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MARS Occupation Manager

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Just wanted to introduce myself to everyone out there who may have questions about the MARS occupation.  I will monitor this post on a fairly reqular basis and am available to answer any questions you may have.  I've had a view of some of the other posts and want to make sure that the information that is getting out is accurate and hopefully dispel some rumours.
 

MPCurley

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Hi MARS OM, I had a question that you might be able to answer.  I'm very interested in pursuing a career as a MARS officer in the RCN.  Both my parents were in the Canadian Army, and my Uncle was in the Navy, so they've been able to tell me good stories about life in the Canadian Forces, which has certainly piqued my interest.  I'd be entering through the DEO program, as I've been working for two years now after completing my university degree. 

A few weeks ago, I took a trip to the local recruiting centre with all my documentation prepared, and was very disappointed to find out that applications were not being accepted for MARS.  The recruiting centre told me that applications likely wouldn't be accepted again until April 2012, but I had also heard from somebody at the National Recruitment Centre that it would be March.  Would you be able to provide any insight on which is more accurate?  Both locations also told me to check back periodically in the off chance that it opened sooner; is there much chance of that happening?

One more question: once the applications do open, and there are a certain amount of spots that are to be filled, how do they go about filling them?  Are earlier applications given priority?  I guess what I'm trying to get at is: if I am a week or two late getting my application in once it opens up, am I going to be at a disadvantage?

Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide.  The wait to get the application process isn't ideal, but I think it will be worth it!  Just hoping cubicleland doesn't suck me dry before then, haha!
 
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Hi MPCurely,

I'm not part of the Canadian Forces Recruiting Group so I can't speak specifically to how they process applicants but the recruiting year is from 01 Apr to 31 Mar.  I would suggest you go to your local recruiting centre in March to check when they will be accepting new applications.  The likelihood of recruiting more MARS officers before 31 Mar 12 is quite small.

What I can tell you is that my position is responsible for determining how many MARS officers we can recruit in any given year.  All the occupation managers look at a variety of factors to calculate that number for their respective occupations.  MARS has quite a few people in the training system right now, it takes a few years to become qualified and our training institutions only have so much capacity.  Recruiting more than we can train would result in wait times for training which is quite dissatisfying.  This is the principle reason why we scaled back MARS recruitment this year.

No promises, but I suspect that we will open up MARS for DEO again next year in small numbers.  I wish I could give you more on the application process but I wouldn't want to give you bad info.  I hope you keep interested in the MARS occupation as it is quite a rewarding career.  Start bugging your recruiting centre 01 March 12!





 
 

MPCurley

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Thanks for the info, MARS OM!  I guess in this case, patience is key, but oh so difficult to master!  Any tips on things I can do in the meantime to improve my potentital as a candidate?  I've already started my PT, but any other suggestions would not only help to pass the time, but to keep me focused on my goal too.  Any and all advice is appreciated!
 

ekpiper

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MARS Occupation Manager said:
Just wanted to introduce myself to everyone out there who may have questions about the MARS occupation.  I will monitor this post on a fairly reqular basis and am available to answer any questions you may have.  I've had a view of some of the other posts and want to make sure that the information that is getting out is accurate and hopefully dispel some rumours.

Hello MARS OM,

I am wondering what the current policy is for when MARS officers take their SLT relative to NETP-O, and if it depends on stream (ROTP, DEO).  I am trying to determine where I will be next summer after I graduate university, having only BMOQ completed and moving out from the ROTP umbrella.

Thank you for your help

 
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ekpiper said:
Hello MARS OM,

I am wondering what the current policy is for when MARS officers take their SLT relative to NETP-O, and if it depends on stream (ROTP, DEO).  I am trying to determine where I will be next summer after I graduate university, having only BMOQ completed and moving out from the ROTP umbrella.

Thank you for your help

Hi ekpiper,

If you're attending a civilian university, upon completion, you should be heading off to Victoria and the Naval Officer Training Centre to take NETPO and then straight off to MARS trg.  Once you've completed your MARS III and MARS IV you'll be sent to your first operational ship to get your Officer of the Day qualification, Bridge Watchkeeping Certificate, Naval Operations Course, complete your OPMEs and Naval Officer Professional Qualification (NOPQ).  This should all take between 2 and 3 years.  Once you've completed your NOPQ you'll head off to your Directors course where you will be instructed in a particular warfare discipline and then be posted to a ship for your sea tour.  Upon completion of your sea tour (usually about two years) you may then have some time for SLT.  Once you get posted to your ship, make sure you engage your chain of command and let them know that you want to take SLT.  You first priority should be to get occupationally qualified.  Be the squeaky wheel!

