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BMQ Answers

Snapshot007

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I've read through the forums and have come up with a little "manual" that I hope helps answer those burning questions, especially the ones I had before going off to my training.

Inspections:
You will be assigned to a platoon which will have 2 instructors (an IC and a 2IC), they will be the main ones inspecting you, but sometimes another instructor will as well to shake things up a bit. There will be a platoon commander inspection, another higher up inspection, and the division officer inspection. On your last week there will be no inspections to say but they will come around and you will be formed up by your beds to have a "maintain standard inspection". They just check to see everything looks good, especially your parade boots and your rifle. If you fail enough of them you can end up on a PRB which can get you recoursed. My suggestion is do your best and don't slack off...it will come back to bite you. The instructors are not stupid, they know who tries and who doesn't.

The C7 rifle:
This gets issued to you on week 2 (though may change to week 5, its still in the talks), sure its all cool and dandy until you have to start maintaining it. The guys were all tickled pink when they got theirs, after a few days that pink wore off as they can be a pain to maintain, especially in the field. You will be issued 5 magazines, keep them clean as they get checked at inspection time, 2 will be on your bed during the inspection and the other 3 will be in your tac vest along with your bayonet (once you get issed it of course).

While in the field, keep it as clean as possible because its tough to clear if the bolt is caked in carbon...hello non-alcoholic baby wipes and lots of CLP. Also, make sure you perform a proper unload of the chamber to avoid a negligent discharge, you end up getting charged and a $250 fine...not good.

The rucksack:
Get an instructor to properly show you how to ensure you ruck is done up. Can make the difference in how much or little of pain you are in after a ruckmarch. In the valise, you will have your inner sleeping bag, valise, ground sheet, bowl, sleeping bag hood, and a garbage bag to line the valise. in the top extra combat boots, extra combats, undergarments, hygene kit (I'd suggest buying those miniature items to cut down on space and weight), boot polishing kit, and rain pants (rain jacket is in tac vest C9 pouch).

ITEMS TO BRING:
Ah yes the big one, I brought my laptop and cell phone and cameras which ended up spending most of the time in civy lockup, we only got these on weekends that we had off. You will start getting weekends off at week 5 provided your platoon behaves and acts as a team...remember they can and will take your weekends if they feel its necessary. Buy locks for your civy lock up baggage and limit how much you bring, don't need your whole room or house...LOL

Extra clothing really depends on the time of year, if you go in the summer, bring a couple of shorts a tee's adn maybe some long clothing as well. Bring your staple hygene items too, keep in mind you will have a Canex run either the first or second week to pick up missing items. They will give all the recruits a $220 advance to go to the Canex (prohibited to buy junk food), I'd suggest stocking up on cold medication as well...trust me on this one...can bring your own, most do. Buy Gortex gloves, especially for those winter candidates.

Winter BMQ or ending in winter, you will be able to buy your choice of BLACK gloves for the final exercise, I'd suggest MEC. Bring a few pairs of gloves and lots of socks. Also purchase a skull cap, goes under your helement and does a good jaob at keeping your head warm Aloso buy a head lamp, PETZL is an excellent brand. Don't buy those ones with the cables sticking arond the band and get something thats water resistant. Another thing, very important, when choosing a headlamp, make sure it can turned on and off ON THE RED light setting, white will give off where you are and the instructors will be on you for it.

All guys will have a haircut and will the pay for one regardless of how much light gleams off their heads. They are about $12 for males and $17 for women.

Camera usage: You can bring one, just don't bring anything overly expensive. If you looking to bring one to the field consdier a Fuji XP10 or something similar...waterproof, crushproof/shockproof. You won't have too much time in the field to whip out your camera, but when you do its a great memory created. I was only able to use mine on downtime in FOB portion, the final exercise. Better than nothing, right? YOu can bring more expensive cameras, I did but they spent most of the time in civy lockup, got to use them more after BMQ. After BMG you will get to use all of your equipment...don't worry.

Internet: I bought a portable stick which I found very useful. There are internet kiosks but they charge like $2 per 15min or 30 block. Keep in mind people will ask to borrow your stick, news flies fast in barracks...charge them for the usage because they could be downloading anything and suddenly you have this huge bill, thankfull I didn't because they were good about it. At both St. Jean and Borden I got excellent reception with my stick. LOCK UP YOUR STUFF IF YOU DON"T WANT IT STOLEN!!!!!!!

