The Weak and Unreadable – BSOC 0006 Weeks 1-2
Welcome to the first edition of The Weak and Unreadable for BSOC 0006. This edition covers the first two weeks of the course from 16 – 26 January 2017. While we are still at beginning of the course, we are filled with the full gamut of sentiments ranging from daunt to doubt, and from hope to zeal. Should a segment of a slide deck on Army doctrine be copied and pasted in this newsletter, it could be an accurate representation of some of our first two weeks. However there was much more than that: the on-going process of getting to know one another, getting a taste of the history of CFSCE as a living entity through our introduction to the Vimy Officer’s Mess and a School wide run acknowledging the accomplishments of those who served a hundred years ago. On that note, we shouldn’t be ignoring the particular themes that have sprung up for our PT sessions.
We are all grateful to those who staffed the paperwork to get us course loaded, and those who designed and are leading the course. We are looking forward to share their skills and experiences in order to give our best. Among the 27 candidates, there are 12 who have been commissioned from the ranks and 15 direct entries, and we should not forget to mention that two among us are from the Reserves. As some of us are still trying to make sense of the seemingly unending stream of acronyms, we realise that is may very well become the norm as we listen to our peers who have many years of experience, including deployments, behind them. It is still up in the air to see who will be picking at the brains of those who to know how to study. Regardless of the demographics, we know that we will have to work together.
Reminding us of the old phrase which goes more or less along the lines of “Praise publicly, punish in private,” Maj Lavigne put our colleagues’ modesty to the test. Letters of recommendation for 2Lt Cui and 2Lt Youssef were shared with the class giving them an opportunity to put their storytelling skills at work. Now it is a matter of time to see if the details about Exercise Jimmy Jingles will live on.
Looking back and ahead
The candidates from both the BSOC and the CELE (Air) course were fortunate enough to have an introduction to the Vimy Officer’s Mess by Capt Christie. It seems that a story could be told about every inch of the building, from the source of the wood to the panelling, to the game of ping pong that base commanders have done over the years with regard to the building’s front doors.
The Mess tour was followed by a discussion directed by Lt Luhowki on the challenges of leadership when dealing with the generations of the tail end of the alphabet: X, Y and Z. Disagreements of the characteristics of each generations were abundant, yet we arrived at a general consensus was that there is no place for generational stereotypes and we should be focusing on working with individuals regardless of when they’ve entered the work force.
PT to start the course was a bit of a shock. It did not mean that the old rheostat needed to be opened up, pulled apart and have the carbon track cleaned out to smooth out the crackling of our joints – we just needed to move a little to get back into the swing of things. While some of us stayed active over the holidays by skiing or shoveling snow, we were all taken by surprise by the anthropomorphized motions of our counterparts of the animal kingdom. During one memorable PT session the PSP Instructor led us through a particular set of motions which will be difficult to forget. We all laugh when we talk about the “scorpion” exercise, walking on our hands while keeping a leg off the ground. The name of the exercise made sense as we realised how we were just stinging ourselves.
On the similar theme of moving about, the unseasonably warm weather was seen a great opportunity for the School to go for a run and to reflect about the importance of the Signals Corps in the preparation for the battle of Vimy Ridge.
This concludes the first edition of Weak and Unreadable for BSOC 0006. In the next issue, we will be learning more about the candidates and how they fared when competition with the CELE (Air) course begins.