Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Disaster of Going Back Home

This time I'm writing from Ottawa International Airport because I'm stuck here! I booked my flight to Calgary through Ottawa and I realized that there was 01:55 hour delay! The flight from Montreal to Ottawa was very easy, short and comfortable. I was given a seat next to emergency exit with no one next to me. However when I got to Ottawa I learnt that my flight had already left! 
One lady from Air Canada tried for minutes to get me another ticket. Meanwhile I realized that my plastic bag containing my laptop and all the related is not with me! I was nervous and a little bit disoriented as a result of missing my flight and even now that I'm writing this I have a light headache, something I barely get in years. I remembered, after a few minutes of thinking that I had left my bag in the cart when I was rushing up to the check-in section!
The lady eventually was able to get me a flight to Vancouver and then Calgary and offered me a hotel room in Downtown Ottawa, some 20 min. drive. I refused and I said I would stay in the airport and here I am! I then went to Lost & Found and luckily someone had handed in my bag and I'm writing using my Chromebook
I finally ate after almost 12 hours! I went to Tim Horton's and garbed a Chicken Salad Sandwich for $5.30 which was not bad. The last time I had eaten was yesterday around noon when I had a cup of Coffee and a Walnut Brownie in a small cafe in Montreal Airport. I guess that cost some $6 or even more. People here don't care about the price of things they buy! I later saw a small sandwich, similar to the ones that you get them in Safeway for around $4.5 for more than $10!! I probably have to eat three of the damn thing for my meal. Then here in Ottawa I paid $3.25 for a bottle of 591 ml Dasani water! 
My flight is at about 06:20 and I don't know where the damn headache came from! Internet in Ottawa Airport is much easier to use. No sign in or bullshit like Montreal Airport. Just accept the terms and conditions! I didn't have a very bad sleep the night before my flight. So it's hard for me to understand what the cause of this headache is.
(Photo: The Bombardier Air Canada plane when parked at the designated gate)

Monday, August 14, 2017

Free, After All

I'm writing this from Pierre E. Trudeau International Airport in Montreal. I finally was released from CFLRS without any problem this morning. I was a little bit nervous because you never know what might happen to keep you for a very long time! In fact something silly did happen(!) but it was a stupidity which I will write about it separately but generally it was easier than I had thought. 
My room was not inspected although I had cleaned it and put everything in place. I had returned all my military stuff and had done all of my paperwork. The only thing left was to return the room key and my Exacta Card which I did after that and went to the office and reported. 
The lady who was responsible for the section, a Master Seaman, even helped me to get a cab and gave me the metro and bus maps. However I only got a cab to the bus terminal in Saint Jean Sur Richelieu which cost me $13.15 only. I got the bus to Bonaventure metro station in Montreal from there which cost $10. I was supposed to get to metro and a bus to the airport but I said no way! I got a cab to the airport and I don't know how much he had to charge me but he said $40 flat and I accepted. It was so comfortable and easy compare to the damn metro and bus, of course. He was a nice guy who spoke English with his French accent and here I'm now! It cost me a total of $63.15 compare to $115 that a cab would have charged. A saving of little more than $50 for now that I will be unpaid for I don't know how long!
I tried to get to an earlier flight and although one of Air Canada ladies said two flights had empty seats, when I went to the counter I was told that nothing was available. I just got my boarding pass and am waiting now.    
I've written enough about CFLRS and I will have more posts. Everyone who's planning to join can refer to my posts or sends me questions but I think it's different from person to person. I will never go back again and I didn't like it at all. Some might do. 
(Photo: An early picture of Free, the band. These guys have a number of greatest Rock songs of the all time. This post doesn't have anything with the band and I don't know why they called themselves Free but since the post is about freedom I thought I should use their photo here. From left Paul Rogers, Simon Kirke, Andy Fraser [passed away recently] and Paul Kossoff [passed away in the early years of Free of overdose)

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

CFLRS Notes (35): Summary Trail

One of the staff, a P. O. (Stands for Petty Officer, a ranking in RCN, in case you didn't know and that could be P. O. 1 or 2 but they are only addressed as P. O.) approached me and a few others once and asked us if we would be doing anything the coming Mon.. The answer was no and he ordered us to attend a Summary Trail at a certain hour on the day. From the name of the event I knew someone was in trouble and would be punished.
At the specified date and time, people almost filled the room and a Major and his aid walked in. The accused was then ordered to enter. He was marched in by one of the aids while escorted by two recruits. They were ordered to stand in front of the judge, the Major, all three of them.
The story was an idiot had a bottle of Red Wine on him when he returned from leave and it was found in his closet in a plastic bag! The guy said it was a gift from his grand mother(!) and added he never drank! The Major as a judge indicated that he had to prove the following four:
1- The identity of accused as the person who committed the unlawful act.
2- The date act was performed.
3- The location, and
4- The act itself.
He made a telephone call to the person who had found the bottle and played that for everyone. The person, a Warrant Officer working in another base named another person and then he was called to the room and after a three way conversation it was proved that the guy who was standing in front of the Major was the one who had the bottle within his personal stuff on that specific day and in the specific quarter of the school. The concept of having alcoholic beverages was found in contradiction with one specific order of either CAF or the school, I don't recall.
The witness who was called to the room was a Quebecois and after putting his hand on the Good Book (as it's said in The Shawshank Redemption!) told that he didn't speck English. So the Major asked the accused if he trusted him translating the witness and the accused accepted. Then words were exchanged between the Major and the witness and it was confirmed that the accused was the one that the alcoholic beverage bottle had been found in his quarter.
Here was the funny part. One of the escorts, a tall blonde girl extended her arm as a sign of excusing herself to ask a question and requested to be seated! I understand that some people are not strong enough to stand on their feet for a long time but that just showed the stupidity of selecting her as an escort in the Summary Trail. People here in Canada, in different levels of society and especially politicians have been trying to say men and women are equal and they don't want to be Sexist by selecting only males. They ignore the fact that simply selecting a female to show you support women (perhaps to get their vote in the next election!), regardless of the fact that she might not be qualified, is extremely stupid! 
The girl first sat and then left the room, accompanied with another girl! The session was continued with the point by the Major indicating he had gathered all the facts and he was about to come to the conclusion. The accused was found guilty and he was fined $150. However he was told that he would have a chance for appeal. 
The point here, as the Major indicated that, was to have a message to the rest of the recruits. They have to understand that there are rules to follow. They are in military and they have to give up their stupidity for the time they are under training and after that as well. I personally don't think many get the message but sessions such as that is required. There's no doubt for that. However I expected CAF to be more harsh in punishment. This guy was let to continue his training. I think he should have been suspended until the Summary Trial day and then, would be send back to training when possible after a much bigger fine. That's how they can stop stupid people like that in CAF.
This is another example that shows how Canadian society is soft on people who do unlawful things. It's quite similar to DUI. If harder punishment is available, the amount of crime or unlawful act will be decreased. I will probably have to separate posts about this topic and the equality of men and women. 
(Photo: A member is standing in front of an officer or NCM as part of a Summary Trail in a tent. Picture was randomly selected from Internet. Hope I have not violated any military rules. No name is revealed here and the face of accused is not seen. I assume I should be good)

