Author Topic: From Gunner to FOO  (Read 7926 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Patrick H.

  • Paint it all grey.
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • -150
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 628
  • UBIQUE
From Gunner to FOO
« on: November 15, 2006, 21:35:04 »
I'm heading off to BMQ in a few days and from there to Artillery School. I was interested in becoming a Forward Observations Officer in the future, yes I know not the NEAR future, but I was just wondering what kind of courses I would need or plans of action to think out to pursue this, to go from Gunner to FOO. I know, as well, that I should also just focus on my BMQ which I will obviously but I just want to know for future reference.

Cheers,
Some mornings it just doesn't seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps.

"It isn't what you've lost, but what you have left." - My great Uncle Daniel J MacDonald, Veteran Affairs Minister 1972.

Offline kincanucks

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 13,810
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,554
    • ARRSE
Re: From Gunner to FOO
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2006, 22:07:54 »
Perhaps having a degree and becoming an officer might help.  You could try UTPNCM after you are a Bdr and have few university courses done.
- Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.
- If we are the only intelligent life in the universe, at least there's a finite number of idiots.
- Just when you realize life's a *****, it has puppies.

Offline muskrat89

  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 25,947
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,471
    • Desert Rat
Re: From Gunner to FOO
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2006, 22:12:20 »
FOOs have FOO Techs. You might stay in the OP longer (career-wise) as a Tech...  just a thought
The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.

Offline Patrick H.

  • Paint it all grey.
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • -150
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 628
  • UBIQUE
Re: From Gunner to FOO
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2006, 22:16:25 »
Thanks, kincanucks and muskrat, I bookmarked the UTPNCM web-site. To become a FOO Tech, you must first be an NCO(Bdr), yes?
Some mornings it just doesn't seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps.

"It isn't what you've lost, but what you have left." - My great Uncle Daniel J MacDonald, Veteran Affairs Minister 1972.

Offline muskrat89

  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 25,947
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,471
    • Desert Rat
Re: From Gunner to FOO
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2006, 22:19:10 »
One of the Reg Force guys could answer better than I, but I think Gunners can be FOO Techs, but the way courses play out they are typically Bdr or MBdr, by the time they become a FOO Tech

Of course my experience is 10 years old now  ;)
The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.

Offline Patrick H.

  • Paint it all grey.
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • -150
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 628
  • UBIQUE
Re: From Gunner to FOO
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2006, 22:25:38 »
Well, it is another option on the table to work towards. How does the transition from Gunner to Bdr work? Obviously you have to earn it but what are the set amounts of years and training governing the promotion?
Some mornings it just doesn't seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps.

"It isn't what you've lost, but what you have left." - My great Uncle Daniel J MacDonald, Veteran Affairs Minister 1972.

Offline Petard

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 34,825
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,299
  • Once a gunner, always a gunner
Re: From Gunner to FOO
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2006, 22:40:00 »
I'm not sure of your background, so here's the basic form it takes...
To become a FOO you must first pass officer training, DP1.1 (mostly recce for Field and Air defence deployments)and 1.2(Bty level Recce and gun line Ops, including some Command Post work), spend time on the gunline in a Regiment, then after some experience, maybe on tour, and courses to learn some basics on Tactics and the operating in the LAV OPV (Artillery variant of the LAV III) you will go through a 2 phase FOO course, mounted and dismounted Ops. This will only give you the basics after which the battery commander will prepare you for actual Ops and, if you're lucky, a tour as a FOO. An officer's time as a FOO is short though, they quickly move onto other staff work, regimental or otherwise, maybe returning to the OP world as an Instructor of Gunnery (following a year long course and a few years more in the school) or as a BC years later.
On the other hand if it's working in an Observation party that you really want to do, then consider that some NCM's spend virtually the majority of their career there. They way this works: after a bit of time on the guns (about a year) should a gunner let it be known that they want to work in an OP, and their chain of command supports it, then eventually they'll be sent to work in an OP party, usually as a signaller, maybe as a driver at 1st, to see if it really suits them or not, then on to the OP tech course, where they'll learn some basics on how to shoot. In addition there'll be courses on how to be a gunner in the LAV OPV. Following some time in as a tech, and the Primary Leadership course, they'll make it to OP Det commander, and take the course for that (which is basically the FOO course for NCM's, primarily on how to read a situation tactically and provide advice to the supported arm commander, and then coordinate the effects of the different delivery systems. It's a lot more complicated than that explanation sounds). Because it takes so long to really master being at the OP, the Artillery has gone to "streaming", ie once you go into the OP stream you will not leave it until you're a Warrant Officer.
Your call but in the meanwhile get the basic soldiering skills down first, crawl, walk, run eh?
You have a long road ahead of you, but keep your head up along the way

Offline muskrat89

  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 25,947
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,471
    • Desert Rat
Re: From Gunner to FOO
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2006, 22:42:49 »
Thanks, petard

Quote
once you go into the OP stream you will not leave it until you're a Warrant Officer.

That's what I was implying when I suggested the FOO Tech route. It seemed, during my career, that ORs sent to the OP stayed there quite awhile, whereas Officers rotated through a little more frequently.

