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Starting as NCM to Officer

Boder

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Hello,

I've made two previous posts about applying as an Officer for the CAF but have now realized that they are not hiring officers at this time and have a long backlog (here in 32nd Res down in Toronto). Since that is the case, I am applying as an NCM and hoping to be booked for BMQ by the summer (I have my FORCE test booked for early March). Is that in the cards, or are processing times too long? My main question is, if I am successful and become a member of the CAF, how long would it take to become an officer? As I am in my second year of University, would it be possible for me to become an officer Cdt before I graduate, or would I have to wait till post-grad for any chance at a transition from NCM to Officer as then I would be able to receive commission?
 
I have my FORCE test booked for early March). Is that in the cards, or are processing times too long?
As Reserves are in charge of their own recruiting you'd have to ask your unit / Brigade Recruiter as they're the ones that would be able to best answer this query.
If I am successful and become a member of the CAF, how long would it take to become an officer? As I am in my second year of University, would it be possible for me to become an officer Cdt before I graduate, or would I have to wait till post-grad for any chance at a transition from NCM to Officer as then I would be able to receive commission?
There are two production plans for NCM's to become Officers (PRes, there are more on the RegF side, but below is for PRes only).

CFR - Commissioning from the Ranks Plan. This is in place for certain occupations to go from a NCM occupation to the "same" Officer occupation (i.e. Infantry to Infantry Officer, HRA/FSA/MM Tech to Logistics Officer, HS NCM to HSM, among many many others). Each Officer occupation has it's specific requirements for going from NCM to Officer of that occupation; however for the most part you would need to be a Sgt or higher to do the CFR process (some may be MCpl as well, I'm not well versed on the Army occupations). Promotion to Sgt is based on courses required and merit - so it doesn't take everyone the same length of time to get to that particular rank. Individuals that meet the requirements can request a CFR.

SCP - Special Commissioning Plan. This is for someone who has gotten a degree and doesn't want to necessarily commission into their "feeder" officer occupation (for example I was an RMS Clerk [now called HRA/FSA] and didn't want to go Logistics officer, I wanted to go a different Officer Occupation, so this the plan that I got my commission through). The main requirements are that you have a completed degree and you meet the entry standards for the occupation you're wanting to go. The caveat with this plan is that your Chain of Command has to nominate you for the process to occur.

From my professional opinion, assuming that you're in a 4 year degree, being in your 2nd year you would not be able to commission under either production plan prior to being done school.

Honestly if your end goal is to be an officer you should be open and transparent with your unit about this and discuss your options (ahead of time) with them.
 
Hello,

I've made two previous posts about applying as an Officer for the CAF but have now realized that they are not hiring officers at this time and have a long backlog (here in 32nd Res down in Toronto). Since that is the case, I am applying as an NCM and hoping to be booked for BMQ by the summer (I have my FORCE test booked for early March). Is that in the cards, or are processing times too long? My main question is, if I am successful and become a member of the CAF, how long would it take to become an officer? As I am in my second year of University, would it be possible for me to become an officer Cdt before I graduate, or would I have to wait till post-grad for any chance at a transition from NCM to Officer as then I would be able to receive commission?

Realistically? Anywhere from two to twenty years. Two years, if really, really lucky - after you've earned your degree and in the interim have proven yourself to the regiment leadership. It's the proving yourself that's the difficult part. If the regiment that you're joining prefers to generate officers from their ranks rather than from the street, you would be competing for the limited number of positions among the other soldiers that also want the commission; and those guys may have more demonstrated leadership experience, possibly an operational tour or two, or they could have come from the Regular Force already an officer. If you're one of the keeners, then possibly four to six years from the time you're enrolled. A couple of years to make Cpl, then a couple of years to MCpl, then a couple more filling leadership roles that can be evaluated. It's generally more difficult to go from NCM to officer rather than being enrolled directly as an officer.
 
Realistically? Anywhere from two to twenty years. Two years, if really, really lucky - after you've earned your degree and in the interim have proven yourself to the regiment leadership. It's the proving yourself that's the difficult part. If the regiment that you're joining prefers to generate officers from their ranks rather than from the street, you would be competing for the limited number of positions among the other soldiers that also want the commission; and those guys may have more demonstrated leadership experience, possibly an operational tour or two, or they could have come from the Regular Force already an officer. If you're one of the keeners, then possibly four to six years from the time you're enrolled. A couple of years to make Cpl, then a couple of years to MCpl, then a couple more filling leadership roles that can be evaluated. It's generally more difficult to go from NCM to officer rather than being enrolled directly as an officer.
Would you recommend I wait? CAF reserve forces are not accepting officer applications until April in the GTA and claim to have a large backlog (Which is not hard to believe). In your experienced opinion, if I wait to be recruited as an officer of the bat, would it take longer than through NCM means? I just reached out to the recruiter of the 32nd and the regiment I'm attempting to join, although their response times are quite long.
 
Would you recommend I wait? CAF reserve forces are not accepting officer applications until April in the GTA and claim to have a large backlog (Which is not hard to believe). In your experienced opinion, if I wait to be recruited as an officer of the bat, would it take longer than through NCM means? I just reached out to the recruiter of the 32nd and the regiment I'm attempting to join, although their response times are quite long.

I make no recommendations. You have to ask yourself the questions. Why do you want to join the Reserves? Why do you want to be an officer? If you join as an NCM in the hope of becoming an officer, but do not get that opportunity, will you be satisfied with remaining in the ranks? If you wait until you can be enrolled directly as an officer, and that opportunity never comes, will you be satisfied?

In another thread you seem to suggest that joining the Reserves is an interim way of being in the CAF until you finish your degree. If you goal is to go Reg Force, why not just apply now and get the last couple of years of uni paid for?
 
From my professional opinion, assuming that you're in a 4 year degree, being in your 2nd year you would not be able to commission under either production plan prior to being done school.

As a PRes NCM, they can apply apply to be a PRes Officer through the "Reserve Entry Scheme- Officer (RESO)" while still obtaining their degree.


For the OP, as well, if the Bde may open up officer recruiting in April (just over a month from now), there is no harm in moving forward with an NCM application now, submitting all necessary documents, doing the CFAT, FORCE Test, Medical, and then if officer positions become available request to change your application... in fact, I strongly recommend doing so. All of the application processes are the same between officer and NCM, except for the interview. If you have a completed NCM application (incl. being found medically fit) when officer positions become available, then you should be considered.

If the other officer applicants in the supposed "backlog" don't have completed applications, you'd have a leg up over them if you are able to be hired immediately and sent on BMOQ this summer. The other applicants don't have priority just because they submitted their application before you, selections are based off completed applications when they are ready to hire.
 
All PRes officer candidates are also interviewed by the Command Cell of the unit involved. Also, there are more officer applicants than positions so the unit wants to pick the ones they determine most likely to be successful with them. The units hold their selection boards a couple of times a year depending on requirements. I can't say if going NCM first will be faster but I could be wrong.
 
As a PRes NCM, they can apply apply to be a PRes Officer through the "Reserve Entry Scheme- Officer (RESO)" while still obtaining their degree.


For the OP, as well, if the Bde may open up officer recruiting in April (just over a month from now), there is no harm in moving forward with an NCM application now, submitting all necessary documents, doing the CFAT, FORCE Test, Medical, and then if officer positions become available request to change your application... in fact, I strongly recommend doing so. All of the application processes are the same between officer and NCM, except for the interview. If you have a completed NCM application (incl. being found medically fit) when officer positions become available, then you should be considered.

If the other officer applicants in the supposed "backlog" don't have completed applications, you'd have a leg up over them if you are able to be hired immediately and sent on BMOQ this summer. The other applicants don't have priority just because they submitted their application before you, selections are based off completed applications when they are ready to hire.
Okay, in that case, I'll be doing that. I was asked for NCM roles and I listed my three picks as infantry, crewman and artillery NCM with the email to the recruiter to be able to go ahead with my application. But my online application is still listed as an officer, which should be good for me to have the leg up (hopefully).
 
Okay, that's a good response; it's very thought-provoking. Thank you. I've decided I'll go through with it regardless of whether I am an NCM or an Officer. Once I graduate, if I am still unable to receive my commission, I will try to get into the RMC for an MBA master's. If that doesn't go as planned either, I will most likely pursue a civilian career (provided I am able to get to BMQ and pass it (which should be possible; my mother (who was in Pres in the early 1990s) claims it was relatively simple)).
I make no recommendations. You have to ask yourself the questions. Why do you want to join the Reserves? Why do you want to be an officer? If you join as an NCM in the hope of becoming an officer, but do not get that opportunity, will you be satisfied with remaining in the ranks? If you wait until you can be enrolled directly as an officer, and that opportunity never comes, will you be satisfied?

In another thread you seem to suggest that joining the Reserves is an interim way of being in the CAF until you finish your degree. If you goal is to go Reg Force, why not just apply now and get the last couple of years of uni paid for?
 
Okay, that's a good response; it's very thought-provoking. Thank you. I've decided I'll go through with it regardless of whether I am an NCM or an Officer. Once I graduate, if I am still unable to receive my commission, I will try to get into the RMC for an MBA master's. If that doesn't go as planned either, I will most likely pursue a civilian career (provided I am able to get to BMQ and pass it (which should be possible; my mother (who was in Pres in the early 1990s) claims it was relatively simple)).

There is no connection between getting a masters at RMC and getting commissioned, other than the majority of RMC's graduate students are likely serving officers already. The undergraduate students at RMC are regular force (RegF) officer cadets enrolled through the Regular Officer Training Plan (ROTP), the masters students are anyone who meets the university's graduate entry requirements.
 
As a PRes NCM, they can apply apply to be a PRes Officer through the "Reserve Entry Scheme- Officer (RESO)" while still obtaining their degree.
RESO is not a production plan to go over from the ranks, it's a entry level like ROTP for the Regular Force.
If the unit had RESO SIP they'd be able to enrol them now, but they already said the unit has no officer SIP (meaning there's no SIP for RESO either). I can tell you not many reserve units have SIP for RESO; and if they do accept a RESO it would normally count against their DEO intake.

Edit: I realize that the DAOD is written like it's also a production plan; however on a recruiting level this is not how it's used. It's an entry plan to allow individuals without a degree (who are in school getting their degree) to join as a Officer. Technically someone who doesn't have their degree yet shouldn't be joining as a DEO; they should be joining as RESO.
 
RESO is not a production plan to go over from the ranks, it's a entry level like ROTP for the Regular Force.
If the unit had RESO SIP they'd be able to enrol them now, but they already said the unit has no officer SIP (meaning there's no SIP for RESO either). I can tell you not many reserve units have SIP for RESO; and if they do accept a RESO it would normally count against their DEO intake.

Edit: I realize that the DAOD is written like it's also a production plan; however on a recruiting level this is not how it's used. It's an entry plan to allow individuals without a degree (who are in school getting their degree) to join as a Officer. Technically someone who doesn't have their degree yet shouldn't be joining as a DEO; they should be joining as RESO.

The OP stated that the PRes Bde in their area may have open positions in "April". Maybe they won't, but perhaps positions will become available before they finish their degree.

The RESO DAOD is written as such because it is possible to use it as a commissioning plan for current PRes NCMs (or NCMs/officers on CT from the RegF or another reserve subcomponent, like Supp Res). It's also possible for PRes and Supp Res NCMs to apply for ROTP (pretty common actually), the SIP for out-service selection applies. Just because units/Bdes don't typically use it for in-service production doesn't mean they can't.
 
The OP stated that the PRes Bde in their area may have open positions in "April". Maybe they won't, but perhaps positions will become available before they finish their degree.

The RESO DAOD is written as such because it is possible to use it as a commissioning plan for current PRes NCMs (or NCMs/officers on CT from the RegF or another reserve subcomponent, like Supp Res). It's also possible for PRes and Supp Res NCMs to apply for ROTP. Just because units/Bdes don't typically use it for in-service production doesn't mean they can't.
And hence the issue with people asking random people on the internet for advice sooner than talking to their actual unit. I can only comment based on the units that I've done recruiting with and for... hence why a person's best point of contact during the enrolment process continues to be their recruiter :)
 
And hence the issue with people asking random people on the internet for advice sooner than talking to their actual unit. I can only comment based on the units that I've done recruiting with and for... hence why a person's best point of contact during the enrolment process continues to be their recruiter :)
I asked my recruiter, and he basically told me not to worry about it and to just do my tests. If I'm competitive, I'll get hired.

"Thank you for reaching out to me. I fully appreciate your enthusiasm and forward thinking with your potential career with the Canadian Armed Forces. You are booked for a FORCE test on __ Mar 2024, you are within 30 days of the federal government new fiscal year effective 01 April. Waiting for officer positions should not be your main concern at this time. Your focus should be passing your fitness test, aptitude test and interview. These are much more important factors at this stage, if you can’t pass any the required testing then looking so far ahead is redundant. After completing your application process, you should be focused on basic training and your occupation course, as they will be your largest obstacle in becoming a qualified soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces. If you pass all the application testing, you will be hired as Officer if you apply for one. If you get hired as an NCM, your unit can commission you on a case-by-case basis. See you on the __th."


But judging by my online CFAT practice scores, I can achieve high percentiles in verbal and spatial (85th+ percentile for others taking the online practice quiz) but am struggling with problem-solving (30th percentile). do you know (as someone who has done recruiting) the best way to improve in this area in regards to specific material I should study?
 
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I asked my recruiter, and he basically told me not to worry about it and to just do my tests. If I'm competitive, I'll get hired.

"Thank you for reaching out to me. I fully appreciate your enthusiasm and forward thinking with your potential career with the Canadian Armed Forces. You are booked for a FORCE test on __ Mar 2024, you are within 30 days of the federal government new fiscal year effective 01 April. Waiting for officer positions should not be your main concern at this time. Your focus should be passing your fitness test, aptitude test and interview. These are much more important factors at this stage, if you can’t pass any the required testing then looking so far ahead is redundant. After completing your application process, you should be focused on basic training and your occupation course, as they will be your largest obstacle in becoming a qualified soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces. If you pass all the application testing, you will be hired as Officer if you apply for one. If you get hired as an NCM, your unit can commission you on a case-by-case basis. See you on the __th."


But judging by my online CFAT practice scores, I can achieve high percentiles in verbal and spatial (85th+ percentile for others taking the online practice quiz) but am struggling with problem-solving (30th percentile). do you know (as someone who has done recruiting) the best way to improve in this area in regards to specific material I should study?
Hi, just commenting on the last question you asked.

You're not going to find any specific material on what exactly is on the CFAT as it is covered by the Privacy Act and anyone who has taken the test is not allowed to give details on what is exactly on it. They tell you this when you write the tests. You can keep working on the practice test and working on your problem solving skills, but no one is going to tell you exactly what material you should be studying for the tests.
 
I asked my recruiter, and he basically told me not to worry about it and to just do my tests. If I'm competitive, I'll get hired.

"Thank you for reaching out to me. I fully appreciate your enthusiasm and forward thinking with your potential career with the Canadian Armed Forces. You are booked for a FORCE test on __ Mar 2024, you are within 30 days of the federal government new fiscal year effective 01 April. Waiting for officer positions should not be your main concern at this time. Your focus should be passing your fitness test, aptitude test and interview. These are much more important factors at this stage, if you can’t pass any the required testing then looking so far ahead is redundant. After completing your application process, you should be focused on basic training and your occupation course, as they will be your largest obstacle in becoming a qualified soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces. If you pass all the application testing, you will be hired as Officer if you apply for one. If you get hired as an NCM, your unit can commission you on a case-by-case basis. See you on the __th."


But judging by my online CFAT practice scores, I can achieve high percentiles in verbal and spatial (85th+ percentile for others taking the online practice quiz) but am struggling with problem-solving (30th percentile). do you know (as someone who has done recruiting) the best way to improve in this area in regards to specific material I should study?
I last wrote the CFAT in 1999; so my memory of what is on it is fuzzy at best... but as jaxhades stated:
You're not going to find any specific material on what exactly is on the CFAT as it is covered by the Privacy Act and anyone who has taken the test is not allowed to give details on what is exactly on it. They tell you this when you write the tests. You can keep working on the practice test and working on your problem solving skills, but no one is going to tell you exactly what material you should be studying for the tests.
Couldn't have said it better :) However I'm sure if you utilize google search there is ample material out there to help you prep.... :)
 
But judging by my online CFAT practice scores, I can achieve high percentiles in verbal and spatial (85th+ percentile for others taking the online practice quiz) but am struggling with problem-solving (30th percentile). do you know (as someone who has done recruiting) the best way to improve in this area in regards to specific material I should study?

I recommend using the official practice test on Forces.ca as a guide on what to study. The problem solving questions on the CFAT will largely be of the same type and difficulty as the ones on the practice test. If you can figure out what math skills are required to complete each question, then study those skills (look up Youtube videos, google for practice problems). Remember that the test is timed and you'll have pen and paper but no calculator, so you should know how to do addition/subtraction/multiplication/long division/etc. by hand. You'll also probably want to brush up on basic geometry formulas, like finding the area of a rectangle. The test is based off Grade 10 and lower math skills.

There are also apps and websites offering CFAT prep, I've heard people say that the app is decent. If you want to improve the problem solving section, you should actually study/relearn the math skills though. Doing practice problems without learning how to solve them is of little use.
 
But judging by my online CFAT practice scores, I can achieve high percentiles in verbal and spatial (85th+ percentile for others taking the online practice quiz) but am struggling with problem-solving (30th percentile). do you know (as someone who has done recruiting) the best way to improve in this area in regards to specific material I should study?

I just wrote the CFAT on Feb. 14th. My recruiter sent me a practice test to review in addition to the online one, so you can ask your recruiter for the same. The emailed test seems to be dated compared to what's available online, but they are different questions and all very relevant.
Use it to identify which areas are your weak points and work on those. If you spend a week studying it a couple hours a night you should do well on the problem solving section.
 
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