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PART ONE: BACKGROUND

1.0     Introduction

Canadian Armed Forces (2)This article provides an overview of phase 1 initial military training, aka basic training, received by members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) or Forces Armeés Canadiennes (FAC).

The article is divided into six parts for easier reading, and includes:

  • Part 01, Background: a brief background to the CAF, including the structure of the CAF, the role of basic training and where it sits within the professional development paradigm of the CAF.
  • Part 02, Organisation of Training: briefly describes the institutions encountered during basic training and the key personalities who decide on training policy or are responsible for basic training.
  • Part 03, Non-Commissioned Member Basic Training: Provides an outline of the basic military qualification course undertaken by non-commissioned members of the CAF, as well as the various iterations of the course
  • Part 04, Commissioned Officer Basic Training: Provides an outline of the basic military officer qualification course undertaken by commissioned officer members of the CAF, as well as the various iterations of the course.
  • Part 05, Graduations, Voluntary Release and Course Awards: Describes the voluntary release process for trainees as well as the graduation and course awards. Part 05 also outlines the academic credit for basic military training that some graduates of the basic military qualification course can obtain.
  • Part 06, Miscellaneous: the final part of the article provides a summary of the article as well as links to some useful publications and references.

1.1     Aim

The aim of this article is to provide an outline of the Phase 1 initial military training, or Basic Training, encountered by officers and non-commissioned members (NCM) of the Canadian Armed Forces.

1.2     Structure of the CAF

An outline of the structure of the CAF can be found here.

1.3     The Role of Basic Training in the CAF

Training, Shelter LessonBoth the Basic Military Qualification (BMO) course and the Basic Military Officer Qualification (BMOQ) course serve a dual purpose:

  1. As an initial military training course; and
  2. As the title of a certificate awarded upon graduation of the initial military training course.

The BMQ/BMOQ is common to all members of the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) regardless of trade.

Both streams of military qualification have the same basic training syllabus, however, the major difference between the two is the BMOQ course has two weeks focussing specifically on leadership and command aspects required by officers. The BMOQ course is more focused on writing and giving orders, in contrast to the BMQ course which is more focused on following those orders in order to finish the task at hand.

Within the CAF, the role of basic training is to:

  • Provide/develop the skills and knowledge that is common to all trades and fields of the CAF;
  • Promote morale and cohesion; and
  • Transform a Canadian citizen into a partly-trained military professional.

Basic training is considered physically, mentally and morally demanding and is founded on the four fundamental values of the CAF:

  1. Duty;
  2. Loyalty;
  3. Integrity; and
  4. Courage.

Basic training is expected to develop a military state of mind and behaviour in the trainee, as well as the mental, physical endurance and combat skills necessary for the military profession.

Simply put, these courses teach the core skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in a military environment. They put trainees through mental and physical strain with the goal of instilling a sense of teamwork, cohesion, good working habits, self-confidence, military skills, self-discipline, and physical and mental tenacity.

Notwithstanding the physical demands witnessed on these courses, the adjustment to a military lifestyle and discipline is often the most difficult aspect of basic training and may be the most demanding experience for many trainees (this may be the first extended time spent away from the comfort and security of home).

1.4     Developmental Period One

In the training paradigm of the CAF, the BMQ/BMOQ courses fall within Developmental Period 1 (DP1), the first of five periods, which focuses on the skills and knowledge required for entry level employment and further training.

In addition to the BMQ/BMOQ, DP1 includes environmental and occupational qualifications (aka Phase 2 Employment Training), and second language training as required. After completing DP1, military personnel are deemed occupationally employable at an introductory level.

Progression to DP2 occurs when the trainee joins a unit and leaves the Basic Training List.

PART TWO: ORGANISATION OF TRAINING

2.0     Introduction

Over the last decade (2010s), the CAF has witnessed a number of organisational changes brought on by a combination of reduced budgets and international operations.

This section provides a brief overview of the Phase 1 training landscape within the CAF, identifying the major institutions involved. A number of these institutions have witnessed some organisational changes such as name changes and a change of command.

Some institutions are still referred by their old titles, for example the Canadian Defence Academy, despite being retitled the Military Personnel Generation Command (Section 2.2).

