Author Topic: Combat Engineers vs engineering officers  (Read 35960 times)

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Offline SeanMichael

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Combat Engineers vs engineering officers
« on: November 28, 2012, 03:16:36 »
I am thinking about joining up as a engineering officer, but i was reading up on combat engineers and i like how they work a lot in the field. So I was just curious if as an officer, would i get to do lots of field work, or would i be a pencil pusher? I also like the fact that as a combat engineer I would have the option to become a paratrooper, combat dive, etc.

Offline Pieman

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Re: Combat Engineers vs engineering officers
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2012, 03:55:26 »
As an Officer you will get to do both. Especially in training.

In regiment, as an NCM, you will initially spend countless hours sitting around doing very little, while the officers are pushing papers (or playing solitaire).  When you climb up in rank as an NCM you are given more to do but that takes time.

However, you will get to do all the fun stuff in the field as an NCM.

If you are already university educated, I would highly advise to apply for Officer. In the long run, there are more opportunities.
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Offline SeanMichael

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Re: Combat Engineers vs engineering officers
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2012, 08:12:51 »
thank you but will i still get to be combat diver, paratrooper, etc.?

Offline Pieman

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Re: Combat Engineers vs engineering officers
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2012, 12:45:33 »
Those courses will appear at some point in your career.

Airborne Engineers are rare these days, and there is heavy competition for a slot on a course. You stand a better chance of landing a course as an Officer, but still. Really, it is just a jump course, and you get to jump once in a while (once every couple years, more if you are lucky)

Combat Divers, the opportunity will come up at some point in your Career when a slot opens up. I only know of one fellow who got to into combat divers of all the combat Engineers I trained with. It sounds like a horrible selection process to be able to splash around in a mucky river or lake.

Really, working with EOD and IED training are the most important areas of Combat Engineers these days. It is funded better and courses are offered more frequently.

 
Graffiti in regimental toilet stalls: The official guide to troop moral....apparently.

“Perfectly symmetrical violence never solved anything.” - Professor Farnsworth

Offline Towards_the_gap

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Re: Combat Engineers vs engineering officers
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2012, 13:09:23 »

You stand a better chance of landing a course as an Officer, but still.

Err...no. There is a 'Jump Troop' at 2 CER, with 1 Officer, and 30-35 soldier. Each jump course we get seats on there is about 7-8 of those soldiers. We have sent 1 officer in the past year. You work out the odds there.

Additionally, once that YO has done his tour as Jump Troop Commander, he will likely never see a riser again, as his/her opportunity to jump will be extremely limited, if at all.

If you want to do the sexy, cool, door kicking stuff, then join as a soldier. If you like management, office work, and project planning/management, then join as an officer.

Offline Pieman

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Re: Combat Engineers vs engineering officers
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2012, 22:46:06 »
Quote
Err...no. There is a 'Jump Troop' at 2 CER, with 1 Officer, and 30-35 soldier. Each jump course we get seats on there is about 7-8 of those soldiers. We have sent 1 officer in the past year. You work out the odds there.

Hm, looks like I'm off on my numbers there. I got that impression as we had two officers pass through our FT with jump wings. Meanwhile, one NCM got a jump course where he had to compete with at least 40 other Sappers for the slot.



Graffiti in regimental toilet stalls: The official guide to troop moral....apparently.

“Perfectly symmetrical violence never solved anything.” - Professor Farnsworth

Offline C.G.R

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Re: Combat Engineers vs engineering officers
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2012, 23:50:16 »
Keep in mind that not everyone is offered these courses, officer or ncm. You would be wiser to make your choice based on the core roles of the jobs.
Don't outsmart your common sense.

Offline Pieman

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Re: Combat Engineers vs engineering officers
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2012, 04:23:56 »
^^ Good point. It can simply be a matter of being in the right place at the right time.
Graffiti in regimental toilet stalls: The official guide to troop moral....apparently.

“Perfectly symmetrical violence never solved anything.” - Professor Farnsworth

Offline Towards_the_gap

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Re: Combat Engineers vs engineering officers
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2012, 07:20:10 »
Hm, looks like I'm off on my numbers there. I got that impression as we had two officers pass through our FT with jump wings. Meanwhile, one NCM got a jump course where he had to compete with at least 40 other Sappers for the slot.

I might be a bit off too, one of those officers may be from another unit, or (flying pig time here) a reservist.

But C.G.R. has it down right, don't pick your career stream based on things that you may not actually be cut out for anyways. You may just find out that you are deathly afraid of dark water/heights, and then be stuck in a job you hate.

