Tarek Chaaban

Tarek Chaaban, M.Sc's official blog. It contains current web project portfolio, posts regarding his Canadian army experience, news, sports articles, and web tutorials on programming and using social networking technologies.

Basic Military Qualification BMQ

This Weekend was my first week in the BMQ (Basic Military Qualification) .

I went to the Military Base In Montreal on Friday and I arrived at 6:40 pm , the appointment was at 7:00 pm .

at 7:00 pm a Soldier Came and shout on us to go to the Gymnasium , we were approximately 60 soldiers , they told us to stay in lines and then another soldier came and gave us an introduction (Welcome to the ARMY … )

Then the Chief of the Base came and spoke with us and told us how we should be and what to expect … at 8:30 pm they stared to give us stuff : Sleeping bags , transportable beds and we had to sign papers .

Military  training

canadian military training

Then at 9:15 we had a course about security in the building and about how to deal in fire situation .

At 10:30 they told us to form 4 categories : 2 for french speakers and 2 for English speakers and told us that each day a section will take care of the security , stay up in night by turn , walk in the building to be sure nothing go wrong and for Soldiers Security issues .

at 11:30 We finally went to sleep , it was a loooooooong night and we couldn’t really sleep , we were 60 soldiers in a gymnasium all sleeping together .

Saturday :

They Woke up at 5:30 am in the morning , we had 1 hour to prepare ourselves to have breakfast .

The problem : 60 soldiers to finish in 1 hour , only 1 toilet , 3 showers , and 3 places where there is water … so we were in turn to be able to shave , take a shower , prepare ourselves .

At 6:30 am we were ready to have breakfast , each one of us was given a box that contains (corn flakes , milk , butter , apple , juice , cake , cheese , bread ) we had 1 hour to eat .

At 7:30 am we had an Inspection from the officers , they inspected us and everything was fine .

At 8:00 am The courses Started and a loooooong day also … we had so many courses about many stuff that i will not disclose here .. but we had to be very attentive because after each class there was an exam .

We also had Drills classes ,for those who don’t know what drills mean (like my self)

Drills : Training exercises which can help develop your stroke and fitness , Recruits are taught drill to teach them how to work and move as a team .

In human definition (mine) : It’s just a way to walk , turn right , left , 180 turn etc .. in a specific way .

At 12:00 pm we had our Lunch for 1 hour .

At 1:00 pm Courses Started Again and same thing exams after the courses all related to military … we also had drills training again … till 6 pm .

At 6 pm we had our Dinner , then at 7 pm we were done and we had to clean everything .

Then finally they gave us some time … we had to read 36 papers about Canadians wars and write an Auto Biography about ourselves.

I went to sleep early at 10 pm , because i had to be guard from 12:00 am till 1:00 am i was lucky to get this shift , other had bad shift (2:00 am to 3:00 am , or 3:00 am to 4:00 am) .

They woke me up at 11:45 am to prepare my self and i started my shift with another soldier , time passed very quick , I’m used to this kind of stuff since i worked as a security guard a lot of time before and had some shift from 6 pm to 6 am .

Sunday :

As usual we woke up was at 5:30 am and had the same routine till 8:00 am .

We had a lot of other courses and drills till 12:00 pm and then at 1:00 pm the Firefight department of the Defence Minister came to give us a course about fire and the different kids of fire and how to stop a fire and we also watched some movies .

At 4:00 pm We had to clean and pack up our stuff to prepare to go home !! They gave us our lunch in boxes and then after waiting nearly 40 Mn’s standing in ready mode , they gave the dismiss order …

That All for this week !


  1. Basic Military Qualification BMQ

    For those who asked me about the training contents of Basic Military Qualification BMQ:

    Performance Objectives (PO) and Education Objectives (EdO):

    a. PO 101 – Apply General Military Knowledge (Law of armed conflict; CF policies on substance abuse; Harassment and racism prevention; Physical security; Problem solving; Military policies, procedures, regulations and orders; CF policies on stress management and suicide prevention; Manage personal affairs);

    b. PO 102 - Operate the Service Rifle;

    c. PO 103 - Maintain Physical Fitness Proficiency;

    d. PO 104 - Perform Drill (Fundamentals of drill; Squad drill at the halt and on the march without arms);

    e. PO 105 - Administer First Aid;

    f. PO 106 - Field Training (Navigate cross-country; Recognize pyrotechnics; Use winter and summer field equipment; Conduct sentry duties; Communicate using a radio; Perform fieldcraft; Apply hygiene and sanitation in the field; Construct shelters);