2.1     Chief of Military Personnel/Commander Military Personnel Command

Language Training at Fort Bragg
Language Training at Fort Bragg

The Chief of Military Personnel (CMP)/Commander Military Personnel Command (MPC), an OF-8 level officer (uprated from OF-7 in July 2014 (Pugliese, 2014)), is the senior officer responsible for the CAF’s human resource programmes. Military Personnel Command is one of seven [several] commands within the CAF. As the Commander of a ‘Level One’ organisation, the CMP reports directly to the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), the professional head of the CAF.

A CMP newsletter published in August 2014 states (CMP Newsletter, 2014, p.3):

“Military Personnel Command was created in 2006 with the position of Chief of Military Personnel ranked at MGen [Major General]. Prior to the 2006 Transformation, the military human resource function was performed by ADM Human Resources – Military, at the rank of LGen [Lieutenant General].”

Key personalities within the CAF training environment include:

  • Chief of Military Personnel/Command Military Personnel Command, an OF-8 level officer.
  • Assistant Chief of Military Personnel/Deputy Commander Military Personnel Command, an OF-7 level officer.
  • Chief of Staff, Military Personnel Command, an OF-6 level officer.
  • Director Personnel Generation Requirements, NDHQ, an OF-5 level officer.
  • Deputy Chief of Staff, Military Personnel Command, an OF-4 level officer.
  • Director General Military Careers (DGMC), Military Personnel Command, an OF-6 level officer
  • Commandant, Canadian Defence Academy, an OF-7 level officer.
  • Director Professional Development, Canadian Defence Academy HQ, an OF-5 level officer.
  • Commandant Royal Military College of Canada, an OF-6 level officer.
  • Commandant, Royal military College Saint-Jean, an OF-5 level officer.
  • Commandant, Canadian Forces College, an OF-6 level officer.
  • Head of Curriculum, Canadian Forces College, an OF-5 level officer.
  • Commandant, Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School, an OF-4 level officer.

2.2     Military Personnel Generation Command

“For every soldier in the field, pilot in the air or sailor at sea, there are seven other military members in trades supporting that operator in the field. MPGTG’s job is to train those people.” (CAF, 2015).

As a result of changes witnessed in 2015, the Canadian Defence Academy (CDA) was officially renamed the Military Personnel Generation (MILPERSGEN) Command (Citoyen Borden Citizen, 2015). And, on 10 June 2015, the Canadian Forces Support Training Group was officially renamed the Military Personnel Generation Training Group (MPGTG) (Citoyen Borden Citizen, 2015).

The MILPERSGEN Command is led by the Commander MILPERSGEN, an OF-7 level officer, located at the MILPERSGEN HQ in Kingston.

The CDA is now considered an ‘education group’, and is responsible for:

  • The Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC);
  • The Royal Military College Saint-Jean (RMCSJ);
  • The Canadian Forces College (CDC); and
  • The Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School (CFLRS).

MILPERSGEN has a mandate that spans the personnel generation activities of the CAF, from military personnel generation requirements and recruiting, through to basic training and common support trade schools.

The mandate of MPGTG is to train and educate members of the CAF, and it does this through eight training establishments, one of which is the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School (CFLRS) (Section 2.3). As well as the CFLRS, the MPGT has official responsibility for the Military Law Learning Centre, The Canadian Forces Language School and the Conduct after Capture School.

The “MPGTG trains approximately 16,000 military personnel annually. The organization employs approximately 3,200 military members and 1,200 civilian employees.” (CAF, 2015).

2.3     Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School

Training, Stretcher, RAPTCThe Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School (CFLRS) is located at the Saint-Jean Garrison, CFB Saint-Jean in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.

Key personalities of the CFLRS include:

  • Commandant, an OF-4 level officer;
  • School Chief Warrant Officer, an OR-9 level NCM.
  • NCM Professional Development Division Chief Instructor, an OR-9 level NCM.

