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My Application Story (Reserves)

Dean22

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Backstory

  Well, I had been thinking of the military since Grade 10 and joining it so I did years of thinking and research. I didn't have any real efforts to go into it until my first year in university where I saw the Canadian Forces booth at the university fair. I asked them some questions about ROTP, etc and they were surprised at how much I already knew but gave me more information. For the rest of the year and the next year I focused on studies and women and didn't visit a Reserve unit until April of 2009 after completing my second year of university. I went there with a friend to the Reserve unit in St. Catharines and we talked to a young Corporal whose name escapes me. Everyone at the unit was very somber for the loss of their CWO/MWO (I forgot and if you haven't noticed already I am horrible for memory of names). My friend was very interested in the reserves but they basically told him not to join because he had to leave January for religious reasons which, is understandable to me. So I took the application he gave to us and began filling it out.

Application Process

    So I began filling out the application and acquiring my five references. It was two teachers, two adults who knew me well and my great uncle (yes I know stupid me for not reading about the no relative references but I wanted to avoid a new application and I had asked him and he said it was fine since he wasn't going to lie and it could either help me or be against me). The reason I put down my great uncle was because he was a Major General (Ret) who was in command of LFCA. But alas all my references were used but him.

    My St. Catharines situation changed and I had moved back to where my family was in Hamilton and took a break from school. This was also around the same time I didn't know if I wanted to be an Officer or an NCM. I never thought about picking what was best for me vs. picking things for it's wage, respect and duty. So I eventually decided to do Reserve NCM to try out the military and if all was well I would go Regular NCM. If I decided maybe Officer was for me later in my life I would finish my schooling and pursue that.

    So I began working out again in the summer and started with a trainer in July. I had started off doing maybe 10 push ups in June with no lactic acid tolerance in my muscles and fairly crappy cardio. I was most worried about the 11:59 2.4 km run. I could manage a 1 mile run in 8 minutes (1.5 miles = 2.4 km) which, is about 66% of the run at the speed of 7.5 mph on the road. However, I could not go on a treadmill for more than four minutes at the speed of 7.5 mph and I had wondered how in god's name could I do such a fast run at the weight of 240 pounds 6'2". I could handle 5km jogs easily but running was not made for what I was built for and the only cardio I had been doing all summer since I began to avoid those jogs and runs was heavy weight elyptical. Thankfully, though I learned later that it was a step test not the run in the fitness test. Basically, I had no confidence in myself excluding sit ups since I could do sit ups all day long and people who can't do 19 bewilder me to no end. So I handed in my application July 28th finally after putting it off (I am stupid to not have done it earlier but I wanted to be more in shape stupid me thought that they would do something like a Fitness test the next day or week). I called the CFRC Hamilton about once a week since I handed in my application just to keep in touch and I believe it helped a lot since someone who applied before me is still behind me in processing. With my trainer I had been getting a lot stronger and I was up to 24 push ups at my standard (then I fixed my standard since that wasn't correct). I could never get stronger though at push ups doing as many reps as I could and what my trainer did was pause reps and slow push ups which, is much much better than doing as many reps as you can. The muscle and lactic acid threshold you build from pause reps is incredible and I went from 0 chin ups in a month to 5 chin ups. I would have never thought I could do either since I weigh so much (since a push up is 60% of your body weight). I had felt confident and instead of cardio we had been doing super sets with squat jumps (apparently he believes you increase upper body strength not by just increasing your upper body but also your lower body) but then I realized I couldn't get into the October session for the reserves because the processing was going too slow and I was in a bit of a downer mood. But I cheered up when I got my first contact on August 28th. I was so excited that things were moving and he had booked my CFAT and told me possibly an interview on September 28th. He had also informed me that there was a gigantic back log at the CFRC so that's why things were going so slow.