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Dime in the Public Phone

One of the things I noticed here in Canada is lack of respect(!) for small coins! When a person drops or finds a Nickle, a Dime or used to drop a Penny, they don 't bother bending and picking it up. My understanding is they are too rich to care about that much of money! I think it doesn't matter whether your rich or not. You need to pick that up. If you don't need it, drop in a tip jar or a donation box. Is that too hard to do? Don't act like a ignorant, selfish, fool. 
I remember in the old country once my Aunt was back form a trip to Canada and had some change on her and gave them all to me! Although I was not a little kid, that amount of change, for me who had not been abroad at the time, was a treasure! I kept a number and then used the Dimes, mostly, on a public phone! There was no mobile phone available on those days. We didn't even had landline for years and I don't quite remember the year. I don't recall whether we had landline back then or not but I remember I used to use a public telephone at a corner often. It could even be avoiding others in the family to listen to my conversation. I don't quite remember the situation but I do remember that Dimes would work on the phone easily. It was even hard to find coin for public phones on those years so I would have been more than happy to use a Dime or any other coin, regardless of it's value when exchanged, to make a call. I wonder what the person who empties the coin box would feel every time he saw a Dime! Today's machines, at least in Canada, are designed in a way that if you put a wrong coin in, they would spit it out. The last time I was in the old country most of the public phones, or would be better to say all of them, were card operated and not many would use them. Every freaking person has a mobile phone there just like everywhere in the world. Some even have two! 
(Photo: A pile of Canadian Dime. I guess the government had a plan of eventually eliminate coins and banknotes just the way they took Penny out and turned paper money to sort of plastic one) 

Friday, August 04, 2017

Flashback (34): Mohammad of Allah(!)

I haven't written under Flashbacks for awhile. Something came to mind which reminded me of this guy and his story back to 15 years ago. There were a number of guys from Afghanistan in the apartment where I moved to after I left The Brave's I guess in June or July of 2002. One of them was this guy named Mohammad of Allah (literal meaning!) from Afghanistan who lived right in the unit below ours with a roommate. I had a roommate from Afghanistan as well and he worked night shift while I worked day shift. I remember one night a bunch of us went to this strip club in Downtown. It does not exist any more. It was called French Maid. I guess they either transferred the business somewhere else or shut it completely. 
There were a couple of strippers that we watched and then we took a break. I saw this great Muslim(!) playing pool with one of the girls who was clothed in shorts and T-shirt! I didn't know at the time that strippers, maybe not all of them, hang out in the club to find a customer for the night. I was so naive! I don't know if they agreed on a price or not but I doubt that! 
Then this great Muslim(!) who is so devoted to his religion that carries his prophet's name, I heard one day that had left the country for Afghanistan to find himself a good wife, a virgin girl, who cooks, sews, cleans and takes care of her husband. That's what a good wife means in Afghanistan and the neighbouring countries. He didn't show up for months and when once, out of curiosity only, I asked my friend about him he said that Muhammad of Allah had found his bride but because he was so young(!) or as it's called in Canada Underage, he was not allowed back to the country. He decided to stay there and enjoy her young wife (who could have been as young as 13!) until she was 18 and could be brought to Canada! I never heard of him or his story but would like to know if he has come back with his family or not. Perhaps I should check with my friend. I wonder if the strip-club Muslim patron is doing well or not! 
(Photo: Under-age marriage is common in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iran and as far as I know some Persian Gulf states and Arabic-speaking countries. This image was randomly selected from Internet shows the age gap between a bride and groom in Afghanistan and other countries. It's quite common. Some families do that just to release a member so they don't have to feed her and provide other services)

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Where Racism Is The Worst?

A bunch of disgusting assholes broke into Indigenous people's peaceful campaign in last Canada Day in Halifax. Soon it appeared that they were CAF members, to be specific Navy guys! I was not surprised, to be honest. CAF members, not all of them of course, have racism issues. This problem actually exists all around the country but has more intensity within environments which Canadians think that solely belongs to them. Perhaps they are right!
NHL is majority Caucasian. A number of Blacks. One person plays for The Maple Leafs with his roots in Lebanon. They call him a joke! CAF itself is majority Caucasian. Chinese sit in the second. Filipino is next and at a few Blacks. Almost anyone else, they would have issue with! 
I don't know these guys wanted but it's said that they would be disciplined. The problem is everyone forgets about that in a week and two! No one really knows if they are punished or not! The interesting thing in this incident was the Minister of Defense's reaction. He obviously condemn the act but I'm not sure if anyone has talked about the disgusting behaviour of Sikhs in Surrey or not! 
This world map, from 2013 classifies the intolerance of different nations toward others. My experience is quite equal to this! Today's world political situation and conflicts, I assume, is not considered when creating this map!

Does racism has deeper roots in West or it has in East. A map I have here indicates that people from where Mr. Sajjan comes have the least tolerance for people of other races! This I truly have experienced in Canada! I've seen with Chinese, Iranians and Russians as well. The latter is probably the worst although I've not experienced anything but I've read about people of Asian and African origin who have been killed by Russians in that country while there as students or workers. Tell me about your experiences. 
(Photo: Navy guys in Halifax, NS are shown here confronting Native people who had a spiritual dance session or something similar to that. It's interesting that asshole's face reveal them easily and quickly! Look at the guy whose hands are crossed!)

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

U-Boat Commander

Submarines have always been my interest. The first time I found myself a fan of them was when, years ago, the movie Das Boot was shown on TV in the old country as a series! The movie is a bit longer than 02:00 hours. Then when I joined CAF and of course I never finished my Basic Training(!), I selected a trade in the RCN that would have made me eligible  to even work in submarines but soon after starting Basic Training I found I'm the man of freedom, nature and mountains and I would be confined neither in a ship nor in a submarine! 
This, however, did not prevent me from enjoying books and movies about submarines or as it's said in German, Unterseeboot
One of the books that I've recently found and started reading is called U-Boat Commander. It's apparently written by one of a few German submarine commanders who survived WWII. The book is of course translated to English by a British guy but despite the fact that the book is very interesting, the translation sucks! It's horrible! The funny thing is the guy, named Lawrence Wilson, sounds like a British person or at least I could easily say that he's from an English-speaking country although I don't know much about Anthropology. The mistakes are so stupid and obvious that even me, who English is not his first language, notices them. Here are a few examples:

1) The first thing that comes to mind is that the book is about one specific submarine commander, Peter Cremer. So it must be titled The U-Boat Commander. First obvious and stupid mistake. 

2- Then the term U-boot, which is pronounced oo-boot in German is short for Unterseeboot. So we don't have any thing as U-Boat neither in English nor in German! So the book is titled incorrectly. At the best it should be called The Submarine Commander or Das UBoot Kommandant, the first one being a pure English title and the second one an only-German title.

3- Page 24 of the book, the Naval Institute Press edition, goes, as the story is narrated by the commander: My crew comprised 25 men, including ... . He, for whatever reason is not a fan of prepositions.

4- He calls a submarine fleet, U-Boat arm!! I don't know what type of English he studied!

