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Offline Reven

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Naval Officer Assessment Board
« on: October 24, 2006, 02:48:06 »
    I just got back from my Naval Officer Assessment Board (NOAB) this last Saturday.  I thought that future prospective officers might like a little peek at what happens here.

    For those of you not familiar with the process, this is where the Navy decides if you really are officer material, and you decide if the Navy life is for you.  It is for those trying for MARS, Marine Systems Engineer, or Combat Systems Engineer.  No other branch has anything quite like this (air crew selection is a little similar though not nearly as comprehensive).  It is a week of tours, tests, interviews, and a lot of fun.  There were 27 in my group - a better bunch of guys I may never meet.  I was surprised how close we got in that one week.

    First I'll go over what the week was like for me, then I'll get into possible preparation and my opinion on what they were looking for:

    • Day 0 (Sunday): Flight in.  You will probably be met at the airport by a lieutenant - one of the ones assigned as guides.  I was one of the first to arrive since I was flying from Edmonton to Victoria.  The lieutenant informed me that there weren't any specific activities for the day, so I waited at the airport with her until the next candidate arrived.  I had a chance to chat with her about different things for about an hour.  She was very nice, and it gave me a chance to learn more about how things would progress for the next week and to paint a real face on all the "book learning" I had done on the navy so far.  I found out we were to be divided up into four "watches", and she was to be the lieutenant in charge of mine.  After the next candidate arrived, we took a taxi to base.  A quick note about taxis in Victoria/Esquimalt - Empress taxi is everywhere and they are quick to respond, but they are clueless about where things were.  I asked to be dropped off at the NOTC Workpoint and ended up at the dockyard.  Victoria Taxi has great drivers who know the area, but they usually took forever to arrive when called.  When I got to my dorm room, I found a nice NAVY hat, name tag, and note-book folder waiting for me.  A nice little touch.  My meal card was waiting for me too - yum!  The food was fantastic.  For the rest of the day I met the members of the group as they arrived and then went for a walk around the waterfront with a couple of them.  It would take a lot for me to get sick of that kind of view - Esquimalt is exquisite..

    • Day 1 (Monday): Captain Truelove, the board chairman, later referred to this day as "death by powerpoint", and it sort of is.  I took lots of notes, and then found out at the end of the week that they gave out a CD that had some of the more important presentations on it.  Still, I don't mind the time I took to take notes - it always helps me remember.  This was the first day I really realized that my local recruiting office was pretty clueless.  I'm entering in CEOTP and was told I would receive my commission at the end of basic just like DEO.  This isn't the case - it's at the end of MARS III training, so is about a year away (if I push through second language training quickly) for me.  My experience throughout the week, or rather my hearing of other people's experiences, made me realize that a lot of the local recruiting centers are perhaps requiring some retraining.

  • Day 2 (Tuesday): Got up bright and early for a day sail aboard HMCS Winnipeg.  It was a glorious sunny day, though it could have rained buckets and I may not have noticed.  The bus arrived and took us to the dockyard where we boarded the ship.  We were taught to briefly brace to attention before we crossed over - no saluting yet as civilians.  I think the engine room was probably the only thing we didn't see.  They split us into groups and from there we were able to see a small demonstration by the boarding team, a man-overboard drill, a target shooting demonstration, and (while we were in ops) a simulated air attack on the ship.  We were able to eat the ubiquitous 10:00 soup and lunch on board.  What struck me just as much as all the "bling" of the warship, was not just how professional everyone was but also how courteous.  Everyone from the ship's officers giving the tours to the NCMs we ate with in the PO's mess were more than willing to take the time to answer questions on what it was like to serve.  At the end of the sail as we were heading towards harbour, HMCS Regina was just leaving.  We were on the landing pad watching her when she made a hard turn to starboard, causing the ship to lean towards us in an almost bow.  The lieutenant for my watch told me that Regina did that for us, which was a very neat touch.  I felt really honored they would make the effort to coordinate that for us.  After the sail we were taken for an alongside tour of the MCDV HMCS Yellowknife.  I was quite impressed with her too - a neat little ship.  I'm told that I'll be doing some sailing on that class during my MARS training.  I'm looking forward to that!  After that tour, we were taken back to Workpoint to get changed for the dinner that evening.  I wasn't paying much attention to where they took us for this - I think it was in Naden.  It wasn't quite as formal an occasion as some had indicated to me that it might be - we got our own food and took it to our tables.  But it was still quite nice, and both before and after the dinner we had a chance to interact with some of the people on the board.  I met Commander Salchert, the commandant of the Naval Officer Training Center.  A very affable man - quite willing to chat with a bunch of officer candidates.  The speaker for the evening was Captain Truelove, the board chairman.  All in all, this day stands out as one of the very high points of the entire trip.

