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BELKIN DIARY: BASIC MILITARY QUALIFICATIONS (BMQ)
2003

Submitted by a member of our discussion community during his 9-week experience at BMQ (basic training for the Canadian Forces)

Week One

Well my first week of basic is down. Pretty good overall. I hope to post weekly updates as a way to help people interested in the armed forces what to expect and how it really is but without going into heavy detail.

First of all you walk everywhere! I am placed on the 8th of 10 floors and you go up and down the stairs for everything, no elevators for anything, even carrying your luggage and gear. which is 60 plus pounds per. Its a total team work atmosphere here. Everyone helps everyone, cause if he's not done, you both suffer and vice versa. Everything is has to be keep clean and I mean everything on your floor. The instructors (master corporals and sgts) run the place. They will not scream and will not touch you but they are firm and mean what they say. There is a lot of paper work the first week and be ready for your feet to be sore. Your on them all day.

Also the days go fast, your always doing something. Up at 530am, bed by 11pm.

Best time I can give you for your first week....is learn how to work a needle and thread.

Until next week.

Week Two

Well week #2 has come and gone here at basic training in St. Jean, PQ. This week was the first "real" work week. Lots of drills on marching, Military knowledge, inspections, First aid and 'gym' courses. Gym here is different then your typical gym in high school, if the class is 40 mins, you will be running for all 40 mins! 3km jog was our first 'gym' class. Everything here is done at a fast pace. Getting dressed, shaving, cleaning up etc.

Also everything better be clean, your desk, bed, closet and your station jobs. Station jobs are areas of the living floors such as washrooms, laundry rooms that you have to clean daily, and I mean very clean. Inspections are when your instructors check your room layout to see if everything is done right. Bed made right, clothes folded the right way and boots polished...I have 5 pairs of shoes and boots to polish!!! We have class for the first 3 to 4 Saturdays when you first start and are not allowed to leave the base in that time.

Also don't let it fool you, basic training is challenging. Drill, tests, classroom work is a lot more then I thought it would be here. Also you don't get to touch a weapon in your first 5-6 weeks here and firing is done in the latter part of the course, around week 8.

We also received our medical shots this week, two in the shoulders and one in the forearm. And to let your minds at ease...no they don't give you any needles in your testicles, that is a false rumour LOL.

Take care and I will email you next week with #3.

Week Three

Well week 3 came and is now in the books. Highlights from this week, review on marching, we started to wear our helmets and gear this week. Gas mask, chemical etc weapons training started this week. We have 17 sessions then hit the gas hut! I'm Looking forward to it. We have 9 seconds to put on your gas mask or less! Sounds like a lot of time but the process in putting it on has a lot of steps. Other then that we had drills, pushups, more class lessons including 'sexual health' :) which was funny. Inspections of area's have intensified.

And this week we have token on more responsibility with cleaning jobs around the base for the week called platoon duties.

Its also getting easier to get up at 530am. Anyways on to week four!

***also i forgot to mention that you wear your week #'s on your shoulders of your uniforms. So if you ever visit anyone in here and see those #'s you know what they mean****

Week Four

WEEK FOUR

Well week #4 came and gone. This week included more shots at the hospital. Brings the total up to 6. We had our usual gym class with every other one being circuit training.

On Friday we had our regular inspection but not with our Master corporals but with our Platoon Cmd. The successful people who had a good set of boots, bed and ironing got their 'cornflakes' which is the symbol that goes on your beret. Plus now we are now aloud after week #4 to use the gym and wear our regular clothes on weekends around the base which is nice.

We had our first 3km march with our Platoon Cmd also. Our 'chemical' weapons class we had a written test and all but a few passed. (pass = 60% except for first aid which is 70%)

Everyone is getting use to getting up so early etc and the daily rotation by now. The drilling is improving and we had more classes of this, this week.

Highlights for next week, getting gassed, 5km march and getting our C-7's!!!!

Ask any questions if you have them I may take a few days to answer (internet access is here and there when I have time).

Week Five

Well week #5 came and went. It was a short week with it only being 4 days. Highlights for the week were getting our C7 weapon, 5km march and getting gassed in the gas chamber.

The C7 weapon is pretty cool, we are having a lot of weapons classes on how to perform safety tests that will be used on the range and other such tests. It is a lot of work to clean, oil, clean, oil, wipe, wipe, oil, clean...and wipe some more.

The 5km march was good, the last km started to get the feet a little sore but next week we have the same with our backpacks (40 lbs) so the weaker individuals will have problems. Wait and see I guess.

The gas chamber was really fun. When you go into the chamber you already have your mask on and will in there with the gas you need to perform a disinfect type test which includes taking off the gas mask, a few people open there eyes and didn't keep there mouth shut so they started to cough or get that burning feeling but everyone in the platoon passed.

Next week : 5km march with backpack. Write test from what we have been learning in the classroom.

Week Six and Seven

Well week's 6 and 7 are done and in the history books. I thought I would combine both weeks into one post cause week 6 wasn't anything to write about. Week 7 was the big 'test' week with 3 tests (weapons safety, drill and another write general safety test non weapons related) If you fail either of these tests and people do, mainly the weapons you get send back to a younger platoon and you start over at week 4 or 5 or the other option kicked out.

Well on the first attempted at the test we had 14 out of the 58 we had fail the test. I passed and didn't find it at all hard but nerves do play a huge factor and was the main reason for failure among the bunch.

The retest we had all but 2 pass. They are gone now and are put back. Drill everyone passed and as well as the write test. Another person was put back due to her not doing the marches and missing to much gym classes.

Next week we are off to Farnham and shooting, camping, night navigation, stalking etc. Really looking forward to it all.

*** Also on a side note, the TV is glued to CNN here and I'd like to wish all troops over sea's well and to come back safe.

Week Eight and Nine

Well weeks 8 and 9 are now in the record books for me folks. Highlights over the last two weeks were, the shooting range and using my c7 on automatic! :eek

'Topo' night and day - its navigation with compass etc.

we camped out the first week in a tent with a wood floor and heater which was well needed cause it was cold at night. We each had century duty at certain positions in the camp and for 1.5 hrs. My shifts were all 2-330am etc.

The next week we had two made tents with my flooring but snow and it was freezing! That week we got about 2-3 hours sleep a night and the last day were woken up at 4am but explosions and told we had 20 mins to pack up everything and get ready to move. Today we just finished our 13km march with our rucksacks and man, let me tell you, your feet will hurt. :) Other then that so much went on and it was overall not to bad but more fun.

Last week for me!

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