Author Topic: So You Want to be an officer, eh!  (Read 161429 times)

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Offline George Wallace

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So You Want to be an officer, eh!
« on: August 06, 2009, 20:02:50 »
So You Want to be an officer, eh!

So?  What makes you so special?  Are you articulate and a dedicated Administrator?  Are you a good leader and mentor to your peers and subordinates?  Do you accept criticism?  Are you going to work for the betterment of your men and the CF?  Are you loyal to those below you, as much if not more than those above you?  Do you take responsibility for your own actions, and not try to shift the blame to others?


Or are you a 'Social Climber', looking for the fastest, easiest way to the top; not caring on whose toes you step and how many eggs you break to get there?  Do you have a "Who gives a damn about you" attitude towards others?  Is your career advancement the top of your agenda?  Do you think it is 'kool' to be insubordinate, disrespectful and not professional in communicating with or to others; seeing no fault with improper use of grammar, spelling and English writing skills to communicate?  Do you think the use of MSN Speak portrays a 'professional' profile of who you are?  Do you think that you are unique and can do whatever you please, and be whatever you want?


Have you done any research into:

The Principles of Leadership

The following principles, updated to reflect lessons learned from experience, cover important
aspects of the five major dimensions of effectiveness and are offered here as an introduction to the responsibilities of leadership:

1.  Achieve professional competence and pursue self-improvement—Leader competence is critical to mission accomplishment and the preservation of lives. Very early on, junior leaders must master the technical and tactical skills of their military specialty, maintaining and improving proficiency through self-study, experiential learning, formal training, and education.

2.  Clarify objectives and intent—To provide subordinates with maximum freedom of action and the capability to operate independently if necessary, leaders must communicate a clear picture of the outcome or outcomes they wish to achieve.

3.  Solve problems; make timely decisions—The whole purpose of small-unit leadership is to accomplish missions and tasks. This means solving mission problems and making appropriate considered decisions. Some decision situations will allow for little or no analysis, but where time and circumstances allow, leaders should gather as much pertinent information as possible, involve others who possess relevant experience or a have stake in the decision, and consider the advantages and risks of each option before making a decision.

4.  Direct; motivate by persuasion and example and by sharing risks and hardships— Leadership is about exercising influence. Leaders have to know when to direct, when to motivate, and when to enable performance through the conspicuous sharing of risks and hardships.

5.  Train individuals and teams under demanding and realistic conditions— Being operationally ready means being able to deal effectively with normal and worstcase
scenarios, handle the unexpected, and recover from setbacks. Demanding and realistic
training provides these capabilities.

6.  Build teamwork and cohesion—Training and other formative activities that reinforce mutual dependence and support will pay off in enhanced performance and greater
resistance to stress.

7.  Keep subordinates informed; explain events and decisions—The routine and
prompt passage of information contributes to subordinates’ situational awareness and their
ability to respond appropriately to a changing situation. Candidly explaining events and
decisions often reduces tensions created by uncertainty, and is critical to maintaining the
trust relationship between leaders and led.

8.  Mentor, educate, and develop subordinates— Leaders must train and develop
subordinates to master the unit’s operational functions, provide strength in depth, and
ensure a broadly distributed leadership capability.

9.  Treat subordinates fairly; respond to their concerns; represent their interests—
Leaders have moral and practical obligations to know their subordinates’ needs, take care of them, treat them fairly, and provide essential support for their families. Such actions help to establish and maintain trust, while also enhancing subordinates’ service commitment.

10.  Maintain situational awareness; seek information; keep current—Leaders have
to develop the habit of being on top of what is happening around them. Situational
awareness is critical to anticipating future environmental conditions and identifying
opportunities to secure a tactical advantage.

11.  Learn from experience and those who have experience—In both training and operations, leaders must constantly review performance with a critical eye and ask if there isn’t a better way. Learning from personal experience and the experience of others is critical to ensuring high reliability performance and maintaining a competitive edge.

