades ago and we'll get on like it was yesterday.

As far as the social life, it is what you make of it.  Most bases aren't in large cities so you end up hanging out with your co-workers more than civilian sector.  People get posted regularly but there's probably a good chance you'll run into them again on courses, deployments or future postings.
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Re: Friendship and social life in the CAF
« Reply #71 on: September 24, 2017, 01:59:05 »
Can anyone who has been in the CAF for a while tell me what their experiences have been in terms of being able to maintain friendships and an active social life? I have heard a few people say that because of the constant moving, deployments, training and so on, that it is really difficult to form any type of strong bond, or maintain any kind of long term friendship, and that a lot of people become quite lonely and isolated. Do you think this is the case, or have you found it possible to make and keep good friends, people who you see regularly and do things with? Thanks.

How can you not make friends where everyone is dressed the same? :)
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Offline Dolphin_Hunter

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Re: Friendship and social life in the CAF
« Reply #72 on: September 24, 2017, 06:57:12 »
Dimsum nailed it.

 
Can anyone who has been in the CAF for a while tell me what their experiences have been in terms of being able to maintain friendships and an active social life? I have heard a few people say that because of the constant moving, deployments, training and so on, that it is really difficult to form any type of strong bond, or maintain any kind of long term friendship, and that a lot of people become quite lonely and isolated. Do you think this is the case, or have you found it possible to make and keep good friends, people who you see regularly and do things with? Thanks.

I could see this being an issue with the spouses and children but not so much for the member.  That being said, the MFRCs/PSP have stepped up their game and as a result there are plenty of programs in place for families.

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Re: Friendship and social life in the CAF
« Reply #73 on: September 24, 2017, 15:47:32 »
Can anyone who has been in the CAF for a while tell me what their experiences have been in terms of being able to maintain friendships and an active social life? I have heard a few people say that because of the constant moving, deployments, training and so on, that it is really difficult to form any type of strong bond, or maintain any kind of long term friendship, and that a lot of people become quite lonely and isolated. Do you think this is the case, or have you found it possible to make and keep good friends, people who you see regularly and do things with? Thanks.

I met my best friend in Basic Training in 2010, he was posted to Esquimalt and I was in Gagetown. We still talk every day online and I was his best man at his wedding. I think the bond you form with people on course or throughout your military career is actually stronger then what you would experience civvie side.
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Re: Friendship and social life in the CAF
« Reply #74 on: September 24, 2017, 16:16:44 »
I think the bond you form with people on course or throughout your military career is actually stronger then what you would experience civvie side.

I enjoyed my time in the PRes.

I also think riding with a partner in emergency services develops a strong bond.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2017, 17:24:19 by mariomike »

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Re: Friendship and social life in the CAF
« Reply #75 on: September 24, 2017, 18:05:49 »
I enjoyed my time in the PRes.

I also think riding with a partner in emergency services develops a strong bond.

True, I dont see Police, Fire Fighters or I guess emergrncy services as civillian for some reason. My stepfather was a Fire Captain and I have a huge amount of respect for him and the guys on his truck, or any emergency service professional.
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Re: Friendship and social life in the CAF
« Reply #76 on: September 25, 2017, 19:14:00 »
Thank you all very much for your responses. It is good to know that most people don't find it to be a problem.