I'm sure there're plenty more mistakes but I don't want to ruin the book! I also have to mention that the above is found in the first two chapters, 15 pages only.
I checked the accuracy of a number of characters which are introduced in the book and found them all correct. For that I have to say that the book is recommended for the ones who are interested history of WWII or navy, ships and submarines. I probably will have another post about the book later when I finish it.
(Photo: The cover of the book, perhaps the original publish)

Monday, July 24, 2017

CFLRS Note (33): Assignments

The recruits at times are given assignments during their course, mostly as a sort of punishment. If a recruit does something which isn't considered a serious incident, he or she normally gets a Note to File and an assignment in format of essay is given to him or her. This normally should be prepared in 500 words. The following was assigned to me:
1) The importance of following orders.
2) The importance of revealing medical conditions.
3) Duty, Loyalty, Courage and Integrity.
It means for each of the above I did something wrong and I had to show that I understand that concept. It's needless to say that in all cases the staff at CFLRS, as usual, never bothered to listen my side of story or accepted it. It would be interesting if one of them read this post! 
In addition to the above an assignment was once given to all the members of the platoon in the format of speech. In that one members had to select a topic, with the approval of staff and present that in a 5 min. time frame to group of recruits and staff. 
I didn't have any issue with any of them because I'm good at both writing and speaking but the last one was a little problem because I had a problem with understanding what Integrity was! In fact I forgot its meaning completely! I referred to the available library, took a dictionary out and started looking up for Integrity. Damn! There was not such a word in the dictionary! Why? Because the related page did not simply exist! Pages 502 to 529 of the dictionary had been torn apart and taken by obviously a sick-minded individual! 
What do I do now? There was another dictionary there but it was not clear, or at least I didn't understand what it was for! French-English, English-French?! I looked up the word and it helped a little. To be hundred percent sure that I got the right definition and also to make sure that I'm at least closing to 500 words, I checked a fella who was around and honestly he helped and I got the right definition eventually. When I handed it to the staff, he was surprised as how neat it was but I never got any feedback from him because at that stage it didn't matter, I guess.
(Photo: I used my laptop to do part of the assignments on and off although we had a number of PCs available to us)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

CFLRS Notes (32): Code of Conducts Rules

I liked a number of subjects that were taught in CFLRS. Truly interesting. Code of Conducts Rules was one of them. A combination of 11 rules. One of them which caught my attention in the class was Rule #6. This is what the rule states:

Treat all of the prisoners of war and detainees humanly in accordance with the standard set by the Third Geneva Convention; any abuse, including torture is prohibited. 

The point here is the difference between POW and detainee. The POW, when is captured, of course, is the individual who is in the uniform of enemy while a detainee is someone such as a Vietcong or a Taliban who engages in battle, ambush or any other harmful action against the forces in civilian cloths. The rule does not specify how differently they should be treated in other terms such as interrogation, imprisonment and handing them to other authorities, for example international courts or other forces. One case was capturing members of Taliban by CAF members and handing them to Afghan police or other officials. The captured members, of course, were beaten and tortured by the Afghan officials and then the then Prime Minister, Harper and his Defense Minister were questioned by the MPs. I don't know what happened after that but that was not the PMs and the CAF's responsibility to protect Taliban after they were turned over to Afghans! I guess the MPs were just looking for any subject to show their opposition to PM and his party! 
(Photo: Canadian soldiers directing a number of Afghans in their traditional dress to detention. Any of them could be either a Taliban fighter or simply a civilian)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

CFLRS Notes (31): Dress Code

Every environment has its dress code, either official or unofficial. Work-place, mechanic shop, retail store, pharmacy, you name it. They all have their own uniforms or dress codes. Schools, mostly have their uniforms. I remember when I was a kid most of the school, until junior high required students or pupils to wear a uniform. It changed a little bit after the so-called Islamic Revolution. The uniforms kind of disappeared because they didn't want to create extra cost to families. 
CFLRS has its dress code. Being a military school, recruits must have their Combats on all the time during the training. After hours, and if its after induct and if their performance has been good(!) during the week, they can be in civilian cloths.
The problem is as people have lived in such open and relaxed society such as Canada's, they forget where they are when they get to CFLRS! Low cut shirts, mini skirts, mini shirts, straight jeans, all sorts of cloths which shows all their curves. 
Staff, most of the times, approach them and warn them. This usually does not lead to a Note to File₁ or something harder than that because the girls normally follow after they are warned. 
One day I was having lunch in the mass hall and two girls, who I knew, came walking while they had their trays in their hands. They both had mini-shorts on and they both had beautiful legs! Really beautiful! I admire a girl who works on her legs! I had seen one of them in the gymnasium earlier and had a little talk with her. She, though, was not the one with the more beautiful legs! One of the staff approached them and although I could not hear what they were saying, I know they were asked to go and put something on! They both put their trays down and went to their quarters to get dressed! Although it deprived me, and possibly others, from looking at beautiful legs of them (I'm obsessed with them!), I liked what the staff did! They came back after 10 minutes! They didn't look happy. The food is usually disgusting and I remember on that day it truly was awful and bland and they had to eat the cold version of it.
1) A Note to File is an indication of an undesirable action to a recruit's file. It remains with him or her as long as the file is active and is referred to. It does not have direct impact though)
(Photo: Possibly a volleyball player. The girls shorts was as short as this one and they were both kicked out of mess hall! People need to understand what to wear and where to wear it)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

In Enemy Hands

One of the good things in TRP (Training Reintegration Platoon) is the library they have. They have both in English and French. I found a number of good books in English section, of course. I know there are good ones in other section but I know no French. In Enemy Hands is one of them.
The book is about the Canadian servicemen during the WWII who were captured as POW by the enemy forces. As sad as it could be, the stories are interesting at the same time. It shows what those poor guys went through. Hunger, cold, discomfort, stress, injury, sickness, you name it. 
Of course everyone knows what the feelings of a POW might be but reading what they have narrated gives you a better understanding of that. 
The worst of them would be the invasion of Dieppe where Canadians were slaughtered. A large number of them were captured by Germans. The thing about Westerners is if they are defeated they admit that and document it. In East something like this never happens. Iran had a number of disastrous operations during the 8-year Iran-Iraq War which led to losing thousands of troops, mainly volunteers called Basiji but they never admitted the loss and to this day they have never been a true number of casualties of the devastating war. 
This post is not about Iran-Iraq War but I would like to bring an example where Iranians were defeated, unfortunately, due to lack of good leadership, most likely and possibly lack of support as well. Operation Dawn 1 took place in 1983 in eastern Al-Amarah and the human waves of Revolutionary Guards were massacred by Iraqi forces. 
Going back to In Enemy Hands here are two short storied told by Canadians about what happened to them: 

Major Allen Glenn, Calgary Tank Regiment:

This is one of the comments I do remember one of the Germans made: If we knew there were so many of you coming, we would be prepared!
The French nurses at the hospital at Dieppe told us that had been getting up at 4 AM for the last four or five days. They were expecting us.

This, above, shows how unprepared and disorganized Canadians were. Their plan was know days, maybe weeks before it was put in to practice.  I leave it to you to read the rest of the book and decide for yourself whether book is good or not by I recommend that.
(Photo: This map shows the location of town of Dieppe in France. Whether it had any strategic importance or not, I don't know but seems it might have. Otherwise why they would sent troops to there. Just to be humiliated, killed and captured?! I don't think so. I guess one reason was that the Canadians were looking for some action in the war to prove themselves and this opportunity were given to them but as it was under other's command and they lacked air and naval support, they destroyed themselves)

Monday, July 17, 2017

CFLRS Notes (30): Disgusting Fucking Lair(!)