Offline Journeyman

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Re: Combat Engineers vs engineering officers
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2012, 08:36:28 »
You may just find out that you are deathly afraid of dark water/heights, and then be stuck in a job you hate.
     :nod: 
Applicable to everyone posting here who believes that their COD ninja skills will get them sent immediately into an instructor line-serial within CANSOFCOM.


And it's not the dark water or the heights, it's the wolf eels in those waters and the hard ground at the end of the 'heights' that I could do without.   ;)

Offline SeanMichael

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Re: Combat Engineers vs engineering officers
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2012, 07:55:44 »


But C.G.R. has it down right, don't pick your career stream based on things that you may not actually be cut out for anyways. You may just find out that you are deathly afraid of dark water/heights, and then be stuck in a job you hate.
[/quote


i am a recreational diver and i enjoy mountain climbing and base jumpingÉ :)

Offline Journeyman

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Re: Combat Engineers vs engineering officers
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2012, 09:27:47 »
But if you follow the discussion, the majority of it covered the numbers involved in these daredevil exploits....by officer and NCM......basically saying don't pick your career stream based on things that you may never do due to statistical probability.

People may enlist believing that they'd be the most awesome freefall, diver, door-kicking Engineer officer ever.....and the chain of command may say, "that's terrific; you SO rock! But we need someone to oversee those front-end loaders and dump trucks -- your personal weapon is now an excel spreadsheet."

Offline cupper

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Re: Combat Engineers vs engineering officers
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2012, 13:36:40 »
People may enlist believing that they'd be the most awesome freefall, diver, door-kicking Engineer officer ever.....and the chain of command may say, "that's terrific; you SO rock! But we need someone to oversee those front-end loaders and dump trucks -- your personal weapon is now an excel spreadsheet."

We need more Excel Powerpoint Ninja Warriors in today's chair bound battlefield.
It's hard to win an argument against a smart person, it's damned near impossible against a stupid person.

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Offline Capt. Happy

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Re: Combat Engineers vs engineering officers
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2012, 18:58:38 »
We need more Excel Powerpoint Ninja Warriors in today's chair bound battlefield.

Have you ever done heavy equipment output calculations? That is a job required of Cbt Engrs, and is far easier to do using a homemade excel spreadsheet than the old way by hand. It's not as visible or loud as conducting attacks or obstacle breaching, but is just as important....


Back on topic - in another lifetime when I was instructing Cbt Diver prelims and courses, I always got a kick out the candidates who thought because they were civy recreational divers, they had it all figured out until they did their first black water dive....then the hilarity always ensued. There is a very large difference between doing civy recreational dives, and doing a GNCS swim in October, at night, in black water, carrying weapons and towing charges for a couple kms. "There are only two types of soldiers - those that are Combat Divers, and those that want to be..." That phrase still makes me chuckle...


There is a lot of good advice in this thread (and the other ones of a similar grain). Don't pick based on specialty courses that you may or probably won't get - there are only 1 Para Tp Comd, 1 EOD Tp Comd and 1 Asst DiveO per regiment per batch of YOs per year. While you may not be selected to fill one of those slots, you might still get the applicable course, but with the cutbacks that have already started, positions on Engr specialty courses need to start being justified based on needs and not wants - so make sure you look at the bigger picture, not just the glare off hazard badges  8)

Offline cupper

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Re: Combat Engineers vs engineering officers
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2012, 21:00:14 »
Have you ever done heavy equipment output calculations? That is a job required of Cbt Engrs, and is far easier to do using a homemade excel spreadsheet than the old way by hand. It's not as visible or loud as conducting attacks or obstacle breaching, but is just as important....

Believe me, AS AN ENGINEER, I develop and use Excel spreadsheets every day, and periodically have to create and deliver powerpoint presentations to contractors.

My apologies if I offended you, that was not my intention.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 21:11:41 by cupper »
It's hard to win an argument against a smart person, it's damned near impossible against a stupid person.

There is no God, and life is just a myth.

"He who drinks, sleeps. He who sleeps, does not sin. He who does not sin, is holy. Therefore he who drinks, is holy."

Let's Go CAPS!

Offline Towards_the_gap

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Re: Combat Engineers vs engineering officers
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2012, 21:36:07 »


i am a recreational diver and i enjoy mountain climbing and base jumpingÉ :)


None of which means you will be successful at combat diving, advanced mountain ops, or para.

You may not even pass BMOQ/BMQ anyways.


Offline Popurhedoff

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Re: Combat Engineers vs engineering officers
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2012, 05:42:37 »
Engineering Officer:

He/she can mathamatically calculate the volume of a pickle jar with precise percision at just a glance...but cannot open it.

