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Engineering Officer

mariomike

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Asked and answered in Ask a CAF Recruiter. Adding for reference,

Engineer Officer Degree 
http://milnet.ca/forums/threads/123252/post-1438943/topicseen.html#new
Q: "I was wondering if there is a specific engineering degree required to be an Engineer Officer, or if I could study any form of engineering and still be able to be an Engineer Officer."

A: "If you are talking about applying for ROTP then you have a broad spectrum of BEng degrees which are acceptable: civil, chemical, aerospace, computer, electrical, environmental, geomatics, mechanical.  In addition you can also take a BSc in math, physics, computer science, environmental science, space sciences."

 

Niko

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Alright, thank you for your help. I just wasn't sure because it seems like a lot of their calculations would be closer related to civil engineering and construction-type situations (like designing bridges and such).
 

barbarian825

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Hey i am going to graduate in may with a masters in civil engineering and im considering joining the CF as an engineer officer.
I am curious as how long the training period will be? and will it be paid? will the pay be lower than when i complete it?
also, on website it is said that the salary starting would be 51k annualy. I had a word with a recuriter too, i was wondering if i need any experiences to be considered. He told me it is enough. Now considering that i will have a masters, should i be expecting a higher starting salary? and how much higher?

thanks
 

EOO

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@barbarian825. I just recently apply myself and I am still awaiting the response for next step after passing my CFAT in Feb. I applied in January.

I don't think your starting salary will differ too much from what was posted online, I read somewhere in this forum that a whole lot of factor will determine what you earn after your BMOQ.

Waiting appears to be the name of the game.
 

RocketScientist

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glahaye said:
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

My goodness, if only I had read this post a few weeks ago, it would've answered SO many of my questions without having to dig through the internet. Funnily enough, it never turned out in any of my searches.

If you ever get a chance, could you please update this with your experience in Basic and afterwards?
 
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Could someone please provide insight into the intensity and length of training for Engineer Officers? More specifically, the training for Phase 3 which I believe is called "Basic Engineer Officer Course 1.1" and "Basic Engineer Officer Course 1.2". Is this the same as DP1? How physically demanding is it, and to what standard should my fitness be upon the commencement of these courses?
Since the lengths of BMOQ and BMOQ-L (or now currently called BMOQ-A) have been adjusted, I wonder if the Engineer training has been adjusted as well. I have heard a great deal about DP1 for Infantry Officers but there is a lack of anecdotal information on Engineer Officer training. Is it similar to Infantry aside from the technical aspects of Engineering?
 

Hucker

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DP1.1 is about 3 months long and is pretty physically demanding. Be prepared for lots of heavy ruck marches. This is where you will see tools, explosives and how to execute engineers task at the individual and section level.

DP1.2 is the classroom phase and is about 8 months long. If I am not mistaken, the new thing this year is that they are bringing back Conventional munition disposal (basic) and the LAV crew commander course. There is also a full month of dismounted infantry in there.

Hope this help
 

Nfld Sapper

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One of the only changes I have heard is the reintroduction of Tactical Minefields at all levels of training (both NCM and Officer)
 
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Thanks for the responses. It helps to know what is ahead.

NFLD Sapper, there seems to be a lot of similarities between Infantry and Engineering. When applying I was on the fence between the two. I have a B.Sc. in Physics so I took Engineer because I had the schooling to qualify. How much Infantry do the Engineers see? Aside from the Infantry as a secondary role, what makes the job fun? Working with explosives sounds both fun and stressful, but stressful in a good way. I felt that Infantry would have been more limiting, both skills and career-wise, compared to Engineering. Am I correct about this? What makes Combat Engineers want to do the job that they do? It looks very physical. How much combat do the Engineers see compared to their brothers and sisters in the Infantry?
 

mariomike

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G.I. JANE 117 said:
NFLD Sapper, there seems to be a lot of similarities between Infantry and Engineering.

You may find these discussions of interest,

Combat Engineer or Infantry
https://army.ca/forums/threads/34091.50
6 pages.

Switching to Infantry or staying as a Combat Engineer 
https://army.ca/forums/threads/109064.0
3 pages.

Infantry to Combat Engineer 
https://army.ca/forums/threads/104750.0

Engineer/Artillery/Infantry applicant looking for info. Help!
https://army.ca/forums/threads/110863.0

Secondary role of the Engineer: to be Infantry 
https://army.ca/forums/threads/26138.0

Comparing the Combat Arms (Inf vs. Engr vs. Armd vs. Arty)
https://army.ca/forums/threads/23460.50
6 pages.

etc...
 
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