There was this girl that once we had a short conversation with and then we kept that a few more times when we were in the same platoon. She was not so good looking but we have a proverb which goes: Even an old shoe is a property when you find it in desert! So I decided to go with it and even invited her to a coffee outside. I didn't happened but because of her strange accent (she was not Caucasian) I asked her once if she spoke any other language. She replied by saying that she did not. I grew up in Canada, she added. Although it was a bullshit answer, I let it go because you could grew up in Canada and speak any other language rather than English
A few days later I saw her with a bag with Hebrew writing on it! Of course it meant she was Jewish and then it was then I realized that she was a stinking piece of shit, disgusting lair! I asked her if she speaks Hebrew and she admitted that. We exchanged a few e-mails mostly in regard to material she wanted and never received(!) because I had no intention to have the smallest relationship with such a freaking, disgusting lair! I even called her once and left her a message as she didn't pick up and stated that she was busy. She also indicated a few times that a friend had come and picked her up and they went for a weekend time-spending. I assume that was her service provider(!) and she was looking for a better option at the time specially when I told her that I would be going to Halifax because she said that she would be going there too and that was when she gave me her e-mail address and telephone number because she said she wanted to have the same discussions with me (We had short political discussions a few times).
Time passed and I didn't see her until one day I was having supper with a few and she came and sat at the table on the only empty seat, next to me. I paid no attention and then I realized that she was talking to someone in French! This was another proof that she was a nasty lair but I didn't say a word. Then after a few minutes she turned to me and said something about going to platoon or similar which was totally untrue (and is unrelated here) and I response said: No! You're delusional. It was not that! She shut the fucked up and said nothing! Perhaps didn't even hear me! 
Then the next morning she was sitting by herself, as she did mostly and I guess that is because almost everyone knew how disgusting she was(!), I saw her and passed by and sat at another table in a way that that she saw me. I even deleted her e-mail address and telephone number from my telephone address book. Simply disgusting!
(Photo: Hillary Clinton, wife of the former president, Bill Clinton, who also was a disgusting and awful lair, was accused of lying during the last presidential campaign against, mainly Trump, here is shown in a funny picture being fed a medicine of truth! Something which probably should be done to that ugly awful girl, although I doubt it works on her!)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

CFLRS Notes (29): Playing Chess

You got plenty of free time while on training in CFLRS at times because the training method here is Run ... Run ... Run ... and then Wait ... Wait ... Wait! Unfortunately you cannot use the time you have the way you want and most of it wasted. In TRP (Training Reintegration Platoon) though, at times, you can use this time the way you want. In fact many use it for different thing including volunteering, OJT (On-job Training), etc. Some play cards, read books or simply hang out and talk. I mostly played chess when I had time. At first there was a set which one of the guys had purchased from a local Wal-Mart. Then another fella bought a nice set from a store in town for some $100. And then there was one in the office that guys used. So there were 3 or even 4 sets on the tables and people were playing! It was amazing! Even one of the staff came a few times and he was interested. One of our Sergeants!
I enjoyed that a lot and slaughtered everyone who played against me! In fact there were only two or three that I had to put extra effort. The rest vaporized after a few minutes. The Sergeant then suggested me to start a tournament(!) and it was shortly after I was sent back to regular training.
I continued playing in the platoon although we didn't have same amount of time. I played against a few and beat them of course and then when we came out of our induct, I continued playing through internet sites, mainly Lichess as no one was interested! Normally everyone goes out during the weekend. They go to bars, strip clubs, restaurants, hotels (to have sex with their new partners), etc.
When I sent back to TRP again, as a result of being re-coursed, it was not that much action but I gave it a little push and beat everyone again except for this Oriental girl whom I played against two times. The first time I resigned because I knew I didn't have any chance and I decided to quit honorably(!) instead of being defeated and shamed! The second time our game was interrupted and we abandoned it. She was good.
Chess is a very good game but similar to anything else that could become addiction, this could be an addiction as well. This concept is very well explained in movie The Chess Players by Satyajit Ray. I still think it's better than playing cards or hanging out and bull-shiting each other!
(Photo: An interesting chess set! It looks like a skiff but it's longer. It certainly is not a ship but it's just for fun! The four cannons at the corners look excessive though!)

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Tunnels of Cu Chi

I have watched a number of war movies about Vietnam, the ones that everyone has watched, mostly. To name:
1- Full Metal Jacket.
2- Platoon
3- The Deer Hunter.
4- Apocalypse Now.
In none of them the Vietcong tunnels have been mentioned to the extent they actually existed during the war. There's a short scene in Platoon that one of the guys goes into a tunnel and comes out of another entrance and two other soldiers get caught in a booby trap. That's all. When I found The Tunnels of Cu Chi and went through it, I was quite stunned by the way Vietcong treated Americans. I then found another movie in the Internet called Tunnel Rats which the name suggests it could be about underground fighting. I have to watch it first although it's mentioned that it has been a failure but the book is just amazing. It shows how brutal Vietcong guerrillas were towards Americans, not that Americans didn't do anything as bad. Then I realized that the said tunnels now is a tourist attraction in the country! 
Here's some of the interesting parts of the book:

Vietcong soldiers (if the term soldiers could be used for them and I will have a separate post in that regard based on what we were taught in CFLRS) in used tropical animals in the tunnels against Americans. Snakes, Spiders, you name it and there're horrible and scary stories about them in the book. In addition to that the animals themselves were a threat to American soldier because they didn't know what to do with them or what to expect from them. To name Rats were available to a large extent in tunnels and we all know how scary they could be at times. In one instance, and this is what an American serviceman indicates in the book, he turns his flashlight on in the darker-than-night cave-like tunnel and sees a big Rat standing on his back feet (in the book another term is used for back feet which I can't recall) and showing its teeth! He flips out and crawls up the tunnel while firing his rifle. He gets out with all the difficulty he has. The tunnels are all made for the slim body of Vietnamese and of course its difficult for Americans to go up and down easily although at times they intentionally widen parts of the tunnel to lure the Americans in. He gets out, all frightened and starts throwing all sorts of explosives in!
It appears during the book that the tunnels are very well structured and almost immune to all different types of explosives. It's because of the type of soil that Vietnam, generally, has and that is Clay. It's indicated that Vietnam is generally a peasant land and at the time, at least, the majority of population lived in small villages and hamlets and they soil gave them everything they needed. Perhaps not now that every country seems to be industrialized because of the cheap labour they have to make the goods Western countries encourage their citizens or habitats to buy on daily basis even if they don't need them!
Hundreds of book probably have been written about Vietnam War and the good thing is that at least a number of them, I hope, are neutral and tell the truth of that devastating war. Unfortunately something similar to that, as I've indicated earlier, has never been available during Iran-Iraq War, the useless war which destroyed two countries and threw them back years. It is mainly because in Iran, and I'm sure about Iraq but probably the same, all the media is under the government's control. So only the news which had advantage for the warlord government get permission to be broadcasted. 
(Photo: This a scanned copy of the first two pages of the book shows a typical structure of a Vietcong tunnel system. Some people spent as long as 5 years in this rat hole!)