  • Day 3 (Wednesday): Half of the candidates had the Maritime Officer Selection Test today, the other half had their board interviews.  During the times you aren't doing testing or interviews, you will be on tours.  As luck had it, my watch was first on the list for the MOST exam.  This actually was a good thing - I was glad to get this out of the way quickly.  There's not a lot I can say about it - for the good reason that its contents are protected by the official secrets act.  What was said in another thread about this test is about as good a description on it as can be given.  I realize now the minefield I was asking people to navigate to answer my question - the responder (Cayuga) did a great job.  It's not really something you can study for per se, but I am one of the ones who found it quite difficult.  Even the engineers in my NOAB found it hard, including one who had a masters in physics.  Afterwards (luckily else I might have completed my preparations for hari kari) is when we really pulled together as a group.  We couldn't talk about things really amongst ourselves, but we each felt the stress and the camaraderie we developed helped all of us through it.  I'm hoping this is something I'll find during my MARS training too.  The tour I did in the afternoon was a great de-stresser too - the FF/DC (Fire Fighting/Damage Control) school.  I'm your typical guy, I suppose, and found the idea of damage control training in here very appealing.  They ran us through a rather realistic simulated fire.  Hollywood special effects teams have nothing on these guys - it's a top notch facility.  The simulated helicopter fire was moderately spectacular.

  • Day 4 (Thursday): Whatever you didn't do Wednesday, you will do today.  For me it was a tour of the FMF (Fleet Maintenance Facility), the QHM (Queen's Harbour Master), and the base's museum.  We didn't get to see a whole lot at the FMF, but what was pretty neat was seeing HMCS Victoria in dry-dock.  They had opened up her outer hull in places so we could see the inner pressure hull.  I'm still not quite sure if I want to go up for submariner, but no matter how much people slag our subs, I still love them.  The QHM was neat too - interesting to see the people on shore I will work with as a MARS officer.  I also really enjoyed the fleet museum.  I'm the youngest of seven children, and my father is quite old - he actually served in WW II on board an Algerine class Convoy Escort.  So it was neat to see things from back when he served.  In the afternoon was my board interview.  The board was comprised of a captain, two full commanders, and a lieutenant commander.  That's a lot of rank to have in one room.  I wasn't quite as nervous about this as I was about the MOST exam - I'm 36 years old and have been around the block once or twice, but even so I was surprised at the questions I was asked.  Again, this isn't something I can talk about - all I'll say is be yourself and answer what you really believe.  Don't even think of trying to tell them what you think they want to hear.  I know one person with a psychology degree who tried that, and he ended up not receiving an offer.  Even if you're like me and figure you've been around the block a few times too, they've been around the world - literally.  I don't know what sort of BS detectors you must develop as a senior officer, but I know theirs work.  I would even suggest that you not be afraid to let your heard show on your sleeve a little here - let them know who you really are.  More than one person had said the board might try to intimidate me - that they would be quite stern.  I didn't find this to be the case at all - it was obviously a serious moment, but as much as they were professional, they were also human and seemed genuinely sympathetic to the stress I'm sure they realized we all had.  At the end of the day was a BBQ at the gun room.  I must say that as used to extraordinary events as I was getting, I was still quite surprised when Rear-Admiral Girouard, the MARPAC commander, arrived and spoke to us.  He even took questions.  I'm a little ashamed to admit that as a group we probably abused this privilege a little, but I was amazed at the depth he went to in order to answer us.  Questions as wide-ranging as the possibility of inspections of DPRK ships to the situation in Iran to his personal career progression.

  • Day 5 (Friday): This is the day you wait for and dread.  In the morning there were a few more presentations.  One on the MFRC (Military Family Resource Center), and one on the VIctoria class submarines.  The MFRC brief was actually quite meaningful for me as I have quite a large family (wife and six children).  Even as much as it interested me, I really wanted the day to get along.  After lunch, again in the gun room, we were taken up watch by watch to a waiting area upstairs where we were then called individually to the board.    This was done in the order we had been interviewed, so my watch was last.  Luckily, it went pretty fast so my rapidly-building heart condition didn't have a chance to develop too far.  The little waiting area was down a long hallway from the board room, so there was this fifty-foot or so walk when it was our turn.  That, I freely admit, was perhaps the longest walk of my life.  Entering the room I was invited to sit down, at which time they asked me if I was still interested.  The rest of the meeting, I'm afraid, is a little bit of a blur - the release and relief I felt was a little overwhelming.  I shook all their hands, thanked them for their time, and let Commander Salchert know I very much looked forward to training under him at the NOTC.  On getting back into the gun room, the guy who went first was there with a beer.  I gave him a big hug and spilled his beer all over.  Of course most of the guys thought this was sort of funny, but in a good way.  We all felt that same release, and though I was the only one who was demonstrative enough to make someone spill their drink because of it, and probably the only one with tears in his eyes, it was a feeling every one of us shared and understood.  It was, though, a bittersweet day for me, as some people I had come to know well were declined offers.  Out of 27 of us, five were turned down, and one himself declined the offer.  Most of us went out and celebrated that night - even some of the ones who didn't make it.  As the one in the group who doesn't drink, it was sort of up to me to keep them from falling off the bridge on the way home that night, and to get them up in the morning.  I would suggest that you not get drunk enough to miss your flight, as this can't look good, even if you were given an offer. :)

  • Day 6 (Saturday): The flight out.  Up at 0400 to catch the shuttle at 0445.  I'll never forget that wait in the airport, saying goodbye (until IAP/BOTC in January) to friends, letting it all really sink in, and flying back to my wife and kids.  I'm really going to be a MARS officer.

