Author Topic: What have you taken away from your time in the reserves?  (Read 2876 times)

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Offline Shea_G

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What have you taken away from your time in the reserves?
« on: October 25, 2019, 13:19:23 »
I'm nearing the end of the application process and am looking for insight from people that have joined the reserves. What have you gained from joining the reserves (skills, experiences, ect). Do you think it was the best use of your time? What does a reservist typically do on a Wednesday, weekend, during summer training (my specific occupation would be armour officer)? If you could go back, would you do it all again? Looking for personal opinions that will obviously vary person to person. I'm trying to make sure that joining the reserves is the best use of our most precious resource, time. I just hear stories here of sitting in a field for 12 hours and learning to march correctly and dont know how much time is actually spent doing these things that I could live without versus spending time learning valuable skills.

Cliff's about me : 30, professional career, starting family, looking for a challenge, build skills I can take to civilian life, gain life experiences. Miss the brotherhood I had during firefighting. The pay is inconsequential as my opportunity costs will be higher then my wage.
Background : avid hunter, wildland firefighter in past, physically fit (mma/bjj)

Thanks in advance for any and all reply's.

Offline mariomike

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In any war, there are two tremendous tasks. That of the combat troops is to fight the enemy. That of the supply troops is to furnish all the material to insure victory. The faster and farther the combat troops advance against the foe, the greater becomes the battle of supply. EISENHOWER

Offline CanadianTire

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Re: What have you taken away from your time in the reserves?
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2019, 14:42:26 »
Your basic training courses will be fast paced with little down-time. Weekend exercises can be quite fast paced. Longer exercises, such as brigade exs are a mixed bag. In one day we advanced to contact over 20 or so kilometers (on foot); the next day we lounged in a field at the side of the road because a General was visiting and talk with exercise staff.
"Theirs not to reason why/Theirs but to do and die." - Tennyson

Online Remius

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Re: What have you taken away from your time in the reserves?
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2019, 15:05:05 »
Going on 24 years of reserve service.

Some good some bad.

I was able to do a lot of great training and more importantly bond with like minded people that to this day has revealed a very large network of people I can count on that spans various disciplines.  Many people I have served with have gone on to be REG force COs, a few politicians, CEOs, LEOs etc etc.  There is rarely a city in Canada that I can't call on someone to go have a drink with.

There are some pretty crummy times where time is wasted (get on the bus get off the buss) but usually it is with people with sarcastic humour that make those times memorable.

Also I have been able to acquire a way of thinking and working that I would not have found elsewhere. 

Some of my friends in Law enforcement point back to their formative years in the reserves as invaluable experience for what they do now.   

Experiences will vary. 
Optio

Offline Colin P

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Re: What have you taken away from your time in the reserves?
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2019, 15:28:13 »
A great bunch of guys that you know for the rest of your life, a lot of testing of yourself and learning about yourself. Examples of great and poor leadership which allow you to become a better leader. If you become a NCO or officer, you will have an ingrained ability to conduct a lesson on just about anything using a basic lesson plan. Many, many funny stories to tell for the rest of your life.

Online RedFive

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Re: What have you taken away from your time in the reserves?
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2019, 17:04:17 »
I spent 7 years in the PRes prior to becoming an LEO, and continue to do both. I took lessons in personal pride, discipline, camaraderie, an ability to think outside the box and the unwillingness to give up before the task is complete to my new career. I too have friends all across Canada I can call on for anything in a time of need. There are few problems in life you can't apply modified battle procedure to to simplify planning and come to a timely decision on course of action, and that includes my career in Law Enforcement. My employer is currently integrating a modified version of BP to critical incident command courses.

My time in the PRes has given me some of the best and worst times of my life, shown me where my mental and physical limits are, matured me and paid me for the experience. Regimental Association bursaries and other assistance has paid for a good portion of my education.

In short, the PRes was quite possibly the best life decision I ever made, and I would go back and do it all over again without hesitation.

Offline mariomike

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Re: What have you taken away from your time in the reserves?
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2019, 17:36:23 »
Cliff's about me : 30, professional career, starting family, looking for a challenge, build skills I can take to civilian life, gain life experiences.

