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Guys I really need some advice about my life.... joining the army is an option

eurodin

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I am a first time poster, so let me sum it up and bear with me please...

I graduate in 6 weeks with a bachelor’s degree in commerce major accountancy. (I have a B- average)

When I was younger all I dreamt about was becoming a CA.

Now school and I don't get along. All my peers consider myself knowledgeable but when it comes to writing tests I just do "ok"
I am a B- student. Getting into the CA program and passing it is going to be a huge task. Something I am dreading because I am at fed up with my studies.

Another easier option is doing a CMA.

The 3rd and last option is the army.

I am assuming I could go as logistics officer or pilot, or there other options?

How good the army is how bad is it?

Will I be at the base 24/7 hours a day?

Do you get promoted quickly, 2nd lieutenant, 1st lieutenant, captain, major etc?

I know I should be going into the recruitment center, But I would like to go in there with some knowledge before hand.


My basic concerns are essentially:

1) Type of job that would suit me.
2) Enjoyment doing the job and enjoyment in the army overall
3) Salary scale (I know the numbers are on forces.ca, but a bit about promotion would be nice)
4) Contingency plan (what happens if I really dislike the army, can I bail?)
5) Will I be able to see my friends and family ever? When do they let me out if at all?


I am 24 years old. I have worked many jobs, from being a technician, to a hockey referee, to an accountant, to a controller of small company, to a car mechanic.

I have far from learned it all, but I have learned that you better enjoy what you are doing if you are going do it for the rest of your life.

None of the jobs I mentioned could I stand doing for more then 3 months straight. I was wondering if the army is any different?

Thanks

Adam from Montreal


 
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::)

eurodin said:
I am assuming I could go as logistics officer or pilot, or there other options? There are lots of options, check out forces.ca and see what you are interested in.

How good the army is how bad is it? Not really sure what you are asking here.

Will I be at the base 24/7 hours a day? No

Do you get promoted quickly, 2nd lieutenant, 1st lieutenant, captain, major etc? Define quickly, but the answer would most likely be no.


My basic concerns are essentially:

1) Type of job that would suit me. 
2) Enjoyment doing the job and enjoyment in the army overall
3) Salary scale (I know the numbers are on forces.ca, but a bit about promotion would be nice)
4) Contingency plan (what happens if I really dislike the army, can I bail?)
5) Will I be able to see my friends and family ever? When do they let me out if at all?
1) Only you can decide that.
2) Like any job some people would love it, some people would hate it.

4) you can leave once your contract is up.
5)Yes you can, you can leave base when ever you want when you are not working.
 

Cdnleaf

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eurodin said:
I am a B- student. Getting into the CA program and passing it is going to be a huge task. Something I am dreading because I am at fed up with my studies.

Another easier option is doing a CMA.

The 3rd and last option is the army

Adam, I appreciate the intent of your post.  In my humble opinion the privilege of working towards receiving the Queen's Commission should not be a 3rd option to the above. I highly recommend you visit the recruiting centre. In the interim perhaps read some of the publications at this link http://www.cda-acd.forces.gc.ca/cfli-ilfc/profession-eng.asp to acquaint yourself with the Profession Of Arms. All the best / Dan.
 

NovaScotiaNewfie

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Have you ever considered the Reserves? it would give you some experience of what the rag force is like on a part time basis. Pilots are AIR Command/Air Force, unlike the US Army if you become a pilot you won't be in the Army even if tasked to work with Land Command/Army. No one can say if you would like the Forces, it's not a life for everyone.

If you do have a local Reserve unit of any kind you might want to call them and make an appointment to stop by and talk to them. When I was in when you wanted to get out all you had to do is write a letter explained why, was pretty easy to get processed and then you turn in your kit and your back to civilian life.

It sounds like the Forces are "just an option" for you and not something you might not really be interested in. But if you decide you want to join  you may love it, no one can answer that for you. Only you should you decide to join.

Promotions are based on performace, time in, how you do on courses etc. Some one else maybe able to tell you how fast promotions can occur. Again your best option is to talk to a recruiter.
 

armchair_throwaway

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While there's nothing wrong with joining CF primarily for job security and a salary, as your first post suggests, you will however be competing with many others whose dreams and aspirations have always pointed them to CF. Do you have the right attitude, initiative, leadership skills to be an officer?

If it's a government job you seek, have you also looked into Post Secondary Recruitment in the federal government? The deadline for most jobs has passed this year, but you can try for it next year too.
 

MPwannabe

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My advice is to go to the recruiting office and talk to someone in person. You're doing the right thing by researching a possible career before diving into it. The staff at the recruiting office however will be able to answer your questions and hand you some paperwork explaining what it's like, as well as information on what trades you may be interested in. You're not the first, and won't be the last person who is hesitant about joining the CF.
 

eurodin

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NovaScotiaNewfie said:
Have you ever considered the Reserves? it would give you some experience of what the rag force is like on a part time basis. Pilots are AIR Command/Air Force, unlike the US Army if you become a pilot you won't be in the Army even if tasked to work with Land Command/Army. No one can say if you would like the Forces, it's not a life for everyone.

