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Engineering Officer

Markus13

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(As a DEO, the Government has not invested anything in your education, so you can land up ing "cannon fodder" in their eyes as it was you who paid all your expenses to get where you are.  A little harsh, but basically the way that it is.)

Well, government invested in me during my basic and CAP course. I'm just trying to make myself feel better.

Does anyone here actually have course syllabi for phase 3 and some suggestions. Some people have told me that it's much tougherhan CAP and some say it's easier! Can anyone who's done the course tell me what the assessment is like and why people fail.

 

McG

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People fail because they cannot do a combat estimate - they cannot produce and execute a plan.
There are other reasons, but that was the typical big stumbling point on a number of BEOC/CEOC 1.1 courses that I have watched in recent years.
 

SprCForr

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For what it's worth it was the main stumbling point 20 years ago too.

 

Jed

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Some advice for 2 cents it is worth.  :) Take a lead from Winston Churchill: Never, never, never, never, never, never, never give up. Stay positive. When you see that huge pile of manure that needs to be shoveled out of the horse's stall, keep grinning because you know that there just has to be a pony in there somewhere.


Chimo, for the Engr's birthday especially you SprCforr.
 

PanaEng

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the school has reconfigured the modules of the course (ph III) several times since I've been there but, in essence, you will cover the following: tools package,  mission analysis, estimate and plan, field defences and constructions, obstacles, some more wpns training, troop/pl command in defensive operations, demolitions...
In phIV you get into offensive ops, bridging, mine warfare, crew/comd, etc. and you get to put everything to practice.

some ppl would tell you it is hard others would say not as hard - it all depends; mostly in your attitude. If you were out of shape, pretty insecure and nervous during CAP but then worked out and prepared mentally then it can seem that it is easier. It also depends on the instructors you get for CAP and at CFSME but, generally, PH III is much more demanding than CAP.
 

Nfld Sapper

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And it ( Ph3 and Ph4) has since been rewritten as of fall/winter 2012-2013......
 

reboog

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Markus13 said:
Hello all,
I am a construction engineer and I just finished my phase 2- CAP. I will be starting my phase 3 which is the same for engineering officers. Is this phase comparable to CAP? What is the course content like and how often are you in the field?
What happens If you fail? Do you have to wait 1 full year for it to be offered again?

Any info would be appreciated.

Thanks.

As an Engr (Army) who just finished Ph4 last month, I can tell you (as has been mentioned by several others here on this thread) that the course changes pretty much every year. For example, as someone here mentioned already, the estimate is one of the major stumbling blocks for candidates going through the system, but that is no longer a part of Ph 3. As of last year, that mod has been moved to Ph 4 for the Army Engrs and has been removed entirely for the AF Engrs (although AF still does camp beddown which has its own estimate process).

Our Ph 3 ran something like this:

1. 2 weeks basic demolitions where you do basic demolitions (electric and non electric), cutting charges, craters and explosive breaching.
2. 2 weeks bridging/rafting where you build MGB and MFR. Air force doesn't didn't do MFR, but spend that portion building fuel bladders and airfield repair or something.
3. 2 weeks tools where you learn to use chainsaws, jackhammers, concrete saws, etc. You do some knots here too.
4. 2 weeks obstacles and search where you learn to lay/breach minefields and building/person/vehicle search.
5. 2 weeks estimate/tp comd for reservists only. Reg force guys did PD stuff or took annual leave.
6. 2 weeks field ex where the first week you do a bunch of small party tasks (build/clear obstacles and do the occasional demolitions) during the day, get random arty sims and tflashes thrown at you at night. The whole thing is dismounted so you have to carry all your tools on your back for up to 8km each way. Second week is an urban defensive where 30 guys from 1CER came down and played villagers and OPFOR. Expect lots of wire and sandbags. The exercise culminates in a final defensive where they throw enough CS gas at you to drown a whale.

The only hard assess during Ph 3 was the field ex, where the reg force guys were evaluated as sect comds (not a difficult assess for most people since we had all already been assessed at the section level by this point in our training) and the reserve guys rotated through the Tp Comd role. There were several failures among reservists because of this, but almost all reg force guys made it through just fine.

If you have any questions, feel free to send me a PM and if I can't give you a good answer, I'll ask one of my AF coursemates for you

Chimo
 

Nfld Sapper

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Point of note, the Ph 3 that ran last spring/summer was a pilot course based on an interm TP which has now been rewritten... This years Ph 3 will be based on the new QS/TP.....

And if I am not mistaken, this years Ph 4 will also be based on a new QS/TP.....
 

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In 2013, I applied to become a reserve officer with the 39th Combat Engineer Regiment in North Vancouver.  I'm writing how the recruiting process went for me. hoping anything from my experience can prove useful or informative for someone.