Preparation
I know that one week at the NOAB doesn't qualify me as an expert on the board or the Navy, but here are a few things I would suggest on preparing for this week:

Try to learn as much as you can about what the Navy life is really like.  Captain Truelove, in his address to us, made the point that the week is about informed decisions - them making one about us, and us about them.  While this is definitely the purpose of the week, it's still good to learn as much as you can beforehand.  The reality is, without a certain level of understanding, it's hard to even know the right questions to ask.  If you spend your whole trip trying to learn enough to know what questions you really want answered, you won't get as much of a chance to actually get them answered.  I would heartily recommend the book Operation Apollo (by Richard Gimblett, Magic Light Publishing).  I read this book and found it absolutely invaluable in giving me both information, and ammunition for questions.

Conversely, you want to present them with every opportunity to know who you are too.  Spend time and ask yourself why you are there, what you really want out of it, and what you want to put into it.  Think about this in terms of what you are learning about what deployments are really like.  How do you see yourself fitting in.  Rest assured that the officers who are your guides and in charge of your watch will, at some point, ask you those questions - if nothing more than as conversation.  I don't know how much weight their recommendation to the board carries, but the board certainly considers it.  As an example, I found as I read about Operation Apollo, I really became enamoured of the boarding teams (yes - I'm a Horatio Hornblower fan :)), so as I thought about things, I thought about how I would like to do that.  It gave me questions to ask, and answers to give when asked about what sorts of things I would like to do.  That's just one example, but I think you can get the point.

What They Are Looking For
Here, I know, is where I'm most going out on a limb.  I'll freely admit that... this is purely my speculation based on what I saw and heard over the week.

That being said, I believe what they are most looking for is depth of character.  The MARS occupation has a fairly high dropout rate.  Are you the kind of person who will stay the course?  That they want to know.  Don't think they expect you to be a little MARS officer already, but what they look for is potential.  Leadership potential, and staying power.

I think they are looking for people who are natural.  That is, people who are confident enough to be themselves, and not trying to be what they think is being looked for.  For example, one of the questions that someone asked Admiral Girouard is how to become an admiral.  He took it as the semi-light-hearted question it was, but gave a serious answer when he said that he didn't trust junior officers who say they want to be an admiral.  The reason is, those kind of people are too focused on progressing through the ranks and not enough at the job at hand.  In the same way, I think that if you spend your time trying to react in a way you think looks good, you're not going to be acting natural, thinking too much of how to get "ahead" and not enough on how to really just get out of the week what you need to.


« Last Edit: May 07, 2017, 14:26:17 by kratz »
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Offline Cayuga

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Re: Naval Officer Assessment Board
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2006, 03:18:18 »
That was a good read Reven... pretty much sums up the NOAB experience.

It is amazing how close you get as a group in just a week. I guess it is one of the side benefits of sharing a struggle against a common foe. I have spent almost all of the last 2 years with a bunch of guys from my NOAB and they are some of the best friends that I have.  We just had our last big party this weekend, before we go to sea since after that it will be Christmas and then we will be posted to opposite coasts. It is invaluable showing up at the big depressing/slightly intimidating monstrosity that is the MEGA and seeing a bunch of friendly faces who you have been waiting to see for 2 months. You can easily tell the NAVY guys the first day as they are the ones who are joking around like old friends.

The day sails is one of the most effective marketing tools there is... I still remember fondly my day in HMCS Regina and on those days when MARS training is being MARS training and you have barely slept for the 2nd week in a row because you have been doing passage planning constantly and you wish you could just get off the rollercoaster and sleep... You remember that experience of being at sea and the pride you feel in wearing the Uniform and the chance to do something extraordinary that no cubicle in the world can provide. It is a times like that when it gives you the push to go on and get through it.

The other one is sitting on the patio at the gunroom and drinking beer and looking out over the gorgeous view and thinking... "It is snowing back home..." That is the other wonderful marketing tool.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2006, 03:22:39 by Cayuga »
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Naval Officer Assessment Board
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2010, 10:06:32 »
This is a good read.  I wonder how much things may have changed?
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Offline megsy

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Re: Naval Officer Assessment Board
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2010, 12:20:01 »
I was at the most recent NOAB (July 5-9, 2010) in Esquimalt and our experience was very similar with only a few small changes.  I'll do a summary of the week so that people know what to expect.

