Two weeks ago I received the message I had been waiting four years/my whole life for. I was to be commissioned as an infantry officer in the Canadian military and was immediately posted to Canadian Forces Base Gagetown to complete my training as a Platoon Commander. The week following was a whirlwind, I received the message on a Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday morning my apartment was packed, Thursday morning all my furniture and effects were loaded onto a truck and taken to storage, Friday morning I cleared out of CFB Kingston, Saturday was spent sorting myself out and on Sunday I flew to New Brunswick.
Monday morning, I cleared into the Personnel Awaiting Training Platoon (PAT Pl), which falls under the Support Company of the Infantry School. This means that I spent two days going around to the various departments around the base letting them know that I had arrived. The Infantry School PAT Pl consists of 126 officers at various stages of their development, all waiting to be loaded onto the courses they need to become fully qualified platoon commanders. Some have been waiting a very long time due to injury, academic failure or a plethora of other reasons, some, like me, have just arrived and are already slated for upcoming courses. The daily routine within PAT Pl is extremely monotonous. At 0730, 1000 and 1400 every day, we are all required to show up for roll call and the possibility of being tasked to do something. Otherwise, we are on our own to workout, watch movies and contemplate our fates. Many lose their initiative quickly within PAT Pl and become stagnate relics of the officers they were to become.
I was lucky. On Thursday morning, already half way through watching Avatar, my phone rang. The PAT Pl administration officer was on the other end and told me that he had a task for me, as I had requested. I threw my uniform on and ran to his office. I was to work in the Support Company’s orderly room. It was just basic administrative work, but it was better than the all consuming boredom waiting for me back at my quarters. So, I spent the next two days working there. It was a great task, as I was able to meet the higher ups within the company, the troops and the clerks, that I will be working with for the next year or so.
Now, though, I am on leave until my course starts on the 25th of May. So, I will spend most of the next couple of weeks working out and studying in preparation. For awhile I was the only resident of the entire block of quarters I was living in. Now, however, others have started rolling in. Their arrival has not been quite what I was expecting. I was hoping for some switched on guys who were also here for Phase 3 and who had been in for awhile, as well. The guys who have arrived, so far, just finished basic training and have the training system so ingrained in their brains they can’t escape it. They are wearing their uniforms everywhere (it is Saturday!) and keep asking when inspections will start. Sheesh guys, get over it!
Oh well, I just have to bide my time until the course starts. Until then, I am focusing on my preparations and trying to, for the most part, ignore the idiocy around me.