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dragonflower

Legal careers in the Canadian Armed Forces, CSIS, etc.

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I recently ran into a job posting for legal officers in the Canadian Armed Forces. I practice in a completely unrelated area of law, but became curious after reading the job description as to how people get into this sector. I'm assuming that most civilians have limited understanding, if at all, of military law. While I was in law school, I think I saw one relevant elective course offered in three years. Do these departments exclusively hire people who have had previous careers in relevant fields before becoming lawyers? Same thing with legal counsel for the CSIS, the Office of Emergency Preparedness, et cetera. 

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There are a few different older threads about the military positions. I understand they are very difficult to get, and usually favour people with litigation backgrounds. As you imply, I think it would be difficult to find people who had military experience outside of, well, the military.

For CSIS and other federal agencies, I believe that they would just be clients of the general DOJ legal offices, as opposed to doing their own hiring. I'd be quite interested to see whether I've got that wrong, though.

-GM

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"Military law," law of armed conflict, etc. is mostly the CAF's Office of the Judge Advocate General.  There are some threads on this website regarding JAG careers. 

National security outside of the military is handled by DOJ, as GrumpyMountie suggested.  It's not the subject of much public discussion (at least, here) but there's a good high-level overview on the DOJ site here

 

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It's a direct-hire commission, but you have to have at least a couple of years of practice under your belt before going to Basic Training.  It's not like the US military, where they have a seemingly inexhaustible fount of resources upon which to hire whomever they like into whatever trade they prefer.  More like any government agency, Legal Officers will be recruited if there's a need and room in the budget.  So you can't just walk in and sign up; you'd have to speak with a recruiter to see what options are available.

Importantly, every soldier is a soldier first.  When the FOB you're investigating comes under attack, you're reaching for a sidearm like the rest of the troops.  You'll do PT.  You'll obey orders.  You'll have to get used to the smell of wet felt.

My recommendation is always to try the reserves out first if you're on the fence.  See if army/navy/air force life is for you before assuming significant responsibility -- every Legal Officer is just that: an officer, responsible for commanding troops and representing Her Majesty.  I would also tend to think a recruiter would take an applicant more seriously if she knew what she was getting into as an infanteer looking to skill up into a more senior role, as opposed to a civilian off the street looking for a direct commission to Captain/LT(N) without any concept of what the CAF is or whether that lifestyle suits her.

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On 8/11/2020 at 12:08 PM, Uriel said:

My recommendation is always to try the reserves out first if you're on the fence.  See if army/navy/air force life is for you before assuming significant responsibility -- every Legal Officer is just that: an officer, responsible for commanding troops and representing Her Majesty.  I would also tend to think a recruiter would take an applicant more seriously if she knew what she was getting into as an infanteer looking to skill up into a more senior role, as opposed to a civilian off the street looking for a direct commission to Captain/LT(N) without any concept of what the CAF is or whether that lifestyle suits her.

It's worth noting that several reserve units have legal officer positions, although I think hiring for them is also quite competitive (and it looks like none are hiring right now). 

I know one person who ran a practice and worked as a legal officer with their local naval reserve, and it seemed to be a pretty sweet gig. Although Captain/Lt(N) is the direct commission rank, the walking around rank is Major/LtCmdr, and reserve force pay at that rank is quite good. The officer I knew worked his one day a week and often provided advice via telephone on off days as necessary. 

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On 8/11/2020 at 11:35 AM, GrumpyMountie said:

For CSIS and other federal agencies, I believe that they would just be clients of the general DOJ legal offices, as opposed to doing their own hiring. I'd be quite interested to see whether I've got that wrong, though.

 

On 8/11/2020 at 12:07 PM, onepost said:

National security outside of the military is handled by DOJ, as GrumpyMountie suggested.  It's not the subject of much public discussion (at least, here) but there's a good high-level overview on the DOJ site here.