I was 16, so combined with the fact that there was no internet FAQ on what to expect, and how to handle it, BMQ had a positive effect on me.

But, it was the trade training that really meant the most to me.
In any war, there are two tremendous tasks. That of the combat troops is to fight the enemy. That of the supply troops is to furnish all the material to insure victory. The faster and farther the combat troops advance against the foe, the greater becomes the battle of supply. EISENHOWER

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: What have you taken away from your time in the reserves?
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2019, 21:29:58 »
I'm nearing the end of the application process and am looking for insight from people that have joined the reserves. What have you gained from joining the reserves (skills, experiences, ect). Do you think it was the best use of your time? What does a reservist typically do on a Wednesday, weekend, during summer training (my specific occupation would be armour officer)? If you could go back, would you do it all again? Looking for personal opinions that will obviously vary person to person. I'm trying to make sure that joining the reserves is the best use of our most precious resource, time. I just hear stories here of sitting in a field for 12 hours and learning to march correctly and dont know how much time is actually spent doing these things that I could live without versus spending time learning valuable skills.

Cliff's about me : 30, professional career, starting family, looking for a challenge, build skills I can take to civilian life, gain life experiences. Miss the brotherhood I had during firefighting. The pay is inconsequential as my opportunity costs will be higher then my wage.
Background : avid hunter, wildland firefighter in past, physically fit (mma/bjj)

Thanks in advance for any and all reply's.

The only thing I regret is not doing more stuff.

It’s a tricky balance between school, work and family. I would suggest do as much as you can, as early in your career as you can, and don’t worry about the future.

Go on every exercise, attend every parade night, stay current in your qualifications so you can go on any deployment/ employment. And, most importantly, enjoy the hell out of it.
“To stand on the firing parapet and expose yourself to danger; to stand and fight a thousand miles from home when you're all alone and outnumbered and probably beaten; to spit on your hands and lower the pike; to stand fast over the body of Leonidas the King; to be rear guard at Kunu-Ri; to stand and be still to the Birkenhead Drill; these are not rational acts. They are often merely necessary.”
— Jerry Pournelle —

Offline Brihard

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Re: What have you taken away from your time in the reserves?
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2019, 12:07:26 »
Lots. I just left the reserves after having been in since early 2004. I served both part and full time, domestically and overseas. I got out as a Sergeant, with all my time being spent in the infantry.

I can do some cool army stuff, and that's fine... I've ridden in helicopters, blown up doors with explosives, thrown grenades, shot lots of different weapons... I've had a sprinkling of the 'exciting' stuff. It's fun, but nobody in real life cares about it.

In between that infrequent exciting stuff I've done far, far more. I've taught 17 and 18 year olds how to do things they never thought they would do - safely, under considerable pressure, and while physically miserable. I've taught young mena nd women not much older how to lead and command a team of eight or ten other soldiers, to look after their welfare and professional development. I've learned the limits of my own physical and mental endurance, and then I've learned that much of that was self-imposed and that I could go further. I can stand in from of 10 or 30 or 100 people, project my voice, and convey knowledge that I have and that they need. I can comfortably and confidently grip onto any assorted group of people, and coordinate the accomplishment of a task. I can be given very imprecise directions at work, and know how to clarify objectives and intent, and using said imprecise direction, get something done to achieve exactly the result someone else needs, even if they weren't sure how to put it into words. I can tear down a bad or unsafe idea without undue hurting of feelings, and I can help someone see a more effective way of doing something.

I can recognize that someone has a less than ideal way of getting something done, and I know it - but that that's where they're at in their professional development, and maybe for now I should let them run with it to build their confidence, and then put the polish on later. I can monitor the performance of subordinates, document it, and praise or counsel them accordingly. I can take any knowledge or skill that I have, and put it into a pre-structured format that exists in my head for delivering a lesson. I can look up, interpret, and apply regulations or policies. I got some of my education paid for, and will get more now that I'm out. In my career as a police officer, I've found myself in high risk situations where more experienced members didn't have the tools to call the play, and I've gripped on to ten other officers and started making things happen because leading a small team with a mission to accomplish was exactly in my comfort zone. I got into instructing mental health resilience, use of force, and firearms at an early stage in my career because of my prior teaching experience.