12.  Exemplify and reinforce the military ethos; maintain order and discipline; uphold professional norms—Disciplined, obedient, and law-abiding military forces are a mark of civilization. Leaders must ensure that their personal conduct and the conduct of their subordinates at all times reflect the best of Canadian military professionalism.

Ref: A-PD-131-002/PT-001 Leadership in the Canadian Forces Doctrine Chapter 4, pg 32-33

« Last Edit: May 06, 2017, 23:15:55 by kratz »
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: So You Want to be an officer, eh!
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2009, 20:10:27 »
Oh!  Guess what?  I wanted to be a Pilot.  I'm not.   :camo:
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Offline Quag

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Re: So You Want to be an officer, eh!
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2009, 20:58:33 »
social climber...

George,

I've been following your comments reference the Engineer that wanted to be subsidized for a year and I sense some your hostility and bitterness in this post.

Do you seriously consider this post a benefit to any potential officer? Even more so deserving a sticky?

Maybe I'm reading it the wrong way, but to me this thread comes off very smug and almost portrays the stereotypical Snr NCO bitterness at Officers (which can occur bilaterally at any rank level).
« Last Edit: August 06, 2009, 21:04:40 by Quag »

Offline George Wallace

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Re: So You Want to be an officer, eh!
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2009, 21:06:19 »
Hey!  These aren't "Principles of officership".  They are the "Principles of LEADERSHIP".  That means at all levels; from Jr NCO on up.
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Offline Quag

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Re: So You Want to be an officer, eh!
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2009, 21:09:07 »
I hear what your saying.  I like the principles of leadership, even though I must digress it is a very limited list and a good leader has attributes and traits that are above and beyond the aforementioned (to include all ranks).

I think maybe I'm missing the point here.  I just read the second paragraph of your post almost as a slander.  Maybe I'm just tired from another day of IBTS haha.

Offline GAP

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Re: So You Want to be an officer, eh!
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2009, 21:12:05 »
social climber...

George,

I've been following your comments reference the Engineer that wanted to be subsidized for a year and I sense some your hostility and bitterness in this post.

Do you seriously consider this post a benefit to any potential officer? Even more so deserving a sticky?

Maybe I'm reading it the wrong way, but to me this thread comes off very smug and almost portrays the stereotypical Snr NCO bitterness at Officers (which can occur bilaterally at any rank level).

The post is timely and very, very valid....for months I have been reading threads of people who won't take the time to scroll through the various threads, so pop up here wanting their duplicate questions answered......all this with stars in their eyes...

If they had any clue about being an officer, Georges post will orientate them towards what is required. It's all about leadership, and other people are depending on it, sometimes with their lives.
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I´m not so sure about the universe

Offline George Wallace

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Re: So You Want to be an officer, eh!
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2009, 21:15:12 »

I hear what your saying.  I like the principles of leadership, even though I must digress it is a very limited list and a good leader has attributes and traits that are above and beyond the aforementioned (to include all ranks).

I think maybe I'm missing the point here.  I just read the second paragraph of your post almost as a slander.  Maybe I'm just tired from another day of IBTS haha.


Yes you are partially correct.  I am getting frustrated, pissed off, etc. when I see so many lazy, self-centered, egos with humongous senses of entitlement come onto the site and use illiterate means to communicate that they want to become our future leaders.  On the other hand, I wanted to temper that frustration and try to ask a balanced question: "Are you para 1 or are you para 2 and have you bothered to do some research as to what may be expected of you?  There are just as many who come onto the site, and have used their initiative to do some research, or at the very least admit to their lack of knowledge, and ask questions pertaining to answers they have discovered on the site.  I look at these people as showing more potential and probably more likely to have people give them constructive answers.   Perhaps I need a vacation. 




As an aside......