The DOJ does handle national security advice outside the military context, but CSIS and other federal agencies seeking national security advice do so using a dedicated department within the DOJ: the National Security Litigation and Advisory Group (NSLAG). My understanding is that lawyers within that group are walled off from the rest of DOJ and exclusively handle national security matters. 

Edited by BlockedQuebecois
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8 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

It's worth noting that several reserve units have legal officer positions, although I think hiring for them is also quite competitive (and it looks like none are hiring right now). 

I know one person who ran a practice and worked as a legal officer with their local naval reserve, and it seemed to be a pretty sweet gig. Although Captain/Lt(N) is the direct commission rank, the walking around rank is Major/LtCmdr, and reserve force pay at that rank is quite good. The officer I knew worked his one day a week and often provided advice via telephone on off days as necessary. 

Didn't know that.  I could go for a daily rate of three stripes' walkin'-around money.

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On 8/11/2020 at 11:09 AM, dragonflower said:

Do these departments exclusively hire people who have had previous careers in relevant fields before becoming lawyers?

I can only speak to the military Legal Officer path, and even then my experience is limited. The short answer to your question is no: previous military experience is not necessary to enrol in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) as a Legal Officer.

My apologies in advance for the extensive long answer.

Reg F Legal Officer  It sounds like the advertisement you saw was for a Legal Officer in the CAF Regular Force (Reg F). This position would require that you enrol in the CAF as a full-time Reg F Officer on a Variable Initial Engagement of 3-9 years (Note: exact contract length is detailed at ADM(HR-Mil) Instruction 05/05, which does not appear to be available online, but any recruiting officer can access it for you). Generally, 1/3 of their annual recruits are civilian legal practitioners like yourself, 1/3 are occupational transfers from within the CAF, and 1/3 are civilian practitioners with military experience. I don't know their selection criteria or if it is different for each pool of potential recruits, but I agree with Uriel that it would behove you to have a general understanding of "the military experience" (more on this below).

PRes Legal Officer  BlockedQuebecois refers to Legal Officers in the CAF Primary Reserve (PRes), which would allow you to continue your civilian practice and work for the CAF on a part-time basis. Last I heard, the Office of the JAG has about 60 PRes positions across Canada. In my experience, I've seen them working at a Reserve Brigade-level Headquarters providing legal advice to the Brigade Commander and subordinate Reserve Units. Otherwise, I expect they conduct legal research or other supporting tasks for the various divisions within the Office of the JAG. Normally, PRes members parade one evening/wk and one weekend/mos from Sep-May, but as Uriel  and BlockedQuebecois allude, this depends on available funding and your assigned tasks. I have no idea how many of the 60 OJAG PRes positions are filled, where they are located, what the recruitment/selection criteria or process are, or what OJAG funding looks like these days.

DND/CF Legal Advisor  A subset/branch of the DoJ which employs both civilian and military lawyers. They provide strategic legal advice on matters that fall outside of the Judge Advocate General's purview. That exhausts my knowledge on this topic.

Legal Officer Training  Unless you already have it or are granted equivalency, everyone first goes through Basic Military Officer Training (i.e. "basic training"). Following that, all Legal Officers, regardless of Reg F/PRes status or previous experience, must complete the Legal Officer Qualification (LOQ) Course. The course prepares candidates to be General Legal Counsel in the CAF and covers: (1) foundational knowledge (e.g. CAF structure and the Legal Officer's role within it); (2) basic legal principles in a military context, including ethics; and (3) specific military policies and laws. 

Last I heard, new recruits must complete these courses within the first four years of service. Back in 2018, the LOQ was divided into 2 parts: (1) 80-hour Distance Learning reading package; and (2) 25-day residential portion in Kingston, which includes classroom training and field training exercises. Training might have changed since then. Legal Officers may require additional training to fill particular roles throughout their careers (e.g. prosecutors and defence counsel for Courts Martial).