The CFLRS, established in 1968, is one of eight training establishments of the MPGTG with responsibility for:

  • The Basic Military Qualification (BMQ) for Regular Force NCMs.
  • The Basic Military Officer Qualification (BMOQ) for Regular Force Officers.
  • The Distance Learning portion of the CAF Primary Leadership Qualification (PLQ): The PLQ provides NCMs of the rank of Corporal/Leading Seaman with the foundational skills and knowledge inherent for leading within the military. The course consists of a Distance Learning phase of nine days, which must be completed within nine weeks and a Residency portion of 26 days.
  • The CAF Junior Officer Development (CAFJOD) programme which exposes junior officers from the Regular and Reserve Forces to a general and standardised body of foundational knowledge through seven Distance Learning modules, which include:
    • Module 1: Staff Duties;
    • Module 2: Enable the Fighting Force;
    • Module 3: Law and Military Justice;
    • Module 4: Leadership and Ethics;
    • Module 5: Joint Operations;
    • Module 6: Canadian Military History; and
    • Module 7: Support the Institution.

Unlike most other military organisations, both officers and enlisted personnel complete their basic training at the same location. For the duration of basic training, trainees will live in the 397,572 square foot General Jean Victor Allard Building, known simply as the ‘The Mega’. The building also has command and staff offices, stores, dining facilities, a post office, supply issue offices, an Olympic sized pool and physical fitness centre.

Every year more than 4000 people start their military career at CFLRS, while 5000 military members train via Distance Learning. The CFLRS employs approximately 600 civilian and military personnel.

PART THREE: NON-COMMISSIONED MEMBER TRAINING

3.0     Introduction

Training, Ammo RunThe first stage of training for NCMs is the Basic Military Qualification (BMQ) course, commonly known as Basic Training.

Although the location of training and the variant of the BMQ course that a trainee undertakes depends on their method of entry to the CAF, the general purpose is universal.

The general purpose of the BMQ course is to provide the skills and knowledge that is common to all trades and elements within the CAF and produce NCMs that are able to operate in a small team.

Variations of the BMQ course include:

  • Regular Forces BMQ (Section 3.1), delivered as one continuous course;
  • Reserve Forces BMQ (Section 3.2), delivered during weekends and evenings or as a summer programme depending on time of enrolment;
  • Aboriginal BMQ (Section 3.3), delivered as one continuous course; and
    BMQ for NCM Subsidised Education Plan candidates.

As a guide, the BMQ course is composed of:

  • 62% of classroom training with study and theoretical exams;
  • 25% of field training with practical exams; and
  • 13% is devoted to physical training (including running, weight training (machines), obstacle course, forced marches, circuit training and in-pool training.

3.1     Regular Forces Basic Military Qualification

The 12 week Regular Forces Basic Military Qualification (BMQ) is delivered at the CFLRS (Section 2.3).

During the first week of basic training trainees will undergo a physical fitness evaluation that will determine if they can continue with the BMQ course. Since October 2006, trainees who do not meet the required standard, of one or more, of the four components of the test, are diverted to a specialised fitness training programme delivered at the CFLRS (Spivock, 2013). This programme, known as the Warrior Fitness Training (WFT) programme, integrates overall health coaching, diet and a rigorous personalised fitness programme.

The WFT consists of three 30 day phases of training (a minimum of 28 calendar days and a maximum of 90 calendar days). It includes two (1 hour) physical training sessions per day, as well as modules on training theory, health behaviours (e.g., active living, smoking cessation, and healthy eating and stress management) and some basic military instruction briefings.

From the moment a trainee achieves the standard of the four components after the 28 day period, they are reintegrated onto a BMQ course. If unsuccessful, the trainee will enter the next phase of the WFT. If a trainee remains unsuccessful at the end of the 90 calendar days, they will be released from the CAF.

The first five weeks of the BMQ are known as the indoctrination period, with personal and free time being severely limited (relative to what most people are used to!). Trainees cannot leave the base, and they continue training during the weekends. At week six trainees are free to do what they want on weekends, granted they don’t get in trouble!

Training during the Regular Forces BMQ includes:

  • Drill, dress and discipline;
  • Deportment;
  • First aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR);
  • Weapons handling (using in-service rifle);
  • Physical training;
  • Land navigation;
  • Field training;
  • Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) defence force protection operations;
  • CAF regulations and orders;
  • Communication; and
  • Military history and rank structure.