Please don't mention IBTS.  We have no sooner finished and we have to start again.  Herding cats is very frustrating, especially when higher is looking for results, and at the same time tasking out all the cowboys.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2009, 21:24:38 by George Wallace »
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Offline Quag

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Re: So You Want to be an officer, eh!
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2009, 21:21:06 »
The fact is, the majority of the people that you and George are talking about are not officers yet.  I dare even say that if they should get enrolled, based on some of the professionalism I've seen posted, they would not make it through phase training.

If this post is oriented towards what you are saying, then I think a little clarity on the issue would go a long way rather than paint officers in two very contrasting states; the social climber and the "officer's" officer.

I won't get into the nuts and bolts here, but to a certain extent, every person in the military dips into both of these domains and has to balance it carefully.  Anybody with a coffee break in the CF knows there is a heavy "political aspect" not only on a national scale but at the unit level as well.


Offline Quag

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Re: So You Want to be an officer, eh!
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2009, 21:28:26 »

Yes you are partially correct.  I am getting frustrated, pissed off, etc. when I see so many lazy, self-centered, egos with humongous senses of entitlement come onto the site and use illiterate means to communicate that they want to become our future leaders.  On the other hand, I wanted to temper that frustration and try to ask a balanced question: "Are you para 1 or are you para 2 and have you bothered to do some research as to what may be expected of you?  There are just as many who come onto the site, and have used their initiative to do some research, or at the very least admit to their lack of knowledge, and ask questions pertaining to answers they have discovered on the site.  I look at these people as showing more potential and probably more likely to have people give them constructive answers.   Perhaps I need a vacation. 




As an aside......

Please don't mention IBTS.  We have no sooner finished and we have to start again.  Herding cats is very frustrating, especially when higher is looking for results, and at the same time tasking out all the cowboys.

Seen.  I see exactly where you are going with this now... ;)

Sorry about the tank ruts I interjected.

Offline George Wallace

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Re: So You Want to be an officer, eh!
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2009, 21:38:23 »
I edited my prior post, but again, I wasn't posting with the intent on pigeonholing them, but rather asking which one they thought themself's to be.   Asking them to look in the mirror and contemplate who they are. 

I know many are joining the CF, not only to be officers, but to join some Trades that have 'sexy' names without really realizing what they want, nor what that Trade may entail.  Some of these people may be heading down the wrong path in search of a Trade or rank, just because it sounds 'kool' and 'sexy'.  Perhaps they do not have what it takes to do a mundane job as an INT OP, or really have a wrong impression of what an officer is.  Perhaps that picture of the 'Dashing young Cavalry officer charging the enemy' in their minds does not match reality.  Sometimes 'Reality Bites'...... or is that "Sucks"?


The internet doesn't facilitate the familiarity of sitting around a table over beers and covering some of these topics in a more congenial manner.   :)
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Offline Quag

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Re: So You Want to be an officer, eh!
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2009, 21:43:32 »
The internet doesn't facilitate the familiarity of sitting around a table over beers and covering some of these topics in a more congenial manner.   :)

You can say that again!!!  I think now with the additional information added to this thread, it is shaping into a fine instrument of which potential officers can measure where they stand and what they truly wish to do.

Cheers!

Offline Larkvall

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Re: So You Want to be an officer, eh!
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2009, 21:53:42 »
I think this is an excellent thread and it deserves a sticky.

There are always people coming on this site with officer vs. NCM questions and this should help them.

There are also a bunch of whiners who they would make good officers just because they hold a degree and need to be set straight. This thread would be a good place to direct them.

Offline Infanteer

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Re: So You Want to be an officer, eh!
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2009, 22:25:29 »
So You Want to be an officer, eh!

So?  What makes you so special?

 :boring:

We're all special in our own ways.

Your points can be applied to those who aim at the NCO ranks as well....
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline George Wallace

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Re: So You Want to be an officer, eh!
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2009, 22:26:55 »
True. (See Post #3.)  Anyone joining the CF, or, as a matter of fact, any other occupation.
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Offline Dilanger

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Re: So You Want to be an officer, eh!
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2009, 22:33:48 »
:boring:

We're all special in our own ways.