Day 0 (Sunday)
We were met at the airport by the Chief Petty Officer who had organized all the logistics of the week.  Once we picked up our luggage he directed us to the airport shuttle which dropped us off at the Wardroom.  Each candidate was responsible for paying for the shuttle and we were to save the receipts for reimbursement from our respective CFRC's. 
Upon arriving at the Wardroom we were given our room assignments and meal cards - the rooms were gorgeous and the view was spectacular.  Each room was fully equipped with a double bed, television, stereo, ironing board, iron and hairdryer.  I didn't bring my laptop but there was a poster in the elevator advertising that wireless internet was also available.  It was exactly what you would find in a hotel.
The only formal event on Sunday was a post-dinner meeting.  This is where we dropped off our c.v.'s and obtained our finalized itinerary for the week.  It was a chance for us to meet our watches, our guides for the week and to chat with our fellow candidates. 

Day 1 (Monday)
Powerpoint presentations!  We were picked up after an early breakfast from the Wardroom and brought to a small auditorium/lecture room in Venture.  This was the opportunity for us to hear a lot of the "nitty gritty" details - information on pay, training and life in the navy.  It was amazing to see how many different opportunities there truly are within the navy.  Lunch was held in the cafeteria at Venture with dinner back at the Wardroom.
I didn't find Monday to be a "death by powerpoint" - the information presented was very interesting and the speakers were engaging.  There were lots of opportunities to ask questions.  There were also a few breaks (which were taken in the Gunroom) that allowed us to stretch our legs and have some coffee.

Day 2 (Tuesday)
Daysail!  Our ship for the day was HMCS WINNIPEG and we once again had an early morning.  The dress on this day was casual as we would be climbing up and down ladders and exploring the ship.  I did a public tour of HMCS ATHABASKAN in Halifax during the International Fleet Review week and on that tour you only scratched the surface - the crew of WINNIPEG truly opened the doors to us. 
There were a number of "official" presentations and tours and we followed our tour guide as he led us around the ship.  We learned about firefighting, naval boarding parties, the ship's divers, the bridge, the operations room, etc.  Lunch was held on the flight deck and they laid out an impressive spread of crab legs, hamburgers, hot dogs, salads and dessert.  Once lunch was finished we had "free play" - an opportunity to go and learn more about the ship, speak to some crew members and explore a bit.  I had the opportunity to see some of the living accommodations and spend a bit more time on the bridge while others ventured deep into the ship to explore the engine room.
A bus picked us up after the daysail and brought us to Venture where we learned about the submarines and the options for serving in those.  It was a very interesting presentation and I know it definitely piqued the interest of a few candidates.
Once the presentations were finished we were brought back to the Wardroom for dinner.  I headed into Victoria with a few other candidates and we walked around the downtown area before having dinner and a drink on a sunny patio. 

Day 3 (Wednesday) 
MARS candidates had board interviews and tours today while the Engineering candidates were doing tours.  My watch didn't have interviews until the afternoon so we spent the morning doing tours - we headed to the Fleet Maintenance Facility (FMF), the Queen's Harbour Master and did a tour of one of the Orca class vessels that we will use for training.  The Orca was gorgeous - they are apparently only a few years old and it shows!
Lunch was held at the Venture cafeteria and then we were hustled into the Gunroom to wait for the interviews.  I don't have much advice (beyond what was already mentioned above), but I encourage candidates to not be intimidated by the interviewers and to be prepared for short interviews.  I was very surprised to see that it was only 10-15 minutes long.  I was the very last person of the day to be interviewed and the wait was excrutiating - we passed the time by playing cards, chatting with our guides, playing pool, etc. 
This was a good night to hang out at the Wardroom as the next day would bring the test!