Trainees will face many physical challenges along the way, such as obstacle course training, a swimming test, a 13km forced march and field exercises. Trainees will live a very structured lifestyle, their days from 0500 to 1800 consist of workouts, classes and quick mealtimes. After 1800, trainees do have down time but it is not really free time, as they will be preparing for inspection, preparing their kit, studying for tests and polishing their boots.

Training is usually conducted with a platoon of 60 candidates under a Warrant Officer. Courses are delivered by section commanders. The course is often staffed by combat arms soldiers, but can be taught by NCOs of any trade or field.

After the BMQ course is complete, training within DP1 continues in each trainee’s environment or occupation.

3.2     Reserve Forces Basic Military Qualification

“As reserve members they completed this course 2-3 weekends a month from October until March while maintaining their civilian studies or jobs throughout the week.” (Market Wired, 2016).

The course commander for this course will typically be an OF-2 level officer (Market Wired, 2016).

The Reserve Force BMQ is delivered, depending on time of enrolment:

  • During weekends and evenings, typically starting in October or January; or
  • As a summer programme, typically starting at the end of June.

For both variations of the course, training time is approximately 20-25 training days. The training syllabus is the same as the Regular Forces BMQ (Section 3.1), as Reserve Force members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts. Training can be delivered at the trainee’s home unit or at a centralised training centre.

3.3     Aboriginal Basic Military Qualification

The Aboriginal Basic Military Qualification (ABMQ) is one of two Aboriginal Co-op Programmes, the other being the Aboriginal Leadership Opportunities Year (ALOY) Programme (Section 4.3).

Both Aboriginal Co-op Programmes require interested students to voluntarily self-identify as First Nation, Metis or Inuit (FNMI).

The ABMQ is an umbrella term for three summer training programmes offered by the CAF, with the purpose of combining a military lifestyle and cultural awareness. These programmes are highlighted in Table 1.

Table 1: Aboriginal summer training programmes
Programme Title Description
Bold Eagle
  • Established in 1990.
  • Maximum 90 students per programme.
  • A 6 week CAF training programme for Aboriginal Peoples from across Canada that takes place at the 3 Canadian Division Training Centre, Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Wainwright in Alberta.
  • Originally co-ordinated out of CFB Dundurn, Saskatchewan, expanding from its origins in Saskatchewan to include participation by Aboriginal peoples throughout western Canada and north-western Ontario.
  • Students participate in a Grand Entry at a First Nations Pow Wow.
  • Students who successfully complete Bold Eagle are offered the opportunity to continue employment in the Primary Reserve (part-time) with a Reserve unit close to home, or even the Regular Force (full-time) provided they have completed their schooling and there are positions available.
Black Bear
  • Established in 2009.
  • A 6 week Canadian Army training programme for Aboriginal Peoples from across Canada that takes place in Oromocto, New Brunswick.
Raven
  • Established in YEAR.
  • A 6 week Royal Canadian Navy summer programme for Aboriginal Peoples from across Canada that takes place in Esquimalt, British Columbia.
Source: Canadian News Centre, 2009; FSIN, 2010; Millbrook First Nation, 2014; PIB, 2014; St. Clair Catholic District School Board, 2016

All three programmes are six weeks in duration and are shortened versions of the Reserve Forces BMQ (Section 3.2), encompassing Aboriginal traditions and ceremonies. These programmes also focus on helping young people to develop self-confidence, teamwork, leadership and physical fitness.

The courses, typically between July and August each year, are delivered in two phases:

  • Phase 1, Culture Camp: Week one is the Culture Camp and is designed to ease the transition from a civilian to military lifestyle. This week concentrates on common spiritual beliefs and is conducted by Elders of different First Nations and Aboriginal groups.
  • Phase 2, Basic Training: Weeks two to six form the Basic Training element which includes general military knowledge, weapons handling, land navigation, first aid, field-craft and teamwork. Weekly Elder hours are also held during this phase.

These programmes, taught my military instructors, give young people a taste of military training with the option, but no commitment, to join the CAF. Whilst participating in any of the programmes, an individual is a temporary member of the CAF and will be paid for their time (approximately $3,500-$4,500 for 2016).