After spending much time on www.forces.gc.ca, army.ca and various other sites pertaining to the military, I finally applied online on 2013-03-19.  Then, for a couple of months, nothing happened.  Once a recruiting form is submitted online, no feedback is available at all for quite a while.  However, on this site, I learned this is normal and that the only thing to do at this point is wait.  So this is what I did.  Then, in June, I got a call from a recruiter from a squadron located at the other end of the province trying to confirm that I wanted to join there.  After explaining to her that she was mistaken and that there must have been some miscommunication, she told me someone else would be contacting me shortly.  A week or two later, a member of the New Westminster Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre contacted me.  He told me that as a reserve applicant, it was my responsibility to contact the reserve units myself to find out whether they had open positions and then to go apply in person at the unit that interests me the most.  I found it strange that no centralized tally of open reserve positions was being kept, but I proceeded to contact all the units that interested me.

From the get-go, I wanted to have the role of Engineer Officer.  Very few officer positions are open in the reserves.  I was lucky that one was with the 39th Combat Engineer Regiment in North Vancouver.  The recruiting officer there told me that I had to meet her at the North Vancouver armoury to proceed further.  When I went there, I had to sign a statement of understanding to attest that I knew what I was attempting to get into.  I was also told that there was some problem with the online application system and that it wasn't really being used.  Because of that and despite what is written on the Forces' official website, the way to go was to submit all the forms at the reserve unit.  I had to re-fill and re-submit everything that night.  I also had to provide all my supporting documents (birth certificate, transcripts, etc.) again.  Good thing I had brought them with me.

Then, essentially nothing happened for the next two months.  I would have gotten no feedback at all again if I had not emailed the unit recruiter a few times.  It is worth mentioning that recruiters don't seem to have business cards.  So if you want to communicate with them, you should make sure to ask them for contact information.  Another way to get a hold of someone is to remember that usually the email address of Forces members is of the following form:  first_name.last_name@forces.gc.ca.  So two months later, I was scheduled to write the CFAT.

The CFAT is taken at your local recruiting center.  Upon arrival and before writing the CFAT, the candidates have their paperwork double-checked.  Some will need to make corrections.  Also, the candidates have to fill a form regarding past and current (recreational) drug use.  Then, it's on to the test itself.  The CFAT consists of three parts:  a vocabulary section, a spatial section and a mathematical section.  I have written the GMAT before.  I would say that the CFAT vocabulary and math sections are easier than that of the GMAT.  Another way to put it is that those who feel the need to prepare for the CFAT can use GMAT preparation material.  Having prepared extensively for the GMAT, I did well on that test.  Thus, I went through the CFAT's vocabulary and math sections with ease.  However, the GMAT doesn't have a spatial ability section.  For this reason, I found myself less prepared for this section of the CFAT.  One note:  making sure to give a decent stab at all the questions is better than getting sucked into spending too much time on any one figure and lacking time to properly analyze others at the end.  Right after doing the test, you will be told whether you got a score sufficient for the position for which you applied.  If you did, you will be scheduled for a medical test.  At any rate, you will also be reimbursed for your transportation to the Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre.  This will not be the case your future trips to the recruiting center.

I was booked for my medical two days after my CFAT.  The medical started with a questionnaire on my health history.  Then my height and weight were measured.  Following that, I was given a vision and color test.  For the last element of the first half of the medical test, I entered an acoustically sealed chamber and did a hearing test.  For the second half of the medical test, I moved to another room.  This part of the process at first resembled what you'd expect from a regular medical check-up:  breathing in and out with a stethoscope on your chest, opening your mouth and saying "ah", having the person peak into your ears and so on.  However, in addition to this, I was asked to do a few movements such as a couple of push-ups, touching my toes with my fingers, crouching, "walking like a duck" while crouched in an odd way.  This is to verify that you have no handicap in your range of motion.  I'm happy to report that throughout the whole medical exam, I got to keep my shorts on.  No one played with my balls on inserted anything anywhere uncomfortable.  I was also surprised that I didn't have to provide any blood or urine sample.  I thought the Forces would have wanted to run some basic tests on those and also screen for drugs.  I was told that in the past there were so many false positives with those tests that it wasn't worth bogging down the medical recruiting staff unless there was a reason to believe such tests were necessary.  In addition, random drug tests can be administered at any time while you are serving.

After the medical, the next step is the physical test.  I was told however that the person who was conducting physical testing at this recruiting center had recently left and that I would not be able to do the physical until a replacement was found.  I was told this could take a while but was assured that I would be contacted as soon as a replacement was found.  One month later, having gotten no news, I contacted my file manager at the recruiting center to know whether they had found a replacement.  She told me one had been found... a few weeks ago!  Good thing I checked up on my file or I might just have fallen into the cracks.  So I ended up doing my physical test a bit over a month after my medical.  The physical was essentially the EXPRES test:  cardio, push-ups, sit-ups, hand grip.  The guy who oversaw my physical test was strongly reminiscent of Bill Murray.

A few weeks after completing the physical, I was scheduled for a job interview.  The officer who gave me the interview reviewed my file, asked a few standard HR-ish questions from a form he was filling on me and made me sign some papers.  Some of the questions I was asked were "Why do you want to join the Forces?", "Why the reserve and not the regular Forces?", "Why did you choose the specific occupation you did?".  The papers I had to sign included a statement saying that I accepted to be subjected to military law and an affirmation that I would not use illegal drugs.