If you do have a local Reserve unit of any kind you might want to call them and make an appointment to stop by and talk to them. When I was in when you wanted to get out all you had to do is write a letter explained why, was pretty easy to get processed and then you turn in your kit and your back to civilian life.

It sounds like the Forces are "just an option" for you and not something you might not really be interested in. But if you decide you want to join  you may love it, no one can answer that for you. Only you should you decide to join.

Promotions are based on performace, time in, how you do on courses etc. Some one else maybe able to tell you how fast promotions can occur. Again your best option is to talk to a recruiter.

I don't want to come across as bashing the reserves, but from searching previous posts on this very forum, many people seem to suggest it's a boy scouts club. My friend did the reserves and said it was not challenging enough. 
 

eurodin

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cdnleaf said:
Adam, I appreciate the intent of your post.  In my humble opinion the privilege of working towards receiving the Queen's Commission should not be a 3rd option to the above. I highly recommend you visit the recruiting centre. In the interim perhaps read some of the publications at this link http://www.cda-acd.forces.gc.ca/cfli-ilfc/profession-eng.asp to acquaint yourself with the Profession Of Arms. All the best / Dan.

I read it, thanks a lot.
 

eurodin

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lucia_engel said:
While there's nothing wrong with joining CF primarily for job security and a salary, as your first post suggests, you will however be competing with many others whose dreams and aspirations have always pointed them to CF. Do you have the right attitude, initiative, leadership skills to be an officer?

If it's a government job you seek, have you also looked into Post Secondary Recruitment in the federal government? The deadline for most jobs has passed this year, but you can try for it next year too.

By government job, are you talking about the cra and/or auditor general? Those jobs have much more in common with private/public industry jobs then the army.

I think I do have the correct tools to be an officer. Is the screening test lengthy? is it done via interview at the recruitment center? 
 

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eurodin said:
I don't want to come across as bashing the reserves, but from searching previous posts on this very forum, many people seem to suggest it's a boy scouts club.

This is the internet, it's always easier to find disparaging commentary, and often it's without a basis in personal experience.

eurodin said:
My friend did the reserves and said it was not challenging enough.

Compared to what?  What training experiences and operational challenges did he pursue as a reservist? The simple comment you attribute to him is completely without context. 

Would he say the Canadian Reserve soldiers listed on this website weren't being challenged by their service?

 

TimBit

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eurodin said:
I don't want to come across as bashing the reserves, but from searching previous posts on this very forum, many people seem to suggest it's a boy scouts club. My friend did the reserves and said it was not challenging enough.

Well your friend is a moron, then. What is challenging? Know that, in some trades, training is identical to Reg Forces. For example, as a naval Log O, you`d undergo a RegF equivalent basic officer course, with push ups in the mud and ruck marches  and all that good stuff, followed by the many of the same modules RegF counterparts do. Then you work at the unit part time. If the part time thing is what bothers you, then obviously, go RegF. I think the comment here was, if you are unsure, join the Reserves, see if you like it, then apply for Component Transfer. Until then, I would suggest that those who think that Reserves are a Boy Scout club either got a bad experience, picked the wrong trade or unit or, simply, never were in.
 

readytogo

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So youre going to take the opinion of another on how "tough" the reserves are?  I imagine there are alot of people who would find that offensive(myself included).  The military needs their soldiers trained so that they can ALL be called to active duty if deemed neccesary by the Governor General so it wouldnt be very fair to the reserve soldier to not give him or her the same skill set as thier reg counterpart and put them in the same conflict would it??  Besides as an educated person would you not want to form your own opinion? if your not sure what to do then the reserves are a great option to get your foot in the door.  Most of us had that nagging feeling in the back of our brain that brought us to the CFRC or to the military in general.  Take a chance and try, it may be the best thing youve ever done.

RTG :cdn:
 

eurodin

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MPwannabe said:
My advice is to go to the recruiting office and talk to someone in person. You're doing the right thing by researching a possible career before diving into it. The staff at the recruiting office however will be able to answer your questions and hand you some paperwork explaining what it's like, as well as information on what trades you may be interested in. You're not the first, and won't be the last person who is hesitant about joining the CF.

I think that's the best advice.

How knowledgeable are the people at the recruitment center as a whole? I have dealt with numerous academic advisors and counselors. The consensus I share with my colleagues and I is that in reality only a select few really know what they are talking about and get a feel for the student's position.

The live chat on the forces website was not really helpful. All I got was some pdf file sent to me that I have already read off their website.

My next step is clearly to go into the recruitment office.
 