MPCurley said:
Thanks for the info, MARS OM!  I guess in this case, patience is key, but oh so difficult to master!  Any tips on things I can do in the meantime to improve my potentital as a candidate?  I've already started my PT, but any other suggestions would not only help to pass the time, but to keep me focused on my goal too.  Any and all advice is appreciated!

MPCurely,

Spacial awareness is a big part of being a successful MARS officer.  I would suggest that you go online and find spacial awareness exams/tests and practice.  I checked and there are quite a few links to different websites that offer this.  General awareness of the navy never hurts either.  If you go to the Canadian Navy website, have a read of the strategic issue reference material.  It will give you a deeper insight as to where we're going as a navy.  For the rest of it, we'll teach you. 
 
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Hello MARS OM

I am curious, what are some of the duties of a junior MARS officer? What is the day-to-day routine like, both at sea and on shore? Thanks for your time!
 

Lumber

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gawnewiththewind said:
Hello MARS OM

I am curious, what are some of the duties of a junior MARS officer? What is the day-to-day routine like, both at sea and on shore? Thanks for your time!

Day to day routine:

Show up
Drink Coffee
Check Email
More Coffee
Chase Hods and Directors around trying to get them to sit down with you and sign signe off some of your reqs (read: requiremnts). The result of 2 hours of this rabbit chasing: 1 req signed off... if you're persistent enough.
Soup + Coffee
Continue chasing Hods and Directors around, realizing that by 11-1130 no one gives a shit. Retire to 6/8 and shoot the shit with the other subbies, while drinking coffee.
Lunch
Post-Lunch Coffee
Check Email
Post email checking Coffee
Find that director who promised he'd spend 30 mins with you "after lunch" working on and signing off that Req only to have him push it back until 1500.
Receive tasking from NavO which could otherwise have been completed by a monkey (and no, I'm not referring to bos'ns)
Coffee
Discover at 1500 that the Director has not even on the ship anymore
Go home
Repeat, at least until you are OOD qualified.

 

Cui

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Lumber said:
Day to day routine:

Show up
Drink Coffee
Check Email
More Coffee
Chase Hods and Directors around trying to get them to sit down with you and sign signe off some of your reqs (read: requiremnts). The result of 2 hours of this rabbit chasing: 1 req signed off... if you're persistent enough.
Soup + Coffee
Continue chasing Hods and Directors around, realizing that by 11-1130 no one gives a crap. Retire to 6/8 and shoot the crap with the other subbies, while drinking coffee.
Lunch
Post-Lunch Coffee
Check Email
Post email checking Coffee
Find that director who promised he'd spend 30 mins with you "after lunch" working on and signing off that Req only to have him push it back until 1500.
Receive tasking from NavO which could otherwise have been completed by a monkey (and no, I'm not referring to bos'ns)
Coffee
Discover at 1500 that the Director has not even on the ship anymore
Go home
Repeat, at least until you are OOD qualified.

:rofl:
 

dimsum

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Sadly, not too far off the mark (when in the training system.)
 

Lumber

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gawnewiththewind said:
Hello MARS OM

I am curious, what are some of the duties of a junior MARS officer? What is the day-to-day routine like, both at sea and on shore? Thanks for your time!

To be serious, the day to day routine alongside is pretty random, and the at sea it is pretty straight-forward.

At sea, you will stand your watches on the bridge, eat and sleep during your off watches, and any other time will be spent under studying other personnel, working on your req progression, and doing whatever little jobs the NavO might task you with, such as Port Liaison Officer, Duty Nav, random briefs etc..

Alongside is a whole different story and it depends whether you are OOD (Officer of the Day) qualified or not. The very first thing when you get to a ship is train to become on Officer of the Day (OOD). Essentially, as the OOD (there is only one OOD for each day of the week), you have charge of the ship, which means that you are exercising command on behalf of the CO. You make sure that the ship runs smoothly, and that the ship and the crew are safe.

You are expected to be OOD qualified within 3 months of arriving aboard your first ship, and they don't let you forget it. Generally, people won't let you sit and drink a coffee for 5 minutes without harassing you about "are you OOD qualified yet? No? What are you doing here?! Get to work Subbie!  :crybaby:". There is a lot to learn, and you will spend most of every day studying references, walking around the ship getting comfortable with the layout, and where EVERYTHING (I mean literally) is. You will chase people around just like I said in my last post and try and get them to sign off your reqs, you will sit pre-boards, stand duties as 2OOD (the assistant to the OOD), conduct fire-exercises, and finnally, sit a board in front of the XO, Combat Officer, Engineering and Combat Systems Officers. Once you've passed this board, your life becomes a little easier.

