Author Topic: AERE Career Choices  (Read 2686 times)

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Offline shane306

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AERE Career Choices
« on: February 28, 2017, 14:33:48 »
Hey everyone,
I have recently applied for the AERE position in the Air Force, and my application has moved forward to the point of having my interview next week. Now i recently graduated with a degree in aerospace engineering and most of my work done was related to spacecrafts/satellites, space robotics etc. I am interested in the space field but also interested in many aspects the military has to offer and want to know if there is any positions or postings related to space available for AERE officers. I did some searching and noticed there were courses such as Basic space operations and Space Applications courses, so i am curious about anything resulting from those.

Also i am aware of possibilities for masters degrees especially for AERE officers, now does the CF choose the subject and you apply to take that subject or do you specific the subject you want to take and request it?

Thanks for any answers.

Offline Loachman

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Re: AERE - Space related jobs
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2017, 17:49:53 »
There are not a lot of AEREs on this Site. Scoobs is the only one who comes to mind.

I did a quick search for threads and posts, and only found two short, well-dated threads that do not answer your question and merged them. They're/it's in Air Force General.

Offline Drake.Kho

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Re: AERE - Space related jobs
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2017, 00:03:11 »
Hey Shane306.
sounds like we're in the same boat, i just completed my interview this week for AERE.
i was told that there's going to be 6 AERE positions open for this coming fiscal year.

From your description, it sounds like you're a Ryerson university graduate.
Recruiting Centre: Toronto
Regular/Reserve: Regular
Officer/NCM: Officer
Trade Choice 1: Aerospace Engineering
Trade Choice 2: Electrical and Mechanical Engineering
Trade Choice 3:
Application Date (Online): Aug 31, 2013
Documents Received: Sept 12, 2013
First Contact: Sept 17, 2013
CFAT: Nov 21, 2013 *PASSED
Targeted Interview: Nov 21, 2013
Medical: Mar 1, 2017
Interview: Mar 1, 2017
Reliability Screening: Completed
Merit listed: TBD
Position Offered: TBD
Swear In Ceremony: TBD
BMOQ: TD

Offline Ostrozac

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Re: AERE - Space related jobs
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2017, 03:10:05 »
There are AERE officers that do the Remote Sensing Imaging Science Masters at Rochester. This program is about as space focused as you can get.

Offline shane306

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Re: AERE - Space related jobs
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2017, 16:02:23 »
Thanks for the answers, and Drake good luck hopefully we make it past the selection.

Offline VanIslander

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Re: AERE - Space related jobs
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2017, 22:33:23 »
Hey everyone,
I have recently applied for the AERE position in the Air Force, and my application has moved forward to the point of having my interview next week. Now i recently graduated with a degree in aerospace engineering and most of my work done was related to spacecrafts/satellites, space robotics etc. I am interested in the space field but also interested in many aspects the military has to offer and want to know if there is any positions or postings related to space available for AERE officers. I did some searching and noticed there were courses such as Basic space operations and Space Applications courses, so i am curious about anything resulting from those.
The space side of our trade is about to (or perhaps I should say poised to) undergo a significant change in the next few years.  If you are accepted you might just find yourself at a very opportune time to get into space operations.  However, keep in mind that no posting is guaranteed, and the space side of things is small compared to the rest of AERE. 

Quote
Also i am aware of possibilities for masters degrees especially for AERE officers, now does the CF choose the subject and you apply to take that subject or do you specific the subject you want to take and request it?
There are several "sponsored" post grad options that basically represent skillsets in areas that are in demand.  However if you do all the admin legwork and can justify how your postgrad of choice will benefit you and DND, then you can do pretty much whatever you want.  I know several people with MBA or other management-type degrees that are not officially sponsored.

Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 22:36:07 by VanIslander »

Offline shane306

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AERE Career Choices
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2017, 16:13:31 »
I tried looking for answers to this question but perhaps i wasn't searching the correct word combinations to find helpful answers.

How do career opportunities within the military and specific trades work? Lets say i was finished BMOQ and there were different specializations within the trade such as working in a project management role  vs a technical role. Do you get any say in which you would prefer to do or is it just "youre going here". Im not particularly concerned about location posting but more job opportunities within the job itself such as when particular openings or new job types come up that you would be interested in. Can you actively try to get into to certain positions within your rank and trade? I understand that positions may have many people after them and may be competitive but im more curious about the ability to direct yourself into certain fields with that in mind.
 I am applying for AERE if that matters.

Title changed for clarity by Loachman.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 17:43:44 by Loachman »

Offline Loachman

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Re: AERE Career Choices
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2017, 17:42:53 »
There are not many AEREs on here. I've changed the title to be a bit more specific, and perhaps one will notice.

I would expect that this will be explained in detail during your course, to include posting choices available.

We were briefed and surveyed several times during my Pilot courses.

