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Primary Leadership Qualification Course (PLQ) Mega thread

Halifax Tar

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Jarnhamar said:
I personally think anyone who has to qualify on shooting a gun every year for itbs regardless of trade should have to do a section attack, or some kind of fire and movement where they advance.

I'm not going to suggest it has to be on par with infantry standards but with today's threats being 360o, including from our "allies", our members should get somewhat more aggressive training.

On that note anyone in a leadership role should have exposure to taking command of a few people with guns and killing bad guys.
Why ? Or are you being Army specific here ?

 
Jarnhamar said:
I'd never try and excuse shitty training.  Having been on both sides of the student/instructor fence, including instructing new recruits, war-experienced veterans and clever officer cadets I'd feel confident saying you may not understand the training/hardships yet but it's for a good reason.

Sometimes the devil is in the details. I'd thinking dropping arty sims in a hide to wake everyone on course up at 3am only to out them back to sleep again is just dicking people around.

Dropping arty sims on a position when the sentry falls asleep and having the whole course pack up and move hide locations is effective for a few things.

As well plq candidates shouldn't be  driven to the point of being  zombies because they're retaining very little on the intellectual side of training. But they do need to be stressed out and able to think while at least a little exhausted.

Some students who seem like super great soldiers are the ones you have to watch out for because they put on a show when the staff is watching then shut down when they're not or after they've passed the PO.

This is what I am getting at.  Are we just punishing people for being top performers because we can and always have, or can we honestly put our hands on our hearts and say the QSP for the PLQ/JLC is producing better leaders ?
 

Jarnhamar

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Halifax Tar said:
Why ? Or are you being Army specific here ?
I don't think it should be army specific. In my mind if we decide that someone in any trade needs to shoot a gun every year as a part of IBTS then we should add using the gun in an offensive way to the mix that way they can in theory better defend themselves. We're deploying airforce and Navy pers to dangerous areas along side the army.

 
This is what I am getting at.  Are we just punishing people for being top performers because we can and always have, or can we honestly put our hands on our hearts and say the QSP for the PLQ/JLC is producing better leaders ?
I'm not sure to be honest. I've seen some awesome leadership turn out really good leaders. I've also seen "everyone will pass" courses.  We still unfortunately have special students on plq whom instructors are pressured to pass ie someone fails the basics of a patrol conducted in a parking lot but because they work for X head quarters they have to pass to keep their rank or whatever.  Why even bother sending them on a course?

I get the other side of the argument, why does a dental hygienist need a leadership course that spends time in the field.  Maybe the answer would be to split the plq /jlc into two so that one course is administrative that teaches people to be managers and the other for people who would deploy and work outside of an office? I'm not sure.
 

Halifax Tar

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Jarnhamar said:
I don't think it should be army specific. In my mind if we decide that someone in any trade needs to shoot a gun every year as a part of IBTS then we should add using the gun in an offensive way to the mix that way they can in theory better defend themselves. We're deploying airforce and Navy pers to dangerous areas along side the army.

Sorry for the late reply.  Working on getting two teams out the door right now.  Anyways, We, in the RCN, only do C7/8 Qual up to the PWT 1 level.  In reality PWT 1 is a very simple rifle competency test and is more of a confirmation of safety than skill or marksmanship.  The most a RCN member would/can reasonably be expected to have to use a C7/8 for is as a sentry or gate guard.  Very few of the hard sea trades deploy with the Army and those that do all get lengthy work up training with even fewer actually moving into harms way and getting into TICs, this not a slight just an observation of having seen this on two AFG deployments.  Everyone has a role to play, none is greater than another.  Also I am not sure what practical and employable leadership or management skills can be learned by having a stoker or NESOP pepper pod around Aldershot.

IMHO the time and resources would be much better spent learning how to be proficient at their trade at the MS level and above, to some extent.  Anything outside that immediate requirement, like deployments with the Army should be seen as the exception, not the rule, and pre-deployment training is the perfect time to bring that member up to speed.

Jarnhamar said:
I'm not sure to be honest. I've seen some awesome leadership turn out really good leaders. I've also seen "everyone will pass" courses.  We still unfortunately have special students on plq whom instructors are pressured to pass ie someone fails the basics of a patrol conducted in a parking lot but because they work for X head quarters they have to pass to keep their rank or whatever.  Why even bother sending them on a course?

I get the other side of the argument, why does a dental hygienist need a leadership course that spends time in the field.  Maybe the answer would be to split the plq /jlc into two so that one course is administrative that teaches people to be managers and the other for people who would deploy and work outside of an office? I'm not sure.

The joke in the Army Log community is that if it comes down to a Svc Btn having to advance to contact and conduct fighting patrols, something has gone very wrong up at the pointy end of the sword.

Do we really need to make sure a Sup Tech or Clerk can clear a trench ?  Or would it be more beneficial to the front end guys to have that Sup Tech and Clerk actually learn skills and practices that they will use to support that front end better ?  Leaving the fighting training to be done in the year we now give people to work up.

