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Artillery Officer Merged Thread

Yes Man, if you haven‘t already, come down to the armoury on Monday night and I can introduce you to some of the officers doing the jobs that Gunner listed above. They can tell you in their own words exactly what they‘re responsible for.

PM me and I‘ll give you more details.
Hi all.  I'm new here.  A little about me... im applying to RMC, and have been offered a position.  My choices included pilot, air nav, and armour.  In the military's infinite wisdom, then offered me arty.  (Because we all know that arty was my unwritten fourth choice.  Well at least to the military.)

Which bring me to my dilema.  I want to go to RMC, but im not sure if i want to go for arty.  A couple things i was wondering ...

What are the chances that i would have a successful occupation transfer to either pilot or one of the other combat arms?  I ask this because, I will probably accept my offer to go to RMC for arty, and i know i can apply for an OT up until i start MOC training.  If i find out during my first year that arty isnt for me, then i would like to know if a transfer is possible.  I was speaking with a local Reg force arty Captain, (part of the 49th regiment in Sault Ste Marie, ON) and he said that arty is short 40 captains.  So from that, i concluded that if i was to take arty, then i would be pretty much stuck there, OT or not.  Which isnt helping in my decision to take this offer.  

What is it like in the field for arty.  The inf and armr are up there fighting.  is arty just sitting back putting lead on some targets in some far off land?

I realize that not all OT's are successful.  On the other hand, i have already successfully completed my Aircrew Selection, and that being so, would that help in an OT?

I know i might come off as someone whos just taking arty because its a way of getting pilot (which IS half of the truth), but if i dont get it, then i can always stick with arty.  Im just trying to decide if its the MOC for me, if pilot falls through.

Any replies to this post would be helpful.
Thank you for your time.

To just answer 1 of those questions...I‘m not an officer but as arty, yea we are behind the fighting BUT depends on the battery your posted to. If by chance you are posted to my battery "C" bty 1 RCHA then you may find yourself closer to the battle than you think cause most of the time we are dismounted as mortars... But again it depends on where you are put. If you are in the OP‘s, more than likely you‘ll get a nice lav 3 OPV and be up there with the grunts as a FOO...
If you were offered arty instead of the choices you requested, chances are they‘ll never let you transfer. If you say "I wan to be a pilot" and they say "you know, you‘d do real well in artilery", it usualy means they don‘t think you‘re qualified to be a pilot. That said, I could be wrong, and you might be able to transfer at some point. If you meet all the requirements there should be no reason why you couldn‘t re-muster before you begin MOC training.
I dont want to burst your bubble but your OT idea has a 99.9% chance that you will not remuster to pilot. Dont go in there thinking if i dont like it i can change it, presto. An OT is long and difficult, and most people make the mistake that it isnt.

I have a friend at RMC that got put in armour, he wanted pilot and he thought he could do the switch sometime to pilot. He found out the hard way that the answer is no, maybe 10 years down the road, which is still slim, but definatly not now.

My advice is do what you want to be, not what they tell you to be. If you go along with the flow you have about a 90% chance of having a miserable time, (just ask my buddy) you may end up liking it dont get me wrong, but do what YOU feel you want.

If you still want to be in the CF and get some of your eduacation paid for, there is the reserve. That way you can just transfer to the Reg force and apply for pilot when there is more openings. Also that way you have more substance to your application than just some joe of the street. The Reg force transfer is different than the OT because you you are moving from a differnt pool of jobs. Think of it as moving up from the minor leagues to the major leagues. The other way would be like being in the major leagues and trying to jump teams. Good luck with what ever you choose.
Yes, as a formour 21U (armour) at RMC... I can tell you OTs are next to impossible.. but not impossible.

Actually.. far from it. but I‘ll explain.

Twice a year, every year (may only be once now), the Forces come around and ask everyone if they would like to switch into an occupation that currently is in dire straights... Now keep in mind, they investigate your current degree, suitability and current level of training... a 4th year who has 3 phases of inty training aint gonna transfer over to MARS anytime soon.

But it does happen frequently enough, if you are lucky enough.

The biggest thing you do have to realize, is if you DO have Aircrew (and Im not entirely sure how much you think youve done, because there are different parts to it (cyclo, etc), and they still didnt take you, it is because the pilot program is VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY Full.