To qualify for one of the programmes, an individual must (St. Clair Catholic District School Board, 2016):

  1. Residency:
    1. Canadian citizen.
    2. Bold Eagle: Must reside in western Canada or north-western Ontario.
    3. Voluntarily self-identify as First Nation, Metis or Inuit (FNMI).
  2. Have completed at least Grade 10 (15 Credits);
    1. Those in the process of completing grade 10 may apply but cannot be enrolled in the CAF until they provide proof of completion, and this may affect selection given there are limited positions which may already be filled at that time.
    2. Or Quebec Secondaire III.
  3. Age:
    1. Be 16 years of age or older when applying;
    2. Applicants under 18 years of age will require parental/guardian consent.
  4. Complete an application by:
    1. Black Bear and Raven: March.
    2. Bold Eagle: 15 April.
  5. Successfully undertake the Canadian Forces Aptitude Test (CFAT).
  6. Complete a medical examination.
  7. Complete a physical fitness test.
  8. Attend an interview.

PART FOUR: COMMISSIONED OFFICER TRAINING

4.0     Introduction

Training, RMAS, SandhurstThe first stage of training for officers is the Basic Military Officer Qualification (BMOQ) course, commonly known as Basic Training.

Although the location of training and the variant of the BMOQ course that a trainee undertakes depends on their method of entry to the CAF, the general purpose is universal.

The general purpose of the BMOQ course is to provide the skills and knowledge that is common to all trades and elements and prepare future officers to effectively lead small teams in simple operations in both garrison and austere field conditions.

Variations of the BMOQ course include:

  • Regular Forces BMOQ (Section 4.1);
  • Reserve Forces BMOQ (Section 4.2);
  • Aboriginal Leadership Opportunities Year (Section 4.3).
  • Condensed Health Services and Chaplain BMOQ;
  • BMOQ – Module 1 (7 weeks);
  • BMOQ ROTP – Module 2 (8 weeks); and
  • BMOQ RMC – Module 2 (7 weeks).

The BMOQ is composed of two modules:

  • Module 1: Focuses on basic military discipline and skills such as drill, weapons training and first aid.
  • Module 2: Focuses on leadership techniques and basic military planning skills.

Depending on the entry plan, trainees will either conduct these modules back-to-back or over two consecutive summers. Both modules have a physical fitness component.

As a guide, the BMOQ course is composed of:

  • 62% of classroom training with study and theoretical exams;
  • 25% of field training with practical exams; and
  • 13% is devoted to physical training (including running, weight training (machines), obstacle course, forced marches, circuit training and in-pool training.

4.1     Regular Forces Basic Military Officer Qualification

The 14 week Regular Forces Basic Military Officer Qualification (BMOQ) is delivered at the CFLRS (Section 2.3).

During the first week of basic training trainees will undergo a physical fitness evaluation that will determine if they can continue with the BMQ course. Since October 2006, trainees who do not meet the required standard, of one or more, of the four components of the test, are diverted to a specialised fitness training programme delivered at the CFLRS (Spivock, 2013). This programme, known as the Warrior Fitness Training (WFT) programme, integrates overall health coaching, diet and a rigorous personalised fitness programme.

The WFT consists of three 30 day phases of training (a minimum of 28 calendar days and a maximum of 90 calendar days). It includes two (1 hour) physical training sessions per day, as well as modules on training theory, health behaviours (e.g., active living, smoking cessation, and healthy eating and stress management) and some basic military instruction briefings.

From the moment a trainee achieves the standard of the four components after the 28 day period, they are reintegrated onto a BMQ course. If unsuccessful, the trainee will enter the next phase of the WFT. If a trainee remains unsuccessful at the end of the 90 calendar days, they will be released from the CAF.

Training during the Regular Forces BMOQ includes:

  • Drill, dress and discipline;
  • Deportment;
  • First aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR);
  • Weapons handling (using in-service rifle);
  • Physical training;
  • Land navigation;
  • Field training;
  • Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) defence force protection operations;
  • CAF regulations and orders;
  • Communication; and
  • Military history and rank structure;
  • Leadership; and
  • Military planning.