Day 4 (Thursday) 
MARS candidates had the MOST test followed by tours while the Engineering candidates were in interview mode.  The MOST was administered in portable classrooms at Venture - I can't say anything about the test, but wow.  Be rested and go in calm, cool and collected.  I got up early this morning and went for a run and I know it's cheesy but it helped to put me in a good frame of mind.  I realize that people say you can't study or prepare for the MOST (and you can't) - but if you are the kind of person who gets nervous or flustered on tests then I would recommend that you look up some basic test taking strategies so that you can stay focused.
The afternoon of Day 4 was pretty awesome.  The stress of the testing is gone and now you just have to relax as nothing you can do will really affect the outcome (to an extent - getting extremely intoxicated at dinner, for example, would not be recommended).  After lunch we started with a tour of the Fleet Diving Unit Pacific (the Clearance Divers).  The Lt(N) who met us was insanely energetic and you could tell he loved his job.  He brought us on a great tour, showing us their equipment, the "swimming route" for the morning swims, the chamber, the vessels they use for training and their new trucks for detonation calls.  We also crowded into their mess for snippets of the Truth, Duty, Valour episode showing the selection camp for Clearance Divers.
We left the FDU enthused and intrigued.  The next tour was of the Fire Fighting/Damage Control Facility.  It was unbelievable.  There was a short presentation and then they brought us on a tour - this building is so amazing and I can't wait to go training there.  They basically have a mock-up of a ship inside the building and there are all sorts of situations they throw at you.  I was very apprehensive at first about this but that quickly turned to excitement - we started off in some flood rooms that had just been used so they were still dripping with the water.  The tour guide had a lot of fun making pipes burst and showing us where water would be coming in.  The fire fighting was intense - they herded us into a mock-up of a mess and he started narrating a story "you're charging your iPod in your locker, thinking everything's okay... then BAM!  It's on FIRE!" and the locker burst into flames - then the bed did - and then the ceiling above us lit up.  The Petty Officer who was guiding us was outside the room and had a big grin on her face as we jumped up in surprise!
They finished the tour off with the chopper fire.  The heat was unbelievable.

We had a formal dinner on Thursday night.  There was an opportunity for cocktails and drinks in the upstairs Wardroom bar and then we moved into the dining room for a seated, served dinner.  The food was delicious and one of the board members spoke to us briefly about his experiences in the navy.  All of the conducting staff were there as well as others who had helped during the week (photographer, logistics, etc.)  We were encouraged to have fun tonight - after dinner we had another drink and then decided to head downtown for a night out on the town.

Day 5 (Friday)
Decision Day!  I skipped breakfast and met up with the bus to head over to Venture.  People seemed subdued, either due to nerves or the after-effects of the previous night.  There was a presentation from the Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) which also included details of life in Victoria.  We were told how the decision process would go and informed that anyone who was not successful would have the opportunity to speak with a Military Career Counsellor (MCC) from the Recruiting group.
We waited in the Gunroom and were called up in batches of four or five, in the same order that we were interviewed.  Time moved very slowly and there were several MARS candidates who did not get offers - and some who were no longer interested in pursuing the career.
Once all the decisions were handed out we reconvened in the auditorium at Venture, there were closing remarks and we were free to go.  The bus would pick us up after lunch or we were free to head back to the Wardroom on our own.  Some people headed into Victoria for an afternoon of exploration and some of us were so exhausted and exhilarated after the week that we just spent time at the Wardroom, watching the Olympic mountains in the distance!
Most people flew out on Friday although there were a few who stayed until Saturday morning - the travel arrangements were set by the CFRCs and we were just along for the ride.

Note:
Some advice that I would have is to be yourself, be honest with yourself and be honest with your conducting staff.  Also, remain professional - my father gave me a number of instructions for the week (he is retired Air Force) and I followed his advice and treated the week as if it was a week long job interview - NOT a vacation.

Also, don't be competitive.  I had someone announce to me that I was their competition when I introduced myself at the airport - the point of this week is to learn about the Navy and to present yourself in the best light, not to compete with your fellow candidates.

I did have one lapse in judgement and that was going out and having too much to drink on Thursday (in such a way that I was definitely feeling it the next day).  I feel the need to note, however, that I left the bar at the right time and got myself safely back to the Wardroom.  If I were to do it again I would still go out, as there were a number of us who did, but I would not take advantage of the specials on Corona bottles!

Everyone was very accommodating for photographs but I would recommend asking before taking any pictures.  Despite the fact you are treated as a guest and everyone is very courteous, it is important to remember that you are in a military facility.

A note on dress for females: there were only four of us there as candidates and when dress code was discussed it simply said "...and female equivalent."  I generally wore business style clothing.  On the first day I wore a skirt, blouse and blazer; on the day sail I wore a blouse and black slacks; for the interviews I wore a shift dress and blazer and then for the test and decision days I wore a pant suit.  Be careful with shoes - I wanted to wear heels for the interview and I carried them in my purse.  With the facilities that you are touring and the amount of walking that you will do, I strongly advise against heels.  Also be careful before deciding to wear a dress or skirt on a day - it would be ill advised when you're climbing up and down ladders!

I would recommend against carrying a purse on the day sail as well because you will be doing lots of moving through the ship and if you're not used to the ladders (which, frankly, I was not) you will want to have your hands free.  One of the other females brought a small backpack which was perfect for storing sunglasses, sunscreen and a camera.  If you have a sunny day you may also want to bring a hat.

Offline northernboy_24

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Re: Naval Officer Assessment Board
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2010, 14:19:44 »
Having been on the NOAB with Megsy, I can say that is pretty much how it all happened. Although, I was also, the person who had too many corona specials with Megsy and should have skipped breakfast the friday morning.  The entire experience was amazing.  I know I should have stopped a couple rounds earlier than I did on thursday, but I waited until everything was over before I partied.  Some people did not wait until thursday night to party and it may have affected their performance on several assessment phases.