I mean they take tons of people at the junior program WITHOUT aircrew, so if you ahve it, then this year their numbers say they dont need you.

That and noone ever signs up for Arty.
The descion is ultimaly yours, but may I ask what the problem with Artillery is. not sexy enough?

The Arillery is one of the more technically challanging trades, and the aptitude required is one of the highest in Land Forces. The team work and expertise to put a round on the ground at the right time in the right place is professionally gratifiying. Being a FOO entails knowing the infantry/armour‘s tactics as well, as your own. Keep an open mind and do some reasearch.

Of paricualr note, Gens Jeffries, Leslie and Dallaire are/were Gunners, and the incoming LFWA Comd is also a Gunner.

As for nobody signing up for the Artillery, bullshit.
well, about the qualifications for pilot ... the fact that i was sent for Aircrew Selection (at CFB Trenton), is a good sign, as not everyone gets that far. then i passed both the pilot and air nav tests, so there‘s nothing stopping me from being put in the pilot program. My medical cleared too, so thats not a problem either.

and to RCA, as to your comment regarding the artillery as "not sexy enough", thats not true. But when you‘ve had you sights set on pilot since before you were 10, ya its a bit of a disappointment. Sorry you saw my post that way.

Fusilier955, i like your idea of goin in the reserves and then switching to reg force. that‘s an option that my recruiting office never told me.

I realize that OT‘s are like pulling teeth, but they are possible i guess. I know the chances are slim, but there‘s always a chance. And i figure arty isnt too bad. right now, im considering one of two paths: joining the reserves and then jumping reg force, or taking arty. can someone tell me the pro‘s / con‘s of each?

And thanks to everyone who‘s posted so far. you guys have been really helpful.
Taio, I completely understand you feelings about being passed over for pilot. Considering the CF is desperate for pilots, I wonder if your case is a result of this year‘s training quota slots being full already...? Though, I thought I read something within the past few weeks that only half of this year‘s desired pilot numbers have been recruited (this is not subtantiated so take it with some salt).

If I was single I would be going Arty DEO rather than one of the engineering occupations. I think RCA‘s explanation is excellent. Continue with your (good on you for posting here towards that effort) research and you‘ll see that there is quite a lot more to Artillery than "just sitting back putting lead on some targets in some far off land". While it might not be the trade for you, you‘ll still be rather surprised.
Thats the one thing that i was really bewildered by. The DND site has had it posted that they need pilots really badly. Why they wouldnt take more in their quota for RMC is beyond me. (Also, the only other pilot candidate to actually pass aircrew selection got an offer for RMC too... in infantry. I think i got a better offer than him lol.) I guess it deals with the fact that i wouldn‘t be posted anywhere or done training until after 5 years, and by then the needs of the forces will have changed.

While watching some of the recruiting videos, the one on arty said that "Arty officers require high mathematical skills (physics and whatnot) and skills with computers. It also said this on the sheets they have in the recruiting office about the different MOCs. how true is this, and to what extent are these skills needed?

i figure the best place to do any more research is here, as i can get honest, no BS answers from ppl who know what they are doing.

and thanks once again for everyone‘s help
My advice would be to take a classification that you are interested in if you intend to make a career of it. It can be a very long army if you are stuck doing something that does not interest you.

Again you must balance that with the acceptance to RMC. If RMC entrance is a higher priority than your MOC take the offer of Arty.

I would think that the re-muster from within the system would perhaps be possible, but it seems like a gamble to me.

All MOCs are important and have their positives and negatives, and you will be challenged whatever you choose.

As an ex-R021 Artilleryman, a failed out Ph 4 Pilot flying Tutors, and a current Infantry Officer, I would not trade back to either of my previous occupations. I could however be happy in either.
Realize that RMC candidates/quotas are for 5 years down the road.. pilots get their wings in 7.... so the quotas are quite different.. A DEO can be up, trained and flying within 2-3-4 years...
I made the comment just to get a rise and see what direction you were coming from.

I can fully understand your disappointment, and if this is what you want, then leave no stone unturned and do everything in your power to make it happen. There is someone out there who can give you an answer about your real chances, if not this year then maybe next. The trades are Option B for you. Its good to research them also so all your options are open. I have no idea about the remustering before and after, but I guessing, the older you get, the harder it will be to OT as a pilot.

