So, it looks like I screwed up. For those of you who haven't been following, I'm currently undergoing Basic Officer Training, at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in St. Jean, Quebec.

Now, this upcoming week should be my grad week. However, one of the prerequisites for graduating is passing Exercise Leopard. Basically, the idea was that you get thrown in front of a squad of 8 people, and are assigned a task to complete, such as searching for a downed pilot and performing first aid, or building an obstacle course.

While you're doing this, you're evaluated. The idea is not to actually accomplish the task. It's how you go about doing so that matters. They want to see that you made up a plan that properly considered all the relevant factors (Enemy, Friendly, Ground, Resources, Time / Space, and Safety), and that you issued your orders correctly, with enthusiasm and confidence, and that when you're supervising your work, that you're paying attention, fixing mistakes, and motivating those who aren't moving fast enough.

So, of course, there's a bunch of different evaluators, and they all mark differently. Some mark harder, and some easier. We're given 3 chances at this, and for two of those chances, I got screwed over by getting an evaluator who was, shall we say, a hardass.

While I do admit that I did mess up my first time around, I think, and those other people taking the course who were there to see it also think, that the 2nd kick at the can would have, for most other evaluators, a pass. The third time around, I did quite well. Things ran smoothly, I was on the ball, and everyone there assumed that I had passed with a fair margin. Turns out, not so much.

So anyways, long story short, I'm the only person in my platoon of 54 people who did not pass the exercise, and thus the course. Now, if I actually was the weakest link in the platoon, this would be one thing. But there are a number of people who did a worse job (in some cases a much worse job) and still managed to pass. This is why I'm rather pissed off.

That all having been said, it's not completely bad. I've got a progress review board coming up on Monday, at which point I will find out my fate with the Canadian Forces. At this time, my platoon commander's reccomendation is that I be given a chance to recourse, which would mean waiting 5 weeks till the next course starts, and then redoing the last 5 weeks of training. That wouldn't be all too bad. While I would love to get the heck out of here now, in the long run a two and a half month delay isn't really that bad of a thing.

So yeah, that's my shitty bad news for the day. Well, actually pretty much for the year. When I find out what's going on for sure, I'll let you guys know.

Update May 10, 2005: Sorry it took so long to get back to you guys about this. Yeah, I got the recourse. Had to go to the progress review board in front of a Major, a Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class, a Master Warrant, and a Captain, as well as my platoon Commander, Warrant Poulin. Fortunately, I was able to state my case with conviction, and much more importantly, my Warrant was also willing to do so once I had left the room. Started the re-course on Monday, so we'll find out in 4 or so weeks if his faith in me was justified.

Update June 17, 2005: It was. I'm an officer now. Acting Sub-Lieutenant Clarke. I could recount what happened this time around, but it was pretty much the same as the last time around, except more insects and I passed.

Palpz's Basic Training Adventure!

Farewell, Bronchitis, Inspections, Montreal, Tear Gas, and Guns, Camping, Canadian Infantry Style, Broken Teeth, A Brand New Tooth, A Fall From Grace, and Redemption