I think there are different situations for different levels of leadership.  I cant run my stores section on a ship like I would an RQ at 1 RCR.  While the supply discipline and professional practices would be similar the WO > Cpl/Pte interaction is vastly different, and rightly so.

Again I would like to see the, for Log at least, CFLTC take on the PLQ/JLC training.  Right now we lack one standard for this course in our community.  I, as RCN, would/and did do a lesser version while my Army counterpart would do something like course mentioned above in Shilo.  But we both come out with the same qual; and can be plug and played into any MS/MCpl billet the CM wants.  This would also allow us to create a course that incorporates general log practices, tasks and environments we can work in and develop that junior leader into that role. 

At least if it was done at the Log TRG establishment it would be one standard for all, like our QL levels now. 

 

ringo598

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Yeah, from my discussions with people in Edmonton, Aldershot and Valcartier, the courses seem to lack any appreciable standard at all.  I will say as a positive the new tests are actually somewhat decent, its nice to see the test standard moving towards actually understanding instead of just guessing on multiple choice. 
 

sidemount

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I'd have to say that I am in the boat of "leadership can't be taught". Some people are just naturally better leaders than others. However, I don't really see the point of the PLQ course as actually teaching leadership as it is more of giving those who have been recognized as having leadership potential the tools and knowledge they need to complete their jobs successfully ie knowing battle procedure, orders format, etc.

However, in saying that, and like many have pointed out, there is no real common standard across all trades. What I need to know to be a successful leader in the RCEME world is different than the combat arms world. This has already been discussed and I don't really have anything new to add besides saying that the respective schools of the various corps/branches should really be looking after this.

One major issue I have with the PLQ course is the lack of standards. The teaching staff is mainly all incremental staff. We all know that the best and brightest aren't the ones that units send to fill this task. I experienced this on two separate occasions. Doing mods 1-3 as a Cpl, there were several staff members that were newly promoted MCpls that had finished the PLQ course only a couple serials prior. They had no experience. The same happened again when I returned for mod 4. The kicker was the course officer. He was fresh off of Phase training and had never been to a unit. He had no experience, talked about how his course mates hated him on phase training and would refer to his "86 days" in the field. We were lucky to have a solid course WO who kept him in line.

Also the testing on PLQ, at least when I was there 5 years ago wasn't multiple guess but it was the simple regurgitation of laundry lists of things like battle procedure, principles of leadership, orders format, etc. There was absolutely no critical thinking required which I believe is a very important skill that all leaders need to develop.

In the long run, the PLQ course could serve a very important purpose to new leaders but the way we employ it now is not very useful at all for a good chunk of troops.
 

MilEME09

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sidemount said:
One major issue I have with the PLQ course is the lack of standards. The teaching staff is mainly all incremental staff. We all know that the best and brightest aren't the ones that units send to fill this task. I experienced this on two separate occasions. Doing mods 1-3 as a Cpl, there were several staff members that were newly promoted MCpls that had finished the PLQ course only a couple serials prior. They had no experience. The same happened again when I returned for mod 4. The kicker was the course officer. He was fresh off of Phase training and had never been to a unit. He had no experience, talked about how his course mates hated him on phase training and would refer to his "86 days" in the field. We were lucky to have a solid course WO who kept him in line.

Also the testing on PLQ, at least when I was there 5 years ago wasn't multiple guess but it was the simple regurgitation of laundry lists of things like battle procedure, principles of leadership, orders format, etc. There was absolutely no critical thinking required which I believe is a very important skill that all leaders need to develop.

In the long run, the PLQ course could serve a very important purpose to new leaders but the way we employ it now is not very useful at all for a good chunk of troops.

I just got off course and I can say it hasn't changed much, fresh 2LT with a good course WO, testing was all filling in the blank laundry lists, though we were told apparently its changing and we were the last course to go though the laundry lists and its finally changing to multiple choice questions. I learned more from PLQ/AJLC about leadership from watching what not to do from watching staff and what to do from course mates. The lack of standards for testing in the field also made no sense, on stab OPs we had one member get a 75% after getting multiple IED strikes, casualties, a riot, basically everything but the kitchen sink thrown at him. We then had another member score a 90% who all they did was walk to Yukon lodge talk to a civi and walk back, very different scenario's, one was very easy to maintain command and control, another one very easy to loose command and control. Saw the same thing again on AJLC Recce patrols get tons thrown at them, while others got little to nothing. Brought it up in our ECR and such but we all know how useful those end up being.
 

Chad.wiseman

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Curious if any units offer PLQ locally on weekends rather than having to dedicate 12 weeks away at another base?  Thanks.
 

MilEME09

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Chad.wiseman said:
Curious if any units offer PLQ locally on weekends rather than having to dedicate 12 weeks away at another base?  Thanks.

A couple PRes units experimented with doing mod's 2-3 locally, then only doing mod 4 at a base, no idea how it worked out.
 

runormal

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The Brigade commander brought it up the last time I saw him, but that was at least a year ago. I've asked the COC and was told that it was a maybe. I haven't heard anything yet and I can't really see it happening, at least this year.
 