The CF Express test: Don't fret! I am not the most physically active person and I got 6 (I'm female), most of use females got 6 and most of the guys got 6 or more. It is the first part of the CF Express that you will do, it will be done in 2 halfs. One half of the platoon does the beep test the other sits there and/or stretches watching the show. From there you will move on to your grip test, then push-ups then situps. For the beep test, a PSP staff will do the fist 2 levels with you then you will be on your own. If you get exemption it will be for 2 years. Keep the yellow piece of paper on you, keep it in a safe place and don't lose it.

As for BMQ being easier at Borden than St.Jean...there's some differences but easy is really dependant on the person. At Borden, after a ruckmarch you go up 2 flights of stairs while at St. Jean yoyu can go up as much as 12 floors...depends which floor your platoon is assigned to. As for field portion of TOPO, in Borden we went out with our fire partners and another fireteam at night. People have said at St. Jean it was half that...so if you go to St. Jean, pay really close attention in TOPO. Another difference was for weapon training. In Borden we got our dummy rounds and bolts, not at St. Jean. They may or may not change it, but for now play it safe and practice, practice, practice.

PT sessions: They aren't that hard don't worry. Bring your own good running shoes, the ones they issue you will never be worn anyways, just inspected under the bed. You will have between 3 and 6 per week, mostly an hour long. The showers after wards are very quick, sometimes have 10 mins to shower and be in full combats and formed up, timings are crucial.

The confidence course: You will be doing this in full fighting order (tac vest, rifle, and helment)....and can be very annoying because it gets caught on things and sticks out from your body so its hard to get over some obstacles. If you can't do a few obstacles don't worry not all of us could and they won't swipe you for it, just try your best. The instructors will help you get over an obstacle if needed. I think we only went on it 3 or 4 times in the 13 weeks.

AFTER BMQ you will be sent to the one which represents your element. Keep in mind a purple trade can be sent to SQ if needed. There might be a wait to go on one of these, you'll be on PAT platoon/PRETC until either sent to one of these or your trades training. For me I'm on PRETC and will be starting my trades training in the new year. Then I'll do my element training.
SQ: Is 28 days long.
Fleet school: Is 5 weeks and covers shipwatching duties, fire fighing, and so forth.
Airforce: 4 days of history or something.


All in all, treat eachother fairly and don't rat eachother out for every little thing that bothers you that someone does, afterall, we all come from different walks of life. The constant whining and ratting will lower the morale and cause unease among your platoonmates. If you are a whiner and complainer, think twice before you complain, put yourself in the other persons shoes. Don't purposely get someone swiped out of the course, how would you like it? Remember you are a team, the key is to acting like one. Listen to your instructors, don't get swiped for stupid things, once you hit 7 you get a PRB (performance review board). Don't shirk on your station jobs either, losts of swipes be received there!...yes this is a warning and a BIG heads up.

8)  :cdn:

 

Franko

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Snapshot007 said:
I'll actually answer your questions and not give you a hard time or check this thread out and that thread.

PM inbound.

The Army.ca Staff
 

owa

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Yeah this is pretty spot on.  I'll share some of my own experiences so far as well.

I'm only on week 5 at the moment, but there are some differences between your course and mine.  My inspection only had one magazine out, and the running shoes (civi and military issued) were in the closet (very bottom shelf).  Also a #1 only costs me 8.50, but I usually pay with a 10 and they never give you change back haha.  They're serious about their tips.

You're right about PT and the CF Express as well.  Don't get too worried about them.  "Do 50 pushups" may sound daunting but most people can't pound out 50 right away, so you'll do your max and then slowly struggle to hit 50.  It's not like they're going to kill you or anything, so people shouldn't get too worried about it.  The worst is when they punish the platoon and get us in the plank position or make us hold a squat position for a long time because as people fall or get tired they'll add a bit more time on to it.