"The Military Experience"   I am not convinced that Uriel's characterization that Legal Officers are "soldiers first" is quite as dire as s/he/they alludes. Rather, I would characterize Uriel's points as follows:

  • In my experience, the weapons training, intense physical training (PT), and wet felt/dank tent/diesel fumes experiences are limited to: the first 1-2 years as a junior officer in training, if they deploy, or if they're attached to a deployable headquarters/ship. Here's what I mean:
  1. Basic training only lasts 14 weeks or so, and most of that time is spent in a classroom. I think only 2-3 weeks are spent in the field/on the small arms range where the smell of wet felt/dank tent/diesel fumes will be seared into your memory. But you only have to go through this once in your military career.
  2. Most Legal Officer positions are not in a deployable unit/deployed operation, so very few work in an operational environment. I expect that most work out of an office and spend time in boardrooms and courtrooms like most lawyers.
  3. For the few Legal Officers deployed overseas, they generally work in the HQ on the main base or at a forward operating base (FOB). In Afghanistan they occasionally went outside the wire with the commander or on an assigned task, but that seems to be the exception. 
  4. For the few Legal Officers attached to a deployable unit, they spend the majority of their time "riding the mahogany chariot" in their air conditioned office on base. In the Army, our Brigade Legal Advisor deployed to the field 1x/yr for 3-6 weeks and worked out of the CP tent on a laptop and 6ft collapsable table and chair, usually next to the generator or blue rockets (ok, "generator/blue rockets" is a bit snarky, but never the less contains a grain of truth. Blue rocket = port-a-potty). For context, the Army only has three RegF Brigades, so only 3/150 (or so) Legal Officers are subjected to this every year.
  • Yes, Legal Officers learn to take direction, but the extreme "taking orders" is mostly contained to basic training. After that bandaid is pulled off, it seems to me that the Legal Officer works as part of a bureaucracy where their clients happen to be military. In that sense, I expect much of the same from articling and working at a law firm: you learn to take direction from your principal, complete assigned tasks on time, and work as part of a team to complete your boss' larger projects. (Note: admittedly, I have no experience with articling/law firms to back this up)
  • Legal Officers must achieve the annual fitness standards that all military personnel are subjected to (FORCE evaluation) and mandated battle task standards (vary according to which unit they're attached to). That said, I have never seen a Legal Officer join us for PT, head to the small arms range, or do the LBM (Load-Bearing March = 13km timed rucksack march) unless it was mandated as part of pre-deployment training. Mostly, they appear to work out on their own and do the FORCE evaluation when required.

With all that said, I was not a Legal Officer and could be wrong. But I did spend my fair share of time as a combat arms officer working in a headquarters, which appeared to be comparable to our Legal Officer's work environment.

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42 minutes ago, ArmyToLaw said:

For the few Legal Officers deployed overseas, they generally work in the HQ on the main base or at a forward operating base (FOB). In Afghanistan they occasionally went outside the wire with the commander or on an assigned task, but that seems to be the exception.

It's not uncommon to have legal officers deploy aboard ships. At one point it was standard practice for at least one legal officer to be deployed aboard each ship during a deployment, but I'm not sure if that's still the practice. Best I could find from a quick search is that there was a five member legal officer team sent along with the five ships we sent to RIMPAC 2018. To the extent that a legal officer were to deploy aboard a ship, the experience would be pretty much the same as any other officer aboard a ship. 

Also as a complete aside, interesting case out of the military court system today: LS CD Edwards v R, 2020 CM 3006.

The Deputy Chief Military Judge held that the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) order appointing the Deputy Vice CDS as the commanding officer with respect to disciplinary matters of military judges violates LS Edwards' s. 11(d) right to a trial in front of an impartial tribunal. The end result was a stay of proceedings, and this decision, if upheld, would mean that any proceedings against service members pending or brought in the future should be stayed until such time as the CDS reallocates disciplinary matters relating to military judges to the Military Judges Inquiry Committee. It also calls into question all decisions handed decided since the CDS order went into effect on 2 October 2019. 

This concludes today's episode of fun military justice facts with BQ. 