PuckChaser

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Even though its the PRes, the OP likely has a few years to go before PLQ is an option, he just did DP1 this summer.
 

ringo598

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I've heard some rumint from a few sources that there are some changes to ALJC coming this April, can annoy confirm this or is just wishful thinking?
 

RedcapCrusader

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PuckChaser said:
Even though its the PRes, the OP likely has a few years to go before PLQ is an option, he just did DP1 this summer.

You'd be surprised. There was a recent serial that I had crossed paths with, had 3 Privates on the course, they had only been in the CAF for a year.

Not sure what's going on with the PRes structure these days, but it's incredible that people with less than 4 years service are being out onto a PLQ and promoted, they haven't enough experience!
 

MJP

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LunchMeat said:
You'd be surprised. There was a recent serial that I had crossed paths with, had 3 Privates on the course, they had only been in the CAF for a year.

Not sure what's going on with the PRes structure these days, but it's incredible that people with less than 4 years service are being out onto a PLQ and promoted, they haven't enough experience!

That is not a new phenomenon for the PRES world though, it is almost built on making 4 year MCpl/Sgts.  FWIW it isn't terrible on the Reg Force side of the house.  My PLQ years ago had 4 or 5 folks that were advanced promoted just to get them on the crse in their 3rd year of service.  Before that it wasn't uncommon to see Ptes on JLC/JNCO.  Proper mentoring, continued training and good career development can overcome inexperience to a degree.
 

daftandbarmy

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LunchMeat said:
You'd be surprised. There was a recent serial that I had crossed paths with, had 3 Privates on the course, they had only been in the CAF for a year.

Not sure what's going on with the PRes structure these days, but it's incredible that people with less than 4 years service are being out onto a PLQ and promoted, they haven't enough experience!

Turnover is astronomical so, to fill up courses, some people are being pushed on to them on a 'give it your best shot' basis, I'm sure.
 

ringo598

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Heh.  That turnover.  I had some friends on a recent PLQ in Shilo that finished last week.  Apparently something like 14 of 38 graduated.  I do hope the CF enjoys paying out all those injuries and medical RTU's.  Perhaps one day our training system will evolve into teaching leadership instead of "suffering = leadership" model we seem to promote.
 

Eye In The Sky

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The CAF, Army in the case of Shilo, needs Junior NCO leaders that are physically able to 'lead from the front' and have the ability to perform their MOSID and Jnr NCO leadership tasks in the field.

Should PT and field training be removed so "more candidates can pass", or should candidates be better prepared physically for the training and expectations?
 

Kat Stevens

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One of the first lessons learned on ISCC/CLC/JLC/JNCO/PLQ etc is that all candidates are equal, but some are more equal than others. If you are liked, you can get away with murder. If not, you're boned. PT, drill and classroom instruction, and field portion are a necessity. 15 weeks of belt fed cock? Perhaps not.
 

ringo598

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My concern is the failure rates, when you compare to other places (Ancedotal I know, but I've had people very recently on courses in Meaford, Aldershot, Wainwright) the failure rates were maybe 5-10%.  Its the difference between a mentoring course where the candidates left with more/better leadership skills vs a suffering course where the candidates learned nothing except how to be miserable for 2 weeks.

You know, I wouldn't even be chapped if the course was renamed Primary Mental and Physical Resilience Training (PMPRT, copyrighting that) and was a tough miserable slog with classes on mental and physical resilience skills theory, methods of dealing with sleep dep, and austere environment training thrown in.  But don't call it Primary Leadership and then have people learn/retain no leadership skills afterwards because the whole 12 weeks was just them being screamed at and doing section attacks hundreds of times until over half the course is sent home with injuries.
 

cld617

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Eye In The Sky said:
The CAF, Army in the case of Shilo, needs Junior NCO leaders that are physically able to 'lead from the front' and have the ability to perform their MOSID and Jnr NCO leadership tasks in the field.

Should PT and field training be removed so "more candidates can pass", or should candidates be better prepared physically for the training and expectations?

This is a case of wanting to maintain the universality of service mantra while enacting the changes that allow the sick lame and lazy to be promoted. If the CAF wants to promote and utilize the expertise of the 46 year old mother of 3 who has knee injuries but is a damned good Supply Tech, then they need to appropriately tailor career courses to them and administer the CAF wide courses at that level. If we want to establish FORCE test times which allow someone to saunter and pass, then we can't let runaway staff conduct course PT or training which requires a  30 year olds Silver and up peformance level.

So yes, the PT and training needs to be trimmed if its causing this many injuries in non-combat arms modules of PLQ. We don't need to abuse and break our people on a course that already lacks leadership instruction.
 

ringo598

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I'm not sure the fit part made a difference?  Many of the people lost I found were fit with operational experience, but at 2am with no sleep on rickity snowshoes in the dark, people would slip on ice or tank ruts and injure themselves.  In fact the two most fit people I met in the CAF both ended up releasing from PLQ related injuries.

I just find is odd when I ask people what they learned/did on PLQ and the response is usually "I just got C.O.C.K.E.D around for X weeks and I learned shit cause I was sleep fucked the whole time".
 
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