Friday, July 14, 2017

CLFRS Notes (28): Bolt(s)

Bolt is a critical part of rifle that without it shooting does not occur. Bolt is assembled in to another part called Bolt Carrier and is put in the rifle in the back, just ahead of Cocking Handle. Bolt practically moves a round to the Chamber when it comes up from magazine. During the training in CFLRS, and I hope this is not a secret, when the recruits are assigned a rifle, the bolt is taken out, for safety reasons and is put in only during drill practice (to make it heavier!) and shooting. When the bolts are platoon members are out, they are all put in a box and a recruit is assigned to carry the box everywhere the platoon goes. I was in charge of one of the damn boxes which had more than 33 damn bolts and it was freaking heavy! And when I say heavy, I really mean it. I don't exaggerate. The staff usually would let me go ahead of the platoon because I was way slower than the rest. The other box, in our platoon, which was remarkably smaller than usual at the beginning, had only few bolt. The other guy didn't have much trouble but usually there are two guys who chase the platoon while hauling the damn boxes!
I wondered how heavy the damn box was and I was going to measure a bolt, consider the hallow parts of it's cylinder shape, calculate it's volume and using the density formula which is Density = Mass/Volume but I never got the chance! 
The act of putting in or pulling out the Bolt as usual and similar to everything else(!) in CFLRS should take place fast. However there's a time that the Bolt Carrier, which is casually is called Bolt, should be put with much attention and that's when the rifle is stripped (or disassembled) and is now is going to be re-assembled. There're are two tests to be performed before the Bolt can go back in: The first one is hitting the bolt on your palm to make sure that its components are not loose because if they give away when they are in the rifle, there will be a disaster to take them out. The second test which is not actually a test and is an extra step before the Bolt can go in, is to shake it well, downward in a way that rectangle-shape bolt is turned to its proper direction. 
The last thing to mention about this piece is one of the reasons why the Bolts are taken away from recruits which deprives them from a good practice on daily basis when they have the rifle in their possession. Apparently there has been a number of shooting previously in the school or other Canadian bases. A member went bananas and opened fire on people. They intent to prevent that in case someone got live rounds similar to Lowrance (Private Pyle) in Full Metal Jacket and kills someone! 
(Photo: A Bolt Carrier. The bolt is actually the piece at the right side of the assembly with a head similar to cogwheel and that is also one of the parts in the rifle which should be oil-free)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The (Not!) Stolen Vehicle

I did a stupid mistake when I left home for Quebec and that was leaving the car on the street with the hope that nothing happens to it although the car has been broken into once and scratched several times! One day I received a call from Mom indicating that the the car had been gone! Stolen! I was both mad at me and her. I was mad at me because I should not have left the vehicle on the damn street of disgusting downtown Calgary. I was mad at Mom because what I could do from more than 3600 Km away!
I started thinking. This is not a kind of vehicle that could be stolen easily. The time that it was broken into, one of the back doors had been left unlocked accidentally by a passenger. One thing came to mind was: Damn street cleaning but before that I called the damn Calgary Parking Authority. The thieves of the city who make the easiest money! I asked if they had a record of my car. The lady at the other side of line was actually was very nice and helpful and after several minutes she concluded that the car was not in the city parking lot and must have been left on one of the streets around the neighbourhood. 
I asked Mom to check and it was not found until finally a few days later she said that she had seen it parked on a steer not far from the place. She had seen it on her way to a local supermarket. 
We then decided not to leave it there. I forgot to indicate that I had to call the city police and file a stolen vehicle report which later was removed when it was found! 
I asked a new buddy of mine to go with Mom, grabs the car and park it somewhere safe. After that we decided to park it in the underground parking of the apartment just to be sure although we have to pay those thieves $50 a month! I will take the car out as soon as I can and leave that damn neighbourhood as soon as possible. One thing I was sure about was that the car, which was bought brand new in 2009 could not be stolen that easy. It was proven to me!
(Photo: For this post I use this artist's painting of someone trying to break into a car. Hope she or he doesn't mind it)

Sunday, July 09, 2017

CFLRS Notes (27): MP (Military Police)

Military Police, with all due respect to the members of this fine organization, is probably one of the most boring jobs there is! In CFLRS their jurisdiction, as far as I know and I hope they don't get upset or anything if they read it, is limited to the garrison itself. I don't think they can do much outside the walls or barrier. The recruits though, could be picked up and charged by any police force in the country! So you get my point! There's no doubt that other bases and operation or mission zones have their own MPs but it's like adding one extra organization to the organizations which already are active in an area and separating their area of work, something which is common and routine in Canada
When MPs show up in an area, say kitchen or gymnasium, everyone is alerted and asks one another if the have done something, for example last night! It reminds me of an old Persian proverb which my Dad used to use it and it literally is: When you go for a rock (to pick it up to throw), the thief cat jumps back! It might be hard to understand for the ones who are not familiar with the culture! 
It means the one who has done something bad and expected to be caught sooner or later, jumps up as soon as sees an authority.  
The interesting thing is that even when they go somewhere very calmly just to check on something (or look for someone as we really don't know what they are after, that could be that as well!) they leave their car in the middle of the road with its beacons on! I guess they do that to make it more exciting for themselves and also create fear in the possible criminals and everyone else! 
(Photo: Military Police shoulder patch on a member and of course it's bilingual as it's a Government agency. Another person is seen in distance. I don't know what this photograph is about but I hope neither the owner nor the MP is concerned about it)

Friday, July 07, 2017

Canadian War Museum

We had a trip to Ottawa once as part of CFLRS recruits to visit the Canadian War Museum. It was not such a pleasant trip but it was mandatory. So I tagged along! It was not pleasant because at the end I realized we had to answer a number of stupid questions in a format! Questions such as " How many tanks were available to Canadian Armed Forces at the end of WWII? " (One thousand exclamation marks). How is that going to help me in my military career?! You know what the answer is: This shows whether you were paying attention to detail or not! It means that even in a trip which is planned for relaxation and enjoyment, supposedly, they still want to torture people! Of course I didn't spend even one single minute on the question and got them all from other guys when we returned!
As per the museum I have to say that it was not bad. Quite similar to The Military Museums in Calgary only bigger and newer because it's only a few hundred meters away from Parliament Hill and gets good funds from the Government
I tried to see as many things as possible but it takes more time than it seems specially if you plan to read all of the signs and stories because the museum covers everywhere that Canada has been involved as a military force except for Afghanistan which will be soon added. 
The museum, as usual, has a gift shop and cafe. Gift shop, obviously, has good items but all expensive, which is not a surprise. The cafe has a same story. I guess I paid more than $2 for a cup of coffee which surprisingly was not bad. The other items as expensive as usual, which is made of course for Canadians who mostly, or generally spend $1.6 for every $1 they make! 
Our lunch was the disgusting military lunch box which comprises of a damn sandwich is probably made 2 years and half ago(!), a number of sugary, filled-with-preservatives snacks, disgusting Genetically Modified(!) small carrots and a few more disgusting things that I don't even remember. 
I'm not sure what the admission is but it's free for military persons with a limited number of family members but honestly who wants to see a military museum rather a military person! Most of the visitors at the time we were there looked like they were had something with military. The admission is around $17. You can spend the whole day there if you're interested in Canadian military history. At the end I would like to add this that they have a bookstore too. It is located at the back somewhere and that was a little surprise to me because Canadians are good readers but I guess that wasn't not the case there because they located the bookshop in the back with barely anyone going there while people were all in the cafe stuffing themselves with healthy(!) usual Western style food. Perhaps no one needed to feed his or brain at the time!
(Photo: V1 and V2 missiles had significant destruction to London in the last year of WWII. This one is a preliminary model of V1 which was supposed to be manned. You can see the cockpit at the left side of the picture. The navigator was supposed to jump out shortly before the missile reaches its target, which minimum chance of survival. The Germans later corrected their design and made the unmanned one and targeted London and Antwerp as much as I know. There's a whole history of rocket development in Germany and the US if someone is interested)

Thursday, July 06, 2017

CFLRS Notes (26): The Second FORCE Test

The FORCE Test should be performed by the recruits for the second in week 8 of their training to see if they have improved or not. I have to admit that my improvement was even a surprise to myself. All the PT sessions and hard work paid. 
For those ones who don't know FORCE Test comprises of 4 exercises: 

1- Rushes of 20 m.: In this test the person runs between marked distances of 10 meters and every time he or she has to touches the line with his front foot first and then touches behind the line with both hands. 