Edited by BlockedQuebecois
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2 hours ago, ArmyToLaw said:

Normally, PRes members parade one evening/wk and one weekend/mos from Sep-May, but as Uriel  and BlockedQuebecois allude, this depends on available funding and your assigned tasks. I have no idea how many of the 60 OJAG PRes positions are filled, where they are located, what the recruitment/selection criteria or process are, or what OJAG funding looks like these days.

--> I would be so interested to see how that parade differs from those I'm more familiar with!

 

"The Military Experience"   I am not convinced that Uriel's characterization that Legal Officers are "soldiers first" is quite as dire as s/he/they alludes.

--> You've probably got vastly more experience than I do, so I'd defer to your knowledge and completely agree that it's not a life-and-death assignment.  Particularly in PRes I'd be surprised if you were ever in theatre.  I only referred to that more "dire" scenario from my experience coming up through the support trades (Medics like me trained with the band, cooks, log and comms) and watching a lot of people having a negative experience because they did not fully anticipate that they were going to be trained like real soldiers, and that entails a lot that you won't be familiar with from civilian life.  Maybe that disconnect happens with less frequency when you're coming at it from the perspective of combat arms, and/or when you go in as an officer.

Once you're back at the unit, life reverts to something recognizable but I did want to flag for any law students out there that haven't had any exposure to the military -- and particularly the large minority of them that have never had real jobs of any sort -- that basic training, going on course or on ex... it's a real thing.  You'll be yelled at, you'll be held to standards of dress.  You'll work exhausted, you'll have to set up tents in the pitch black through soggy mittens.  You'll be woken by blanks firing over your ground sheet in the frosty early hours.  You might poop on a toilet seat placed haphazardly on top of a hole in the ground.  Some of the softer of you (i.e., me) will be PT'ed until you puke every single morning until you reach the point that you select Gatorade flavours based on how it tastes coming back up.  Although the day-to-day is an office job, you're going to have to train to be a soldier.

In the words of one of my clarinet-tooting buddies from QL2 back in the day, "I guess it's just kind of hitting me now that I joined the f****** military."  So, to clarify my earlier comments, no, you're not going to get shot at, but it's not just a fun hat and a cool title either; it's a serious commitment.

 

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11 hours ago, ArmyToLaw said:

I can only speak to the military Legal Officer path, and even then my experience is limited. The short answer to your question is no: previous military experience is not necessary to enrol in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) as a Legal Officer.

My apologies in advance for the extensive long answer.

Reg F Legal Officer  It sounds like the advertisement you saw was for a Legal Officer in the CAF Regular Force (Reg F). This position would require that you enrol in the CAF as a full-time Reg F Officer on a Variable Initial Engagement of 3-9 years (Note: exact contract length is detailed at ADM(HR-Mil) Instruction 05/05, which does not appear to be available online, but any recruiting officer can access it for you). Generally, 1/3 of their annual recruits are civilian legal practitioners like yourself, 1/3 are occupational transfers from within the CAF, and 1/3 are civilian practitioners with military experience. I don't know their selection criteria or if it is different for each pool of potential recruits, but I agree with Uriel that it would behove you to have a general understanding of "the military experience" (more on this below).

PRes Legal Officer  BlockedQuebecois refers to Legal Officers in the CAF Primary Reserve (PRes), which would allow you to continue your civilian practice and work for the CAF on a part-time basis. Last I heard, the Office of the JAG has about 60 PRes positions across Canada. In my experience, I've seen them working at a Reserve Brigade-level Headquarters providing legal advice to the Brigade Commander and subordinate Reserve Units. Otherwise, I expect they conduct legal research or other supporting tasks for the various divisions within the Office of the JAG. Normally, PRes members parade one evening/wk and one weekend/mos from Sep-May, but as Uriel  and BlockedQuebecois allude, this depends on available funding and your assigned tasks. I have no idea how many of the 60 OJAG PRes positions are filled, where they are located, what the recruitment/selection criteria or process are, or what OJAG funding looks like these days.

