CSOR: Mastering the basics—on course to join Special Operations

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Mastering the basics—on course to join Special Operations

by Maj Greg Poehlmann

To join the Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR) as an operator one has to successfully pass a Special Operations Basic Qualification (SOBQ) course. The course is 17 weeks long and is open to personnel from the Army, Air Force and Navy—Regular and Reserve Force. SOBQ 0701 started April 10 in Petawawa, Ont., and has had a wide mix of candidates from across the CF.
As Captain Jean-Francois, the course officer explains, “The first three weeks of the course is an assessment phase. We evaluate if the candidates meet the prerequisites to commence training and if they have the potential to serve as an operator,” he said. “We also give them the basic Army knowledge that they require to carry on with the more advanced part of the training. After that candidates undergo individual and collective training such as navigation, patrolling, basic and advanced weapons firing and different means of insertion and extraction.”
“Quite frankly it’s one of the greatest courses I’ve ever had in my military career,” says candidate Capt Eric—originally from the Air Force. “The coaching, the training, and all the resources that are dedicated to us, is just fabulous. They’re really going to make us good operators. Anybody that’s hesitating from the Air Force or the Navy—don’t sweat it out—come in and see what they have to offer. They’re going to give you the basic tools that you need to succeed on the course.”
“I have 16 years with the Navy, including tours in the Persian Gulf and as a member of the boarding party. I wanted to join the CSOR , because I needed to have a challenge and I wanted to be the best,” said candidate Petty Officer, 2nd Class Simon. “If I can make one recommendation for anybody that is thinking of joining CSOR is just do it, just try it—if you can’t do it—at least you know.”
Capt Mike another candidate— originally from the Army—but has spent time with the Air Force flying planes says the “training on this course has been excellent. It has been everything I expected and more. We’re all pulling together and helping one another.”
Upon successful completion of SOBQ, candidates can look forward to becoming qualified CSOR operators. “The people here in the regiment that I’m working for and working with are all highly motivated—they have been handpicked. It’s a great opportunity—It’s a great team. It’s a demanding job, but working with professionals like that is just awesome,” says Capt Jean-Francois.
Maj Poehlmann is the Canadian Special Operations Regiment PAO.


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