One thing to remember is that the staff have timings too.  I know for us our periods are blocked off in 40 minute sections and the staff have a schedule they need to follow as well so there is only so much time they have to punish you and make you sweat.  What they will do, and this sucks, is give you less time to eat meals or give you extra work after supper or something.  If they feel like you're dicking around too much they'll not necessarily get a big platoon PT session going but they will waste your time and make it harder for you to be ready for an inspection or a meal.  So don't push them on it, but it is reassuring sometimes if you feel really overwhelmed, just remind yourself that there's a method to all of this and they're under just as much pressure to make timings.

Also, you'll generally come to find that your staff are some of the most interesting people you've ever met.  Which is neat but also frustrating because you have to avoid acting 'buddy/buddy'.  It's good to ask questions and they encourage it, but you can't shoot the shit with them like you would want to.  They're full of knowledge but they'll give it to you when the time is right.  It's one of the reasons I look forward to graduating and getting to the after grad party in the mess o'mega.  I'd love a chance to talk to them without the whole staff/student obligations.

The C7A2 tests aren't too hard, but they can confuse you if you're not prepared.  Basically get a buddy and teach one another the tests.  Get him to do it, and you correct him, then you do it and get him to correct it.  You'll have about a week and a half to get ready for it so do it every night for 20 or 30 minutes and you'll rock it.  For my course we could "correct" ourselves and restart a test if we noticed the mistake without finishing the test.  I did it once and it went like this, "Master Corporal, I fucked up.  I should have put safety on before I unloaded the magazine, Master Corporal."  He acknowledged it and told me to fix my mistake.  No harm -- no foul.  Just ensure you catch it and hope your staff are as nice as mine haha.  Our sister platoon were allowed to do the same thing so that should make people feel a bit better.

"I fucked up, no excuses." is a good phrase to learn.  Even when you think you have a valid reason for something -- it will rarely ever be valid to your staff, so just immediately own up and you usually don't eat too much shit for it.

Two little stories:  One evening one of our staff came up to see if we had labled our berets.  We had a list of items that needed labeling and some of them were bolded (important) and some of them were not.  The beret was not so 90% of the platoon hadn't done it.  Our staff asked us why we hadn't done it (they were very cross), and instead of saying why it wasn't done yet we just said, "no excuses, we fucked up." Which probably would've been okay, but one of my course mates then said, "We didn't use our time wisely." Which.... was followed up by the staff taking our berets away and putting them in a running shower.  Staff then left and told us we had 20 minutes to find our beret, label it and put a coat of polish on our boots.  I still think we'd have been okay had he not piped up, but he learned and we make fun of him for it haha.

Another was a fuck up I had.  We were in the parade square and I was sick this day so at the end of class (we were all standing at attention) I felt a booger coming out my nose, so when the instructor wasn't looking I went to wipe it away.  He totally caught me, "What the fuck are you doing on my parade square?  Why are you moving?" I thought for a moment on what to say (should I say...  "Booger, Master corporal.") I was hoping he'd not ask again but he did, and I just said, "I fucked up, no excuse." He then said, "If you don't want the platoon on their faces, you won't do that again." So it worked out.  You'll sometimes eat shit for things even if you own up, but I think the punishments are sometimes less.

You'll also grow to dislike a large amount of people on your platoon but try to stay professional.  Some guys will bring you down and you can't really do anything about that but the staff will notice who these people are and eventually the platoon stops being punished and it's just that one person.  It might take many weeks, but it should eventually happen.

One thing we've taken to doing is if one person gets in trouble, we'll all get down to do pushups with'em.  The staff seem to enjoy it and get a bit of a kick out of it.  Pushups becoming less and less a punishment and more a way of life as the days go on haha.

I pretty much guarantee there'll be a week that a recruit spends sick.  The whole platoon usually gets something and it spreads like crazy.  After about week 3 we just had shack hack and that was about it.  The immunization shots killed our immune systems there for a bit but we pulled out with minimal problems.  Some pretty shitty morning PT classes but there's something rewarding about puking while crawling across a soccer field in the snow.

I got in trouble with the MIR staff because I went on a Sunday (weekends are only for emergencies only).  I hadn't slept the night before because of my cough and I was coughing up green stuff -- sometimes the fits were so hard, I'd puke.  I decided I'd go.  The problem was I started feeling sort of bad on Thursday, so I should've technically went then (or Friday).  I thought it might just be a normal cold though and I tried to tough it out.  But that's sort of an excuse because I knew the rules.  I honestly didn't want to miss class either.  They helped me out, but they weren't impressed with me.  So try to learn from that story before you do it to yourself.
 

brandon_

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Your profile tells me you haven't even left for your training yet, you're not even enrolled.  Does this just come from research?
 

owa

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brandon_ said:
Your profile tells me you haven't even left for your training yet, you're not even enrolled.  Does this just come from research?