    g. PO 107 - Operate Under NBC Conditions (Describe the conditions of a NBC attack; React to a NBC attack; Perform survival drills);

    h. PO 108 - Communicate Orally and in Writing (Prepare a memorandum; Communicate orally; Respond to media inquiries);

    i. PO 109 - Maintain Safe Working Environment (Perform duties of fire picket; Prevent fires; Extinguish fires; Identify and correct unsafe working conditions);

    j. EdO 101 - Identify Professional Development Concepts Affecting Military Personnel (CF career administrative actions; NCM professional development; Social support services available to the CF; CF involvement in national and international affairs; Organization and roles of Canada’s military; History of the CF and CF medals, orders and decorations; Concepts of leadership and followership; Acts supporting CF policies)

    k. EdO 102 - Leadership in peace and war (Understand Leadership in peace and war; Describe the origin and history of the Canadian army)

    Supplemental Performance Objectives for Basic Military Qualification BMQ

    a. PO 101 – Apply general military knowledge (Describe the Law of Armed conflicts; CF policies on substance abuse; Maintain physical security, Problem solving; Adhere to military policies, procedures, regulations and orders; Comply with CF policies with regards to stress management and suicide prevention; Manage personal affairs)

    b. PO 103 - Maintain physical fitness proficiency

    c. PO 107 - Survive under NBC conditions

    d. PO 108 - Communicate orally and in writing (Prepare a memorandum; Communicate orally; Respond to media inquiries)

  2. hi, i am to be doing my BMQ in January , i am going in as infintry – reg force , please tell me what should i be expecting ? thank you-please email me back at – robertkarhunen89 [at] hotmail.com

  3. Im am elisted to start basic training in january 2007, im extremely excited and slightly nervous.
    i am wondering how much more preparation i should be making i run 1 to 3 miles a day and do 75 to 100 push ups a day 100 125 sit ups per day is this enough?
    Thank you for the information posted. I have heard many horror stories about how intense the training is.

  4. Hello Robert and Chad ,

    To answer your questions …

    Robert: for what you should expect … humm at the beginning you might find it boring , since there is a lot of theory (laws , rules , security ..)

    The only thing i can say , that it’s very very intensive , i mean we wake up at 5:00 am and till 11pm we dont take a breath .

    from class to class , training to training … the only rest is when we eat and 5 mn break between each class .

    Chad : Yes what you are doing is more than enough .

    because when you join they dont expect to have someone already trained they will start from zero .

    Also Don’t do 100 push up / day , make like 20 * 5 push ups but give 1 day rest between each to let the muscle rest .

    i might publish soon a program that i got from the US NAVY .

    Good luck for both :)

    I’m enjoying it even if its only my third week in the BMQ .

  5. I also start my Basic Training…Jan’07 – just wanted to thank you for the AMAZING information! I found this very helpful…and also gave me a taste of things to come.

    Really appreciate the info!


  6. Chaaban
    There is a CF fitness program available on the CF website (www.dnd.ca)… just do a search on the site and you can access the pdf version of it. Also, the recruiting/CFLRS site provides suggestions to meet PT standards
    Lt Stafford-Ngoviky

  7. Chaaban
    I am on my bmq also now and it is cool to know that you are doing the exact same things that i am. My first weekend was exactly the same, nothing was different. Hope you enjoy the rest of your course, i sure am.

    Pte(R) Burke


  9. You wont get a lot of sleep in the army , usually we sleep at 11 pm and we wake up at 4:30 am .

    And most of the time when we were on the field the max we slept was 2-4 hours .

    Try to take something with you that will keep you awake , try to keep refreshing your self .

    And in the theory courses if you feel you will sleep , just ask permission to stand up , it will help you .

  10. Hi, i want to know how long it takes beetwen the interview and the confirmation of enrollement? as for mysfelf, it’s been 1 full month that i passed my interview and did not heard about anyting. we are talking armoured officer. what is your take?
    -tanks much, nice site

  11. hi there, i just want to say how great of a site you have here. It is very hard i find to find out information about BMQ from the recruitment officers, and i have found your site very usefull. thanks.

