First, sorry for the long delay in updating! The last 2 months have been insanely busy for me! I finished BMQ! Getting to grad day at times seemed like a daunting task. Some days were brutal and really tested me. I’ll try to give a little review on my final few weeks at basic.
Our first week back after the holidays was very boring. It was a lot of sitting around doing nothing. Week 8 we went to Farnham for the first time. It could have been a good time. But someone had to get an improper haircut on the weekend so we all paid for it. So instead of having only 4-8 people doing sentry duty per hour at night, we had 16. Not fun. Especially when 12 of the posts were outside and it was freezing.
We did the obstacle course, which was not fun. Mainly because we had to trudge through deep snow and it was snowing pretty heavily. I fell off of one obstacle. I wasn’t hurt, don’t worry. I landed in the net. I was just mad at myself because I was so close to finishing it. The most terrifying part was when one of our staff tried to get me down. My tactvest and rifle began to strangle me and I couldn’t breathe.
We went to the firing range the next day. We marched at an insane pace and I got really bad blisters on my heels. Not good when you have a 13km ruckmarch the next day. The range was very cold. It was so cold that the sensors on the targets weren’t recording our hits properly. So our scores were terrible.
The ruckmarch sucked. Before starting we had our feet inspected by the doctor. He looked at my heels, cringed, bandaged them and wished me good luck. I made it about 4.5km in before I was pulled out. My heels were in so much pain and I almost slipped twice on the ice. I was so mad at myself. So disappointed. I know if I didn’t have those bleeding blisters I could of done it, no problem! And yes my blisters were in fact bleeding. That’s how bad they were.
I don’t think I was ever so happy to see the Mega in my life. Farnham sucked. I was not looking forward to going back in 2 weeks. Oh and here’s one more kicker. When we got back to the base we were told we had inspection the next morning. So guess what we all did from about 3pm to 11pm, laundry! Oh my god there was so much laundry…50 people and only 4 washing machines…yea, that was fun….
Week 9 were learned topography, which was actually kinda fun and interesting. It was just a nice change of pace.
Week 10 we learned CBRN (gas mask training). That I was more worried about. You have very little time to mask up. But once you learn the drills and learn to keep calm it’s not so bad. It’s when you start to panic that you screw up.
Week 11 was Farnham part 2. We slept in tents in the freezing cold. But we had coleman stoves and lanterns in the tents to keep us warm. Plush the gear they do issue you is amazing. I was nice an toasty in my sleeping bags. We did the obstacle course again and I made it through everything without falling. That was an amazing feeling! Then we did photos afterwards. We spent a couple nights in shacks but you didn’t really get any sleep. There was no time for sleep. Our staff kept us busy around the clock.
Coming back to the base felt amazing. But what wasn’t amazing was the timings they gave us. 30 mins to bring all our kit upstairs, changing into clean clothes and meet in one of the breakrooms. Only about a dozen of us made it in time. But really, that’s an insanely short timing for everything we had to do. Because guess what, we had drill practice! Yup, a week at Farnham, sleep deprived and then they make you do drill for about 4 hrs.
Grad week was bitter sweet. We all felt great because we knew we had survived it all. We finished all our training. We felt like seniors in high school, top of the food chain, ready to move on to the next phase in our lives. But first we had to learn the drill for parade. Everyday we had drill practice. But we needed it. We needed to know the parade better than the backs of our hands. Our staff wasn’t going to be there to call everything. The parade was all us.
When grad day arrived, we dressed in our DEU’s (dress element uniform), got our graduation certificates, took photos and made sure we all looked good. the moments leading up to the start of the parade were nerve-wracking. But once you get your mind in the zone, you forget there’s a couple hundred people out there staring at you. Marching out for the last time was amazing. It was over. It was all done. We were finally finished!
Before we were allowed to go to the reception our platoon 2I/C had us line up in 4 ranks and gave us a little speech. Then he dismissed us for the very last time. Still get’s me a little emotional when I think back to it. It was a very touching moment that I’ll never forget.
As terrible as BMQ was at times, I didn’t truly hate it. And I don’t regret my choice of joining the Canadian Forces. In the end, it was all one big learning experience. I had some good times there, made some memories and friends. Even though some of us may never see each other again, well that’s why we have texting and facebook right?