Offline VanIslander

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Re: AERE Career Choices
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2017, 22:19:43 »
I tried looking for answers to this question but perhaps i wasn't searching the correct word combinations to find helpful answers.

How do career opportunities within the military and specific trades work? Lets say i was finished BMOQ and there were different specializations within the trade such as working in a project management role  vs a technical role. Do you get any say in which you would prefer to do or is it just "youre going here". Im not particularly concerned about location posting but more job opportunities within the job itself such as when particular openings or new job types come up that you would be interested in. Can you actively try to get into to certain positions within your rank and trade? I understand that positions may have many people after them and may be competitive but im more curious about the ability to direct yourself into certain fields with that in mind.
 I am applying for AERE if that matters.

Title changed for clarity by Loachman.

I can only speak to what it's like in AERE, but your training will look like this:

-BMOQ (16 weeks IIRC)
-AERE Prep Phases 1 and 2 (aka APP1 and APP2, basically On-Job Training, length depends on a lot of factors)
-AOBC, the AERE Officer Basic Course, completion of which means you are now a qualified AERE and have reached what's called your OFP or Operational Functional Point (8 months)
-First posting to the various areas of employment open to first-tour AEREs.

If you are ROTP you will do BMOQ and APP1 & 2 during your summers while at RMC.  You will do these at one of the various squadrons across the country.

If you are direct-entry like I am, you will do BMOQ and then go straight to APP, doing both phases back to back.  I started BMOQ in the fall and arrived at Trenton for my APP just before that Christmas.  I spent almost a year in Trenton doing various OJT things before shipping out to CFB Borden which is where AOBC is run.  AOBC is 8 months long (ish) and runs from November to the end of June, annually.  It's designed to get you ready to hit the ground running at your first posting, with a strong practical focus.  It's a pretty good course, actually.

After AOBC you can expect to be posted to any of the following:

-Flying Squadrons (e.g. 429, 425, 427, etc.) and Air Maintenance Squadrons (e.g. 8 AMS)
-Project Management Offices (e.g. the PMO that is delivering the new Fixed-Wing SAR aircraft)
-Weapon System Management offices (every fleet has a WSM, so you could for example find yourself staffing engineering dispositions for the CC130J Super Hercules, or whatever fleet really)
-A "staff job" for lack of a better term (e.g. maybe you're the course officer for NCM courses at CFSATE)
-Other, more niche areas like the Electronic Warfare centre or working under A4 Maint in Winnipeg, doing small one-off design work at ATESS, etc.

Postings are obviously based on your preference but also obviously are subject to the needs of the Armed Forces.  At the end of the day, somebody has to go Goose Bay, or wherever.  There are some 600 AEREs in the Forces, the bulk of whom work in Ottawa in the various PMOs, WSMs, and other niche jobs.  At any given time, ~6% of the trade is doing non-AERE stuff.  I know a guy who did a tour with CJIRU before going back to the core AERE business of supporting flying operations, for example.

After your first posting, then the trade opens up to you.  There are lots of other courses you can take to get more qualifications and authorizations under your belt.  Some you will need, others will be just for fun.  For example, a big part of AERE is explosives/ordnance and there are tons of courses you can take in that regard.  Space operations is another, and I believe I already mentioned electronic warfare.  Most of these have intro-level courses that you can take online, and then the more advanced courses are taught in the classroom setting.  I took an intermediate-level International Law of Armed Conflict course run by the JAG, for example, which has nothing to do with AERE but it was a super interesting way to spend 4 days.  On the other hand, let's say you really want to get into the Space side of things.  On APP (if you have time) or at your first unit, take the basic space operations course and move forward from there.  Talk to people who work for DG Space, and schmooze with the influential brass when they come visit you on AOBC.

If there's a specific job or course you want to go on, then it'll be up to you to do the networking and the coursework to make it happen.  Every occupation within the military has one or more Career Managers that essentially decide who gets posted where, but they take input from the various units.  So if a particular unit tells the career manager that they want you to come work for them, that will greatly increase your odds (No guarantees, though!).

Hope that helps,

Happy to answer any questions I'm able.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2017, 23:09:25 by VanIslander »

Offline shane306

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Re: AERE Career Choices
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2017, 10:19:05 »
Wow thank you VanIslander for taking the time to write such a thorough and informative response. You answered all of my questions and ones i didn't have yet. It certainly clears up a lot of the confusion about what the training and process would be like for AERE as there doesn't seem to be a ton of AEREs on the board.

Offline VanIslander

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Re: AERE Career Choices
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2017, 11:06:49 »
Wow thank you VanIslander for taking the time to write such a thorough and informative response. You answered all of my questions and ones i didn't have yet. It certainly clears up a lot of the confusion about what the training and process would be like for AERE as there doesn't seem to be a ton of AEREs on the board.

My pleasure.