    I should be heading off to BMQ in september, and i was wondering if you could tell me stuff you can bring? or stuff i should bring? i once asked a recruiting officer if i could bring my laptop, and he said yes. is that possible? and what other things would you recomend?, bug spray, ipod, ect?

    and if you could generally just give me any advice in how i should prepare myself.

    thanks alot


  12. Hello Ryan ,

    i dont suggest to bring your laptop because you wont have anytime to use it , it’s a 5 am –> 11 pm job , especially in BMQ they don’t let u free before 10-11 pm , and if they give u free time it will be for cleaning ur weapon and preparing for the next day .

    bug spray depend on where you will be doing ur BMQ , if it’s outside yes you need it .

    Try to minimize the electronic stuff and objects that have value …

    As for preparation , make ur push ups daily , run 2-3 km and you should be ok .

    Good Luck .

  13. hey there, thanks for your reply :)

    all these pictures, and videos that you are showing, did you have to take them candid? or are you allowed to carry a camera and film? Also im curious about the sleeping quaters…… are you allowed to have photos? Do they restrict what you bring? And how are you able do these updates? they must of had computers there for ya too use…. OH and do you get any days off? Or like afternoons off? where you can drive into town or anyhting?

    sorry for the questions…

    im getting kind of anxious.. less than 2 weeks till im there


  14. Hello again :)

    When i did my BMQ it was as part-time so i only go on friday-saturday and i return sunday night (so used to updated during the week)

    We are allowed to have camera with us , its just pics of weapon and trucks , if you can find something already on the net , it mean u can publish it ..

    i mean by that , the DND already publish pics of weapons so we are allowed to publish pics .. nothing private .

    what i dont publish is what the structure look like inside , how many trucks , how many guns and c7 they have .

    for the travel thing all depend where is ur regiment , we were not allowed to go back home when i did my bmq , from friday till sunday i cant quit the place …

    but when i did my QS+DP1 we were at quebec , after training they let us go to the town … so it’s different from base to base and from commander to commander …

  15. Hi there,

    I have to thank you for putting this site up, I have visited it many time’s and enjoyed the links to your videos. I myself will be starting my BMQ in January it seems, still waiting to do my 2nd part of my medical this week. I’m both nervous and excited as the days count down, but your site has helped prepair me several ways for what to expect.

    I’m currently prepairing myself physically for the training, had a few friends that went through it and told me the biggest thing is to never give up, as long as your determined you’ll get through it all.

    Don’t really have any worthwhile questions to ask besides what has already been answered, but just wanted to give my thanks.


  16. Hello, I will be starting my BMQ in November 2007 and I am slightly nervous about a few things. How much time do they give you if you have to use the washroom but you are doing drills, or something along those lines?

  17. Don’t be nervous everything will be OK , don’t worry :)

    usually we have a break on each hour , after each course you get between 5-10 MN so you have plenty of time to go to the bathroom .

    In our BMQ we never had problem about this issue … just relax :)

  18. Hello,
    I was just wondering, why was your BMQ training only on the weekends? According to the Recruiting center website, basic training is 10-14 weeks, but did not say if it was weekday or weekend. If the training is only from Friday-Sunday, where did you go during the weekday?


  19. I’m in the army as a reservist, The reserve soldiers can do their courses as full time in summer or in winter as a part time (like my case) , i go to university during the weekday and on weekends i go to my army training .

    The regular is something different , they do a full time training of 13 weeks i think .

    They get much more info

  20. Anyone on BMQ January 12th, just curious as to some of the people who may be goin on same as I.
    Also, what is there to expect that is … shocking, or somethin you would have rather been prepared to handle (this questino for those already throguh BMQ i suppose)

  21. I was thinking of going into BMQ for the reserves for this summer (2008). I was wondering what the minimun age requirement is and if reservists can do BMQ on weekends what do they do when it’s full time during the summer? Is it shorter or longer? Also I was wondering about showering, it seems that there’s not very many showers for a large amount of people so I was wondering how you guys make that work? Anyways I’m going to be going to my local recruiting officer soon to find some of this out anyways, but it seems that I’ll get better answers here. :)

  22. Hey,
    I agree with everyone this site is great. Thanks.
    This is too Paul, i beleive i am starting on Jan 14th she said. She told me there is still one more call to comfirm? i’m just wondering if you know if you’re going 100%. Thanks

  23. hey Alex, the minimum age requirements for reserves are 16 with parental consent, or 18 without need of parental consent.

    parental consent is basically your parents or legal guardians signing a paper saying you can go.

    Now I was wondering, I’m doing finishing touches on my application and I live in winnipeg, i was wondering when i would be accepted? because i was hoping i could start working and training in january but im not sure and i hope i dont have to wait until this summer.

