In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall Offensive

Well Summer is over and Fall is exceedingly busy for me this year as life gets in the way.

Got both daughters off to school. The youngest has moved into a house with other students. When we dropped her off it was still a construction zone, she didn't have a key and couldn't get in contact with the student who's father owns the house. So very stressful and the cause of much anxiety. But things seem to be sorting themselves out on that front. And we did get to meet (briefly) her boyfriend, the young Naval Cadet from RMC, who came over to lend support during her time of stress. It was pretty cool seeing how her face lit up when she saw him arrive. Plus it meant we could leave her with somebody supportive so we could make the long drive home and get back by midnight.

The next weekend I started my BOTC (Basic Officer Training Course) at the RCIS (Regional Cadet Instructor School) in CFB Borden. I had worked some long shifts the week prior so I could knock off early Friday, pack my kit and hopefully rest up a bit before setting off. Took a long time to get my kit together and my route was horrible and took me 3 1/2 hours to make the drive! So there wasn't much resting.

Camp Borden (just outside of Barrie ON) has been a major training facility since WW1. I believe the Canadian Armoured Corps was born there. Lots of different corps, branches and elements have training schools there. I drove past the gunnery school, the Padre's school, the Canadian Areospace Engineering Training School or some such thing and the CF Firefighter's School ran a training exercise which caused some concern until we counted the glider tow planes and realized that the big plume of black smoke coming from the trees wasn't one of those. But the static displays of various aircraft, AFVs and artillery pieces dotted about the base do make it interesting, if hard to focus on street names.

So I arrived at the RCIS after dark, on a large, strange and confusing base to sign documents, get room assignment find my way to quarters and ingest reams of Standing Orders before settling in. My room mate arrived quite late (driving from Ottawa) and the floor in front of his bed squeaked. This all made for a disturbed night, only to get up early and start the training. Since the CIC program is made up of mostly middle aged parents who want to be more involved, there's less of the classic 'basic training' like one sees in the movies. Instead of barracks we are paired off into rooms each with it's own bath. We are treated as adults and expected to keep things tidy, but if there were room inspections I wasn't aware of it. Drill was minimal and focused on helping us to not embarass ourselves on the graduation parade. Those with no prior drill experience were separated off with an old wiry MWO (Master Warrant Officer, the usual rank held by a Company Sergeant Major). The rest of us went with an old CWO (Chief Warrant Officer, the usual rank held by an RSM) with a goofy sense of humour, to knock the rust off our drill. The CWO also gave us our seminar on "The Code of Service Discipline and You" featuring many real examples from his past (sometimes as the charging NCM [Non-Commissioned Member -new CF speak for anyone not an officer] and sometimes as the person charged!).

The rest of the weekend was classes on Leadership, Effective Communication, the Military Ethos, CF Drug and Alcohol Policy, CF Racial and Sexual Harassment Policy and Developing a Plan using Logical Analysis. Which reminds me, I have homework to do before I go up again next weekend. I found a lot of this will be brilliant professional developement. All through the classes I was thinking about how to apply some of this at the Buy Food as well as at Cadets. Sunday was a full day too with classes ending at 1700 hrs, then it's clean up, grab a quick dinner and hit the road by 1825. Chose a new route which got me home by 2045 (time savings of 1 hour!).

The food in the combined Officers/Senior NCMs Mess is pretty decent too. Although I couldn't get a decent cup of tea all weekend!

Since then it's been work and cadets. I haven't picked up my paint brushes in over a week now!

But Tuesday was a mix of Christmas and my Birthday as I finally (after three failed attempts) got my DEUs. The Sgt. from the RCSU (Regional Cadet Support Unit) phoned me at work before I went up to Borden, saying she had my DEUs and would pass them off to an officer at the RCSU, who was married to one of our Captains, who would bring the pieces in on the next parade night. So I show up in a stained tee-shirt and chinos expecting to change. Captain hasn't arrived yet. Much looking out of windows watching for her. She arrives. No uniform! She sends her daughter back to to get it. More checking windows, as the parents and new cadets arrive to be given our spiel as to why they ought to join cadets and what is expected. Car pulls in and I race out to grab tunic and pants and race for the bathroom to change. Big grins all around as everyone notices my transformed self. The Cadet WO assigned to help me with my training level gave me a salute in the hallway, followed by a big grin, little dance and "It's so cool I get to do that now!" And as the shiny new toy for the Captains, I got marched out in front of the cadets so they could get a look at me. Since I was a Civilian Instructor last year, the CO wanted to make sure everyone understoood my new status.

Wednesday was resting up and then working the late shift to put away 17 skids of groceries. Thursdays are my busy day as I finish the load from the night before (if it hasn't been done), change the display ends to match next week's flyer and write my order for the Saturday truck. Plus recieve a bunch of trucks, including 8 skids of produce that I didn't finish unloading until 1725. Long day. After dinner I just fell asleep while watching New Tricks on the internet.

Now it's past noon and I'm still in my robe. I really ought to go cut the grass. I won't have time for another week!