2- Sandbag Lift: The person has to lift sandbags of 20 Kg which are put aside in a distance of 1.25 m., to height of 1 m. for 30 times in a specified time.

3- Loaded Shuffles: In this test the person has first take a sandbag of 20 Kg to the other side (I guess 20 m.) and return it, only while walking and then drops it and runs the same distance. This should be repeated twice.

4- Sandbag Drag: This, which feels the hardest one, is dragging a dummy made of four 20 Kg sandbags. The person has to carry one with his or her hand, increasing the weight to 100 Kg.

My time for the first part was 00:33 min. while the fastest person in the group got 00:29. It was possible for me to get closer to that. My time for the second part was 00:57 which was not bad at all. I don't recall the 3rd and 4th times but I was told by the examiners that I declined on the forth test. Overall I fall under Silver section with only 20 points from Gold which is a significant improvement from the first one. 
(Photo: This 4-section picture shows the starting positions of all 4 sections of the test)

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

CFLRS Notes (25): The Optical Sight Story

Recruits normally get to their lockers on the main floor before going back to their section to get their stored stuff. They might do that a few times during the day. Once we all went to the lockers to get our exercise stuff before going back to our rooms. I laid down my rifle close to me and opened my locker while I had an eye on it. Recruits are not supposed to have their rifles more than an arm away from them. I realized someone put her rifle next to mine to open her locker. She showed her displeasure by saying: Whose rifle is this?! I paid no attention and carried on with my own business. I noticed that she finished and left before me but forgot her Optical Sight! I was waiting for her to come back because normally sane people(!) would immediately realize that something is missing on the rifle. She didn't! 
I grabbed it and put it in my pocket. It's unbelievable that someone climbs up 7 floors without looking at her rifle even once or feeling, with any other sense, that it's missing! What a dumb! Is that how you're going to serve the CAF?! You're a disgrace to any armed forces! 
We went back to the rooms and headed down, again, this time for supper. At the table I discussed the situation with a number of guys and they all suggested me to return the item to the gal. I truly didn't want to return that because I believe someone as careless as her should be punished, no matter how big the penalty would be, for her incompetency. 
We went back to get ready for the night and there she was coming to me practically begging to return the Optical Sight to her! She mentioned that she had, quoting, bad people in her previous(!) platoon. I didn't know what she meant by that. I asked her to tell me the item's serial number but she stated that she didn't know that! I then wrote down the serial number in my notebook and attempted to take a photo of the Sight but that didn't mean anything because the serial number cannot be read. It could be my own item! I finally handed it to her and advised her to be more careful. She thanked and left. What an idiot!
(Picture: C79 optical sight mounted on a C7A2 rifle)

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

CFLRS Notes (24): What the Valuable Time was Spent on

Everyone brags about how great their life will be after they join CAF; their benefits, salaries and most importantly, their pension. That's totally understandable. After years of misery, you, as a retired CAF member, would get a reasonable pension that you can manage the rest of life with less worry.
For me this is different. I have this great poem from one of the greatest which goes:

عمر گرانمایه در این صرف شد
تا چه خورم سیف و چه پوشم شتا
ای شکم خیره به نانی بساز
تا نکنی‌ پشت به خدمت دوتا

It means: 
The precious life was spent on what to wear this summer and to eat in winter. Oh the stubborn human being! Just accept whatever is available and you will have an easy life and won't have to bow to everyone. 
I know it's probably not the best interpretation but I hope it transfers the message. This great poem and many others is from the great Persian poet, Saadi Shirazi who was born around 1210 and two of the greatest poem books of the all time, Bustan and Golestan, both mean Garden of Flowers of different kinds and they really are garden of flowers which will never perish.  
I will go back to civilian life and do my best to get a job in my field. If I can't I will try to get a regular job and will live with that. That will not be the end of the world. It will be much better than going the misery of CAF life. Sorry CAF members, it's just not for me. You guys all enjoy your military lives and its benefits. 
(Photo: Tomb of Saadi, the great Persian Poet drawn by French architect Pascal Coste. He traveled to Iran during Qajar dynasty and drew pictures of many ancient places which today have significant value as a number of them do not exist)

Monday, July 03, 2017

CFLRS Notes (23): PRB

PBR, in CFLRS, stands for Performance Review Board and your file is reviewed and evaluated by such board after your performance is considered poor, such as mine. I failed a number of major and minor tests and I had to sit in front of the board comprising four members: The Division Commander, the Platoon Commander, one person from Standards and another person who seemed to be some sort of comforting and aid to the interviewee.
I was nervous and intimidated at the beginning but after entering the room and talking to them I felt much better. The fact is I found that military is not the working environment that I want to be in. The people that I named them above they all were sitting there and gazing at me senseless. No emotion, no reaction, no movement, nothing! I was using my hands and smiling during my conversation because that's how I've talked to people for years but no reaction was seen from them. I don't think someone like me with such a terrible performance would want to give this opportunity another chance. The Captain went through everything and asked me about the slightest flaw that is mentioned in my profile whether it was a legitimate one or not, in my view, of course. In military they never ask for your side of the story. As soon as someone goes and tells them something about you, it is automatically part of your profile.
I told them that I wanted to request Voluntary Release but I was told that it was a separate process and I had to wait for the decision of the board. I was directed outside by the supposedly aid guy and waited there for about 10 min. When I went back in the verdict(!) was delivered as: Re-coursed to week two. I was asked if I had any question. I said no, thanked the Captain and left after I was dismissed. 
I sighed after I came out because I was expecting them to be harsher on me. I'm even denied the chance of going to the NCM and I know I would have the same issues. It was the best. 