    So I stuck with my training for another month and on September 28th I did my CFAT. I was so worried for nothing after I read all the horror stories on this website about people failing and the test was extremely easy. I had done the test with a 16 year old who had a background from Afghanistan. It was a funny day for me seeing five people at CFRC that day who were all potential recruits but all of them Middle Eastern. I was surprised why my background check wasn't put through hell being born in the U.S. moving to Canada when I was about 2 or 3 and my father being from Egypt. The guys at the place played a prank on me for both the CFAT and Interview. I was in there at 12:30 and they had told me that I was supposed to be there at 9 am. They had also told me about how my interviewer had scars and not to look at them or his balding hair line or his wiggling eye ball. I knew they weren't serious but it made for a great laugh. The guys at CFRC Hamilton are really great and I was the one trying to act all serious but they told me to lighten up and that they were just regular joes too.

    The interview had went well and but I was expecting it to be like a Regulars interview (apparently it's not as long and they don't ask much about you). Then I was booked for a Medical on September 7th and September 8th. I drank tons of water for my medical expecting blood tests etc but there was none. I showed up at 8:15 am for my 9:00 am appointment and they took me at 8:15 am. It was just questions, checking joints, movement capabilities, hearing, eye sight, family history, etc. I was told I was flat footed but I didn't think I was but didn't bother to say anything as to not question the MWO's observation but I do have an arch in my feet. But the thing that had been bugging me that week was that I had gotten sick on Sunday due to visiting friends in St. Catharines 3/4 were sick with the cold. I tried Cold Fx (damn you) the whole week extra strength and took probably about 16 pills that week as prescribed. I had felt mildly better but I was still in the sniffles.

    So the fitness test day had finally arrived and I was extremely nervous. I had also been told that the step test was before the push ups and my confidence dropped. I did the step test and managed two levels (I am not sure what was a pass or what's good but I did pass). Then I did the strength test and managed to do about 50 kg per hand and was happy since I had no idea on my capabilities since I hadn't done a grip test since the 8th grade and I have one of the worst grips ever. Then I did the sit up portion and managed to do 39 sit ups in 60 seconds. Then I did the push ups and started on the floor with my hands under my shoulders (thank you broad shoulders it gave me a wider stance). I had managed to do 21 push ups and I didn't care that I just barely passed since I was happy that I had passed and that I felt like I could have done more if I pushed it. It was the most happy day of my application process and I was merit listed that day.

All in all it was a great experience and I am happy I decided to do it. I hope I get in the reserves but I am not sure if I can (I heard from someone there's 50 people applying for five jobs). If I don't get in I guess I could always transfer the application to the Regulars but all in all the experience was amazing and the journey was well worth it so far. I am happy I am finally deciding to follow this path after so many years of procrastination.


Tips for Applicants

Do not mention cadets to your reserve unit and do not act like hot **** because you can march ever. If you are a master cadet or your have other occupation or specialty courses you can apply for the Reserve or Regular incentive benefit. I believe the reserve one is listed under CFAO 49-5.

Be respectful at the CFRC and the Reserve unit. Your impression lasts everywhere but also recognize that they are all human.

Always be early to your appointments I was early to all my appointments by 30 to 60 minutes and I even got taken in to do my medical at 8:15 am when it was booked at 9:00 am. It's worth it and it makes a good impression on you.

Do not lie about anything and tell the truth for everything. Drink one a month? Write that down. If you sprained your ankle don't check the box for leg/ankle problems "No" until you clarify with the Medical Technician or person doing your medical on that point. I left several boxes unchecked until I went over them with my tester. If you lie your screwed and your military career is practically over.

The CFAT was easy for me but you can still practice for it. I didn't remember two formulas from high school for the CFAT. Practice your word knowledge, abstract reading and mathematics. The mathematics is probably the most important part of the test.

For the fitness test make sure you eat two to three hours before the fitness test and make sure it's high energy. You need all the energy you can for a high score or a pass. I had a bowl of cereal and two banana's.

Get five references who know you well but don't put people like your best friend on. The best people are older adults, teachers and old/current employers.