  24. Ghyslyn all depend on ur luck .. and the open positions …

    in my case i was lucky and the whole process took 1 month , other had bad luck and you could wait for months …

  25. yea i just talked to a guy who passed through the RWR on his way to princess pats, he had to wait 5 months to get into reserves.

    also another Q, what suggestions do you have for my workout until BMQ and such? im starting tommorow.

    keep in mind that i have HORRIBLE cardio(2 years ago i tried a cross country race thing, inished 52 out of 54, and no im not fat, 6 foot 4 180 livres)

    and my current strength is under average for an 18 year old civilian(havent done anything physical since working at the lumberyard this summer)

  26. oh et penses-tu que le fait que je suis francophone bilingue pourrait être bénéfique?

  27. For your workout , work as much as you can on push ups , trust me you will do a lot of those .

    Cardio is very important also ,dont forget that to be in the army you need to do a fitness exam , if my memory is correct it was

    Minimum :

    - 20 push ups
    - 20 sit ups
    - cardio test (run like 2 km in less than 10 mns)

    but trust me those are really the minimum … in my SQ/DP1 sometime we did 200-300 push ups in 1 day (if not more) .

    pour francophone .. ben je sais pas si ca peux t’aider moi je suis Arabe , je parle le francais et l’anglais et je n’ai eu aucun avantage …

    Bonne chance ;)

  28. crisse 2km dans 10 minutes, ma course était 5 km dans 1h30 environ si je m’en rappel bien.

  29. It was 2,4KM in 12 mn

    i found the info here : http://www.chaaban.info/2006/09/19/join-canadian-army/

    read the comments , i commented on all steps from A to Z

    Notre premier PT dans le QS étais une marche forcée avec ruck sack de 6 km en 45 mn

  30. alright so i have a friend who’s in the 17th field ambulance, they have the same HQ as the unit i wanna join(Royal Winnipeg Rifles)

    hes going over on tuesday and he’ll gimme a ride there and back, meaning ill be there for about 4 hours.

    is it a good idea to go and talk directly to the recruiters of RWR? also i tried the online application form thing but i had it kinda messed but still sent it, now i got the email saying i have to go sign it and present birth certificate, high school transcript and university transcript.

    now i was kinda unhappy with my online thing or whatever so i printed out a new, better copy. should i present this one instead and cancel the online sent one?

    also i filled out the references sheet with my best friend since kindergarten who ive also worked with, my ex boss(very strict psycho, if you do your job as best you can hell be only moderately pissed off) he’s also an old family friend great guy, and my future brother in law who used to be with the princess pats for many years and served a tour in afghanistan.

    now im also wondering, is “high school transcript” and “university transcript” a rélevé de notes? j’ai été à l’école en français hehe.

    and also is it a problem if im not capable of getting those two transcripts and my passport until sometime after tuesday? I do have my high school diploma handy with me though.

  31. oh and FYI, I stumbled onto this site by googling images of a C7 lol:D

  32. Yes it’s a good idea to go see the recruiter , he can help a lot .

    But .. dont take what he tell you at 100% , sometime they hide some info

    The best would be to ask someone already in or someone who recently joined (i mean for info related to the after being in, for questions about the recruit process … the recruiter is the best qualified to answer those).

    and yes its “rélevé de notes” or anything official that prove that you have the school requirements .

  33. have the school requirements? whats that? wouldnt my diploma work for that?

  34. like for university i have alot of documents proving im currently studying there, but to get a relevé de notes id have to pay 10$ and wait like a week.

    and considering im ging back home in the country for a couple of weeks sometime early next week or this weekend thats an unwanted option

  35. well here in Montreal Quebec its Secondaire 3 or 5 (not sure)

    but generally this is what they say :

    avoir terminé au moins la 10e année scolaire, selon les normes de votre province

    If you are already in the university that shouldn’t be a problem , any official paper from the university should be ok .

  36. Hi

    Do you happen to know if officer training is the same as you have described?

    If it differs, is there someone like you doing the officer version of these treads?


    PS This site is super. Just reading it gives me how of making it through BMQ

  37. Hello Bern ,

    Yes the BMQ is exactly the same , we had 2 student officers with us in that BMQ .

    The things that will differ are the post BMQ … the 4 phases .

  38. Salut Chaaban, je suis rendu à l’étape de l’entrevue, j’aimerais savoir à quoi m’attendre… Je suis pas mal nerveux, j’ai malheureusement eu un adolescence mouvementé donc j’ai un casier judiciaire et sa m’inquiète… Merci de ta réponse à l’avance si tu constate ce texte.