As cool as the bridge is, try and get a tour of the engine/generator room.  It is amazing to see what it takes to keep the ship moving and powered.  I was lucky to steal a tour with an engineering officer (NOAB tour staff), the WINNIPEG's current engineering officer and a MSE candidate (even if I am MARS).

While, the entire experience was positive try and make sure that you control the amount of alcohol you consume.  Relax and breathe.  It is a week long job interview but it is about you knowing more about the navy and the navy knowing more about you.  There is a position for you if you get invited.  It is up to you to be the best candidate that you can be.  Do not go at it as a competition, you are competing against no one but standards. It is all about working as a team not being an individual.   

When you are out there, take time and go for a run or a walk.  The area is beautiful and so going for a couple kms at night before dinner with a few other candidates is a good experience.  I know running there was a great time for me. 

Offline canada1986

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Re: Naval Officer Assessment Board
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2010, 06:34:52 »
@ megsy + northern boy, first off, nice post. Secondly, how many people were rejected, roughly at least?

And how many were there in total? Also, were most of the people MARS candidates or engineers?

Offline sneaker98

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Re: Naval Officer Assessment Board
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2010, 03:42:38 »
Great post, megsy! I definitely remember you from NOAB. I'll add a bit to what you said, since the week differed slightly between the MARS candidates and MSE/CSE's (ie: me):

Quote
Day 3 (Wednesday) 
MARS candidates had board interviews and tours today while the Engineering candidates were doing tours.
The engineer watches were rounded up and taken over to FMF (Fleet Maintenance Facility) where we had some CSE and MSE Officers talk to us a bit about their current duties and what they've done in the past. Actually, it was really interesting to hear about their experiences, though this part may not exist in the future. Our NOAB group was the first (or one of the first) where the Engineer candidates didn't have to write a MOST test, so the Navy was figuring out what to do with us while the MARS candidates were writing theirs. I'm told the reason that Engineers don't write the MOST anymore is because our math is up to snuff, whereas MARS candidates may have degrees that didn't require any math beyond high school. Since no Engineer ever failed the test, there wasn't much of a reason to have them do it.

After the CSE/MSE talks, we were taken on a tour of the facilities. The buildings are HUGE! Basically giant warehouses filled with all manner of equipment currently undergoing repairs - everything from diesel engines to turrets to various electronics. It was pretty cool!

Quote
Day 4 (Thursday) 
MARS candidates had the MOST test followed by tours while the Engineering candidates were in interview mode.
It was a great morning, actually! I was the first to go in to the interview, so I got that over and done with quickly, and had the rest of the morning to watch Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon on the wide screen TV in the lounge of the Gun Room! Great movie to watch alongside the other Engineer candidates, conducting staff, and MARS officers-in-training!


@ megsy + northern boy, first off, nice post. Secondly, how many people were rejected, roughly at least?

And how many were there in total? Also, were most of the people MARS candidates or engineers?
There were 17 engineer candidates (6 CSE and 11 MSE), and the rest were MARS. I think there were 60 total candidates, which would mean 43 MARS.

As for who made it, honestly, I don't know the exact numbers. They leave it up to the candidate to tell the others, if they so choose - at least, I was never told about everyone who passed or who failed. I'm *fairly certain* that all Engineers made it, which would make sense considering I'm told those trades are in the black for numbers. I do know of 5 MARS candidates who definitely did not make the cut or decided it wasn't for them, as they told me that themselves. I'm sure there were more than that - I would ballpark it at 10, maybe? But based on what I hear from past NOAB's, the rejection rate from ours doesn't really tell you anything about what yours might be.

If you want some advice: don't sweat it so much. The people who clearly wanted the job and were there for the right reasons got an offer. Go spend some time with your fellow candidates. Have a beer with them, but show that you know your limits! If you just hole up in your room all week, as some did, you're not likely to get an offer - I know it's hard to fight the urge to disappear into your room after a long day and watch tv or crash (believe me, I can be fairly introverted!), but your fellow candidates are really cool people! Get to know them.

Every evening after dinner (except after the formal dinner on Thursday) is free time. So, on the first night, I went to the patio rooftop and found about 5 or 6 others who had the same idea as me. I hung around with them for the evening, where we met up with more people in the lounge on the lower level playing pool. On other evenings, I would sit with about 10 or 15 others on the patio outside of the dining area and have a beer or two. It had a gorgeous view, too! My point is, with 60 candidates in the Wardroom, you'll always find someone to hang out with.