Pause reps and slow push ups are much better than doing as many push ups as you can in your sets. Build your strength, grip and Oxygen intake. The best way I found to improve Oxygen intake was not jogs but 100m sprints followed by a break of the same time it took you to do the sprint or fast runs on hiking trails. Jogging will not improve your Oxygen intake (which, is what is measured on the step test) unless your really out of shape. The best way to improve your grip is chin ups and if you can't do a chin up do a reverse chin up (go to the top of the bar and hold on as long as you can for pause reps and lower yourself slowly). Farmer's walks also help for grip but I enjoy chin ups more (farmer's walk is where you carry heavy weights in your hands and walk around). Remember, that healthy diet and exercise go hand in hand you can't do one or the other to get in shape. Also, improve your lactic acid threshold as much as you can. The higher it is the more reps your going to get out of every work out you do.

Hand in your application ASAP for the reserves. There should be no waiting for better fitness etc etc etc. Just hand it in because the process is going to take longer than the regulars.

REMEMBER, the names of the people you hand information to or if they tell you things. Handing your application + personal information to someone at the Reserve unit whose name you forget is very bad especially when the CFRC is trying to find where your file is at or located.

Be ready for a commitment, the Canadian Forces does not want Reserves who are only going to stay 6 months to a year. Yes, the military is a life style choice but if your going to do it do it well and make it worth the Canadian Forces time to hire you and train you.


Thanks for reading I apologize in advance for spelling mistakes.

 

Nfld Sapper

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Dean22 said:
  Tips for Applicants

Do not mention cadets to your reserve unit and do not act like hot **** because you can march ever. If you are a master cadet or your have other occupation or specialty courses you can apply for the Reserve or Regular incentive benefit. I believe the reserve one is listed under CFAO 49-5.
hel
Worst tip ever. You should mention that you where in cadets so they help process the paperwork that would allow you to gain up to 6 months on your IPC.
 

Dean22

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NFLD Sapper said:
hel
Worst tip ever. You should mention that you where in cadets so they help process the paperwork that would allow you to gain up to 6 months on your IPC.

Read what you quoted again please.

1) I said the reserve unit.

2) You do not talk to your reserve unit about the recruitment incentive you talk to CFRC.

3) Do not even mention cadets to CFRC or they will laugh at you unless you are a master cadet (gold star) or having an occupation/specialty course from cadets completed.

4) Yes, you can write down you were in cadets on your paperwork but DO NOT talk about the incentive unless one of the above fit your category. No where did I say do not mention cadets to your CFRC.

Do not spread misinformation.
 

mellian

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Dean22 said:
3) Do not even mention cadets to CFRC or they will laugh at you unless you are a master cadet (gold star) or having an occupation/specialty course from cadets completed.

No where did I say do not mention cadets to your CFRC.
 

Dean22

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While I said do not mention I also said write it down.

I said do not mention unless you had qualifications for the TIG incentive. If you mention it while it's already on your file to CFRC you'll sound like a jack ***. It's like telling CFRC that you were captain of your football team and you did the alzheimers group on weekends. Why would you mention that to them when it's already on your paper work other than to sound like a pompous *** unless you qualified for the cadet TIG.

I hope that clears confusion for you.
 

Dean22

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PMedMoe said:
???

According to your profile:  Royal Hamilton Light Infantry

I had originally applied to the Argylls to get in as fast as humanely possible because the Rileys were full. Then I realized I could not finish processing fast enough for the Argylls and so I switched to the Rileys before my testing began because that was the unit my friend was entering in the next session.

While, my on computer file says Rileys when I did my interview I had been recognized as an applicant for Argylls. Which, is a little confusing to me so I am not quite sure what will happen. If I am merit listed for both or one or the other.

Hopefully, no one takes a dump on me for swapping from one unit to the other (even though it was before I began testing) especially with the two Hamilton infantry units having such a large rivalry.

