After the Thanksgiving weekend off, I return to Minto this weekend for my 4th of 9 weeks of Basic Military Qualification.
The schedule for the weekend includes fire fighting drills, a written test and whatever else they think to throw our way. This will include more practice with the C7 rile, which takes at maximum 55 seconds to load, unless you’re me and take 57 seconds (not good enough). Naturally I’ll need to improve that before the upcoming practical test.
The written test will be on all the classroom work from the first 3 weeks, which is actually a lot of information. I feel I will do well, but I would have preferred to study more. Unfortunately, life and school got in the way a bit in that regard. C’est la vie.
While I am at the base, my unit, 38 Service Battalion, will be on exercise at CFB Shilo, in conjunction with a few other Reserve units from around the Brigade. It would have been a good experience, but I just don’t know enough at this point to make it logical for me to be there. I’ll get my chance soon enough, I suppose.
It didn’t take long for the first casualties of BMQ to occur. Role call on the second weekend, in fact, saw that we were down to 39 from 40. Over the course of the weekend, we learned of at least two more imminent departures. One guy, who happens to share a bunk with me, is departing because of not being able to manage the Reserves, a full-time job and part time education at the same time. I definitely get this, as being at Red River and going to the Reserves occupies the majority of my time.
The other “casualty” is leaving due to medical reasons, as a former injury to his back is flaring up thanks to practicing drill. If it’s bad now, it is only bound to get worse in the next few weeks as intensity ramps up.
2 of the members that are leaving are from my section, meaning that we will be a little short handed the next time fire picket occurs (in two weeks from now). 4 of us will have to do double shifts, meaning a very tired section on Saturday, which is bound to cause trouble.
I abandoned my outdoor soccer season to ensure that I don’t pick up any small injuries that might keep me out of action in training. I do love playing soccer, but so many small things can go wrong and I’d rather get hurt at BMQ than soccer, if I have to get hurt somewhere. Which I don’t. I hope.
I’m looking forward to the long weekend off. It will likely mean I will have time to socialize, and not just pretend I have time like I’ve been doing.