    Qui qu’onque veut me contacter pour me donner plus d’infos, merci. Mon entrevue est pour le 15 Janvier.

  39. I’ve recently submitted my application for the Army Reserves for artillery and the recruiter, both actually have been pushing me to complete my BMQ in the summer, but I am having doubts about being in training full time.

    Are their any benefits in the summer training compared to the part time training?

    They had mentioned to me the training would be one night a week and weekends every two weeks.

    If I go the “part time” route, to be a qualified gunner will take forever, I’m turning 30 next week, which adds another 30 seconds for the 2.4km run.

    Any input would be appreciated.

  40. Hello Sam,

    It generally takes at least 2 years to get from the BMQ/SQ level to a QL3 trades soldier. If you get course loaded on a summer basic, you’re looking at about 2 months for training… if you are lucky, you can go straight to the QL3 immediately following your graduation. This is rare, since the courses will more than likely overlap each other.

    One benefit to doing the weekend basic is that the course runs during the normal Reserve training year, which means that you could be course loaded that same summer, given that you have completed the basic training first.

    I have experience recruiting for my res unit (comms) and we are just now starting to go the weekend basic route vice the full time summer route. Weeken basic also appeals to those potential recruits who have full time jobs and can’t really commit to 2 months off in the summer. But this doesn’t resolve the QL3 trg in the summer, which will still have to be done at the military school of (insert trade here).

    Any questions, just ask! Hope this helps.

  41. Hey Chaaban, just letting you know…I’m in

  42. Hey Chaaban,
    I was in the application process for a long time and I was told to be expecting a call in april. The call came earlier and I was planning to just start training for fitness again. Now I have a week to get back in shape, I meet all the requirements except the running. Just wondering, theoritically, if I were to fail the fitness run requirement in SQ, what would happen? Would I be asked to leave, or would I simply have to work my ass off till I met the requirement? Thanks

  43. hi..im joining the full time army and i was wondering for my basic military traning is it only the week or is its the weekend to or to we get weekend off. and another question is .is it posible to ask for time off?

  44. Hey!!, im wondering, i finished my application for the reserves artillery 30th reg. Ottawa. they told me that the BMQ for the summer was cancelled (im already sworn in and enrolled) im wondering why BMQ was cancelled? they said its going to be in the fall/winter, but how do they fit in thirteen straight weeks of everyday training like in the summer to every weekend? is it going to be every weekend?

  45. Hi, thanks for much for this site, it is very very helpful.
    I’m joining next month and plan to do my BMQ in Que. very soon, I’ve already
    done the CFAT and everything. I was wondering what are the time alotments for
    free time? Do we get enough time to go home, or are we pretty much stuck in QUE.
    Can we have visitors? Also, is there a computer lab, or somewhere to use the computer
    on spare time? and, can we bring a cellphone?

  46. In response to Dianna,
    I am currently finishing up my BMQ in St. Jean Quebec. There is not alot of free time. You are pretty much always busy doing something. You can have visitors come visit on the weekends but they cannot come up to your quarters. There is a computer lab to use in the bistro, but you will not be allowed there for a month. You can bring a cell phone but depending on your instructors, some platoons can keep them on them and use them at night, other platoons like mine are only allowed on weekends, during the week all electronics are locked up to keep us focused as there is more than enough to keep you busy like I mentioned earlier. Anyways have fun. Its very tough but rewarding.

  47. im still a teenager and im thinking about joining the army when im older …….I want to be an infantry officer or infantry soldier…..is there anything special i should be doing now to help me later on when/if I join

  48. Im planing on doing BMQ in the near future i am wondering if there is enough free time to go to the gym during the week, and what kind of gym is present.?

  49. I am in the process of filling out my application as a non-commision regular force recruit. I have just recently turned 18 and I want to become a vehicle technician. I am wondering as to what my weekly schedule will look like. I understand that it is full time training but what exactly does that entail? Do I train on weekends as well? And if not I am allowed to leave the base during any days I may not be training? Anything you would recommend I do to help prepare myself for BMQ? and as soon as i am finished bmq do i begin SQ? thanks.

  50. Hi there, I’m currently awaiting for my enrollment on July 21, and I depart for BMQ on August 16. Just wondering if I will receive a list of items I should bring with me, such as shoes/socks/boxers/shirts/pants etc. etc. Also do people in BMQ get paid to take the training? I know that the salary doesn’t begin until your contract starts, but I’m still unsure about these type of things, any other info, anything at all will also be helpful. Thanks

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