DND/CF Legal Advisor  A subset/branch of the DoJ which employs both civilian and military lawyers. They provide strategic legal advice on matters that fall outside of the Judge Advocate General's purview. That exhausts my knowledge on this topic.

Legal Officer Training  Unless you already have it or are granted equivalency, everyone first goes through Basic Military Officer Training (i.e. "basic training"). Following that, all Legal Officers, regardless of Reg F/PRes status or previous experience, must complete the Legal Officer Qualification (LOQ) Course. The course prepares candidates to be General Legal Counsel in the CAF and covers: (1) foundational knowledge (e.g. CAF structure and the Legal Officer's role within it); (2) basic legal principles in a military context, including ethics; and (3) specific military policies and laws. 

Last I heard, new recruits must complete these courses within the first four years of service. Back in 2018, the LOQ was divided into 2 parts: (1) 80-hour Distance Learning reading package; and (2) 25-day residential portion in Kingston, which includes classroom training and field training exercises. Training might have changed since then. Legal Officers may require additional training to fill particular roles throughout their careers (e.g. prosecutors and defence counsel for Courts Martial).

"The Military Experience"   I am not convinced that Uriel's characterization that Legal Officers are "soldiers first" is quite as dire as s/he/they alludes. Rather, I would characterize Uriel's points as follows:

  • In my experience, the weapons training, intense physical training (PT), and wet felt/dank tent/diesel fumes experiences are limited to: the first 1-2 years as a junior officer in training, if they deploy, or if they're attached to a deployable headquarters/ship. Here's what I mean:
  1. Basic training only lasts 14 weeks or so, and most of that time is spent in a classroom. I think only 2-3 weeks are spent in the field/on the small arms range where the smell of wet felt/dank tent/diesel fumes will be seared into your memory. But you only have to go through this once in your military career.
  2. Most Legal Officer positions are not in a deployable unit/deployed operation, so very few work in an operational environment. I expect that most work out of an office and spend time in boardrooms and courtrooms like most lawyers.
  3. For the few Legal Officers deployed overseas, they generally work in the HQ on the main base or at a forward operating base (FOB). In Afghanistan they occasionally went outside the wire with the commander or on an assigned task, but that seems to be the exception. 
  4. For the few Legal Officers attached to a deployable unit, they spend the majority of their time "riding the mahogany chariot" in their air conditioned office on base. In the Army, our Brigade Legal Advisor deployed to the field 1x/yr for 3-6 weeks and worked out of the CP tent on a laptop and 6ft collapsable table and chair, usually next to the generator or blue rockets (ok, "generator/blue rockets" is a bit snarky, but never the less contains a grain of truth. Blue rocket = port-a-potty). For context, the Army only has three RegF Brigades, so only 3/150 (or so) Legal Officers are subjected to this every year.
  • Yes, Legal Officers learn to take direction, but the extreme "taking orders" is mostly contained to basic training. After that bandaid is pulled off, it seems to me that the Legal Officer works as part of a bureaucracy where their clients happen to be military. In that sense, I expect much of the same from articling and working at a law firm: you learn to take direction from your principal, complete assigned tasks on time, and work as part of a team to complete your boss' larger projects. (Note: admittedly, I have no experience with articling/law firms to back this up)
  • Legal Officers must achieve the annual fitness standards that all military personnel are subjected to (FORCE evaluation) and mandated battle task standards (vary according to which unit they're attached to). That said, I have never seen a Legal Officer join us for PT, head to the small arms range, or do the LBM (Load-Bearing March = 13km timed rucksack march) unless it was mandated as part of pre-deployment training. Mostly, they appear to work out on their own and do the FORCE evaluation when required.

With all that said, I was not a Legal Officer and could be wrong. But I did spend my fair share of time as a combat arms officer working in a headquarters, which appeared to be comparable to our Legal Officer's work environment.

I've never really seriously considered a career as a legal officer, but I gotta say, that sounds kind of awesome to me. 

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16 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

At one point it was standard practice for at least one legal officer to be deployed aboard each ship during a deployment, but I'm not sure if that's still the practice.