Also, the Argylls were never available for 4-5 days of the week for four weeks and many weeks after that when my file had been lost in transit and I had forgotten the name of the Corporal I had given my file to with all my personal information (big mistake on my part). When I transferred to the Rileys or had questions they were always available for information, etc.
 

MARS

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Whether or not an individual comes across as a jackass has nothing to do with who you tell, what you tell them or how many time you tell them.  It has everything to do with the manner that person uses.

Something like the incentive for prior cadet service is important to the person enquiring as it has everything to do with seniority dates and the associated pay increase.

In an overworked, understaffed CF, stuff gets overlooked, re-prioritized and forgotten about all the time so we can focus on the more immediate problem/issue/emergency in front of us.  Take the ATI request that landed on my desk from Ottawa this morning.  By it’s very nature, all of the routine administration that I has started to work – or had planned to work on – has now been moved to the right until Tuesday, when I am back in the office next.  That is 5 days from now – with a weekend of (hopefully) not thinking too much about work in between.  It is a near certainty that I am going to forget about some random item in one of the files on my desk.

Making sure that the CFRC and your Unit are aware of the "little" things - because that is what prior cadet service is to someone to who it does not apply - in an appropriate manner can be entirely helpful.  With all of the files that CFRCs are progressing at any given moment and with all of the "critical" information in them that must be actioned, I would not be surprised or even offended if something like prior cadet service was at some point overlooked.  I have actioned requests for prior cadet service to be honoured for serving members, so it does not HAVE to be taken care of at the CFRC, which means it might not be.  Of course, if that happens then you wouldn't know about until you were expecting to get promoted early - and then don't.  Not if you don't ask about it.  Knowing first hand how busy CFRCs and Units are, if I were a CO I certainly wouldn't be getting upset if things like that got missed occasionally.

At my Unit I am but a single, full-time Training Officer, looking after the training issues of 280 sailors in some way shape or form.  I can't count the number of times that some junior sailor has appeared at my door to ask me (read: remind me) for the umpteenth time if I have had a chance to action issue X,Y or Z.  Which I likely haven't.  They may be too junior to know if they are entitled to what they are asking about - they won't know if they don't ask.  Those reminders are what keep the issues in the forefront of my brain and ultimately getting resolved.

Dean22, I note you are a junior member of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry.  I am not familiar with the Unit, but perhaps they have a crack staff of underworked and overstaffed people taking care of things like this.  I doubt it though.  Perhaps over a long and productive career, your myriad of relatively minor concerns (because that is what they are at any given moment to your superiors) and those of your eventual subordinates are never overlooked or forgotten about.  I doubt it though.

I also note that you have a significant negative balance of MilPoints and have now been muted.  You can debate the importance of internet posting ratings all you want, but on a website populated in the main by serving and retired CF members who have long and diverse careers behind them,  it might provide you with a general appreciation for how CF members differentiate between people's attitudes and how someone might be seen to come across as a jackass.  After all, these are the same types of people that make up the Hamilton Light Infantry.

Just some food for thought,

Cheers,

MARS
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Dean22

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For the issue of cadets, I am just saying this out of experience from CFRC and the reserve unit. I was the one who took the bullet as one might say to find out the tip. From my personal experience while people can forget things this actual event of mentioning cadets without the full prerequisites can get some very (very) negative reactions. Leaving a salty taste from a first impression is something I would never advise someone to do especially when it can come up in someones mind three years later on the promotion list. The paper work is there for a reason and it can always be changed. If someone made a mistake on your paper work it can be changed.

For the issue of the MilPoints I do not mind nor care about them much honestly. This is a unofficial forum full of potential CF, ex CF and current CF. They can be mature or immature and it is indeed just an internet forum. If people translate MilPoints to real life from this forum then they should most likely reconsider their job in the CF.

Even if the system held any credibility the system is broken. For example reports of negative connotations are not checked by moderators (at least from what I have seen) and reports of positive connotations are not handed out as people treat MilPoints as a rat race.