Your points can be applied to those who aim at the NCO ranks as well....



I agree, there are a million different paths to the same end, as long as they all go in the same direction it's all good. There are many different qualities that make a good Officer and it's these qualities that makes every officer unique.

*Sorry not just Officer, any leader in general....
« Last Edit: August 06, 2009, 22:40:38 by Dilanger »

Offline the 48th regulator

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Re: So You Want to be an officer, eh!
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2009, 22:36:16 »
:boring:

We're all special in our own ways.

Your points can be applied to those who aim at the NCO ranks as well....


And, in this day and age, you believe there is room for a separation of leadership, within the Canadian public, based on not scholastic acceptance but how they apply for the military?

Is that not an insult to our military, on how we train our leaders?

A kid, at 17, can apply to be a leader, go to school and be "respected" with an archaic method of recognition, however a cpl. who took the same course has to bow down to him?

Is this modern Canada?

And, if anyone makes a critical remark about this, a reverse discrimination Psychology is applied......pffft.


dileas


tess
 
I know that I’m not perfect and that I don’t claim to be, so before you point your fingers make sure your hands are clean.

Offline Dilanger

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Re: So You Want to be an officer, eh!
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2009, 23:07:02 »

And, in this day and age, you believe there is room for a separation of leadership, within the Canadian public, based on not scholastic acceptance but how they apply for the military?

Is that not an insult to our military, on how we train our leaders?

A kid, at 17, can apply to be a leader, go to school and be "respected" with an archaic method of recognition, however a cpl. who took the same course has to bow down to him?

Is this modern Canada?

And, if anyone makes a critical remark about this, a reverse discrimination Psychology is applied......pffft.


dileas


tess

I think everyone just needs to respect each other more, For example the 2Lt fresh out of the RMC, though higher in rank then the sgt should still show a great amount of respect. sr nco's have years up on a lot of jr officer's and have alot they can teach though technically a lower rank, however it is how you said it works both ways, just because someone is a new officer doesn't mean they should be respected less.
I'm of to the RMC in two days and if it's one thing that I've learned for talking with many people in the forces, it's that even thou when you graduate and receive commission you should still respect and listen to your senior NCO's for they have years of experience that you can use and learn from, not only that but with the amount of time some have being serving they deserve and have earned the respect.
As to George's post about people trying to take the easy way. Thinking it was directed to me, It's not that I'm wanting to take the easy way out nor am i going too, I'm just someone new to the military world asking a question. I don't feel it was necessary to criticize someone who just wanted to know how something worked.

Offline George Wallace

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Re: So You Want to be an officer, eh!
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2009, 23:16:27 »
I Thinking it was directed to me, .....

This topic is not directed at you.  It is not directed at anyone.  It is asking you who you are?  "Do you know, who you are?"  Are you what is discribed in para 1; or are you what is discribed in para 2?  I don't want an answer.  I want you to reflect on who you are.  Then you can look into the Principles of Leadership, which all CF members will have to follow when they are placed in leadership positions. 

I suppose, I could have started out the topic with large, bold, flashy, coloured letters, spelling out "SEX", but would that have caught your interest past the first word?  You would have been gone after "SEX" as soon as you found out the topic wasn't related at all to sex. 
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Offline Simian Turner

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Re: So You Want to be an officer, eh!
« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2009, 23:18:08 »
IMHO, you can hold supervisory or superior positions but suffer from under-developed leadership acumen. Without enthusiastic followers who respect, show loyalty and follow willingly, you are left with rank. 

Rank will:
- allow you to be heard but not understood,
- permit action through orders but not discipline, and
- on its own can lead to adventures without the benefit of forethought into expectations, boundaries and the preferred outcome.
(Ergo principles 1, 11 and 12 are very relevant to me.)

