Author Topic: Friendship and social life in the CAF  (Read 41491 times)

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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.

Offline Canadian.Trucker

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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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Offline Bruce Monkhouse

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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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Offline dennmu

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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.


Online mariomike

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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

Offline Jarnhamar

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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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Offline dennmu

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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.   

Offline George Wallace

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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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Offline dennmu

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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.

Offline Dimsum

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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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Offline Pre-flight

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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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Offline Thucydides

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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.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.