For example a gentleman had given me -300 points for thinking I was wrong. After, I and several other forum members corrected him he did not receive negative points nor did I get rid of those negative points for that incorrect report.

Another example is the person with the most negative MilPoints has barely made any posts. Instead, a member of this board had given him negative 300 points on the exact same post 10+ times instead of just once. You can also abuse the system for people you don't like and do the same report for the same post over and over again. What did this person do to deserve so much negative MilPoints? He asked a question that could have been mildly answered in a different thread had he used the search function.

"How dare this person come on our forums and ask a question without using the search function asking for a personalized response I am going to give him -10,000,000 MilPoints."

Our allies to the south however, do not have such a point system and answer the questions to every single person who comes on their forums even if it's over 10 people a day asking how they can be a sniper officer.


But, this is off topic and we can return to the topic. I am not here to change the MilPoints system especially when people have been on these forums for years earning these internet points. I am just pointing out the validity in accessing someone on their points.

Thank you for your reply though as it was interesting to see someones perspective from an Officer Cadet (I apologize if this isn't your rank I was just guessing from your profile).
 

Dean22

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Maybe you should join them. They love guys that argue everything down there.

I've seen your posts and it seems you like to troll people...a lot.

How unfortunate.
 

MARS

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For the issue of the MilPoints I do not mind nor care about them much honestly

That is interesting, given that 3/4 of your response to my post was about MilPoints.

From my personal experience while people can forget things this actual event of mentioning cadets without the full prerequisites can get some very (very) negative reactions.

And that was the point of my post and why I tried - I guess unsuccessfully - to link it to your experience on this board so far, which, you must agree, is not going as smoothly as it could be.  Did you think why you got such a negative reaction?  It could have been totally the fault of the person answering you - maybe they are a jerk or maybe someone just died that day....or, maybe, it could have had something to do with the manner in which you asked the question.  The manner in which you ask questions on this website is garnering similar responses.

Leaving a salty taste from a first impression is
...exactly what is happening here, on Milnet. 

No, no one here is going to promote you - unless they happen to be members of both this board and your Unit, which is entirely possible - but the Directing Staff on this board are likely to send you through the warning system, which could in all likelihood result in you being banned from this site.  From reading through all of your posts, you appear to like to contribute in a variety of threads, so I assume you joined this website because you enjoy it and perhaps because you get something out of it.  Maybe that is in the form of information for yourself, maybe it is to provide information to others.  Whatever, this website is always looking for new members, but members who contribute in a positive way.  Much like the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, my Unit, or any other CF Unit, the DS here are not going to hesitate to send you out the door if your attitude does not match the expected attitude.  That is not to say that your opinions cannot differ from those on the board - there are plenty of contributors here who's opinions do differ.  Most members of this board are smart enough to be able to disagree with someone while respecting their opinion.  But it all comes down to attitude.

What did this person do to deserve so much negative MilPoints? He asked a question that could have been mildly answered in a different thread had he used the search function.

Yep, it could have been mildly answered - but it wasn't.  I chalk that up to the attitude and the vibe you were giving off.  Go back to the second sentence of my post.  I can think of a dozen ways you could have otherwise asked the questions that have garnered you such disdain on this website.  All of which would have resulted in a mature and mild mannered discussion, as opposed to the current result.

So forget MilPoints - my bad.  Look at your status - you are now "being watched".  I believe that runs parallel to the formal warning system.  Did you read the site guidelines - specifically what THIS website defines "trolling" as?  That is why you are likely being watched.

Hey bud, I have no dog in this fight.  I am NOT Directing Staff, but I AM a site mentor.  That means it is my responsibility to try to ensure members - often new members - have a positive experience here and to help them make adjustments if they are not.

Thank you for your reply though as it was interesting to see someones perspective from an Officer Cadet (I apologize if this isn't your rank I was just guessing from your profile).

I did hold that rank once - likely around the time you were born.  No apologies required - you will learn ranks and their associated abbreviations once you complete BMQ.

Really, I hope this helps...

MARS
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