Day to day post-OOD is a little bit more relaxed. Your biggest concern at this point is getting NOPQ qualified. Unfortunately, just about all of the NOPQ reqs require sea-time to complete. You can do a lot of studying, but most of these reqs require that you actually go and do them. And not because you need to do them so you can just "get that damn signature", but because these are really things you need to have done and know how to do. So when the ship isn't sailing, your day to day duties depend entirely on"
a) What secondary duties you might have (for example, diving officer, communications security officer, sports officer, boarding party officer, United Way Charity Rep, etc..)
b) What tasking your NavO assigns you (support a training course in the simulators, clean out the chart room, type of his memos)
c) Your level of motivation (honestly, most days I run around like a chicken with my head cut off, and other days where all I do is drink coffee) ;)

If you want to know anymore let me know!

Cheers
 

Pat in Halifax

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There is a little bit more here methinx:
I admit, I am a stoker but had to 'qualify' as an OOD. (too many stories for this forum!-I was a Board member wrt DC and ER stuff before I, myself qualified.)
Lumber says it is mind-numbing stuff - not too far off the mark.  As for at sea...
...MCR calls up and says "I have a high bearing temp in the X-conn gearbox on bearing 17, request set speed 12" You gotta know what that all means. We try to train our guys to 'dumb it up' a little but this is what may come out and you need to be ready....now!

I now realize when I re-read, this is more OOD not OOW stuff - You better f***ing well know your Man Aloft procedures, LOTO and Cold move stuff otherwise, "we" will eat you alive!

Ignore the dumdf*** responses below.

Good Luck!

PS: If you have a new ChoD double banking, don't say something to the effect "...in my experience..."

My response: " I have passed more lighthouses going astern than you've seen telephone poles!"

Again - Good Luck and stick with it!
 

LittleMagellan

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MARS OM, great to see you on here. Hope you're still the current OM. I just have a quick question, I was wondering if we are entitled to backpay after we pass our board within 2 years of finishing MARS IV. I've tried looking it up in references, and I've heard a lot of debate about this. If you could provide some clarification on this that would be great. Maybe it's a LogO thing though. Thanks!
 

Lumber

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LittleMagellan said:
MARS OM, great to see you on here. Hope you're still the current OM. I just have a quick question, I was wondering if we are entitled to backpay after we pass our board within 2 years of finishing MARS IV. I've tried looking it up in references, and I've heard a lot of debate about this. If you could provide some clarification on this that would be great. Maybe it's a LogO thing though. Thanks!

Back pay for what? You need two years in rank to get promoted to LT(N). Soooo... if you pass your board "within" two years, you wouldn't be promoted to Lt(N) yet, so what would you be getting back paid for?

Now lets say you graduated and were promoted to SLT on June 1st 2010, but didn't start training about ship until September 1st. If you pass your NOPQ board on September 1st 2012, the would you get back paid to June 1st 2012? Good question. OM?
 

mitsulance

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Hello,

I am in the process of applying for the Reg Forces in the RCN. I wanted to know which NCM trades have the most overlap of the duties of the MARS Officer? I neither did cadets as a kid nor have family in the forces don't want to make 8+ year commitment without having a better understanding of what I would be getting myself into compared to a 3 to 5 year VIE as a NCM. Furthermore, if I decide not to make a lifetime career in the forces, I would at least have gained a more technical skill set as an NCM compared to going straight Officer.

I was thinking NCI OP had the most in common, but that's only based on what I have been able to find on the Forces.ca website. Is this correct, or is there another trade that has more in common with MARS Officer than NCI OP?

Thank you
 

MMSS

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mitsulance said:
Hello,

I am in the process of applying for the Reg Forces in the RCN. I wanted to know which NCM trades have the most overlap of the duties of the MARS Officer? I neither did cadets as a kid nor have family in the forces don't want to make 8+ year commitment without having a better understanding of what I would be getting myself into compared to a 3 to 5 year VIE as a NCM. Furthermore, if I decide not to make a lifetime career in the forces, I would at least have gained a more technical skill set as an NCM compared to going straight Officer.

I was thinking NCI OP had the most in common, but that's only based on what I have been able to find on the Forces.ca website. Is this correct, or is there another trade that has more in common with MARS Officer than NCI OP?

Thank you

I am also a current applicant, first choice is MARS. From what I have seen, MARS would be the closest to "professional sailor" in the officer ranks, and Boatswain (Bos'n) would be the "career sailor" of the NCM world.
 

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Hi MARS OM,

Hoping for some info on what I should be expecting in the next few months. I just received a job offer for MARS; I swear in on the 22nd of October. Right now they have me posted to St-Jean on the 27th; however, this is likely to change as I've already done basic. I'm just not sure how often courses run and what I should expect as far as postings go.

Thanks :salute:
 
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