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Competitive Infantry Application?

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Hello Army Forums,

I apologize if this question is in the wrong category. I'm not very experienced with the site.

What does a recruit need on their application to be considered competitive for an enlisted infantry position? I've been talking with the recruiting office and they've said that the infantry NCM positions are very competitive.

I've already tried twice to get into the army, once as an infantry officer in the regular forces (ROTP), and another time as an infantry NCM in the reserves. I passed all of my tests for both including the CFAT and the FORCE test, but unfortunately both times I was denied. I was denied ROTP because I was going to a civilian university and they had just ended that program, and I was denied the reserves because I was going to be moving fairly soon. On both times, I was told that my file was going to be closed but that it was purely because of logistics and that I should still apply later.

I've decided to apply as an infantry NCM rather than an officer because I do not believe that I would be selected for DEO. I would rather be in the infantry than be an officer and I would like to cut my teeth as an NCM. When I put in my formal application next year, I'll have a Bachelor of Honours in Philosophy as well as involvement in a sports club (specifically wrestling) and a good level of fitness. Is this enough to be considered competitive? I love the infantry as much as I love philosophy and I couldn't imagine never serving.

Thank you

Isaac
 

Canadian_beast

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Recruiters told me infantry is SUPER competitive this year, my application was eligible for infantry but I waited a few months and by then i wasn’t eligible anymore, I feel like if you scored high on your CFAT you’ll be good.


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Scott1867

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The recruiting process is a tricky one.  I applied to Infantry Officer and MARS Officer for ROTP and was told I didn't have the scores to be competitive in either.  They offered me some NCM positions but I declined and they told me my file will be closed.  I was devastated.  Years later I asked for a retest of the CFAT to join through DEO and my new file manager asked why as I "already have the scores to be competitive for Infantry Officer."  I was somewhat pissed.

My recommendation to you is what I did: (For reference, I got in as an Infantry Officer)

1) Ask for a retest of the CFAT and study hard.  Hire a tutor and study 3-4 times a week a month out from your CFAT re-test date.  There are a bunch of online testing sites that give practice tests; use them.

2) Install and use Lumosity on your phone.  It'll sharpen your brain and make the CFAT easier.

3) Try and get a job with managerial experience where you have people working under you as this shows you're Officer/NCO potential

4) Call and email them every week asking where your file stands. Also ask what tips they might have for being competitive.  Show them how badly you want it.

5) Wear a suit during your interview and practice interview questions two weeks prior.  Have a firm handshake and maintain eye contact throughout the interview.

6) Stand your ground.  If they say no positions are available say "Thank you very much but my heart was set on infantry.  Please keep me in mind if a spot becomes available."  The recruiter has the job to put bodies in buckets.  You might be unlucky and have the infantry bucket already full.  Be patient and persistent.  A spot might just suddenly open up a few months later - It's been known to happen.


Everything else you already have.  A degree and a wrestling background should be more than enough to get you in as an NCM even an Officer.  It's all about how bad you want it.  If it doesn't work out, there's always the French Foreign Legion.

 

RocketRichard

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BigJack said:
The recruiting process is a tricky one.  I applied to Infantry Officer and MARS Officer for ROTP and was told I didn't have the scores to be competitive in either.  They offered me some NCM positions but I declined and they told me my file will be closed.  I was devastated.  Years later I asked for a retest of the CFAT to join through DEO and my new file manager asked why as I "already have the scores to be competitive for Infantry Officer."  I was somewhat pissed.

My recommendation to you is what I did: (For reference, I got in as an Infantry Officer)

1) Ask for a retest of the CFAT and study hard.  Hire a tutor and study 3-4 times a week a month out from your CFAT re-test date.  There are a bunch of online testing sites that give practice tests; use them.

2) Install and use Lumosity on your phone.  It'll sharpen your brain and make the CFAT easier.

3) Try and get a job with managerial experience where you have people working under you as this shows you're Officer/NCO potential

4) Call and email them every week asking where your file stands. Also ask what tips they might have for being competitive.  Show them how badly you want it.

5) Wear a suit during your interview and practice interview questions two weeks prior.  Have a firm handshake and maintain eye contact throughout the interview.

6) Stand your ground.  If they say no positions are available say "Thank you very much but my heart was set on infantry.  Please keep me in mind if a spot becomes available."  The recruiter has the job to put bodies in buckets.  You might be unlucky and have the infantry bucket already full.  Be patient and persistent.  A spot might just suddenly open up a few months later - It's been known to happen.


Everything else you already have.  A degree and a wrestling background should be more than enough to get you in as an NCM even an Officer.  It's all about how bad you want it.  If it doesn't work out, there's always the French Foreign Legion.
Good post. And if you want a Canadian’s perspective ( albeit a bit dated) of serving in the FFL check out ‘Appel-A Canadian in the French Foreign Legion’.


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brihard

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Sounds to me like you should be fine as long as your CFAT score is decent, which with a BA done it probably is, particularly against what’s needed for noncommissioned member (we don’t use ‘enlisted’). Go for it!

Keep fit, do lots of cardio and strength training (carefully), and you should do fine.
 

da1root

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BigJack said:
The recruiting process is a tricky one.  I applied to Infantry Officer and MARS Officer for ROTP and was told I didn't have the scores to be competitive in either.  They offered me some NCM positions but I declined and they told me my file will be closed.  I was devastated.  Years later I asked for a retest of the CFAT to join through DEO and my new file manager asked why as I "already have the scores to be competitive for Infantry Officer."  I was somewhat pissed.

Just posting for clarification the process should other people look at this.

Keep in mind that for a combined score of the TSD/CFAT along with your interview create a score for competitiveness.  The year that you applied for ROTP there could have been quite a few applicants for those occupations.  I'm running into that this year - we only have 1 DOTP position; so we're going to have to reject quite a few people because they're not competitive - but yet that same person could apply for DEO in a few years and get selected (with the same CFAT score) because of intake numbers against number of applicants.
 

Scott1867

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Buck_HRA said:
Just posting for clarification the process should other people look at this.

Keep in mind that for a combined score of the TSD/CFAT along with your interview create a score for competitiveness.  The year that you applied for ROTP there could have been quite a few applicants for those occupations.  I'm running into that this year - we only have 1 DOTP position; so we're going to have to reject quite a few people because they're not competitive - but yet that same person could apply for DEO in a few years and get selected (with the same CFAT score) because of intake numbers against number of applicants.

I think the CAF would benefit from being more upfront with their applicants about this fact and others relating to the application process.  Had I known this information I would have simply resubmitted a package for DEO once I had my degree.  Being told my file will be closed seemed like a pressure tactic to make me sign on a dotted line and help a recruiter fill a spot.  With it being more and more difficult for recruiters to find competent, willing, healthy, and personable applicants for CAF positions it may be beneficial to inform them of these things and perhaps keep them in some hope of joining the CAF under their preferred trade.  Had a recruiter told me that these are the steps I will need to complete to become an infantry officer, I would have done them and not sought out $100K+ work in the oil patch.  Work that for some would be difficult to leave given the salary.

That said I understand that recruiters have to process thousands of applications and sometimes that level of detail may increase the work load.  However, I believe more forthright communication to applicants on how they can achieve their goals within the recruiting process would pay dividends on the back end.
 
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