Forums => Combat Service Support Elements => Logistics => Topic started by: PaulD on July 08, 2005, 02:31:59

Title: RMS clerk or Logistics Officer?
Post by: PaulD on July 08, 2005, 02:31:59
Hi.   I'm a recent Business Administration graduate and am currently a CGA student.   I've applied to be a Logistics Officer but the RMS clerk trade has also caught my eye.   I caught a small blurb in a CGA brochure about a RMS clerk who enrolled in the CGA program, earned her CGA designation and is now a comptroller with the CF.  Now that's something to aspire to.

I told my career counsellor about the RMS clerk/comptroller I   read about and asked whether switching my application to RMS clerk might be a good idea.   I reasoned that this trade might be a good fit for me because of the practical experience that can go towards earning my CGA designation.   My cousellor told me that it's possible and that I would, in his words, "kick butt", since   I would be over-qualified for this trade.   He still thinks Logistics Officer might be a better choice for me because he considers me an "above-average" candidate for this.  

I'm looking at this from the perspective of a CGA student.   Do Logistics Officers get to perform any hands-on financial/accounting work?   I'm eager to join the forces and would like to get in as soon as I can.   Should I stay the course and wait for the results of the next officer selection board?   Thanks and I appreciate any thoughts on this.
Title: Re: RMS clerk or Logistics Officer?
Post by: Tommy on July 08, 2005, 03:07:14
Speaking In my very very limited experiance I can only tell you that if you go NCM its alot easier to go Officer later down the road.
Meaning if you want you can try RMS Clerk and see how you like it, and then if you wished go Log O later down the line...

however, Im sure there are quite a few individuals on this board who are much much more qualified at answering this question then I am, and can also tell you alot more about the specifics of the trade.
Title: Re: RMS clerk or Logistics Officer?
Post by: PaulD on July 08, 2005, 18:55:26

Cpl Thompson, thanks.  I'll have to ask my counsellor about that option. I don't really have a preference and can go RMS clerk of Log O either way.  According to my counsellor, non-commission selection occurs every 6 weeks but the next officer selection board won't be until Sept.  My main concern is getting in as soon as possible but I'm not sure if that's the right attitude to have.  Wait and see or go for the quickest route into the forces?  Any input would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!
Title: Re: RMS clerk or Logistics Officer?
Post by: Steve on July 08, 2005, 19:00:47
My father is the current base comptroller for CFB Shilo, he's an RMS Clerk WO w/25 yrs in. You can PM him if you want to ask him what it's like and also your question about NCM or Officer as it sounds like he'd know all about the questions you're asking.

Here's the link to his profile if you're interested in speaking with him:;u=7898 (;u=7898)

Title: Re: RMS clerk or Logistics Officer?
Post by: PaulD on July 08, 2005, 21:13:14

Thanks much!!
Title: Re: RMS clerk or Logistics Officer?
Post by: Roy Harding on July 08, 2005, 23:46:51

As a retired RMS Clk, with 22 years experience, maybe I can offer some insight for you - YOU, of course, need to make the decision.

For 15 years I was an Adm Clk (831), dealing with Human Resources issues, amongst other operational administrative tasks.  For 7 years I was an RMS Clk (836) - dealing with Human Resources, operational admin, and Finance.   This state of affairs was brought about by the amalgamation of three trades into one.  The three were:

631 - CEP Tech
831 - Adm Clk
841 - Fin Clk

The latter two were by far the largest, which is why the new trade (RMS) was assigned the MOC 836 - you'll note that 836 is precisely halfway between 831 and 841.

It's interesting to note that prior to amalgamation I was part of a staff check of Sr NCOs within the Adm Clk (831) trade, which recommended SPLITTING the trade into 3 distinct trades - Record, Releases, Operations - I would have fit comfortably into the Operations profile.  The reason this recommendation was made was because of the dizzying breadth of expertise demanded of then Adm Clks - we were expected to be "experts" in far too many esoteric areas.  Instead, the grown ups decided to create a trade that actually BROADENED the scope of the trade, leading to much confusion and dissatisfaction both within the trade, and within the trades we supported.

'Nuff history.  How does this apply to YOUR situation??  Well, if you decide to join as an RMS Clk, there is NO GUARANTEE that you will be working in the finance world - you may end up in the HR world, or some other role supporting operations - nothing wrong with either place - but it WOULDN'T be Finance.

The choice of becoming an NCM first, then CFRing to Log(Fin) Officer is perhaps appealing, it enables you to get "hands on", prior to becoming a policy maker.  I would caution you thus, however, in my experience, CFR officers were either OUTSTANDING or ABYSMAL officers.  There didn't seem to be a middle ground where they were just "OK".

The outstanding ones seemed to be able to assimilate their prior hands on experience and know what was "doable" and what was not.  They knew what their troops were capable of (even when the troops themselves did not), and were able to demand and receive the best from those troops.  They were (and I imagine still are) amazing people - unfortunately, they seem to have been in the minority of CFRs that I met over my career.

The abysmal ones were of two sorts - those who CFRd from the Junior Ranks, and saw their new position as an opportunity for "pay back" on Sr NCOs/WOs, and those who CFRd from Sr NCO/WO rank and never forgot it - although they were wearing officer ranks, they continued to attempt to perform the Sr NCO/WO function - not a great way to run an Army.

So - if you are willing to take the chance of NOT being employed in a "hard finance" slot, and then take your chances regarding which type of officer you'll turn out to be, then enrol as an RMS Clk.  IFF, on the other hand, finance is your hearts desire (and judging by your qualifications and statements made in your original posting), then I strongly suggest you listen to your Career Counsellor (is that what they call recruiters these days??), and wait for the Log(Fin) slot to come open for you.