Likewise without a leadership role you can provide support to your team/sub-unt/unit through:
- enthusiasm
- commitment
- honesty and
- the calm ability to say I don't understand at the appropriate time, rather than asking why continually?
The grand essentials of happiness: something to do, something to love, something to hope for.  Allan K. Chalmers

Offline the 48th regulator

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Re: So You Want to be an officer, eh!
« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2009, 23:21:01 »
I think everyone just needs to respect each other more, For example the 2Lt fresh out of the RMC, though higher in rank then the sgt should still show a great amount of respect. sr nco's have years up on a lot of jr officer's and have alot they can teach though technically a lower rank, however it is how you said it works both ways, just because someone is a new officer doesn't mean they should be respected less.
I'm of to the RMC in two days and if it's one thing that I've learned for talking with many people in the forces, it's that even thou when you graduate and receive commission you should still respect and listen to your senior NCO's for they have years of experience that you can use and learn from, not only that but with the amount of time some have being serving they deserve and have earned the respect.
As to George's post about people trying to take the easy way. Thinking it was directed to me, It's not that I'm wanting to take the easy way out nor am i going too, I'm just someone new to the military world asking a question. I don't feel it was necessary to criticize someone who just wanted to know how something worked.


Dilanger,

This is a phenomenal post.

However, after you have been to RMC, for the full term, I want you to come here and validate this post.

I am not busting your balls, but I will say this.  You will not be taught that in RMC, trust me.

And if you go against the grain, you will be a pariah...

Trust me,

dileas

tess

I know that I’m not perfect and that I don’t claim to be, so before you point your fingers make sure your hands are clean.

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Re: So You Want to be an officer, eh!
« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2009, 23:34:25 »
I agree 48th, it took me 8-10 years of commissioned service to earn the respect of Sgts and WOs and have the confidence to challenge their ways.  After that first decade, I came to truly understand that importance of relationships built on trust and respect rather than rank and experience, my career took on a whole new dimension.  It is kind of like building a good marriage - only in that case it took me the first 20 years to reap the same benefits (those being the same - trust and respect).   
« Last Edit: August 06, 2009, 23:43:09 by Frostnipped Elf »
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Offline Dilanger

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Re: So You Want to be an officer, eh!
« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2009, 23:38:12 »

Dilanger,

This is a phenomenal post.

However, after you have been to RMC, for the full term, I want you to come here and validate this post.

I am not busting your balls, but I will say this.  You will not be taught that in RMC, trust me.

And if you go against the grain, you will be a pariah...

Trust me,

dileas

tess

I wont forget too

Offline MCG

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Re: So You Want to be an officer, eh!
« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2009, 23:47:02 »

And, in this day and age, you believe there is room for a separation of leadership, within the Canadian public, based on not scholastic acceptance but how they apply for the military?

Is that not an insult to our military, on how we train our leaders?

A kid, at 17, can apply to be a leader, go to school and be "respected" with an archaic method of recognition, however a cpl. who took the same course has to bow down to him?

Is this modern Canada?
You've lost me.  Are you suggesting (& simultaneously lamenting) that the difference between an officer & an NCM is the university degree hanging on the wall, or are you upset by the fact that the officer corps even exists?

Certainly, the difference between officer & NCM is not simply how an individual chose to apply.  Officers & NCMs are enrolled based on different entrance aptitude requirements, they are trained differently, they have different education requirements and follow different career paths.  All of this is because they have different jobs which require emphasis of different knowledge & skills.

And yes, this absolutely is modern Canada.  You will find very few (if any) large commercial organizations in which the executive came all the way up from the level of the wrench turners & nail drivers.

... If your complaint is that the Officer - NCO distinction creates a false class system that brings out petty dysfunctions by members of both groups, well you might be right there.  However, that is a problem with individuals & not either group as a whole.  Maybe we could identify some ways to ease macro officer-NCM tensions.

I suspect the first step is respect both ways & recognition that each group has a different role to play.

