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Joining the Canadian Forces

YourFatAuntSusanYourFatAuntSusan Registered User regular
edited September 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
So i've been contemplating joining the Canadian Forces for many years (i'm 26) and have decided to pull the trigger and actually go for it. I'll be applying as an AVN Tech (Aviation Systems Technician) if all goes well. I currently work for a pretty successful corporate domain registrar, and while it's great, it's not a place I will retire at 65 from and I have no real backup plan except for a diploma in graphic and web-design that I haven’t used in 6 years.

Has anyone gone through the BMQ at Fort-Saint Jean Sur Richelieu, Québec? Was it what you expected? Was it worse? I’ve watched the Forces created “Basic Up” videos that are on YouTube but have been told it’s not an accurate description of the BMQ and that it’s a lot less “hard” than the actually training.

Does anyone have any tips for telling my poor, dear mother? She won’t like this one bit, I’m sure.


YourFatAuntSusan on


  • CycophantCycophant Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Ha, weird.

    I was in the military a few years ago (as Infantry), left, and now I'm apprenticing my way through the civilian counterpart to AVN Tech. I've aso met a few guys who used to be an AVN Tech in the military in my career so far, so I've got a bit knowledge on that front, along with actually being in the CF for a few years.

    Fire off any questions you'd like, and I'll try and answer the best I can. I can't remember the differences between the job titles, so which end of aircraft maintenance are you going into, Avionics (electronics/etc.) or Maintenance (Mechanics/etc.)?

    I can write down briefly what I remember about BMQ and such, but you're probably better off just asking me specifics. Especially since everyone's experience is different, and it also really depends which MOC you're going afterwards. All of us in our platoon in Basic were going Infantry, so they were a fair bit tougher on us than other platoons.

    Cycophant on
  • YourFatAuntSusanYourFatAuntSusan Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Yeah, I work with a guy who was Infantry and he said they were a lot harder on them for it. I don't think i'll have any problems with the three D's but i'm not sure how i'll handle the inspections. I say i'll be able to take having my stuff tossed around by the inspectors, but until i'm there I don't know.

    The trade I want to get into it as follows. I have no actual idea what it really entails. I think it's more along the lines of testing and general maintenance as opposed to actual repairs, but I might be wrong.
    The Aviation Systems Technician (AVN TECH) is a member of the air maintenance team that handles, services and maintains Canadian Forces aircraft, ground equipment and associated support facilities. The AVN TECH is responsible for the maintenance of aircraft aviation systems which include the following:

    -propulsion system and components
    -airframe system and components
    -electrical system and components
    -weapon system and components
    -aircraft life support equipment

    They also perform the following duties:

    -Test aviation systems
    -Inspect aviation systems for defects
    -Fix defects in aviation systems
    -Perform quality assurance checks
    -Prepare and maintain aircraft forms and statistical data
    -Perform aircraft handling tasks which include parking, towing, marshalling, starting, refuelling, cleaning and de-icing
    -Operate aircraft support equipment

    On completion of the BMQ, Aviation Systems Technicians attend Basic MOC training at the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering (CFSATE) in Borden, Ontario. This training takes approximately 54 weeks and includes:

    -Theory of flight (fixed and rotary wing)
    -Common mechanical training
    -Aircraft structures
    -Propulsion systems
    -Wiring and soldering
    -Aircraft servicing
    -Aircraft life support equipment
    -Aircraft instrumentation
    -Aircraft publications
    -Aircraft safety
    -Flight controls
    -Hydraulic, fuel, brake and de-icing systems
    -Environment control systems
    -Aircraft weapons systems
    -Explosive safety and storage

    YourFatAuntSusan on
  • ImDrawingABlankImDrawingABlank Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    One of my friends is currently training as an infantry soldier in the Canadian Forces. We don't get many opportunities to talk with each other but his opinion on it is almost entirely positive. It is a challenge beyond anything you'd find elsewhere, but the reward is a sense of satisfaction you as well, wont find anywhere else. He only had the one thing to suggest, is that you have to be able to focus on driving yourself forward, and do not take the way you are treated personally, those who do are not the ones to succeed.

    ImDrawingABlank on
  • Limp mooseLimp moose Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    at 26 you are going to be the same age as most of your instructors...
    Be prepared to be lumped in with a bunch of 18 year old kids. And everything that goes along with that. (immaturity whining ect...)

    If you have a college degree and havn't signed any papers yet you may want to look long and hard at going the officer route.

    Limp moose on
  • Limp mooseLimp moose Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I am an aviator in the American navy. I can tell you a little about our aviation maintainers, they are very similar to yours.

    They are pretty fucking awesome. They know the aircraft in and out and work very hard to keep it flying. The job satisfaction is pretty high. They are the last people you see before you take off and the first people you see when you land. They can't wait for you to come back with their plane and let em fix it up for you. When I study systems I go to them and have them explain how the hydraulic system works because they know it better than my instructors.

    Your Basic will be pretty blah. ALL the stuff you need to learn will be learned at tech schools after basic. Basic is more of a Hi this is the military. The tech schools are where you are going to rise or fall based on your grades. The better you do the more advanced systems you will get to work on and the newer cooler stuff you get to play with.

    There are two general types of air mechs, the air framers and the electronics dudes. (its more complicated than that but really its wrench turners and volt meter guys) They both have the same amount of schooling.

    Since I fly the planes and dont maintain them and I havnt worked as a maintenance officer yet, thats the best I can really tell you. But if you have any general military questions let me know.

    End of the day if you are joining the military and you can do anything with aviation do it. The air department of any war department is the coolest!

    Limp moose on
  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2008
    I'll tell you this: If you manage to get lumped in with anyone headed for a supply wing (17 Wing I'm looking at you) or military band, you can expect to get kid gloves the entire way through. Got any supply, medic or band wings in your region?

    Also, congratulations on picking one of the very few vocations in the CF that has really good civilian life application outside of a call center. Air is the way to go.

    Pheezer on
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