Again - it's YOUR decision, but don't make the mistake of thinking that Jr Ranks, Sr NCO/WOs, and Officers are different "levels" on the same continuum.  That may hold true for Jr Ranks and Sr NCO/WOs - to a certain extent - but an Officer is NOT simply a tradesmen with a university degree - their function is different - and the transition from OR to Offr is fraught with difficulties.

Good luck to you - no matter what your decision I'm confident you will find the military and extremely rewarding career - I know I did.

Retired CC
Title: Re: RMS clerk or Logistics Officer?
Post by: PaulD on July 09, 2005, 03:09:17

Thanks for the outstanding post.  This certainly clarifies things a bit for me.  The cousellors do a great job but I imagine it's hard for them to be knowledgeable in the subtleties inherent in all trades.  This is where this forum comes in handy . 
Title: Re: RMS clerk or Logistics Officer?
Post by: mudtrucker on July 17, 2005, 08:47:44

I will echo Retired CC's comments and observations, because he has it bang on.  There are pros and cons to each path to a Queen's Commission.  I started off as a NCM and then later commissioned.  I gained a great deal of perspective from, and respect for, my Sr NCOs while a NCM and put that to good use later on, seeking them out for advice - chances are they had seen and done the things that I was facing as a new Lieutenant.  That is a piece of advice for you, irrespective of the path you choose, because it works both ways and builds the bonds of cohesion and trust that are vital to the operational success of the CF.

As for the RMS trade, I am now a Logistics Officer (hard Army, Transport and Movements), but I have a great deal of interaction with RMS clerks, especially right now while deployed overseas.  As Retired CC says, RMS clerks are struggling with trade-knowledge expectations that have become so broad, and that change so rapidly, that our RMS clerks are more often than not spending a major portion of their time seeking answers on isoteric policies that have changed in some small way, but that have massive ramifications CF wide.  RMS clerks quite honestly do keep the CF sorted out, but it can be a frustrating trade.  And once you are labelled as a good one, you can get stove-piped into one stream within the trade.

My wife is an Army Logistics Finance Officer who completed her CMA and is starting her MBA.  She tends to be at the level of financial planning and management at a systems level.  She is posted to a base right now, but was recently one of the Army' Operations (read Business) Plan finance analysts.  The RMS clerks that work for her are the ones most often dealing with the customers, fixing their problems, providing advice/assistance, etc.  It seems that the RMS clerks are the actual coal face of interaction with CF members, and do a good job, although the good ones work very hard at it (like any other CF trade).

None of the above is to turn you off of one path or the other.  There are pros and cons to each path.  The key issue is whether or not you want to deal with people a majority of the time or deal with systems a majority of the time.   Finance Officers to deal with people to a certain degree as well, and Sr NCOs deal with systems a portion of the time as well, but Sr NCOs are moreso the people-interactors, at least in technical support trades like RMS/Logistics.

Anyway, good luck, whichever way to decide.  Being a logistician is a very rewarding trade, irrespective of your path.

Title: Re: RMS clerk or Logistics Officer?
Post by: ccdec on March 18, 2006, 16:33:21

The abysmal ones were of two sorts - those who CFRd from the Junior Ranks, and saw their new position as an opportunity for "pay back" on Sr NCOs/WOs, and those who CFRd from Sr NCO/WO rank and never forgot it - although they were wearing officer ranks, they continued to attempt to perform the Sr NCO/WO function - not a great way to run an Army.

Retired CC

New member so just going through alot of post with great interest. Very late in making a comment but your so right with that comment. Good post btw.
Title: Re: RMS clerk or Logistics Officer?
Post by: Rhibwolf on April 01, 2006, 02:01:42
Paul D, not sure if you made up your mind, but as the thread reopened i thought i would add my two cents. 

I too would caution that to go RMS is NOT a guarantee to get a fin job. Finance - employed clerks are pretty few in number, and you stand a much greater chance of being a cell clerk in an orderly room or at a unit.  As a Log O (Sea) i am quite involved with my RMS staff, and need to know what they know too, for ultimately the responsibility of what they do is mine.  I am deeply involved with finance - pay, budget, contracting, you name it. Its one of my core functions. Unlike army/air log, i am one stop shopping as our ship is a self supporting organization, and i handle everything from finance, supply, admin, food services, transport and steward services. its pretty busy, but quite rewarding.
Having been an NCM in my first few incarnations, I value the experience of having been in the ranks, and it has given me a good perspective.  That said, once you get in as and NCM it is quite difficult to get out. As you already have a degree, you might have an edge, but if your performance as a RMS clerk isn't what your bosses think it takes to get a commission, you're stuck. 
If I had had the option as a youngster to go directly in as an officer, I would have taken it.  The challenges, the responsibility, the opportunities, and of course the pay are much better than I would have had as an artilleryman.

note, if you have not compared the pay guides yet, you really should.  To give you an example, if your performance was top notch, and you hit each promotion right on time, your pay as a RMS clerk after 8 years would be about half of a Major/LCdr in the Log branch.  Of course, you may not hit your promotions on time, and you could get stuck as a Corporal or Captain for some time.  Here again the incentives for Capt. are much better.  Not sure if money is a motivator to you, but its quite a difference.
Good luck, and PM me if you have any questions.
Title: Re: RMS clerk or Logistics Officer?
Post by: PaulD on April 04, 2006, 21:45:50

Hi folks.  I wanted to give you a heads up that I got selected for Signals Officer.  You can read about my circuitous path  :P to joining the CF in the Personal Stories subsection of the recruiting forum. 

Thanks again for the responses and I hope the recent posts in this thread will prove useful to those who are faced with the same choices I had.