I spent 13 years on the gunline  :)
« Last Edit: November 15, 2006, 23:00:57 by muskrat89 »
The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.

Offline Patrick H.

  • Paint it all grey.
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • -150
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 628
  • UBIQUE
Re: From Gunner to FOO
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2006, 22:45:47 »
Petard, thank you for your great post. You are right, I must learn to crawl first and I haven't even been born yet.  :P

I'm printing the post and keeping it with me to motivate me on where I want to go. I understand it's not going to be easy or, for that matter, take very little time but it's good to know. Thanks again.  :salute:
Some mornings it just doesn't seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps.

"It isn't what you've lost, but what you have left." - My great Uncle Daniel J MacDonald, Veteran Affairs Minister 1972.

Offline 3rd Horseman

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • 370
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 661
Re: From Gunner to FOO
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2006, 00:10:10 »
Pat H,

  Muskrat has a very good point.

  Also all Gunner Officers (field) become FOOs, it is part of the Junior officer development.  Concentrate on the path you have chosen. Be a good gunner on the gun line then ask to go to the OP as a driver, get to know what the worlds like up at the pointy end, then be a sig in the CP and then ask to go back to the OP as a sig. Once that's done you will be probably a Bdr. Then back to the gun line as det 2 i/c or in waiting. Get promoted to MBdr and go to the OP as a FOO tech (after the crse). Then BCs tech then the university courses and then the UTPM thing it will take 5 to 10 years.

Good luck
Sanctuary is as hard to find and as difficult to walk on as a razors edge

Offline Patrick H.

  • Paint it all grey.
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • -150
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 628
  • UBIQUE
Re: From Gunner to FOO
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2006, 09:57:39 »
Sounds good -- can't wait to get on the line!

Thanks 3rd Horseman.


Some mornings it just doesn't seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps.

"It isn't what you've lost, but what you have left." - My great Uncle Daniel J MacDonald, Veteran Affairs Minister 1972.

Offline Petard

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 34,825
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,299
  • Once a gunner, always a gunner
Re: From Gunner to FOO
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2006, 11:45:05 »
Pat H,

  Muskrat has a very good point.

  Concentrate on the path you have chosen. Be a good gunner on the gun line then ask to go to the OP as a driver, get to know what the worlds like up at the pointy end, then be a sig in the CP and then ask to go back to the OP as a sig. Once that's done you will be probably a Bdr. Then back to the gun line as det 2 i/c or in waiting. Get promoted to MBdr and go to the OP as a FOO tech (after the crse). Then BCs tech then the university courses and then the UTPM thing it will take 5 to 10 years.

Your info is somewhat dated 3rd, that's what used to be up until about 4 years ago, no more. He can't just switch that easy from Gun, to Op, to CP then Gun, then yet again back to the OP. Like I said earlier the Artillery has gone to streaming, so by the time he's a MBdr, if he's in the OP, he's staying in the OP. As for the UTPNCM route, reregardless of what stream he came from he most likely would end up going FOO, for awhile, that is dependant on making it through the initial training etc first.

Offline 3rd Horseman

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • 370
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 661
Re: From Gunner to FOO
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2006, 20:52:01 »
Thanks Petard,

    Good info, man just 4 years lots of changes...very American I think. Well then I correct my response go to OP and stay and have fun until you are FOO tech and then get the UTPM thing going.
Sanctuary is as hard to find and as difficult to walk on as a razors edge

Offline hegg.dg

  • Guest
  • *
  • 261
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 6
    • Photo Site
Re: From Gunner to FOO
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2007, 09:55:40 »
Petard,

     I have been bouncing around this streamline that we are trying to impliment into the CF. In the last four years I have been employed as RCPO Assistant Tech, FE TECH(FOO TECH old terminology) Det Commander and I am slated for training as FE Det Comd/FAC in a few months time(due to recent promotion to SGT). It will be several more years and we need to recruit alot more soldiers before we can realize a true streamline organization that resembles the current American model. The idea behind the streamlineing is sound but it is being implimented faster than the forces can sustain at present. As a result, members like myself are being quickly trained in several streams within the artillery to meet the current Operational Tempo.

Offline Petard

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 34,825
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,299
  • Once a gunner, always a gunner
Re: From Gunner to FOO
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2007, 12:40:49 »
I hear ya, but I'm not quite sure how many reading this know what we're talking about, so here goes a long wind...