4.2     Reserve Forces Basic Military Officer Qualification

The Reserve Force BMOQ is delivered, depending on time of enrolment:

  • During weekends and evenings, typically starting in October or January; or
  • As a summer programme, typically starting at the end of June.

For both variations of the course, training time is approximately 20-25 training days (needs verification). The training syllabus is the same as the Regular Forces BMOQ (Section 4.1), as Reserve Force members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts. Training can be delivered at the trainee’s home unit or at a centralised training centre.

4.3     Aboriginal Leadership Opportunities Year

The Aboriginal Leadership Opportunities Year (ALOY) is one of two Aboriginal Co-op Programmes, the other being the Aboriginal Basic Military Qualification (ABMQ) programme (Section 3.3).

Both Aboriginal Co-op Programmes require interested students to voluntarily self-identify as First Nation, Metis or Inuit (FNMI).

The ALOY programme is a one year educational and leadership experience delivered at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC), located in Kingston, Ontario. The programme includes (St. Clair Catholic District School Board, 2016):

  • Sports;
  • Field trips;
  • Leadership development;
  • Military training;
  • Cultural support activities; and
  • Individualised learning plans (participants undertake individual and small group tutorials for pre-university (non-credit) and first year university courses).

As part of the ALOY programme, students are enrolled as Officer Cadets in the CAF for the duration of the programme, receiving free tuition and books from the RMCC (however, individuals may request to leave the ALOY programme at any point in the year).

At the end of the ALOY programme, students may apply to continue at the RMCC in a degree programme through one of two routes:

  • The Regular Officer Training Programme (ROTP); or
  • The Reserve Entry Training Plan.

To apply for the ALOY programme a student must (Millbrook First Nation, 2014):

  1. Meet residency criteria:
    1. Canadian citizen.
    2. Voluntarily self-identify as First Nation, Metis or Inuit (FNMI).
  2. Have completed at least Grade 12 (30 Credits);
    1. Or Quebec Secondaire V.
  3. Meet age criteria:
    1. Be 17 years of age or older when applying;
    2. Applicants under 19 years of age will require parental/guardian consent.
  4. Have applied prior to 15 February for the year they wish to start (September start).
  5. Complete and submit the ALOY enrolment form.
  6. Successfully undertake the Canadian Forces Aptitude Test (CFAT).
  7. Complete a medical examination.
  8. Complete a physical fitness test.
  9. Attend an interview.

4.4     Officer Cadets at the Royal Military Colleges

Officer Cadets who attend the RMCC will undertake Module One of the BMOQ course (Section 4.0) at CFLRS prior to starting their first academic year.

During the summer after their first academic year, Officer Cadets will return to the CFLRS to complete Module Two of their BMOQ course.

The military element of the RMCC curriculum is designed to provide Officer Cadets with practical training in leadership. Training during the academic year facilitates this aim and includes (RMCC, 2015):

  • Drill and ceremonies;
  • Range preparation;
  • Practical and theoretical preparation for the intensive summer periods of training; and
  • Cadet Wing leadership appointments (gaining valuable experience in leadership and administration).

PART FIVE: GRADUATIONS, VOLUNTARY RELEASE AND AWARDS

5.0     Graduation

US Army Special Forces, Green Beret (2)A trainee can invite their family and friends to their graduation ceremony, which typically take places on a Thursday afternoon.

The graduation ceremony is approximately an hour long and followed by a reception for the trainees, their families and their instructors.

A few weeks before the graduation ceremony, trainees will be informed of the procedure to gain permission to meet their respective families and friends for the evenings before and after the graduation ceremony.

Also a few weeks prior to the graduation ceremony, trainees will find out where and when they will have to report to their next training establishment. In most cases, trainees leave the day following the graduation ceremony. In some exceptional cases, and if the conditions allow it, trainees may leave with their families after the graduation ceremony if they have received permission from their instructors.

5.1     Voluntary Release

In most cases, a voluntary release initiated by a trainee is not considered by the CFLRS until 5 weeks of basic training have been completed.