Good point. Admittedly, the extent of my naval experience mostly consists of the citrus variety, so hopefully others on this forum can speak to this.

14 hours ago, Uriel said:

no, you're not going to get shot at, but it's not just a fun hat and a cool title either; it's a serious commitment.

Such a good point, and something that I often forget about because it was common sense to me. "Common" because everyone in the military went through it, but not so common to those who have never experienced it. Those 14 weeks of basic training -- which your description captures perfectly -- aren't for everybody. I would also add that every military member is required to handle and fire the C7 rifle in basic training and (for most) throughout their career, which goes against some people's strongly-held beliefs.

Another aspect to consider is the unique demands of a military Legal Officer. Yes, their work directly affects real people just like their civilian counterparts: the prosecution and defence in a Court Martial will affect the accused's rights and liberty, just like a criminal lawyer; the lawyer at DMCA will determine whether a soldier's actions justify a dishonourable discharge from the military, just like an employment lawyer; and I expect we'll be hearing more about Aboriginal rights/land claims on DND property in the coming years.

But the Legal Officer may be called upon to sit on a targeting board to advise whether or not a person is an "enemy combatant", or whether to raid a family's house, or to drop a bomb on their compound. They may be called upon to advise whether to authorize particular rules of engagement in a theatre of war or even a distinct mission -- this is a big deal: many soldiers returned from the former Yugoslavia with moral trauma because their ROEs did not authorize them to stop a genocide that was happening in front of their eyes.

I will never forget listening to the dead air on the radio while the commander sought legal advice to determine whether a tank could fire at a sniper that was shooting at the BG lead element. Is this a proportional use of force? Do you have positive identification, and what does that mean in this exact situation? The people getting shot at while the commander deliberated needed an urgent response. But they also did not want to commit a war crime.

Will every Legal Officer be called upon to give this tough advice? No. But sometimes -- in the RegF -- you don't get to choose your postings.

So, Uriel, thank you for reminding me that the military does impose unique demands on their serving members, and Legal Officers in particular. Common sense is only common to those who experience it.

14 hours ago, Uriel said:

"I guess it's just kind of hitting me now that I joined the f****** military."

+1

Edited by ArmyToLaw
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Apropos of very little: Eye in the Sky is, IMHO, an excellent movie to watch if you want Hollywood's take on a very real situation Legal Officers might face in the field, as well as the unique consequences their decisions can have.

 

That, or just watch it because you can't go wrong with Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman.

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Some of the softer of you (i.e., me) will be PT'ed until you puke every single morning until you reach the point that you select Gatorade flavours based on how it tastes coming back up. 

Have they added PT back in?   

 

I was in the first round of the new reservist summer camp BMQ back in 2000 and we spent so much time in the classroom we basically did no PT (30 mins in the morning tops) until the NBCD portion of the course where we did a lot of running around Shilo in bunny suits and gas masks.

 

 

 

 

Edited by kurrika

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On 8/31/2020 at 3:13 PM, kurrika said:

Have they added PT back in?

The last PRes BMQ training plan I saw was from about 2016 (I'm assuming you did a PRes course). Although I can't remember whether the timetable allocated one period per day for PT, or even if it was first thing in the morning or sometime in the afternoon, I do remember the OC saying that they tried to incorporate PT into daily activities by marching everywhere with full fighting order and doing pushups/sit-ups/chin-ups upon entering the classroom. Last I heard from the Reg F course out of Saint-Jean, they do PT daily and still have to run up and down those stairs.

But frequency is different from intensity. Oh, the pain that can be inflicted over a short 30 min! I still consider logs, stretchers, and jerry cans to be specialized tools of torture. Throughout my career, I found that PT intensity varied between instructors, platoons, course OCs, and especially across PRes units that ran BMQs remotely. Some were pretty lax about it, while others seemed to take great pleasure in finding innovative ways to push you to your physical limits. Standardization has always been difficult.