Sunday, July 02, 2017

CFLRS Notes (22): The Fork Story

I've already written about the bad food that is served in CFLRS and how I have to avoid eating it. This story is partially related to that:
I got my food and sat at the table with a few platoon buddies. I grabbed my fork to start eating when I realized that the fork was dirty. Food or something was stuck to it! I rose my hand and said something like: That's what I don't like the food and everything else related to that here! And then after a moment of pause I threw the fork at the side! I still don't know why I did that. It was stupid but perhaps because I'm sick of the garbage the fed us there! As soon as I threw the fork and I still was looking right at in front of me, I heard someone went: What the F**k very loudly! I turned that way and realized that was my Sergeant from the previous platoon! I had missed him probably by an inch! If I had been faster in throwing the damn fork, I would not have been here to write this. I might have been charged or something like that! I felt very bad because he was a very nice gentleman, helped me during marching drill and everything. He also accompanied me when I was sent to the hospital (hôpital as the French call it!) in the town. I apologized to him several times and he left after he gave a dirty look which I deserved!
People all around were laughing and were pleased by the scene that I had made, unintentionally, of course! I explained to them that I had buttery fingers when I grabbed that fork and it simply flew off my hand when I rose my hand and my intention was only to show them that the fork was dirty. I guess I sold that very well. I saw later that Sergeant was talking to our staff and I thought I would be in trouble for that. At least I would get a Note to File for my unduly behaviour, I thought. I was ready to narrate the same story for my staff but nothing happened. I escaped a punishment! 
(Photo: For this post I selected an interesting fork design picture)

Saturday, July 01, 2017

CFLRS Notes (21): Gas Chamber

One of the tests/activities during the second Farnham trip is practicing chemical attack protection simulation. This by far the stupidest and most ridiculous of all the subjects of basic training! I've already posted about the concept of CBRN and how it is looked at in CAF. This activity is the testing of that.
This is how it's, partially, performed and I have to stress here that I have no intention to reveal any military secret or similar. So I provide as less detail as possible.
You're waiting to enter a gas chamber. You're in full protective suit and you're mask is attached to you. As soon as the instructor informs you rush in to the room where another staff is awaiting you. You're supposed to take your mask on in a matter of seconds. As I entered I felt burning in my throat and my eyes! That, as I was informed later, was Tear Gas to simulate a situation that someone might have during a CBRN attack. I took my mask immediately and tried to put it on but according to the instructor it was not properly on. So he threw me out and I waited for my second chance! This time I went to another instructor which he seemed more lenient! This time I was able to pass and then I was sent to the next room to do practice some sort of cleaning and then we were sent out!
I forgot to mention that I saw a couple of French girls whom where not able to do the practice correctly the first time and they came out crying and cursing!
(Photo: The US Army has the same practice for their basic training as CAF as it's seen in this picture here. A recruit enters a gas chamber and has to react immediately while the instructors and examiners evaluate his or her performance)

Friday, June 30, 2017

CFRLS Notes (20): 13 Km March

The 13 Km rucksack march is part of the trip to Franham. Some might think it's easy but not after 3 days of patrolling, walking, rappling and other stuff. At the same time it's not as difficult as it may be seen if you're ready for that physically and mentally.
My story is different because I had reached the maximum number of failures before even being allowed to go to Farnham but they took me there anyways! It's a separate story but I have to say it here as it's somehow connected. When the platoon went to the training filed on a Mon. morning I was not part of it because I had already failed enough number of test that I would have to be re-coursed after a formal review of my file. I hung out with bunch of new guys without doing much until one of the staff received a call. He told me that I should get my stuff ready to go to the said training field! I only had 40 min. while the platoon had been given the whole evening! I tried to get everything as fast as I could with the help of one of the staff and hopped in the big truck which had come to the garrison.
We rushed there and I realized the guys were involved in a sort of exercise.
The march actually happened 3 days after that! There were other activities that we did in between which will be posted separately.
We wake up quite late although we could use the low temperature of the early morning and make a good progress. Obviously the recruits should be tortured both mentally and physically for any type of training or it's not worth it! We headed to the kitchen for breakfast and by the time we started the damn march the sun was high in the sky and was burning everything!
The pace was not as fast as 8 Km but still was fast. My rucksack was not weighted by the staff but I weigh it myself just to be sure it is not less than the standard. It was a little more than 38 lbs. which is at least 5 lbs. more than the required weight. The path is marked by milestones for each kilometer. A number of people started having problem just a few minutes after the start. I was trying hard not to fall behind. I believe a number of recruits faked injury or tiredness and discontinued the march. The Cheater was among them. I think more than 7 people didn't finish and that is mainly because it does not affect their final score. I mean if you're not failing and you won't be re-coursed why the hell would you march 13 Km in a hot day?! I did it just because I wanted to prove to them that I'm not weak. I had already been out of the platoon due to the number of failures I had.
A CAF helmet used by recruits and personnel engaged in combat.
No secrets are being revealed here as I found this picture in the
net! The star-shape, brown, plastic protective strap in the center 
is the one which protects the skull from the 1.4 Kg helmet and 
as well is the part which was losing its colour due to excessive 
sweating during the march!

I personally didn't see anyone stopping or fainting. I made sure that I get water from the last station that helped me to do the last 2 or 3 Kilometers better. When we reached there we didn't have much time. We had to perform casualty drag. My team member was heavy but I successfully finished the 25 m. drag. After two boxes of vegged oranges were waiting for us! I grabbed and enjoyed as many as I could. We showered and went for lunch after that. I think the march took more than 2 hours. I kept the time but later made a mistake and reused my timer without recording the desired time. I know the time was between 02:15 and 02:30 hours.
One interesting thing that I forgot to mention is that during the march I realized a colourful liquid is dripping off my helmet! It was kind of red/dark orange! First I thought I was bleeding but then I didn't see any reason for that! I took it off and tried to see what it was while marching! I noticed that sweat was fading the colour of the inner part of the helmet which is a plastic type of strap protecting skull from the heavy metal of helmet! This continued to the last minutes of the march. At the end my combat shit was socked in sweat and of course we were given time to shower and change before we ate. 
(Photo, above: This picture which was found by a random search in Internet shows a group of guys during their rucksack march. From the type of their backpacks and their uniforms I can easily say that they are CAF recruits. The area does not resemble anywhere that we did our march)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

CFLRS Notes (19): Work-out Challenge

One of the good aspects of CFLRS is its PT or physical training sessions. You may have as many as 3 sessions a week. At time it might be 2 classes in a day. Staff are mostly OK and helpful. There was one guy that I had a very good relationship with because I always was fast, on time and engaging. I can't name him here of course.
One day he invited the entire platoon to a challenge after the work-out was finished. By reading this, he will find out who I am. It's OK. It's no military secret.
The challenge was to hold a Plank position for as long as possible. The winner would chose two songs and the staff would download them and play them in the next PT session.
So here we were all more than 30 people, all younger than me. We adopted the plank position and I waited. People had to give it up one after another. I had no pain or bad feeling. My only problem was sweating! It was streaming down my neck and chest! After almost 7 min. there was only me and a young guy, originally from Poland. A young fella who looked fit. Everyone was cheering and yelling and the staff was surprised that I was able to hold it that long! The other guy eventually gave it up while in pain and I won! I even held it a few seconds after he collapsed on the floor!
I presented my two songs to him the next session: Hell's Bells by AC/DC and one more that I can't recall but I'm sure I like it as much as the other one. It's hard to chose two songs among hundreds that you like from different musicians but that was a very good challenge and I liked it.
(Photo: AC/DC in a live performance playing one of their amazing songs)

