Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Being Successful on Your Summer Course

Hi everyone,

Lt Ng here back on the blog after a long hiatus. I just wanted to summarize a few points and add more detail to what we covered at the Summer Training Success Workshop. 

Remember that we have three goals at Summer Training. They are (in order of importance):

  1. Stay safe and have fun
  2. Learn lots and bring that knowledge home
  3. Going above and beyond in academic achievement on your course

In order to maximize our enjoyment and success on course we need to remember a few key things:

Three Things At All Times: Pen, Paper, Watch

This is the holy trinity of preparedness, not only in summer training, but also at our training at home and life outside of cadets. 

Always have a pen and a notepad in your pocket. If you are given a task, immediately whip out your writing materials so you can take down all details. This achieves two things:
  • It gives you a remember of all critical items of the tasking, because you will forget them at some point. Especially if the task is long or a few hours away.
  • It lets the person giving the briefing know that you are paying attention and are motivated to complete the task well. 
Your watch is your compass, it is your lifeline. If a tasking requires you to be at a location for a certain time, you can measure that. If you are given a deadline, you can measure that. 

If you can't measure something, you can't manage it. Pure and simple. 

Be Better Than On Time

Timing is incredibly important in military life. If you are late by a minute, you might as well be late by three hours. It makes no difference, late is late. 

Aim to have things done early. Five to ten minutes early is great because it gives you breathing room to fix things. 

Ie: Your WO tells you to form up on the road at 0900. You arrive at 0900 and realize you forgot your pen. You run back inside to get your pen, good job you are now late. 

Never be late.

Expect the same from the people whom you lead. Let them know what your expectations are, ask if they understand, and talk them through it if they don't.

Communicate Everything. Absolutely Everything.

Ask your platoon staff if you don't understand something or require more clarification. 

You can't just assume everything will take care of itself.

Remember that when you are at summer training, nobody will be responsible for you but you. Your parents will not be there, older siblings won't be there to look after you. That means, that you have to ask questions if you don't know how to do something. 

Don't know how to iron? Ask a staff cadet to teach you. If they aren't able to, ask someone else. 

The most successful cadets on course, the happiest cadets on course, are the ones who are the best communicators. 

Be Responsible, Be Responsive, Be Better

Always have a handle on everything you own, and everything you've touched. 

Write your name on all pieces of kit with a black sharpie. Write your last name, initial, Company, Platoon, and 2947. 

If something goes wrong, remember it is your responsibility if you are directly involved, and it is the team's responsibility if you are not. It is an individual effort to cover all of your bases, and a team effort to cover everyone else's. 

When an instruction is given out, pay attention and respond loudly and proudly. Give a loud  "Yes Sergeant" "Yes Warrant" "Yes Ma'am/Sir" when an instruction is given. 

2947 prides itself on producing cadets who can do what they were told, do it quickly, and do a damn good job at it.

Remember that doing what you're told is only half the equation. Taking the initiative and going beyond is the second. 

If your staff tell you to make your bed. They will think it's the Four Seasons in Downtown Vancouver when you are done. You will make the bed, then sweep the floor under the bed, straighten your shoes, and clean up your general area. 

Apply this to every task.

Another way for us to "Be Better" is to help out our teammates. More help is always better. Seek out ways that you can help your platoon out, whether it be doing extra to clean your barracks, volunteering during classes, or giving people tips on making their uniforms look good. 

Have Fun and Help Others Have Fun Too

Last and most important is to have a good time. Include others in activities if they seem to be having a hard time adjusting. 

Summer training will be some one of the best moments of your lives, if you let it be. Remember that people are going to be what makes the experience unique. 

Stay safe, don't do anything that will make you miss out on training sitting at the doctor's office. While you're waiting for the nurse with a sprained ankle, your friends are at the water park, or doing sports, or on the range. 

These are the best tips that I can give you. Talk to your NCOs if you ever need help, and have an excellent summer!


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