I could be wrong, but I think the Navy needs people right now, which means there's a spot for everyone *if* they are up to snuff. Go to NOAB and be *your* best, not just better than someone else. You're all in it together, and you will make friends there! I know I'm looking forward to seeing the NOAB folks again in November for Basic!
« Last Edit: September 12, 2010, 03:50:55 by sneaker98 »

Offline gcclarke

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Re: Naval Officer Assessment Board
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2010, 17:54:03 »
Good to see that the fine tradition of candidates getting way too drunk on the Thursday of the NOAB still continues.
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.  Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
- Calvin Coolidge

Offline Vandy

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Re: Naval Officer Assessment Board
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2010, 18:54:35 »
Can anyone confirm what trades write the MOST test?  Is it all three or just MARS?

Offline northernboy_24

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Re: Naval Officer Assessment Board
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2010, 19:03:28 »
Just MARS write the MOST.

Offline guysletsdoit

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Re: Naval Officer Assessment Board
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2010, 00:23:00 »
I would like to ask people who have already attended NOAB, how do they tell you the result?

In my understanding, when they call a candidate, of course, the president of the board will say thing like whether the candidate enjoyed the stay and the tours. and then will ask candidate of he has any question. Then he would declare that based on the NOAB assessment, the result is yes and then the reasons for yes or the result is NO and the reasons for NO. Then would ask the candidate to accept the offer verbally.

Much has been written about tours and testing and stay and of course parties, can someone put their thoughts of how the final step is taken by NOAB?

K

Offline MSEng314

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Re: Naval Officer Assessment Board
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2010, 08:30:45 »
It really depends on the Officer who is running the board, but basically they ask you a couple questions, ask you if you have any questions, and then ask you if you are still interested in joining. If you say yes and they have an offer for you, they will tell you so, if not they will ask you if you are willing to consider alternatives or something like that. Usually either way there will be handshakes, and once everyone is done you go to the Gunroom for a celebratory beverage. Whatever happens, just be grateful you got the experience, because it costs a lot of money for them to run these boards.

Offline northernboy_24

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Re: Naval Officer Assessment Board
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2010, 12:05:32 »
I think the friday morning lasted about 30 seconds.  They asked if I had a good week? If I still wanted to be a MARS officer? then we shook hands and I was done.   If you didn't get an offer I don't know what they said but I know that it involved a trip down the hall to talk to a recruiting officer to discuss options.  they have invested A LOT in you by this point and they have a great idea about your strengths, weaknesses and goals so they can suggest a different career option.

I know two people at least who didn't get an offer took NCM positions including one that took an NCM position that day.  He had made such a good impression during the week that one of the NCM's took him aside and gave him great advice, contact information and said when in victoria to contact him.  Just because you don't get an officer position doesn't mean that you can't have a great career and can't get great advice out of the week.   Hell I want the guy in my OPS room and on my ship.  Great guy that will make a fantastic member of the Canadian Forces, a wonderful member of the ships crew, and a good friend.

I am glad that the experience on friday morning was short. The room was hot and I wasn't feeling well (see previous post about raucous thursday night corona specials).

The good thing about the military is they have seen most outcomes of this week.  They brief you the first day all about the fact that if you don't get an offer this is what is going to happen ( See post about monday "death by powerpoint").  Pay attention monday and you will be set for the week.  Ask questions if you have some.  If you don't want to do it in front of everyone approach someone on a coffee break etc to discuss a one off scenario.  I know I asked a couple questions in the group setting and asked some in a one on one setting during the monday.

The week is all about getting information.  They want information about you, you want information about the navy and your potential career choice.  The least of your worries is how they give you an offer friday morning.  They have decided your fate long before then.  Although, we did think of a couple potential scenarios that could have the offer revoked friday morning.  They involved puking on a board member or the MPs.   Oh a wondering, bored, hungover mind is a dangerous thing.

 

Offline guysletsdoit

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Re: Naval Officer Assessment Board
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2010, 17:52:08 »
Thanx guys for the Friday morning description. Give a better insight on how to strat ball rolling DAY 0. Well of course Corono Specials arent my thing (LOL), so no puking.

The interest I have is in the electrical system on Winnipeg, especially electric room, boiler room, communications, of course combat system. I am sure they will cover most in the tour. I am definitely asking an engineering officer to guide me to areas of my interest. I am going to research MARS in details so I dont look like an idiot with other MARS candidates.

Also started working out, this time at Edmonton Garrison. Happened to meet an army NCM outside RC and just discussed, he told me the BMOQ and BMQ are same in initial couple weeks and then they seperate. The physicals are the same. He is now helping me with the physicals. Secondly, while meeting with the file manager for flight details and other things for NOAB, she mentioned that most probably this NOAB will have officer cadets start training in Nov 2010. Of course read the important disclaimer subject to change to Jan 2011. WOW if its Nov 2010, very less time to straighten things at home and profession front. Lets see what happens.