Offline Roy Harding

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Re: So You Want to be an officer, eh!
« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2009, 00:37:43 »
I've been studiously and deliberately staying out of this thread, up 'till now.

But I can't resist.

Here's an OLD quote from some guy named Roy Harding - from 2005:

... but don't make the mistake of thinking that Jr Ranks, Sr NCO/WOs, and Officers are different "levels" on the same continuum.  That may hold true for Jr Ranks and Sr NCO/WOs - to a certain extent - but an Officer is NOT simply a tradesmen with a university degree - their function is different...

You can read the whole thread here (it's not that interesting - has to do with an individual who couldn't decide whether to be a Log Officer or an RMS Clk):  http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,32385.msg237237.html#msg237237

This is a tired, hackneyed, emotional, and rarely logical argument.

You fella's that want to be Officers - go for it.  Understand that being an Officer doesn't make you "better" than your NCOs, indeed you will probably be less technically proficient than your NCOs at whatever function you may choose to pursue.

Being an Officer means that if you do well in your career - you will exercise "executive" authority.  Which basically means - when your plan fails - YOU wear it.  And by "wearing" it, I mean legally, morally, and physically.

For the record - and for those who do not yet know how to check an individual's profile - I retired a Warrant Officer, not a Commissioned Officer - which is what is being discussed here.
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Re: So You Want to be an officer, eh!
« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2009, 02:07:00 »
Back in IAP/BOTP we were told (and retold, and retold) that upon commissioning it would be in our best interests to listen to, seek advice from, pay attention to and get to know the NCMs working under us. For the simple reason that as a young 2Lt with 4 years in...we don't really know how things work. Sgts are a wealth of knowledge...use them or ignore them at your own peril we were told. Maybe I just had good course staff but I thought that this point was being driven home to most OCDTs now.


Yes you are partially correct.  I am getting frustrated, pissed off, etc. when I see so many lazy, self-centered, egos with humongous senses of entitlement come onto the site and use illiterate means to communicate that they want to become our future leaders.  On the other hand, I wanted to temper that frustration and try to ask a balanced question: "Are you para 1 or are you para 2 and have you bothered to do some research as to what may be expected of you?  There are just as many who come onto the site, and have used their initiative to do some research, or at the very least admit to their lack of knowledge, and ask questions pertaining to answers they have discovered on the site.  I look at these people as showing more potential and probably more likely to have people give them constructive answers.   Perhaps I need a vacation. 

To be fair...this isn't your average site and these aren't your average forums. Sure, people are supposed to read the rules before they post their first response but I dare say that that doesn't always happen. Today's tech savy kids (35 and under....myself included) have clicked "I Agree" to so many online legal documents that internet rules don't mean much if anything except being one step closer to where you wanted to be 10 clicks ago. They (we) have been to numerous different sites and forums, have sought advice on everything from acne to changing a tie rod end to how to hack a cell phone.
This site...where they (we) are chastised for repeating an already answered question is an anomaly, a total black sheep. Most forums don't instruct users to search first and certainly don't include hostile "get it together...you want a job...learn to search" responses.
I'm not saying that new users shouldn't search (God knows I've used the line on other forums) I'm simply saying that newbies aren't used to having to search and aren't used to getting online attitude. I cringe when I think of how many potentially excellent members have been turned off of the military by the attitude they have received here (although we aren't associated with the DND).
In the end...my point is this...once in the military, this type of behaviour (repeating questions, using shorthand or textalk) isn't tolerated, which is a good thing (I think). I think its very bold if not a little unreasonable to expect the same of non CF members who are unfamiliar with how things work in "our" real world but are intimately familiar with usual online etiquette and use. Site rules can be posted until you are blue in the face but in this day and age you will never get rid of the repeated questions or the shorthand completely, it is simply too prevalent online. So, do we learn to accept it? Do we continue to chastise posters in the hope that we can teach them a thing or two about the military before they even apply or is there another answer?
I think a vacation is in order.