The Bread Guy

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eurodin said:
I don't want to come across as bashing the reserves, but from searching previous posts on this very forum, many people seem to suggest it's a boy scouts club.
And if you'd kept searching posts, you'd also have seen others jumping on those suggesting Reserve service is "a boy scout's club".  A reminder:  some of those "boy scouts" have died in Afghanistan:
http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=collections/virtualmem/Detail&casualty=80003190
http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=collections/virtualmem/Detail&casualty=80003578
http://www.army.forces.gc.ca/lfwa/memoriam_dec30_09.asp

eurodin said:
My friend did the reserves and said it was not challenging enough.
Don't let your future be guided by the word of one "friend" - talk to someone in a recruiting office, and get the story in context.
 

owa

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For what it is worth, I think the Reserves is one of those things that depends on how much you put into it and how much you want to take out of it.  A lot of my friends are in University right now, and it's a good way for them to work 2 or 3 times a week and have a steady job come summer time to make money.  I wouldn't suggest it's easy, but they've said some things that make it sound more relaxed, but then they've also shared some pretty hilarious and scary stories about how hard the staff came down on them during a course.

But I also have a friend who is in it and from what I gather he treats it more like a full time job because of how much work he tries to get.  He picks up contracts I guess and goes around Canada doing various things.  He got to help during the 2010 Olympics too.
 

eurodin

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I do take everyone's opinion as a grain of salt, but to be fair I value everyone's opinion nonetheless to a reasonable extent. From my common sense I would think the experience you get in the reserves is very unit dependent? 

Clearly there is nothing funny or boyscout'ish about your loosing your life.

 

MMSS

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eurodin said:
How knowledgeable are the people at the recruitment center as a whole? I have dealt with numerous academic advisors and counselors. The consensus I share with my colleagues and I is that in reality only a select few really know what they are talking about and get a feel for the student's position.

The live chat on the forces website was not really helpful. All I got was some pdf file sent to me that I have already read off their website.

My next step is clearly to go into the recruitment office.

My experiences with staff at the RC have been positive - everyone I spoke with either had a ready answer or knew where/who to see for it. Of course your mileage may vary - it never hurts to ask around, ie. you went on the live chat, I find sending an email usually results in a well written response. Many of the members of this forum have good advice and information as well, especially those who have worked/are working in recruiting.
 

canada94

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eurodin said:
I do take everyone's opinion as a grain of salt, but to be fair I value everyone's opinion nonetheless to a reasonable extent. From my common sense I would think the experience you get in the reserves is very unit dependent? 

Clearly there is nothing funny or boyscout'ish about your loosing your life.

Your very right there isn't. The reserves will give you a taste of what it's like to be in the regular forces, actually more then a taste. Talk to a recruiter or call your local CFRC.


 

nairna

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Like most are saying, the best way for you to get information is to do some research on www.forces.ca to find out where you think your interests meet the trades that the Canadian Forces has to offer. The next step would be to go directly to a CFRC, there I am sure you will receive some excellent information about all aspects of the Canadian Forces from jobs, life, and so on. I would also like to point out that the Canadian Forces is not something that you can just fall back on, as you must apply and be a competitive applicant with academics, extra curricular activities, and so on. Having it as third choice or back up, as mentioned by another is not something that an Officer, a leader, in our countries military can afford. This has to be a 110% choice, body and soul so to speak. My last piece I am going to add, just from my perspective is that a very pessimistic attitude seems to be coming from most of your posts. The reserves, doubts of the competence of the CFs recruiters...your future? These people will help you as best as they can and their best is usually pretty good. The reserves are an excellent group of soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen, their challanges are not for anyone to address that have not endured it.

Just find out what works best for you. Whether it be civilian or military and go after it. Everyone has something they love, you just need to find it.

All the best
 

Jarnhamar

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Don't go reserves.

Personally I do not find they will give you a taste of the regular force. Regular force deploy on an exercise for a month or two. Reservists go on an ex for 2 days.

people show up when they want and it's frustrating as hell trying to get shit done and never knowing who is going to be at work.

I won't even discuss pay problems- i can't think of another job where you can be sent away on a 2 month course and not get paid a dime until a few weeks AFTER your home.

Anyhow I'm not goign to sit here and bash the reserves but a huge thing is that with us pulling out of Afghanistan the CF is looking around to save money. The reserves are the first people on the chopping block. Last year a bunch of people got fired from their "fullt time" reserve positions and many units went from working 4 nights a month to one night a month, some units didn't even manage that.  Huge lack of ammunition to train with.

I love my regiment and I'm not being disloyal but one of the bigget mistakes as a young 18 year old kid I made was not pursuing a career in the regular force. I've applied a few times, been dicked around and was too lazy to follow it up (my fault).

if you want to be a soldier apply for the regular force. You'll have job security, get paid 15% more, have more benifits. 
There are a select few lucky reserves who get multiple tours or contracts and manage to find work but it's not worth the stress dude.
 
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