Then, I thought I was out of the woods but I wasn't quite yet.  I informed the recruiting officer at my local combat engineer squadron that I was all processed and awaited further instructions from her.  She told me that it wasn't certain there was an Engineer Officer position available after all.  Needless to say, I found it quite strange that candidates would be sent through the whole recruiting process if it isn't clear that there is a need for them.  Thankfully, a few weeks later I was informed that I was now authorized to be enrolled.  However there was still one last hitch.  I wasn't guaranteed a spot on the next basic training session.

Regardless, I showed up at 6 Engineer Squadron's armoury on 2013-12-12 to be sworn in.  That night, I had loads more of paperwork to complete before being sworn in.  Then, I pledged allegiance to the Queen in a solemn affirmation that marked my official enrollment in the Canadian Forces.  One interesting point:  because I joined through the direct entry officer program, I was enrolled as an Officer Cadet with an immediate promotion to the rank of Second Lieutenant.  This is common for DEO officers, but I still find it strange that just because one has a bachelor's degree, one can get commissioned without even having completed basic training.  At any rate, following the swearing in, my body measurements were taken in order to get gear that fits me.  Finally, I got to enjoy a few drinks in the mess after having completed my first three paid hours in the army that night.

All in all, it took roughly nine months for me to get in the army.  Throughout the whole process, the information I got from various sources (for example, the Forces' official website, the recruiting center personnel, my squadron's recruiter) was inconsistent if not outright contradictory.  I am told this is the norm and that my processing time was actually quite decent.  I am saying this so that those considering joining understand that the army isn't an efficient corporation but rather an arm of the government.

On the bright side, I got enrolled two days before the holiday party and got to enjoy a memorable experience then.  (Think military ceremony mixed with alcohol, a good meal, rough games and getting to know the people in my squadron)  Also, shortly after, I learned that my spot for the upcoming basic training has been confirmed.  I'm starting my basic training in a few days now.

If I can be of help to anyone considering joining or currently in the process, just write me.  After all, sharing information is one of the main purposes of this site.

Recruiting Center: New Westminster
Regular / Reserve: Reserve
Officer / NCM: Officer
Trade Choice 1: Engineer Officer
Trade Choice 2: Signals Officer
Trade Choice 3: Logistics Officer
Application Date: 2013-03-19
First Contact: 2013-06-14
CFAT: 2013-08-27
Medical: 2013-08-29
Physical: 2013-10-08
Interview: 2013-10-29
Position Offered: Engineer Officer
Swearing In: 2013-12-12
 

Ludoc

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Holy wall of text, Batman! If anyone doubted you wanted to be an Officer they have been corrected.

Seriously though, welcome aboard.

And while she does indeed hold both jobs, I think it much more likely you swore an oath to the Queen of Canada, not the Queen of England. An important distinction.
 

glahaye

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It is indeed a huge post.  I wrote it partly because I remember wanting to read such stories while I was going through the recruiting process in order to know what to expect.

PS: I've edited the post to just say "the Queen". :)
 

aquaholic75

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Thank you for writing this post. You're right about potential recruits wanting to read such stories. It's not only encouraging but answers many questions we might have.
 

glahaye

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I have a bachelor's degree in engineering (I have an iron ring and all).  However, my branch of engineering (software) is not as closely related to the Engineer Officer position as, say, civil or mechanical.

I also have a master's degree in science in (quantitative) finance.

I'm speculating that the recruiters saw my background as consistent with the numerate and analytical nature of the work Engineer Officers might have to do.
 

Blake Castelein

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Hi, I am entering into grade 11 next year and I am choosing courses right now. What courses do you recommend I take for grade 11 and 12 to direct myself into becoming an engineer officer? -Blake
 

McG

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What courses do you need to take to be accepted into a university engineering program?
Answer that and you will also answer your question above.
 

Drake.Kho

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Basically, you should have the following grade 12 courses.
  - 1 English
  - 2 Sciences
  - 2 Math.
as long as you have these 5 courses, you're pretty much guarantee to be eligible for any university program you may be interested in.
and if you're looking to enter an engineering program it is especially important that you take the 2 science and 2 maths.

high school offers 3 different fields of science (biology, chemistry, and physics) and 3 maths course (calculus and advanced functions, geometry and discrete math, and data management).

from an engineering stand point, it's highly recommended that you take physics and chemistry for your 2 high school grade 12 sciences, as all first year engineering students regardless of program have to take 1st year chemistry and physics. as for the maths, you should really take 'calculus and advanced functions' and 'geometry and discrete math' as you'll have to take both these courses in first year university engineering.
 

Blake Castelein

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Okay! I didn't think anyone would reply anymore I haven't checked this in a while, one issue though is that my highschool only offers calculus, foundations, and apprenticeship/workplace (you are only allowed to choose 1, I went with calculus) so I don't know what to do for the geological/discreet math. (I live in B.C. So out education is uh not super well funded so I'm guessing that's why I don't have as many courses)
 

McG

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If you can get into an engineering program at UBC with your chosen high school courses, then those are the ones that you need.  Every province is different, so don't worry about the course list someone from Ontario or Saskatchewan might give you.
 
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