Article written by Officer Candidate Stelios Klapsis
Westmount, Quebec – 08 October 2015: Every year, The Royal Montreal Regiment (RMR) organizes and offers professional development for its junior officers with the intent of training and preparing them for their upcoming career courses. On Wednesday, September 16th 2015, the very first professional development night of the 2015 – 2016 training year took place at the RMR armory. The professional development nights are aimed at providing training that aids junior officers in their future career courses, and are provided by the more senior and fully qualified RMR officers. These training nights see attendance from both unqualified junior officers, who take the role of students, and trade qualified officers, who act as instructors.
The very first professional development of the year was intended to cover the importance of a transport matrix, as well as how to make one. Transport matrixes are quite important in ensuring that drivers have a clear picture of what is happening, and when to expect it. The order and positions of those who get on and off of different forms of transport is very critical to the smooth conduct of an operation, and should be rehearsed when possible. Furthermore, the standardized NATO map symbols for units to weapons and equipment is covered as an introduction in preparation to more advanced material in the future.
On this specific training night, we learned how to show the size of a unit, as well as its designation on the map. We discussed how different symbols could be amalgamated to create different types of symbols. For example, by combining the symbol for infantry and armored you can create the symbol for mechanized infantry. Many of these more specific types of symbols exist, and they range from things such as armored recce to mountain infantry. We as well learned that weapons and weapon emplacements could be shown on a map using symbols. These included everything from a C7 to a claymore. Being able to understand these map symbols and their effective use is important, as it allows officers at the tactical level to create maps and diagrams that show the locations of weapons assets. For an infantry officer, skills such as these are incredibly significant, both for working as an effective officer within the Royal Montreal Regiment, and for future career courses.
At the end of the training night, the junior officers were assigned homework in order to establish a solid grasp of the material in preparation for the next professional development night. Future training sessions will take the material that was covered in the previous training night and both expand on it, and apply the knowledge effectively. For those concepts that may require an environment that is slightly more in depth than a classroom, the professional development training will take RMR officers to the field, where they will have the opportunity to apply what they have learned in a more practical environment.