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NCM Experience Before Becoming An Officer


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I earned my Honours Bachelor of Arts (history & political studies) about two years ago. While studying, I saw two possible paths for my career: continuing in academia (masters, PhD, etc.), or joining the CAF as an officer. Since graduating, my interest in academia has waned and I am now focused squarely on becoming a leader in the CAF. Nothing motivates me more.

Despite already having my degree, I’m considering joining my local reserve unit as a Class-A NCM for a year or two before applying to be a regular-force officer.

Is it smart to serve as a NCM before becoming an officer? I see it as a way to gain experience and a certain degree of empathy with the men and women I could be leading in the future. Is this a common path for prospective officers, or should I just apply to become an officer via the Direct Entry program immediately?

Good day TommyTwoLegs,

Experience as an NCM prior to becoming an officer in the CAF does make for a better officer as you will gain a better understanding of what is involved to carry out orders issued. That being said service in the primary reserve is only part time. You can also join the regular force as an NCM and request a transfer to another occupation including officer occupations that you qualify for.

It is your career and the choice is your to make.