Combat Engineer:

Can field expidiently erect a pickle factory, produce an opened jar of pickles for the Officer... and then completly disassemble the factory using explosives in short order.

Please excuse the humour  >:D

Cheers
Pop
Train to Win ~ The Life you save, just might be your own.

Offline Capt. Happy

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Re: Combat Engineers vs engineering officers
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2012, 06:15:59 »
Believe me, AS AN ENGINEER, I develop and use Excel spreadsheets every day, and periodically have to create and deliver powerpoint presentations to contractors.

My apologies if I offended you, that was not my intention.

It takes more than that to offend me ;)


Civy Engr I assume? Your profile says you were a R411 a ways back...

My comments were also directed (although as I reread them, it is pretty impossible to see that) elsewhere to the masses who do not understand the full spectrum of tasks and requirements of Cbt Engrs and Engr Officers - it's not all bang and bridging - there are some pretty mundane tasks that require the use of software, even while conducting combat operations; although admittedly, not at the same time  :nod:

Offline cupper

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Re: Combat Engineers vs engineering officers
« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2012, 11:21:51 »
It takes more than that to offend me ;)


Civy Engr I assume? Your profile says you were a R411 a ways back...

My comments were also directed (although as I reread them, it is pretty impossible to see that) elsewhere to the masses who do not understand the full spectrum of tasks and requirements of Cbt Engrs and Engr Officers - it's not all bang and bridging - there are some pretty mundane tasks that require the use of software, even while conducting combat operations; although admittedly, not at the same time  :nod:

Yes, my engineering career is mainly civy, although I did spend time in the CE shop in Cornwallis prior to the closure.

My point was in agreement with the posts the suggested the OP needed to understand that his/her career was not going to be all glamour and Hollywood, and there will be periods where it will be chair bound pushing paper and pencil.

It may have been lost in the levity though.
It's hard to win an argument against a smart person, it's damned near impossible against a stupid person.

There is no God, and life is just a myth.

"He who drinks, sleeps. He who sleeps, does not sin. He who does not sin, is holy. Therefore he who drinks, is holy."

Let's Go CAPS!

Offline MCG

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Re: Combat Engineers vs engineering officers
« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2012, 12:44:45 »
… it's not all bang and bridging - there are some pretty mundane tasks that require the use of software …
like infrastructure or calculating crossing tables for a brigade ferry operation.

Offline Kat Stevens

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Re: Combat Engineers vs engineering officers
« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2012, 13:04:50 »
Engineering Officer:

He/she can mathamatically calculate the volume of a pickle jar with precise percision at just a glance...but cannot open it.

Combat Engineer:

Can field expidiently erect a pickle factory, produce an opened jar of pickles for the Officer... and then completly disassemble the factory using explosives in short order.

Please excuse the humour  >:D

Cheers
Pop


"Can calculate the square root of a jar of pickles, but cant get the lid off" was the way I learned, but love this one too.
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Offline Gunshark

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Re: Combat Engineers vs engineering officers
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2013, 14:52:51 »
Soo... Reading this thread, I get the impression that Combat Engineer NCMs get to do the actual fun stuff, while Officers hold more of a responsibility and leadership role. It seems NCMs have more opportunities for obtaining specialized skills, which also sounds good.

Now... I have an engineering degree, and I'm assuming most people would recommend Officer. And I am interested in leadership myself. So far so good. BUT... It's discouraging to hear that Officers don't get to do the fun dirty work (at least not so much beyond training). Is this really true?

Are there leadership opportunities being an NCM? For example, as you get trained and get experienced in your trade, are there opportunities to lead groups of people? Is it possible to even become an Officer later on, having done a lot of good NCM work?

Thank you.

Offline Towards_the_gap

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Re: Combat Engineers vs engineering officers
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2013, 15:18:31 »

Are there leadership opportunities being an NCM? For example, as you get trained and get experienced in your trade, are there opportunities to lead groups of people? Is it possible to even become an Officer later on, having done a lot of good NCM work?

As for the first, absolutely, and in fact as a Sgt/MCpl you may find yourself as the senior engineer in a combined arms team, advising commanders as well as leading your own troops on a task. Or as part of a larger engineer group (squadron/regiment), you will still the the guy, getting stuff done, with your team.

It is also possible to Commission From the Ranks (become an officer), but I wouldn't worry about this at the stage of the game you are at now.

Offline Gunshark

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Re: Combat Engineers vs engineering officers
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2013, 16:30:50 »
Thank you. Do you know the minimum service term for NCM engineers these days?

Offline C.G.R

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Re: Combat Engineers vs engineering officers
« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2013, 17:44:44 »
4 years.
Don't outsmart your common sense.