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Lessons From Military Life

Reality vs Fantasy

By Logan RiderPublished 3 years ago 8 min read

I new I needed to finally get a job. My other kept pushing and encouraging to work. "Honey your 19 years now, it is time that you start earning your own money while your are still in school." she said. I agreed , however I had no idea what I would do for part-time work while I was in school, My mother told me that me that it did not matter what I did as long as I did something for work and earned a part-time income. I understood the point that she was trying to make but I did want to enjoy what I was doing for a part-time job even it was just for a students income. One afternoon I finished class and I was walking home for dinner I walked past a building that I have walked passed so many time before however I did not actually know what this building was. As I looked up and saw the advertisements on the building wall it caught my eye. The advertisement on the wall said "Canadian Armed Forces Part-Time Reservist Now Hiring". The advertisement looked very intriguing. I had no idea that you could join the army on a part-time bases. All the other students jobs that imagined to have seemed kind of of lame and boring to me. The average student job just felt like having a job for the sake of having one and having a small income on the side. The Army Reservist however seemed so beyond ordinary. It was a job that sounded tough, challenging, engaging and full of adventure it not feel like just a job, it could be per-time job that could eventually evolve into a career. In small writing on the bottom of the advertisement it said "Information sessions Tuesday's 7:30pm". I took my agenda out of my backpack and wrote it down. Next Tuesday night I planned to go to the information session to see what the Army Reserves was all about. Over that weekend I could not stop thinking about. I was nervous and really excited at the same time. I had no idea what to expect on Tuesday night. The more and more I thought about how nervous and excited I was I came to the realization that this was just the kind of per-time work I was looking for something that really engaged my emotions. Tuesday morning finally arrived I woke up feeling excited and energized. I made sure I had healthy breakfast, had all my books and papers for class that day and brought a notepad for the Information Session that evening. During my entire day of class I was not listening or processing any information during the teachers lectures, my mind and thought process was to distracted and excited over what I was going to see and learn from the Army Information Session that evening. I could not wait until my day of classes was over so I can head to the Unit. The last hour of class was difficult to sit through, but once it finally ended I got out of their as fast as as my legs can carry me. I raced home, scruffed down some food and headed to the Unit for the Information Session. Once I got to the door of the Unit and I was had my finger on the door bell I suddenly became very aware of how nervous I was. I tiny part of my brain did not want to follow through with what I was about to do, however I was very aware that if I did back out of this I would immediately regret it. Deep down inside me I knew what the right decision was for me despite my nervousness of having to push forward into unknown territory. I took a deep breath and I pressed the bell. A few seconds later a deep strong voice came on the intercom "Yes, how I can help you?" I replied with a nervous voice "Yes hi I am her for the information session at 7:30." There was no response. Moments later the buzzer rang on the door and I pulled the door open and I walked into the Unit. There were a few hallways to walk down when I walked through the door. I looked at the middle hallway and at the end of the hallway I saw an opening into a gymnasium. I walked down the hallway and came to a huge gymnasium. It looked very similar to a high school gymnasiums except there was a lot of military photos, and military decorations. I was looking around in awe. of gymnasium as the military would call it the parade square. It was a very impressive looking place. I then heard very loud and assertive voice from across the parade square. "Hello, can I help you." I tall man in a CF (Canadian Forces uniform approached me. "Uh..yes I am hear for the information session at 7:30." I said quite nervously. "Yes your right on time follow me please." I followed the soldier across the parade squared and into what appeared to be a conference room. The conference room was filled with a few folks with civilian clothes on like myself and few other CF soldiers and a projector and a screen which obviously would be used for their presentation. I was told to take a seat so the presentation can begin. One of the CF soldiers walked toward the front of the conference room and introduced himself. He gave us all an outline of what we were going to learn and discuss in the next hour. Over the next hour we told what were potentially signing up for. They explained the different between Reg Force Infantry and Army Reserves Infantry. We were told we have Regimental meetings every Tuesday evening and we would have and FTX (field training exercises) one weekend a month. We first however have to go through the selection process, which would entail a medical exam, physical exam, interview, and aptitude test. The whole process can take up to 3 months to complete. Once we have have completed the selection process we then go through BMQ (basic military qualifications) SQ (solider qualification) which would take up to 6 months to complete until we finally reach our first rank of private. They also explained the career and academic opportunities that the army can provide as well. They showed a slide show of picture form FTX's and training operations. That hour went by so quickly and was so enamored by this career opportunity. One of the best pieces of advice that we were given during the information session was if we were unsure if we wanted to join the Canadian Forces as Reservists or a join Reg Force we were told to join the Reserve Force first. The reason was because the Reserves gives us a small taste of what the military's experience feels like. If we enjoy it after a year then you can join full time. If we join the Reg Force right away and we don't like it and we feel the military is not for us then were in a tough situation because we signed a contract and we have to for fill the terms of our contract. There was a lot of information in that conference that I needed to digest. I left the Unit around 9:00pm. I walked home thinking about everything that I needed to do to get enrolled in the military. I new that this was the job that I needed to do and I was was to to wake up the next day and take full action ,of pursuing this career. I knew in my heart this what I wanted. I spent the next couple months going through the enrollment process. From September to December I did my Medical, Physical, Aptitude Tests, and the Interview. On December 18, 2008 I was officially sworn in to the CF. I was told to enjoy the Christmas holiday and on the second Tuesday of January I was to report to my Unit, The Black Watch Royal Highland Regiment of Canada. During the holiday I was very mentally restless. The holiday season is supposed to be relaxing peaceful but not for me I was anxious and I wanted to to began my BMQ (basic military qualifications. The third week of January finally came along and on Tuesday evening I headed off to the Black Watch. I arrived at the Unit at 7:30pm. I walked into the Unit and I had no idea where to go or what I was supposed to be doing. I saw a soldier in the office and I introduced myself and asked him was what required of me for the evening. He told me in very assertive tone "Go put put your PT (physical training) gear on and go wait on the parade square with the rest of the new recruits and await orders." I did as I was told. Little did I know at the time that as motivated and "gung oh" as I was with this new life and work experience in the military, the enjoyment would not last, however in the beginning it was awesome and I was fired up and fully on board to follow order and and show all my superiors how reliable I am. That night all we did was physical training which consisted of an obstacle course. We were told that we would not get our uniformed until our first weekend of BMQ. We had 2 weeks left until BMQ started. The next 2 Tuesday evenings we did the same thing we did physical training and when were not training we were told keep our mouths shut and our eyes open and listen and learn by observing others and our surroundings. As BMQ was fast approaching I was excited and motivated but I knew that I did not in any way shape or form gotten my feet wet yet. As motivated and excited as I was I had no idea what I was in for.


About the Creator

Logan Rider

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