I was in standards in the school when this streamlining picked up momentum in a hurry about 5-6 years ago.
We were fighting something technology was forcing on us, it was taking longer to get someone the skillsets they needed to do the job, as a result that person ended up staying in the job and not moving too much to one of the other streams as they call it now (Guns, CP/Recce, OP and just beginning STA).
Before the stream approach there was a bottle neck where act/lack-WO and Sgts would have to go through the 6B advanced Tech and then TSM's course. What was beginning to happen more and more was that people from the OP side found themselves playing catch up because they'd been away from the gunline so long, some did OK, some not. In addition some who did a tech course, never were employed as one later. More to the pile was the national level training was taking the soldier away from the unit longer, and they weren't immediately using that training when they got back to the unit either; contradicts the "just in time" training approach. For example a Sgt passing his TSM's course and going back to work in the OP.
In any event many thought it was best to recognize what was going on and make courses specific for progression in the field where the soldier was going to spend the majority of time. There would remain the common leadership courses.
For what its worth, at the time, I had suggested we go with everyone at least doing a Basic Tech course before branching off to their respective stream, it would've given at least some flexibility to employment and would be a common meeting ground later when the streams merged back together at WO level. But that costs training time, and of course money, from that perspective it was not efficient. Nonetheless CO's can at their discretion, and time permitting, still cross-train as they see fit.
The problem remains as to what to do with the WO emerging from whatever stream, the whole process is constantly evolving, which is another way of saying I'm agreeing with you, we haven't got it right yet.
Even so we have to do something to try and recognize the fact of how long it takes now to get someone to a state where they have truly mastered the postion, and at the same time keep some kind of cross training going on so we have some depth in our organization.
A tough balancing act.
MTF   
« Last Edit: February 04, 2007, 12:47:55 by Petard »

Offline FireMission

  • Guest
  • *
  • 0
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 4
Re: From Gunner to FOO
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2007, 13:03:42 »
Petard,

So is it now called the TSM crse vice the AIG crse?
EOM Stand Easy

Offline hegg.dg

  • Guest
  • *
  • 261
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 6
    • Photo Site
Re: From Gunner to FOO
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2007, 13:24:14 »
Fire Mission,

     No the Gun Area TSM course is seperate from the AIG course. I am not even sure what they are calling the AIG course anymore. I do know that they still run it.
     The Gun stream progress is- PLQ-l, Det 2 I/C, DP3a, DP3b(Gun Area TSM).

The old advanced Tech course has been split into two- CP DET COMD and RECCE DET COMD. However there is talk at the school of recombining these into one course again. It will not be called ADV TECH course though.

Offline FireMission

  • Guest
  • *
  • 0
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 4
Re: From Gunner to FOO
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2007, 13:28:30 »
Streaming works if you have the numbers - but my understanding is the that the Regiments are just bleeding from retirements.  Hence the whole all round, general purpose, combat capable yadda yadda Gunner.  Well, should be an interesting spectator sport. 
EOM Stand Easy

Offline Petard

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 34,825
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,299
  • Once a gunner, always a gunner
Re: From Gunner to FOO
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2007, 14:15:37 »
The AIG course is still called the Assistant Instructor of Gunnery course. It is no longer mandatory though for all WO's to take. 3 years ago it was brought back as a year long course to try and deal with some of these very stream and tempo issues, that is to get an instructor as well rounded as possible so they can work in as many sections within the school as needed. The idea is to encourage those with recent operational experience to come to the school and when on the AIG course contribute to the training with their experience in their particular field while on the FD AIG course ('tis having mixed results). Then they will be available not to just instruct in say the FOO section (although for the most part they will) but will also be able to teach gun/recce as well.
The Regt's cannot afford to let their NCO's go as long as it takes to get the similar kind of depth. So what ends up happening is a sort of reaction to the sudden jerks the op tempo imposes, and people like hegg getting bounced.

But just when you think the pace can't pick up any further, some how the RPM dial goes even further to the red.
One indicator is as mentioned the request to run the CP and Recce Det Cmdr courses back to back so the units have some depth of expertise again. Given the over all tempo this isn't always possible, it comes down to priorities, as always there's only so much to go 'round.

I'm not sure what our numbers are, but I would hazard a guess retention is a big problem. Adding to this is the reemergence of certain dormant capabilities, especially in the Surveillance and Target Acquisition world, which puts a further demand on the limited pers available.

And in turn puts more strain on the units, who in turn ask people like hegg to soldier on and go on yet one more course, to get trained in yet another stream.

To me the basic idea of the streams is good, needs some work to be sure, but the real problem is lack of soldiers (as hegg has already pointed out). I don't think anybody 5-6 years ago would've predicted the demands being put on the Artillery World as they are now. Hell, for awhile (around 96 IIRC) there was more than a little talk that the Artillery, as a capability, should remain within just the reserves, if at all.
I don't know what to tell you, the military machine, and our country, is being challenged by this war like it hasn't been for some time; it's having a tough time dealing with that. I don't think I'm telling you something you don't know already.
I don't think we'll see much improvement in our numbers in the short term, so looks like those times when all you can focus on is the back of the boots in front of you.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2007, 14:18:39 by Petard »

Offline Goober

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 60
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 404
Re: From Gunner to FOO
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2007, 15:44:17 »
Getting back to the original question, you are probably on your DP1 now, or pat pl, but this info is still relevent. My buddy just finished his FE Tech course, and after march break, will be a sig/fe tech (fire effects technician, or foo tech) for an upcoming tour, he is still a no hook gunner. He was the only no hook on his course, there was one guy with a hook I think, but the rest were bdr or mbdr. He did his time on the guns after getting to the regt, about a year and a half, stayed out of crap ('cause if you get in crap, like drunk driving, or awol, you can probably forget about the easy route to what you want) and he asked to goto the OPs, so the bty sent him on the next course. Now he's a no hook FE Tech. Thats his story.