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Recruiting anxiety? It's not any better once you get into the system!


Jr. Member
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I can't help but notice many folks on here with a lot of anxiety over the recruiting process.  "Did I get selected?  Am I competitive?  When's the next selection date?" 

I confess that I'm not in the 'Forces, but I do work for the Canadian Forces.  And in my years behind the scenes, trying to do what little I can to serve some of the most valorous people in the world, I can't help but notice some things.  And one of those things is, that life doesn't necessarily get better once you get through BMQ/BMOQ, and get into the system.  Fortunately, for many people things go smoothly for the most part.  But with the CF things can get very unpredictable.  Remember that the Canadian Forces is a towering bureaucratic maze, and nobody ever seems to know what the heck is going on today, much less this year.

So, to all those who have anxiety over the process, if you can, please, do yourself a favor, and continue to be patient.  Relax, if you can.

If you just CAN'T relax however, then realize that maybe spend some time contemplating whether a career in the CF is right for you.  Whatever do I mean?  This is what you've always wanted ever since you were 15 years old?  Okay, I can understand that.  But realize that if you're having trouble with the system NOW, getting in may not make it any better.  Once you get through BMQ/BMOQ, you'll need to go on additional training.  And before you can even get the course you need to do the job you signed up for, there's a lot that can go wrong, and delay your career. 

So, for a bit of fun, find a way to randomly generate a number between 1-20, and consult the following chart.  Picture that you've just finished BMQ or BMOQ, and are waiting for the next step.  Here's a list of the things that might happen, with a few funny bits thrown in, so that you don't get discouraged:
[list type=decimal]

1.  You get matched to the course, but at the last minute some other candidate is deemed a priority, and you get bumped off.  You spend 6 months in Borden making photocopies waiting for the next opportunity.  Try again.

2.  The person who has Section 32/34 delegated authority to pay for your course gets posted out, and their replacement doesn't have the requisite courses.  It takes several months for their replacement to get trained, and get their delegation of authorities in place.  You spend 3 months in Gagetown shoveling snow.  Try again.  (Don't laugh.  My unit can't pay bills right now because of something almost exactly like this.)

3.  The powers that be decide that widget training is now an essential part of the course you need, and from here on in, all courses shall include a widget component.  Unfortunately for you, widgets are brand new, and nobody knows how to use them.  You have to wait while the course instructors get trained on how to use, and thus how to train you, to use the new widgets.  You spend 4 months in Borden playing cards.  Try again.

4.  The course gets cancelled due to not having enough people needing and available to go on the course.  You spend 3 months in Petawawa taking various basket-weaving courses, which you'll never use instead.  Try again.

5.  Your nomination for the course expires, and nobody notices for 6 months.  An unpleasant phone call with your career manager reveals that they only run this course once per year.  You spend the next 12 months working in your unit orderly room, in Ottawa shuffling papers and contemplating your career choices.  Try again.

6.  The one instructor qualified to give this course retires.  Nobody else is qualified and it takes three or four months to train new instructors.  You spend 4 months ruining people's marriages, hanging out at the Ship Vic in Halifax.  Try again.

7.  You actually have all the courses you need!  But the refit for the HMCS Victoria is a full 18 months behind schedule.  You spend another 6 months trying to get onto OPME DL courses in Esquimalt.  You fail, because you're an NCM.  Try again.

8.  It's decided that the course needs a major re-write, and all the TDO's are busy converting courses from DNDLearn to moodle.  You spend 12 months freezing your genitals off in Winterpeg - I mean, Winnipeg.  Try again.

9.  There's a major natural disaster and the whole unit is tasked to aid the civil power.  A paper-work mix-up causes you to miss the start of your course, and you go help the unit instead.  You fill sandbags in St. Jean for two weeks, and then spend the next 6 months learning to speak French in Valcatraz, I mean, Valcartier, while waiting for the next course.  Try again.