As for an Artillery officer, math skills, spatial perception, and computer skills are important. You start out as a Recce Officer, where you recce a piece of ground, find a suitable location for 6 guns, CPs, and other Bty vehs, bring them in and orientate the guns so they are facing a common direction (Center of Arc). You must always know your map location, and be able to bring survey to the guns. You will have a Recce TSM with you who is always helpful, but the decisions and responsibilities are yours.

After that you are trained in the CP, where you learn Fire Discipline, the theory of indirect, and computation of firing data from the OP to the guns. (This is done by computer and Techs) but no round can go unless you are sure the data is correct. Again you will have a Tech WO to help and guide you, but ultimately you are responsible for rounds down range. And make no mistake, we do not use blanks or training ammunition.

After its training as FOO where you learn the combat team/battle group tactics and learn to call down fire for your supported arms.

That is a very quick synopsis, and I have missed some things and glossed over others, but at least I hope I peeked your interest. Being a Gunner can be rewarding, as we tend to add dignity to what otherwise would be termed an unruly brawl. And you would be joining a proud fraternity, as Once a Gunner, Always a Gunner.

I'll get of my soapbox now.
I know that the Artillery is a good trade, (mind you not as good as, oh say the Infantry) :D But what it boils down to is settling for what you want and not second best. Now you had plenty of info from the Arty side of your question so now for the reserve.

The plus side for the reserve is that it is like a test drive for a car. If you like it you can buy it (transfer to the Reg force). It gives you skills and experience and will give you a slight advantage on your Reg force training when you make the jump. Also it gives you money at school, a cool job, something to do during the year, pays for half your education, most of the common benefits you get in the reg force (dental, medical), plus a guarenteed summer job.

Also you can experience civie university life, RMC life is completely different. RMC is very regimented, you dont have a lot of freedom in courses for your first 2 years at RMC, at civie university you can take anything you want, and even switch your program if you want with ease. At civie university you get the "experience" that you would miss at RMC, and visa versa for RMC.

Look at the over all picture, then decide what you want. If you go to RMC you are pretty much planning the next 10 years of your life, and picking your career right now. If you dont want to do what they want you to be, then dont, it is your career. Well good luck!
hey everyone.

After much deliberation, I‘ve accepted my offer for artillery. I do my physical test on June 1st (step test, hand grip, pushups, situps). I get my briefing for going away and my enrollemnt ceremony is on the 22nd, and i need to be in st jean for august 8.

im extremely excited and cant wait to get going. thank you everyone that posted here. your insight was very helpful.
I was just wondering what kind of stuff I can expect to face throughut my training to become an Artillery officer. I mean, everyone I've talked to seems to give me different, often conflicting information about what I'm going to be doing through CAP, Phase III and Phase IV. I really have no idea what to expect during my upcoming training   so thanks in advance for any heads up you can give me. Sure IAP was easy, but will the rest of my summer courses be that easy? I should surely hope not.
Now, I'm not extensively familiar with the new DP model, this is as close to it as I can get.

CAP- Basic Infantry Section Comd within a Platoon frame work. The don't expect you to be come an infantry section commander full stop, but they expect you to learn soldier skills and develop as a leader. Think of this as "Intro to the Army"

Phase 3 (I don't know the DP Model numbers)- Comd Post officer and the duties of a Jr Officer on the gun line. You will learn to compute the data (bearing and Elevation) for the gun to tgt location that the observer identified. There is alot of command and control aspects to the training and you will become quite good at managing several Nets (radios) at the same time.

Phase 4- This is where you will learn to become the Recce officer, this is all about developing a gun positions for your Bty of guns. You will also get introduced to other gun line jobs such as Gun Position Officer, safety officer, and Troop Commander. There is some tactics involved in this phase to combine with the technical aspects that phase 3 gave you...

Thanks a lot for your info, Scott :) Really nice to see that as time goes on, they will be training me to be at least sorta competent in everything. Sounds like I have an interesting few summers ahead of me. Really look forward to getting into this artillery thing full steam ahead. Again, thanks Scott, as there doesn't seem to be a lot of info of this nature anywhere, even recruiting centres.
Isn't there an Army club at RMC? Your best bet is to talk the Gunner cadets a year ahead of you to find out what their summer was like.

Good luck!
Its all good training just keep your head about your self and dont get wraped around the axle. do your best and dont give up and you will be fine. trust your compass..... UBIQUE and have a good one :salute: