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What not to do - No excuse BMQ tips [Merged]

Mojo Magnum

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I have not been to bmq yet.  I have however constantly searched army.ca for bmq tips.  If this is what you are searching for....NONE of the following bmq tips are mine.  All bmq tips that follow are clean "cut and paste's" from existing threads.   

Just thought I'd save you the time.

Years ago I considered a career as an OPP.  Though i eventually chose not to pursue.  I did come upon an individual while researching that career who shared  an invalueable persective on the recruiting process.
He said, (refering specifically to the aptitude test but it will -in some form-apply here)

"This is the one time in your career when you will walk into a room and know exactly what will be expected of you.  There is no reason why you should not get a perfect score."(admittedly a perfect score probably does not apply)

As my father in-law said when he gave a set of tools for christmas.....

"Now you got no excuse kid!"  and neither do the rest of you!!!

(this is a summary of all the bmq tips I have found.  I am surprised that all this info has been made available, I'm just glad i printed it out before I posted it.  Have fun and Good luck!) ;D

When you get there just talk to the guys and gals who're a few weeks ahead of you. They'll fill you in on all the little tricks and stuff, but here are a few just off the top of my head:

To get the bottom of your boots black, clean the mud and stuff off then spray them with hairspray. Some people will use boot polish, but that will mark up your floor and be a pain in the *** to clean.

Swiffer mops are awesome for picking up dust. Go over your cubicle floor, window sill, and every other flat surface with one in the morning before inspection.

Get yourself into a routine and develop some work habits. I had a rough time with this, but after a few weeks I had something like this worked out: I'd get home from supper, throw my stuff in the wash right away. Then before anything else gets done, MAKE A FRIGGEN LIST of things that needed to be done (i.e. boots, weapon, iron shirts, ect.). Then I'd cross things off as they got done. Its time management for dummies.

I never bothered with having a second shave kit, but i did have "inspection underwear" because I realized that boxers were too much of a pain to refold every night.

If you're a smoker, get some nicorette gum. During the field portion of my course, we were limited to one or two smokes a day. At one point, a MCPL decided to give us a five minute smoke break, but only 3 people were allowed to smoke at once. It was a sick joke, considering there were well over 15 people who hadnt had a smoke in 12 hours but it takes some serious teamwork to pass off half a smoke to let your buddy take a drag before the time's up. Anyways, If you do get nicotine gum, keep it on the downlow. These days I always have a pack whenever I go into the field because it doesnt violate light discipline.

Always make sure your uniform is up to standard.
As well, realise no matter what you do, the DS will
find fault in what you have done.

Make sure you grow a thick skin, people like to pick
on recruits (by people I mean other troops who are not
your instructors). Its part of the fun of being a
recruit, but be ready. Also, look up the rank structure
and remember it and know at least some basic military
protocol. This will help keep you and your buds out of
trouble, and may even help make a good impression on
your instructors

In Lim0's defence, we had the LFWA Commander in last
night, and the saluting policy was clarified:
Jr. Officers - once in an evening/day.
Sr. Officers - Always.

Go to shoppers drug or any other big chain to find this.
I use a Wilkinson's Sword Shaving brush (Get a second one,
they are great for getting the dust off your weapon)
Mug or Wilkinson's Shaving soap. The Sword brand comes with
a little tub which is handy.

The nice thing about this is:
1. It does not freeze in the winter
2. There are no problems with taking it on board DND aircraft.
Some loadmasters are quite picky when it comes to pressurized
containers like the conventional shaving foam.

first aid is the tuffest test, pay attention in class,
if you are done your room, fix someone else's

and see if anyone else needs help carrying theirs down
as well. The instructors notice little things like

Also, remember that nothign is personal. Some people
have a tough time getting reemed out on morning
inspection. Just keep in your head that it's nothign
personal and you'll get through it.

keep a very open mind. everytime you think you cannot
do something, tell yourself over and over in your head
"i can do this". never take anything anyone says
personally, it will always make for some good laughs
later on. ALWAYS be 5 or 10 minutes early for every
timing you are given. if you are on time, you are
late. keep that in mind.
Yes standardization is KEY!!!!  If you think you can
make something better for inspection, you better make
sure everyone else does it too.  Or else you'll be
accused of thinking you're different or better than
everyone else.

push up poker:
2-10 face card
J: 11 pushups
Q: 12 push ups
K 13 push ups
a: 20 push ups
keep going till someone quits.

two sets of everything, use it once
then leave it on display.

Use shampoo as body wash
thus leaving soap bar and dish clean.)
you make it look like you used it  ie......for the
toothpaste take alittle out of it and so on
Make sure you "dust" off your soap every once and a while too.

Gellete foamy good,    Gillete gel bad.

team work.  two people iron, two people
check lay out of lockers, etc

wear one set of combats and wash that
night.  leave other two untouched and
ready for inspection.

blue booties over boots before inspection
to not mark up the floor.

sew your name on everything.

don't ask questions
pen and pad
eavedrop on other inspection and learn
don't ask questions
work hard at everything
show determination whereever possible
don't ask why questions, ask how questions
take safety pins and pin everything together when doing laundery,
so you dont' loseit or get it mixed up
duffel bag is ussually no go for instructors
bring swiffer pads/cloths
black thread, needle
The big thing is, yelling and stress are a vital and necessary part
of one's initial training. You are learning to go into harm's way,
and put the enemy in the same.

When these challenges first came to the military, a wise old sergeant
of mine had a number of very pithy and relevant sayings.

"If you can't take being yelled at, how the heck are you going to take
being shot at?"

"Face or gut - where to you want to get hit first? Sometimes that's the
choice life gives you.

"If shot, you can choose to cease bleeding at any time."

And, "The enemy is not required to recognize or adhere to the Canadian
Human Rights Act"

I started my BMQ in October at Denison. Here is my advice. The first
four weekends are the hardest as they want to get rid of the guys that
don't want to be there. They won't yell at you in the classroom. Take lots
of notes and write it down mostly word for word. You will get tested on
everything you get taught. Bring two pens. Get up before 5:45 am and get
ready for the day. IE shave before PT. Sleep in your pt gear minus your
socks. Keep your canteen full always and keep loose threads off your uniform.
The classroom stuff is a piece of cake. They don't make people fail on purpose.
DO NOT fall asleep during a lecture. It's easy to do, and then they will make you
stand for the rest of the lecture. If you get written up for an infraction and have
to do extra PT. Make sure you get the stuff you missed from a buddy. When you hand
in homework, make sure it is error-free. IE no crossed out mistakes.

Regarding carrying a razor on your person: I carried a G
illette Mach 3 head (just the head) in my pocket for
those times when I missed a spot (and noticed after)
or even FORGOT to shave (yes, it happened... more than once).
So panicked was I on one forgetful occasion that I dryshaved
with my buddy's Gerber knife in stand-easy ranks. The razor
head came in super handy and you can get used to dry shaving
with a safety razor when you're stairing a $250 fine in the face.

Dogboy/Carman: Just a little note on PT morning showers:
use ONE bathroom and shower quickly, with everyone dropping
their PT gear on the bathroom floor upon arrival back at the
pod/room to soak up the water. You're not going to wear your
PT gear twice in a row without washing it so who cares? Any
dry pieces of PT gear on the floor when everyone's done can
be used to wipe down the showers/sinks. Waiting for the shower?
Start getting your room inspection ready - wipe down inspection-prone
surfaces (windowsills and the bottom of the closet being the top two,
it seemed), go over your weapon quickly, check the common areas are OK,
if you need help with something, ASK FOR IT. Get that habit going and EVERYONE
will make use of it - no one goes through basic/IAP without help.
Sharing the fate of your *** with your buddy not only builds trust but
comradery and friendship too. That being said, OFFER help whenever you
find yourself wondering what's left to do. I've had buddies tying my
bootlaces for me on change parades and it was, in all seriousness, a
touching experience. Regarding shaving, just use hot water and a your
razor - I'd been doing it long before the course and it was likely the
only one of my civvy habits that was actually useful - less to clean
out of the sink and less time taken to shave.

More on asking for help: you're not doing your buddies any favours
by being the only crappy room in the group for inspection - the
instructors are likely to give your buddies crap, and possibly even
the platoon, because they're obviously not helping you achieve standard.
There is no, and I mean NO, period of time in the mornings (especially PT mornings)
when you have nothing to do. You will become a time-management superstar and what
you can achieve in 5 minutes, at the end of the course, will both amaze and sicken you.

shave at night, get a cheapo braun shape

Go to shoppers drug or any other big chain.

I use a Wilkinson's Sword Shaving brush (Get a second one,
they are great for getting the dust off your weapon)
Mug or Wilkinson's Shaving soap. The Sword brand comes with
a little tub which is handy.

The nice thing about this is:
1. It does not freeze in the winter
2. There are no problems with taking it on board DND aircraft.
Some loadmasters are quite picky when it comes to pressurized
containers like the conventional shaving foam.

first aid is the tuffest test, pay attention in class,
if you are done your room, fix someone else's

lol...sounds good... my friend who went to BMQ last summer said for me to..only wear one pair of clothes the intire time, wash them every night..and iron your folded pile so it looks nice everytime.
someone posted recently to take 2 pairs of runners. I am definetly doing that.

  Yah I'm with mystic. I'm only bringing one pair of really good running shoes. Spent $140.00 on them so they better last me for awhile. Also, are the beds we sleep on like cots or are they bunk beds?  :salute:

I am aware that you only need one pair of running shoes. The second pair was suggeted for days that it was rainy...it is much more comfortable to put on dry shoes the next day. I seem to go through runners rather fast, so am bringing two. :D

the beds are like normal beds I guess....there is 4 beds in each room, so unless they changed there will be no bunk-beds. By the way you will like Borden...I just finished my basic this summer, Fall basic maybe be different, but the overall experience is wonderful.
Hey MysticLies,

Seeing how you are done basic (congrats) are all the runs in some kind of formation? Therefore you are only as fast as your slowest person. Or are there any individual runs (other than punishment ;D)?

Not to hijack this thread.....Ladies and gentelmen back to BMQ tips.
-all the runs start out in formation(2 ranks)...were so-post to stay in formation during the runs, but that rarely happened, seeing as how some people were better in running then others. What usually happened was the platoon would breakup into smaller groups, 1 being in the lead the second in the middle and the third in the back. You also have to keep in mind the size of your platoon, because it does determine how far you run. we had the smallest platoon(27 strong) so our platoon always ended up running the longest. (other platoons would deny that, but we didn't care) ;D
Much of that list is either sheer nonsense or taken out of context, I'll go into details later if I get bored/have time, but for now, I'll point out that you should ALWAYS ask questions if you are unsure about somthing... just remember to ask the questions properly, in class, to an instructor, outside class, via the chain of command through section and platoon seniors.
alexpb said:
what's  VR-ed? and how did the rest fail?

VR = voluntary release

The reminder were likely training failures for repeatedly failing either written or practical tests of the Performance Objectives. Each would have progressed through a warning system giving them very clear updates on their lack of progress or specific deficiencies, guidance for improvement, extra instruction where applicable, and a minimum of 24 hours between retests.
"we started out with 43 people...about 4 people VR-ed and the rest failed. in the end we had 27."

You are the third person I have heard this from.  That nearly 50% of your course did not make it. 
And yet so many people are continually posting about how easy bmq is and to "not worry about it".  I've lost track how many times I've read "they will bring you up to the standard they are looking for".

This information is stretching my belief that those who failed were not interested in being there, that they were just dumb when they got off the bus, and that normal people will be fine.  Way too much of a stretch.  Were they recoursed?

If they passed the initial aptitude test, the physical and the interview, took the time to contact and prepare their references and were competant enough to succed in the interview, they could not have been ....below standard.  Could they?

So what happened?  (I know that can't really be answered here)

nearly a  50% fail rate. 
This only reaffirms my attitude that a recruit needs to do EVERYTHING they can to prepare.  I have met at least a dozen recruits who are working at their civie jobs, doing nothing to prepare.  I am working out twice daily at rotating excercises, studying for every clue and tip I can find on what to expect and what not to do.  And still I have a sense that I need to do more.

I must add, that not all platoons were the same, while my platoon lost 16 people, others lost around 4-7. maybe it was because our instructors were harder then anothers, maybe it was because we were an only-male platoon, maybe we just got really bad people.

some of the reasons why the people in my platoon left.

1) one hurt his lower leg or something...they allowed him to continue, but he missed to much classes so he was sent back home.
2) to many security infringements....left his door and locker open way to many times.
3) the majority failed inspections, and hence failed the course
4) we had one fail the shooting range, which was really depressing because he was such a good recruit.
5) one failed to many tests, Among other things
6) I was wrong there were 5 people that VR-ed/ one left half way through the course.(usually those who VR do it in the first week or so)
It seems to me that the most challenging portion of this course (assuming one has prepared for the PT), will be the inspections.  Coordinating that many people to work together will be tuff.  Especially if they are all in "self preservation" mode and obsessed wtih looking out for number one. 

For you guys going to ST Jean for OCt 3. 

We gotta stick together.  If we work together on inspection, we'll have a better chance.
You SHOULD have 2 pairs of running shoes (to alternate shoes), as mentioned above, because of rain, sweat, etc. As well, I have read, and it may be shoe company propoganda or may very well be fact, running in wet shoes is bad, as the foam cushioning doesn't work as well wet as when it is dry (also reason to alternate day-to-day, as the foam may not have "recovered" from the previous day). As well, DO NOT use you running shoes for walking around in (i.e down to the mall, to the night clubs, etc). Running shoes have an "expiry" date on them, and it is roughly 500-800km, and the shoe doesn't know whether it is being used for a marathon or for a stroll through the mall. And believe me, a cheaper pair of shoes for walking around in does the job (running shoes need to absorb 4-5 times your body weight, and walking shoes only 1.5 to 2 times your weight).

Do yourself the favour and buy the best shoes you can afford. Get fitted for the proper kind for your walking/running style at a place like the Running Room. You get a 10% military discount (with ID card) there. Your knees, ankles, back will thank you in 30-40 years......

Do yourself another favour, and be prepared for Basic trg, and the military in general, by going for 100% every time (taking your time to build up to that standard, of course). People who go for 60% (the usual military standard) hold a place in my heart occupied by pedophiles, Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, et al...... "A C's a P[pass], and the weekend's free for me [no remedial PT, AFV rec, etc,etc]....." is the death of the military. Go for 100% every time, but don't be crushed if you get 99 (or 78 or 63). The moral of the story: do your best, every time. Today's 60% soldier is tomorrow's 60% Sergeant Major....

Anybody who thinks that the military is going to stay as lame as it has been over the last 10 or so years is in for a shock. The CDS (Chief of Defense staff, Gen Hillier), the Army Commander (MGen Caron) and the new "regime" are transforming the military (and the army) back to a fighting force. If you want to strive for the old minimal standard, don't be surprised when you are longer in the employ of the Crown to defend your country (i.e. get your sorry ass kicked out for being below the new standard expected).

Sorry for the tough love approach, but the time's they are achangin', my friend......