I've been to Alberta, New Brunswick, New York, Kentucky, Texas, New Mexico, Dubai, New Zealand, and Afghanistan. I've staunched a bleeding wound. I've told a colleague his friend was dead. I've seen some of the most abject poverty in the world. I've feared for my life, but knew that everyone around me would do basically anything for each other even if some of us couldn't stand each other personally. I've marched on Parliament Hill. I've mentored kids. I've talked some soldiers and veterans through and out of suicidal intentions. I've failed others. I've lost a friend to his demons, and then tried to help others in the wake of that.

The absolute best and worst times of my life have come from my reserve service. I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2019, 12:13:03 by Brihard »
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline mariomike

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Re: What have you taken away from your time in the reserves?
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2019, 12:19:35 »
Looking for personal opinions that will obviously vary person to person.

I figure one job is as important as the next. That's what is great about the CAF. So many jobs ( Officer or NCM ).



« Last Edit: October 26, 2019, 12:42:35 by mariomike »
In any war, there are two tremendous tasks. That of the combat troops is to fight the enemy. That of the supply troops is to furnish all the material to insure victory. The faster and farther the combat troops advance against the foe, the greater becomes the battle of supply. EISENHOWER

Offline Not a Sig Op

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Re: What have you taken away from your time in the reserves?
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2019, 18:55:41 »
As of late... I learned everything I needed to know about parenting as an NCO in the reserves.

A recruit course in an reserve infantry regiment is basically the same as raising toddlers...

Remaining patient after several days without sleep while everyone around you is doing apparently random and pointless things at full volume for no logical or even apparent reason, while at the same time being legally responsible for their well being and safety.

Some other key take aways...

The minimum acceptable standard is still an acceptable standard... its usually put more eloquently as "perfect is the enemy of good"... it sounds like it's maybe a lesson in laziness, but honestly, it was a lesson in effective time and resource management to properly meet a required standard.

Decision making/accepting responsibility... drives me completely insane in my civillian work how much time we waste becuase everyone is terrified to make a decision and wants to pass responsibility to the next level...

Teamwork... always hear about the importance of leadership skills in the civilian world, but learning to be a good follower and a team player is as important of a skill as leadership.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2019, 18:59:56 by Not a Sig Op »

Offline FormerHorseGuard

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Re: What have you taken away from your time in the reserves?
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2019, 23:14:40 »
Time in uniform 7 years 1 month 6 days. 5 and half years of full time service on B A contract

What I learned from from my  time in the Res, and in the army full time.

1) how to time manage every part of my  life
2) how to work in a team and how to manage a team
3)learned how to deal with work pressures and how to react under pressure in professional manner
4) skills I learned in the army  have carried over to my  present job, how to deal with natural disasters and not get blogged down with the little picture. But always try  and see the bigger picture
5) how to dress for work and how to show up on time for work
6) how to deal with people under stress or in stressful situations
7) how to print neatly
8) mostly  I learn what  it meant to be a Canadian and how to be proud of my country and the military
9) i learned to be a hero to my kids, they think having a dad who was a soldier is very cool
10) most of all I grew as a person who could do things I never thought possible till I passed my  QL3 inf, and then went Fin clerk, learned that with the right moviation I could pass any test or course that came along. I could be pushed beyond my limits and never give up on things I really want

I have been out 24 years this month and most of the lessons I learned while in uniform still follow me.

Offline HeavyMusic

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Re: What have you taken away from your time in the reserves?
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2019, 16:09:00 »
You will sacrifice time away from your family on a lot of weekends, time away from friends and hobbies, time away from your professional career, which may be hurt due to your obligations on weekends and evenings to the military. Basically, you should expect that every element of your life will require sacrifice in terms of time, energy and resources in order to work as a reservist. How rewarding that is for you in return is dependent on what your personal experience and output within the reserves is, any external benefits (courses, tasks, tours, promotion) can't readily be counted on as a metric.