Quick caveat:  If you are interested in Space, please do yourself a favour and talk to a CELE about the space side of their trade, because those folks are heavily involved as well, but in different areas.  SATCOM, for example, is a core CELE competency whereas, say, orbit selection would be AERE (I guess).

Let me know if you have any further questions, though I'm not super knowledgeable about the Space Ops side of things.

Offline shane306

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Re: AERE Career Choices
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2017, 18:46:54 »

After your first posting, then the trade opens up to you.  There are lots of other courses you can take to get more qualifications and authorizations under your belt.  Some you will need, others will be just for fun.  For example, a big part of AERE is explosives/ordnance and there are tons of courses you can take in that regard.  Space operations is another, and I believe I already mentioned electronic warfare.  Most of these have intro-level courses that you can take online, and then the more advanced courses are taught in the classroom setting.  I took an intermediate-level International Law of Armed Conflict course run by the JAG, for example, which has nothing to do with AERE but it was a super interesting way to spend 4 days.  On the other hand, let's say you really want to get into the Space side of things.  On APP (if you have time) or at your first unit, take the basic space operations course and move forward from there.  Talk to people who work for DG Space, and schmooze with the influential brass when they come visit you on AOBC.


How much opportunity have you had to take various courses when the come along. I understand that you have more of chance to take courses if they are offered at the base you are already posted at and that most of the AEREs are posted at the largest bases. How do you know when courses are coming along?

Offline VanIslander

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Re: AERE Career Choices
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2017, 13:32:22 »
How much opportunity have you had to take various courses when the come along. I understand that you have more of chance to take courses if they are offered at the base you are already posted at and that most of the AEREs are posted at the largest bases. How do you know when courses are coming along?

Well, that all depends on which courses we're talking about.

DLN[1] online courses (CAFJOD[2], AFOD[3], many intro-level courses) are a cinch as all you need to do, typically, is to either sign up yourself or ask your unit's ETO[4] to have you loaded onto the course with your boss's blessing if it's something like the AFOD/CAFJOD courses that can be demanding on your time.  You can do them anywhere there's internet connectivity and many of them are offered either on-demand or multiple times per year.  For AFOD and CAFJOD in particular they are supposed to give you a few hours per week at work to plug away at them, but I always preferred to do the courses at home with a nice cold beer.

Other courses can be trickier, depending on the nature of the course.  Some are by application only (e.g. if you want to become a Flight Test Engineer there's a calculus exam followed by a 2-week evaluation period before you get to go onward).  If you aren't located where the course is being run, you can often get authorized for what's called Travel Duty or TD, wherein you get reimbursed for your meals/lodging/travel expenses.  Obviously the budget for TD is finite, so the onus will be on you to make the case as to why this course benefits you/the Forces enough to justify the TD expense (not usually a problem if it's reasonable).  As an example, even though the Law of Armed Conflict is (frankly) not super relevant to my day-to-day job, I had no trouble getting loaded on the Law of Armed Conflict course that I took because it was offered at Trenton, where I was working, so there was no TD required.  However we had some Naval and Army officers there who had been flown in on TD all the way from Halifax and New Brunswick because as combat arms/operators it's extremely relevant to their daily business, so the TD expense was justified.  Hope that makes sense.

As for knowing when the courses are coming along, often they will solicit applications via the CANFORGEN[5] message system.  Others are run so frequently that they don't require this or will have internal websites with calendars and signup instructions.  Others still (mostly the online ones) are run on-demand.

As always, your job comes first so there may be times when you won't be able to take a course if there are operational pressures.  Example:  I wanted to take a Space Ops course last October and was loaded and ready.  However my unit needed to send a junior AERE to the SAREX in Yellowknife, so guess who had to drop out of his course? :) Just gotta be flexible.

At the end of the day, much can be learned by scouring the internal networks and just talking to people.  If there's a course you really want but aren't sure how to take, you can always ask your unit's ETO.  They don't bite.

One final correction:  I noticed you wrote that most AEREs are posted to the largest bases.  While it's true that there are more AEREs at Trenton or Cold Lake than at, say, Goose Bay, the majority of AEREs are in actually in Ottawa.  The AERE at the line units putting "rubber on the ramp" is the primary focus of course, but backing that person up is this huge support apparatus, from A4 Maint in Winnipeg to DAEPM[6] and DTAES[7] in Ottawa, and those people are there to do the background engineering work to help you at the unit keep the aircraft flying in a safe and airworthy manner.

Sorry about the acronym soup:

[1] DLN - Defense Learning Network
[2] CAFJOD - Canadian Armed Forces Junior Officer Development
[3] AFOD - Air Force Officer Development
[4] ETO - Employment/Training OFfice
[5] CANFORGENs - CANadian FORces GENeral messages
[6] DAEPM - Directorate of Aerospace Equipment Program Management (IIRC)
[7] DTAES - Directorate of Technical Airworthiness and Engineering Support

Hope this helps


« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 13:46:58 by VanIslander »