Offline northernboy_24

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Re: Naval Officer Assessment Board
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2010, 10:55:02 »
If the WINNIPEG is your ship for the tour it will be a great time.  The CO is an amazing person that was very personable.   You will be assigned tour group leaders don't bother asking for an engineering officer as it is already assigned and done for you.  Yes, you will more then likely be in a group of all engineers since they like arming you with the ability to discuss the intricacies of the trade.  Plus they show you more of the engineering spaces.  DO NOT ask to see the boiler room.  As much as I have to say it might be funny to ask, there is no boiler room on the frigates.  We have diesels and gas turbines on the CPF's.  Heck I am a MARS candidate and I found the engineering spaces to be amazing.  Loud, but amazing.  The shear amount of machinery it takes to get that thing moving and going is crazy.  The MARS officers may have to navigate and fight the ship but it has to have water, electricity and power to do all of that.  Hats off to the engineers, I don't want your job but I respect your job.

Offline guysletsdoit

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Re: Naval Officer Assessment Board
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2010, 19:13:21 »
Nice suggestion and reply Northerboy_24. I always find your replies giving me good insight about things. Yes for sure I am still dumb as far as reading about ships is concerned. Boiler room was a part of that dumbness (LOL)

Yes Winnipeg is the ship for day at sail. I have printed off the documentation possible for ships and reading them to make sure I know what I am talking about.

K

Offline guysletsdoit

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Re: Naval Officer Assessment Board
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2010, 20:55:23 »
2 days 48 hrs before I fly out for the NOAB Oct 18-Oct 22 Esquimalt. All prepared with things I need and paperwork. Just a little excited and of course nervous. Excited as I am on NOAB and nervous coz I see something that dreamt about so close in fact in front of my eyes and I dont want to loose it now.

Last minute tips, advice etc. is highly appreciated.

Did a lot of reading about Navy, ships, submarines, of course my trade and other trades. Keeping fingers crossed praying and wishing good luck from my family and friends. I will write about my experiences at NOAB when I am back

Wish all those who are with me to NOAB a very good luck. I hope we all are together at BMOQ and forward. Thanks to people who put comments and advise I am sure those will help me. I will see my co candidates on Sunday Oct 17th 2010 at Esquimalt at 1000

Till then thanks once again

K

Offline MSEng314

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Re: Naval Officer Assessment Board
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2010, 23:03:07 »
You are stressing this way too much, just relax, enjoy it, and be yourself, that is the best thing you can do.

Offline guysletsdoit

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Re: Naval Officer Assessment Board
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2010, 00:45:39 »
A question came to my mind. Of course dumb, but I guess we as NOAB candidates still use "Sir" to refer to officers and NCM at NOAB or are we still considered civilians and its Ok to refer to them by first name.

Offline MSEng314

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Re: Naval Officer Assessment Board
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2010, 10:06:40 »
If you want to play it safe you can address them by Sir/Ma'am or their rank, if they want you to use their first name they will tell you so. Personally I hate it when other officers call me Sir, civvies even more so...

Offline TimmDesRoches

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Re: Naval Officer Assessment Board
« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2010, 11:04:52 »
I am very excited for this week !! The Winnipeg day will be most decent  8) Good luck to everyone  :cdn:

Offline N. McKay

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Re: Naval Officer Assessment Board
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2010, 10:44:18 »
A question came to my mind. Of course dumb, but I guess we as NOAB candidates still use "Sir" to refer to officers and NCM at NOAB or are we still considered civilians and its Ok to refer to them by first name.

I doubt that any officer will object to being called "sir" or "ma'am", but if one of them prefers something else he or she will surely tell you.

NCMs, on the other hand, are never addressed that way in the navy (and only the most senior ones ever are outside of the navy).  NCMs are normally addressed by rank.

Offline Snakedoc

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Re: Naval Officer Assessment Board
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2010, 01:06:53 »
If in doubt, a good que is to just call them by whatever they introduced themselves as.  As civilians I don't think anyone on the ship will give you any trouble for getting it wrong.   Might as well get to know the proper addresses though because as a NCdt, even prior to going to basic, you'll be corrected right away lol.

Offline theSeaDog

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Re: Naval Officer Assessment Board
« Reply #23 on: October 23, 2010, 15:22:44 »
Good to see that the fine tradition of candidates getting way too drunk on the Thursday of the NOAB still continues.

The tradition continued... There were many red eyes Friday morning. Congratulations to everyone this NOAB - it was a blast.
Have you tried rebooting?

Offline guysletsdoit

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Re: Naval Officer Assessment Board
« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2010, 12:00:49 »
I guess I am again the first to write, Sunday morning in Edmonton is crappy, foggy and rainy but Victoria was awesome.

I have PASSED my NOAB. I will be signing my contract and swearing in pretty soon. Then I will be officially Naval Officer Cadet.

Guys, I will be writing my experiences at NOAB at length this afternoon and post it here to help other people looking forward for future NOABs.

Until then, Navy is the best

K