Once a trainee notifies the CFLRS of their intention to voluntary release they are given a 24 hour decision period.

If, after this decision period, a trainee wishes to continue with their voluntary release, they will be asked to complete a questionnaire, a ‘Voluntary Release Form’, as to the reasons for the release.

Trainees will be interviewed by various personnel (their Troop Sergeant, Warrant Officer, an Officer from their Chain of Command, and a Personal Selection Officer). Once a trainee has made up their mind to voluntary release, the request is then sent to the Commanding Officer who has to sign off on this request. At this point trainees will be removed from their training platoon and sent to another platoon awaiting release.

The entire voluntary release process takes approximately 7-10 days, although it can take longer.

5.2     Course Awards

There are a number of awards for both NCM and Officer Cadets, with some examples below.

Awards for NCM personnel include:

  • Top Student/Candidate Award (receives a certificate);
  • Top Athlete Award (receives a certificate, a trophy and a t-shirt);
  • Top Shot/Marksman Award (receives a certificate);
  • Comradeship Award (for getting along with everyone!);
  • Most Improved Soldier Award (for most improved student, obviously).

Awards for Officer Cadets include:

  • Labrie Sword Trophy, awarded to the male and female candidate who achieved the best overall result in leadership, academic results, as well as dress and deportment.” (Thornbloom, 2012).
  • The Captain John Bart Leadership Award is given to the officer cadet who displays the greatest leadership in each squadron during the First Year Orientation Period (FYOP) at the RMCC.
  • The Royal Canadian Legion Comradeship Award is given during the BMOQ to the member of the platoon deemed to best utilise their leadership capabilities to foster comradeship and éspirit de corps throughout the course, as voted upon by fellow course participants.
  • Top Candidate Award.

5.3     Academic Credit for Basic Military Training

Algonquin College, in partnership with the CAF, has developed a Defence and Security Certificate programme for current and ex-members of the CAF who have completed the BMQ course and have two years of CAF experience (Algonquin College, 2016).

The one year certificate programme has 13 modules and, in some cases, individuals can gain credit for 9 of the 13 modules, meaning only 4 modules have to be completed to gain the certificate.

Graduates of the one year programme may progress on to year two of the General Arts and Science Diploma programme.

PART SIX: MISCELLANEOUS

6.0     Summary

The BMQ/BMOQ is common to all members of the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) regardless of trade.

Both streams of military qualification have the same basic training syllabus, however, the major difference between the two is the BMOQ course has two weeks focussing specifically on leadership and command aspects required by officers. The BMOQ course is more focused on writing and giving orders, in contrast to the BMQ course which is more focused on following those orders in order to finish the task at hand.

Within the CAF, the role of basic training is to:

  • Provide/develop the skills and knowledge that is common to all trades and fields of the CAF;
  • Promote morale and cohesion; and
  • Transform a Canadian citizen into a partly-trained military professional.

Basic training is considered physically, mentally and morally demanding and is founded on the four fundamental values of the CAF:

  1. Duty;
  2. Loyalty;
  3. Integrity; and
  4. Courage.

Basic training is expected to develop a military state of mind and behaviour in the trainee, as well as the mental, physical endurance and combat skills necessary for the military profession.

Simply put, these courses teach the core skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in a military environment. They put trainees through mental and physical strain with the goal of instilling a sense of teamwork, cohesion, good working habits, self-confidence, military skills, self-discipline, and physical and mental tenacity.

This article provides the basic information to allow individuals to make an informed judgement before applying for service with the CAF on either the BMQ or BMOQ training programmes.