Monday, June 26, 2017

CFLRS Notes (18): C7A2 and all the Related

Weapon handling is one of the topics which is taught in CFLRS. It's no secret and that's why I'm writing about it. Everyone could search to see C7A2 is the official rifle of Canadian Armed Forces. So I'm not revealing any secret in this post. The subject starts with a little theory about the rifle and it's components. In order not to reveal no detail, as might be a problem, I'm just going to say that everything that a soldier must to know to be able to use his or rifle safely and efficiently is taught. Anything from cleaning, assembling, disassembling, you name it.
The problem is, similar to other topics in the school, the instructors want to finish everything quickly and make you a sharpshooter! There's a little exaggeration into this but they rush you and that's where my problem starts. There was this pig that did nothing but swearing and yelling! This asshole even crossed the line as much as saying that he hated a specific person in the group! Fortunately we saw that motherfucker psycho never again! That piece of shit deserves to be hit in the chin with the rifle butt but I drop it here!
Anyways the test day reached and my problems emerged! The main one was that I forgot a number or only one step and that made the whole thing messy! I failed the first test when I had a problem with the procedure which fixes a jam in chamber. It's a logical procedure but my mind was just absent at the time. I would forgot things without knowing! I then was given the second chance and that one was messed up two! This one was due to forgetting a safety step which is required to make sure that the rifle is safe and no round is left inside. As CAF wants its recruits succeed, I was given the third chance and this time I did it but was very nerve racking! I was sweating the whole time and I don't think it was because of nervousness only. I had the heavy tactical vest on and had to move continuously. 
We were also given the chance to shot rifles in a simulator. The first time I was horrible! The aim was to have five shots close together and prove accuracy. In order to do that you need to aim, inhale, exhale while pulling the trigger gently, pulling with a little more force, without jerking it, and pulling completely, hold it for two seconds and let it go. The whole process should not be more than a few seconds. The longer you hold the rifle toward the target, the more tired you get and you lose your concentration. 
I took the above process in to consideration and when we went to the simulator for the second time, I used that in prone, standing, sitting and kneeling position and my results was much better. The most difficult position is standing, of course, because you don't have support. One of the instructors had a very good advice for us: Look over your sight and study your target quickly, get down and look through the sight, quickly apply the procedure. Come up for a rest and repeat the same if required. 
Then my next chance would have been shooting live rounds in Farnham but because I had messed up and was kicked out of the platoon, I missed that chance. However I have to mention that I later was taken there and had to do everything else but shooting! This will be seen in separate posts. Now that I have received my licence for safely using firearm, I hope I get a chance soon to try a shooting club of course when I settle down!
(Photo: A line of Canadian soldiers are practicing rifle shooting in winter conditions using their mitts. Looks like Kananaskis to me)

Sunday, June 25, 2017

CFLRS Notes (17): It's a Small World

When I was sent back to a platoon to continue my training I realized that two of the people that I had previously experience with were on the same platoon: The stinking Cheater and The Player. The Cheater actually helped me to get my stuff from the rest area(!) to the new platoon. The Player was the same fucking asshole who always had been!
In a small community such as a military training school you should be very careful because you might run to someone that you had some interaction with earlier. If that contact had not been good, it leads to animosity and although people cannot do much harm to others in a military due to harsh punishment that they most likely face, it's always better to be careful. Even the staff could cause problem. Imagine you are in a platoon and you have poor performance. This would most likely be transferred to your new platoon, not only through your file but also by the staff who were pissed at you for ignoring their orders. In a nutshell IT'S SMALL WORLD!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

CFLRS Notes (16): 5 Km and 8 Km Marches

There are two rucksack marches that the recruits have to perform during their training in the garrison and they are 5 Km and 8 Km marches, both performed on the pathway. They both are integrated with other physical activities: There's a series of obstacles which have to be overcame after and sometimes before the 5 Km march and there's casualty drag. For 8 Km, as it's more difficult, there's only casualty drag at the end. 
5 Km march was not hard but I barely have a recollection of that. I only remember that I feel off the Monkey Bar while only had two more to complete the first time and the second time I didn't go past the second bar! I also remember that a few guys had beautiful falls at different obstacles, including an Oriental gal who landed on her neck and couldn't move for a few seconds! Rather than that there was nothing special about that march.
During 8 Km march it was different though. The pace was very fast and I had to speed up to reach the person ahead of me a few times. A number of people had to stop and at the end a gal fainted! I can't tell if that was a show or she really lost consciousness because people do anything to get away from hard physical activity but we then did the drag and I was fine. 
My rucksack was among the few ones which was weighted and the Master Seaman told me that it was 5 lbs. heavier than what it was required. " Good Job " he added at the end.
The point for finishing these marches successfully is simply to keep a steady pace and drink water if needed. I believe more than 95% of the recruits pass that easily although some might feel extremely tired after that. 
(Photo: Members of the US Army helping a soldier during his 10 Km rucksack march. Again no cameras are allowed in the garrison and that's why I'm using this picture)

Friday, June 23, 2017

CFLRS Notes (15): CBRN

One of the stupidest classes I had during my CFLRS course was CBRN. The acronym stands for chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear. There, of course, were bunch of French guys from Quebec who were teaching this. The aim is to rapidly put on protection suit when such attacks occurs. As usual the practical part of the practice was performed in numerous sequences that you have to remember them all, while they yell at you! Not to mention the thick suit that wearing that in a hot day would be a true misery!
I had already failed two major tests and I knew that I would be re-coursed and didn't want to participate but I had to. My hands inside the glove was socked in sweat! I also was very hot. I liked the part that they taught to drink from a canteen while we still had our mask on but wouldn't that be as well contaminated when we're under attack?!
The other problem was the speed that an individual has to have to put the suit and mask on, as soon as the signs of attacks are sensed. I guess I better not to write anything about the detail of the practice in case someone from DND is reading this but who, really, would be able to protect him or herself under attack that fast?! And where in the word CAF members would be present that there would be a chance of a CBRN attack?! In Ukraine by Russian forces? In Syria by ISIS? In Afghanistan by Taliban? Or maybe in Mali by Al-Shabaab! It's obvious that CAF has added this class or subject to the curriculum just to fill the schedule. I'm not saying that protection from attacks is not required but we have to be realistic. My friend Mehdi, and I only name him here because I'm sure no one can get to him, was attacked by chemical weapons during Iran-Iraq War. Their unit, whatever it was, he said was attacked by Blood Agent. He said that the only reason he survived was that the wind blew the gas away from him. When he walked to the other side to check on his buddies, he added, that they were so affected that it looked like they had been killed weeks ago! Of course they didn't have any suit or mask but I don't think generally people or troops are able to react to something as horrific as that quickly and efficiently.
The other point here is according to the instruction the mask should be worn in a matter of seconds and the individual should shout: Gas! a few times! Here is the question:
If anyone is able to hear him with the muffled voice, he must be in such a close proximity that the chances that he doesn't realize that there is an attack near them is next to zero. The people who are far away wouldn't help him. So why the hell should he do that?!
Anyways that's the question here and I don't want to write about this disgusting shit anymore. Enough said! I really disliked the practical part of the class like many other previous classes that the instructors think, as part of CAF policy, by being aggressive could force the recruits to learn!
(Photo: Pictures of the poor people who are injured or died as a result of a chemical attack is so bad that I don't think positing them here would be a good idea. I also cannot post any picture from CFLRS or its facility. Instead here there's a picture of an Iranian soldier he is ducked in full chemical suit. Obviously this is way after the Iranians were attacked several times and sustained casualties. This could also be a propaganda picture by the government just to show that they reacted to the crimes of Iraqis. In each way this shows how horrific the war is and I will write about that later)