My best advice for those heading off to basic training is to go in with a solid fitness foundation balancing cardio and strength. Once you get there, push yourself (even if it feels easy!), don't quit, and help out your teammates. Part of the game is to show grit, even if that 5km run takes you a bit longer than others or you need a hand flipping that LAV tire one more time.

Edited by ArmyToLaw
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20 hours ago, ArmyToLaw said:

The last PRes BMQ training plan I saw was from about 2016 (I'm assuming you did a PRes course). Although I can't remember whether the timetable allocated one period per day for PT, or even if it was first thing in the morning or sometime in the afternoon, I do remember the OC saying that they tried to incorporate PT into daily activities by marching everywhere with full fighting order and doing pushups/sit-ups/chin-ups upon entering the classroom.

 

It was a PRes course but ran out of Shilo with reg force instructors rather than a weekend deal.  Lot of marching around in full fighting order.  That was probably the biggest adjustment - walking around in the old boots with wooden insoles and 1982 pattern webbing and a rifle in hand. If you don't hike a lot its different than running around a track in cross trainers. 

 

 

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22 hours ago, ArmyToLaw said:

The last PRes BMQ training plan I saw was from about 2016 (I'm assuming you did a PRes course). Although I can't remember whether the timetable allocated one period per day for PT, or even if it was first thing in the morning or sometime in the afternoon, I do remember the OC saying that they tried to incorporate PT into daily activities by marching everywhere with full fighting order and doing pushups/sit-ups/chin-ups upon entering the classroom. Last I heard from the Reg F course out of Saint-Jean, they do PT daily and still have to run up and down those stairs.

But frequency is different from intensity. Oh, the pain that can be inflicted over a short 30 min! I still consider logs, stretchers, and jerry cans to be specialized tools of torture. Throughout my career, I found that PT intensity varied between instructors, platoons, course OCs, and especially across PRes units that ran BMQs remotely. Some were pretty lax about it, while others seemed to take great pleasure in finding innovative ways to push you to your physical limits. Standardization has always been difficult.

My best advice for those heading off to basic training is to go in with a solid fitness foundation balancing cardio and strength. Once you get there, push yourself (even if it feels easy!), don't quit, and help out your teammates. Part of the game is to show grit, even if that 5km run takes you a bit longer than others or you need a hand flipping that LAV tire one more time.

Dear god. You're telling me I have to be able to use my brain and keep my body under 300 lbs? Who the hell are these superhuman bastards?

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Without 'outing' myself IRL, I used to be an army recruiter, feel free to ask me any specific questions about the recruitment process, training, deployments, etc.

The only downside is the Army Reserve doesn't recruit JAGs, that is all done centrally, so my experience there is tertiary. However, I have worked with many JAGs and can provide some inputs on the training and the day to day.

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    • You sure about that rate, it seems like a really low rate for a first year associate
    • Is this for non Bay St firms only or does this include Bay St firms?
    • you too can get into law school with an lsat in the 140's :)))  I was accepted back in February but haven't had a chance to post!  LSAT: 145 last year, then 147 in November CGPA: 3.5 B2: 3.8  I believe I had an intensely strong application and references aside from these stats, as last year I was waitlisted at Queen's and Windsor (I did not apply to Ryerson last cycle) 
    • I think we had a period of overlap (I was at the faculty from Sept 2013 to December 2016). With respect to the rest, I think we're in general agreement. My point isn't that diversity doesn't exist or that it shouldn't be recognized. Of course it exists and of course we should take it into consideration but we should also keep in mind that it can present itself in very nuanced ways that you won't be able to pick up on unless you make an effort to get to know the person as an individual.
    • Many firms opted to cheap out during the annual compensation review. Instead of the usual annual raises, some firms provided cost of living increases (e.g. 2%) to their associates, even those who were dangerously closed to hitting their billable hours target. Now those same firms are dishing out retention bonuses to retain their associates. Too little too late, in some cases.  What has really frustrated associates is that some of these firms either exceeded or fell just below their original budgets for 2020. 

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