10.  Your course message actually gets lost in the internal mail, and you miss out.  It takes 6 months to track down the problem, during which you perfect your mad solitaire skills in Shiloh.  Try again.

11.  Somebody hates you, and you get tasked to Alert.  There's no way for you to take the course.  You spend 6 months in near perpetual darkness, just counting the days.  Try again.

12.  In order to save money, the school responsible giving the course decides it will no longer be offered in classroom, but by DL only.  Unfortunately, they have no idea how to convert anything to DL, and it takes 4 months for them to get their acts together.  During that time, you count the trees in Comox.  On the plus side, you do end up getting the course.  DON'T try again.

13.  A bored TASM decides to straight up screw his career, and sets about deleting EVERYTHING, including your course.  Paper back-ups help, but it takes weeks to undo the damage this fellow has done.  You spend 2 months waiting for the system to un-screw its self.  But you do get your course.  DON'T try again.

14.  You're just about to get your course, when Ottawa decides that Cold Lake has an absolutely urgent need for someone with exactly your skill-set, and there isn't anybody else in the Canadian Armed Forces who can do the job.  You get tasked to Cold Lake, and miss your course.  Try again.

15.  Some bureaucrat decides that from now on, courses will be delivered via self-enrollment on DNDLearn.  Unfortunately, you were on exercise when the CANFORGEN came.  More unfortunately your DWAN mailbox was full at the time, the message bounced, and therefore, you never saw it.  It takes you two months to figure out what happened.  On the upside, you get your course.  DON'T try again.

16.  You manage to get onto a course you've been waiting for, for 6 damned months, when, the ultra-rare course that you'll probably never use, but might just be valuable suddenly comes available, and you're re-tasked to do that course.  Try again.

17.  You've waited 12 months to get this course, and in the middle of writing the computerized exam which allows you a single attempt only, the power goes out.  You subsequently fail the exam and must repeat the course.  While waiting to get back onto the course, it's decided that the program will no longer be offered.  Instead, a new replacement program will take its place, and your application to the old program is no longer valid.  Try again, this time with all new bureaucracy to deal with.  To add insult to injury, the other two exams you passed no longer count.  (Don't laugh.  This happened to far too many people.  And the power thing?  It happened a lot.)

18.  You've given up hope of ever getting onto this rare, sell-your-soul-for-this-course course, when suddenly the offering department finds money they didn't know they had, and offers an additional course.  Unfortunately they deleted the course-waiting list, and in their scramble to get people loaded onto a course they weren't expecting to give, your name is overlooked.  Try again.  (This has happened too!)

19.  You get onto your course, but unfortunately you forgot to pack some ultra-important personal items.  A loved one tries to mail the items to you, but for some reason, the mail-system screws up completely and you don't get your meds for several weeks.  Thanks to the error, you fail the course, get RTU'd and have to wait 6 months for the next opportunity.  Try again. 

20.  The stars align!  Your prayers are answered!  You get your course, on time, nothing goes wrong, you pass the course, and move on with your career!

So please.  Try not to worry.  Try to relax.  Try to let things work.  And realize that if you are accepted, it doesn't mean that you're going to get to kick down the Taliban's door right away.  Realize that you could find yourself freezing your sensitive organs off shoveling snow in Winterpeg, and waiting for a course.

Have fun, and best of luck![/list]


Army.ca Fixture
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Or, in the Air Force, "working Sqn Ops continuously with no end in sight".  Which may be a good or bad thing, depending on how you look at it.


Jr. Member
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Dimsum said:
Or, in the Air Force, "working Sqn Ops continuously with no end in sight".  Which may be a good or bad thing, depending on how you look at it.

He's not kidding.  I've instructed courses in one or two locations to people who were reasonably sure that they'd probably never use the skills I was teaching them.

When listing their favorite activities, unless they're a bit cracked, the first choice of your average arty gunner is most definitely not spending two days in a classroom learning how to use the Canadian Forces training database.  For some, arty gunners, this is exactly what happened.