6.1     Useful Publications

  • Lee, J.E.C. (2010) Predicting Basic Training Attrition. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.cimvhr.ca/sghrp_reports/dnlddoc.php?id=33&fname=21-Predicting%20Basic%20Training%20Attrition.pdf. [Accessed: 06 June, 2016].
  • Lee, J.E.C., McCreary, D.R. & Villeneuve, M. (2010) Prospective Analysis of Canadian Forces Basic Training Attrition. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.cimvhr.ca/sghrp_reports/summary.php?ftype=2&tval=Prospective%20Analysis%20of%20Canadian%20Forces%20Basic%20Training%20Attrition. [Accessed: 06 June, 2016].
  • Lee, J.E.C, McCreary, D.R. & Villeneuve, M. (2011) Prospective Multifactorial Analysis of Canadian Forces Basic Training Attrition. Military Medicine. 176(7), pp.777-784. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.cimvhr.ca/sghrp_reports/summary.php?ftype=2&tval=Prospective%20Multifactorial%20Analysis%20of%20CF%20Basic%20Trg%20Attrition. [Accessed: 06 June, 2016].
  • Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (2015) Linguistic Audit of the Individual Training and Education System of the Canadian Forces, Department of National Defence. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.ocol-clo.gc.ca/en/pages/linguistic-audit-of-the-individual-training-and-education-system-of-the-canadian-forces. [Accessed: 11 June, 2016].
  • Annual Military Occupation Review (AMOR).

6.2     References

Algonquin College (2016) Credit for Military Training. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.algonquincollege.com/military/home/credit-for-military-training/. [Accessed: 09 June, 2016].

Borden Citizen (2015) A New Identity: Positioning for the Future. Borden Citizen. 67(24). 12 June 2015, pp.1. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.cg.cfpsa.ca/cg-pc/Borden/EN/InformationandFAQ/Newspapers/BordenCitizen/Pages/2015Archive.aspx. [Accessed: 09 June, 2016].

CAF (Canadian Armed Forces) (2015) Canadian Forces Base Borden. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/caf-community-bases-wings/borden.page. [Accessed: 09 June, 2016].

Canada News Centre (2009) Archive – Aboriginal Basic Military Qualification Graduation. Available from World Wide Web: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=475829. [Accessed: 06 June, 2016].

CMP Newsletter (Chief of Military Personnel Newsletter) (2014) Chief of Military Personnel Position Re-established as Lieutenant-General. Available from World Wide Web: https://cimvhr.ca/documents/CMP-Newsletter-August2014-ENG.pdf. [Accessed: 11 June, 2016].

FSIN (Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations) (2010) Bold Eagle Canadian Forces Training Program Celebrates 21 Years of Military Excellence. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.fsin.com/media-releases/442-bold-eagle-canadian-forces-training-program-celebrates-21-years-of-military-excellence.html. [Accessed: 06 June, 2016].

Market Wired (2016) Cobourg Reserve Canadian Armed Forces Recruits Complete their Basic Military Qualification. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/cobourg-reserve-canadian-armed-forces-recruits-complete-their-basic-military-qualification-2109008.htm. [Accessed: 06 June, 2016].

Millbrook First Nation (2014) Canadian Forces Aboriginal Entry Plans. Available from World Wide Web: http://millbrookfirstnation.net/images/uploads/Canadian_Forces_Aboriginal_Entry_Plans_-_Eastern_Canada.pdf. [Accessed: 06 June, 2016].

PIB (Penticton Indian Band) (2014) Bold Eagle Information Guide. Available from World Wide Web: www.pib.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Bold-Eagle-Information-Guide.pdf. [Accessed: 06 June, 2016.

Pugliese, D. (2014) Chief of Military Personnel Gets a Pay Hike and New Rank but is it Necessary? Available from World Wide Web: http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/chief-of-military-personnel-gets-a-pay-hike-and-new-rank-but-is-it-necessary. [Accessed: 111 June, 2016].

RMCC (Royal Military College of Canada) (2015) Military Training. Available from World Wide Web: https://www.rmcc-cmrc.ca/en/training-wing/military-training. [Accessed: 06 June, 2016].

Spivock, M.M.P. (2013). Warrior Fitness Training Program Follow-Up. Phase 1 Technical Report: Fitness and Health Behaviours. Department of National Defence, Assistant Deputy Minister (Science and Technology). Ottawa.

St. Clair Catholic District School Board (2016) Aboriginal Co-op Program. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.st-clair.net/coop/aboriginal-and-military-.aspx. [Accessed: 06 June, 2016].

Thornbloom, S.A. (2012) NSTC Commander Visits Canadian Basic Military Training. Available from World Wide Web: www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=66757. [Accessed: 09 June, 2016].

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