I just haven't updated my profile.  My online identity doesn't mean much to me.  If you read my post though it says I'm in week 5.
 

owa

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Oh right, I have another piece of advice...  Next trust the coffee machines.  At least the ones in the green break area, near the BBQ pit, or the blue break area.  You never know what you're going to get.  You'll usually get coffee, but that's not a guarantee.  Sometimes you want something else but all you get is hot water with a hint of chocolate in it.  It'll only be half full and you won't get the rest of the mix.  That shit goes empty so often and it sometimes takes a week for it to get refilled.

One thing my buddy had happen was he put a $1.25 in for a coffee -- got the coffee -- then $20.00 in loonies came out.  So I guess you can hope for that, but all too often you will have that thing eat your money and hand you hot water.  :'(
 

MJP

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Snapshot007 said:
The C7 rifle:
This gets issued to you on week 2 (though may change to week 5, its still in the talks), sure its all cool and dandy until you have to start maintaining it. The guys were all tickled pink when they got theirs, after a few days that pink wore off as they can be a pain to maintain, especially in the field. You will be issued 5 magazines, keep them clean as they get checked at inspection time, 2 will be on your bed during the inspection and the other 3 will be in your tac vest along with your bayonet (once you get issed it of course).

Good up to date stuff.  The rifle use to be at week 5 but was moved to week 2 to make BMQ more interesting (for lack of a better word) for some.  CFLRS found that in the course critique that students wanted to do more "army/military stuff" earlier in the course rather than the what they currently had for the first five weeks.  The C7 in week two is/was a trial thing they were doing to see how it worked. Seems that they have adopted it, which IMHO is a good thing as the more hands on time anyone gets with a weapon system the more familiar and less afraid of the it they become.

 

SY

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Should I get a haircut prior to reserve BMQ in the summer? Or should I recieve it there?
 

owa

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SY said:
Should I get a haircut prior to reserve BMQ in the summer? Or should I recieve it there?

Doesn't matter either way.  I went with a full beard and some relatively long hair.  My staff called me shaggy and hippy until we got haircuts.  It should be noted that I should have shaved my face before I left, but don't worry about your hair.  You'll probably end up getting a hair cut either way, so don't bother.  Plus it's fun getting it done with your whole platoon.
 

PuckChaser

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Avoid getting a target painted on you, spend the 15 bucks and get a haircut, even if you have to get another one later with the course.
 

SY

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I guess I'll wait.

Another question - I want to spend my military career as an infanteer. I know it's physically demanding, but I'm not in tip top shape, so if I don't perform too well on the CF EXPRES test but I still surpass the requirement, will I be equally eligible as someone who did quite good on the test? (P.S. - I have to do the EXPRES test prior to BMQ since I'm joining the reserves, so my overall fitness would probably improve by the time I finished BMQ.)
 

brandon_

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SY- Poor PT is the easiest thing to be picked out, Just do your self a favour, and be in the best shape you can be. I learned the hard way, felt like nothing more then the biggest PUMP.  But, i'm not a recruiter so this is just pure speculation, you won't be as wanted with poor results, Infantry is full enough as it is, during these times they will go with someone who is more competitive file.
 

medicineman

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I just had visions of Tackelberry from "Police Academy" when he was getting kitted up:  "What about guns...when do we get guns?"

MM
 
A

aesop081

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medicineman said:
I just had visions of Tackelberry from "Police Academy" when he was getting kitted up:  "What about guns...when do we get guns?"

MM

from the "Simpsons"

Chief Weighum : "You're not getting a gun until you tell me your name"
 

Fotoshark

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Ive done some quick searches and found many different answers but not quite for what I'm looking for.  Running shoes I see we can bring our own pair even tho they issue a pair thats noted to never be used and just part of your locker/closet.  The question is if we bring out own do they have to be white/black ?  Colour restrictions ?  Now a days they're doin some odd things with treads and colours even on the basic black runners.

- T.
 
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