For those going to basic in St. Jean here are some tips I picked up while I was there:

-2 shaving kits; it's a must have.
-secondary pairs of boxers, you do not want to be refolding something that took you 20 min to get right.
-pick up a stiff brush such as a women's fingernail brush.  Brush down your whole boot every day, including the sole.  Some people like to use hairspray on the sole.  It does make it shiny and black but the instructors will know you used it.  If you are told to polish the bottoms, use the liquid polish.  It's fast, easy, and doesn't mark up the floor.
-swiffers and pledge wipes: an inspections best friend.
-STANDARDIZE.  It doesn't matter how good you are, if your coursemates are not at the same standard everyone will get jacked.
-This one is a weird trick.  If you have hallways as your station job, sweep, mop and get rid of bootmarks at night, around 10:00.  In the morning sit a big guy on a fire blanket and drag him around once or twice.  It picks up the dust and lint and buffs the floor really nicely.
-Ironing shirts: spray a healthy layer of starch, then let them sit for about 20 min before you iron.  This stops the iron from burning on the starch and leaving all the little black spots.
-Clean the inside of your inspection toothpaste lid.  Yes, they will look there.
-Always try to get your uniform and everything you can ready the night before.  It makes those 5:00 mornings SO much easier.

That's all I got right now, if I think of more I'll put them up.
An added note, if you're going to end up using 2 sets of toiletries, try not to make it blantently obvious. (Ex. brand new soap/toothpaste, dust on the shaving cream can, etc. etc.) The instructors aren't idiots, they know all the tricks cause they did basic before too, remember.

And to you guys that are freaked out that you're going to fail. Don't. The vast amount of people that I have seen fail from courses (and, apart from my basic, these are courses based more strongly on academics then a course like basic) are for medical reasons. So 1. Take good care of yourself and your body and 2. Make sure you get something which may appear small fixed before it becomes a bigger problem.

A big part of basic is attitude. The point of the course is to take guys and girls that know very little about the military and turn them into soldiers - it's impossible to be 100% prepared for it. Being physically fit is a start, but a big part I found was also keeping a positive attitude as much as possible, no matter how crappy the situation seemed. It's all part of a game, it's not the end of the world that there was a piece of lint on the bottom of the garbage can or water in the sink, even though it may seem that way. Fix it for next time and move on.

Don't freak too much about the classroom parts. Pay attention in class and don't sleep (alot more challenging then it sounds) and study before tests. Nothing out of the ordinary here. I don't know how that many people could have failed a basic nowadays for this sort of thing, the instructors are there to try and make you learn and pass. ASK QUESTIONS if you're not sure of something, the only stupid question is the one not asked.

Work together, and help out buddy when he/she needs it. They'll be there to help you. It's pretty hard to do basic on your own. It's been mentioned before, but looking out for yourself and yourself only isn't going to get you (or your course) very far. The faster everyone figures that out the better.

Good luck, and stop worrying so much!
To get the bottom of your boots black, clean the mud and stuff off then spray them with hairspray.

Wouldnt that make your boots stick to the floor when you walk?

ChopperHead said:
To get the bottom of your boots black, clean the mud and stuff off then spray them with hairspray.
Wouldnt that make your boots stick to the floor when you walk?

They're his "Show Boots"!
ChopperHead said:
To get the bottom of your boots black, clean the mud and stuff off then spray them with hairspray.
Wouldnt that make your boots stick to the floor when you walk?

Yes it will and your buddy will be very unhappy with you. Try armour all, and hospital booties. ;) George, they make you mark your boots 1&2 so you can't just have show boots anymore, you have to wear both on alternating days. Eventually the hairspray ends up on the floor.
Island Ryhno said:
George, they make you mark your boots 1&2 so you can't just have show boots anymore, you have to wear both on alternating days. Eventually the hairspray ends up on the floor.

The guys who have done DB learned how to make their "1s" and "2s" look the same.     ;D

(Darn....just gave away another "Cheat"   :-[ )