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AOSB briefing Advice for Ski Bum.

#1
So...

I am currently working as a Ski Instructor/Bar wench in the French Alps. I have my briefing date set for May, just after the season finishes. The problem is Ski Resorts are like big bubbles and i'm struggling to keep in the loop with my Current affairs knowledge. I try and get on the BBC/news websites as much as poss but finding it increasingly more difficult to keep up to date with whats happening in the world.

I am already aware of the fact that being 21, a non grad with 3 Ski seasons under my belt is not the most ideal position to be in before heading to my Briefing, I just want to give myself to best chance of getting through!

Any advice on preparing for the briefing while stuck in a snowy ski resort?!
 
#2
Being familiar with current affairs is important. However, in the Briefing one's knowledge of current affairs (among other things) is assessed in the context of a group discussion -- as has been mentioned here quite often. To that end, why not chat with your clients about what's been in the news -- it's one thing knowing what's happened, quite another having an opinion of it which is well reasoned, stands up to scrutiny, and can be aired in polite conversation with people with whom you're not too familiar. What do they make of what's happening in Egypt, etc.? You'll pick up on the 'main events' which are causing the most discussion in the real world, and get some practice in analysing them and so forth.
 
#3
Thanks for the reply Misella!

Normally find that most of the people I come across out here are interested in escaping 'world news' and more intent on having a good holiday. Plus working in a bar lends mostly to drunken conversation and while teaching I'm usually too busy reassuring nervous clients who are more interested in talking about themselves and their families, which I am paid to listen too!! So good advice, and yes occasionally I do find myself having a semi intellectual conversation, its just the lifestyle i've been living for the last three years has meant resurfacing into reality is hard!! The last thing i want to do is come across as some ignorant idiot with badly thought out opinions!
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#4
Just have a browse through the NAAFI forum on here, your knowledge on current affairs will immediately be enriched.
 
#6
Badgers, I purchased a Subscription yesterday!! Getting it sent out here, so hopefully will see me on my way - now just someone to discuss my new found current affairs knowledge, surely between the ski bums, lifty's and frenchies i'll find someone?
 
#7
Badgers, I purchased a Subscription yesterday!! Getting it sent out here, so hopefully will see me on my way - now just someone to discuss my new found current affairs knowledge, surely between the ski bums, lifty's and frenchies i'll find someone?
Welcome to the internet - thousands upon thousands of someones, some of whom aren't using it to look up porn.
 
#8
In that case, argue on the Internet. You couldn't possibly go wrong...

In all seriousness, I was in a similar enough situation myself when I went for my Briefing: stuck in a barracks in Germany picking up cigarette butts outside the Company HQ and occasionally going on exercise for a week; quite a 'bubble' as well. My own preparation pretty much consisted of flipping through Google News once a day (or two), and following various stories there (it helps reading about the same thing in different papers, because the Telegraph and the Guardian, say, will give very different perspectives). The news-related threads that come up on this site are also good indicators -- as the candidates might be invited to suggest their own topics for discussion, most will suggest things that have a slightly military feel to them, as do most of the threads on this site. Be prepared for seemingly arbitrary ones though, both from the staff there and from other candidates; whether people should have to pay for parking at NHS hospitals is one which springs to mind...I still have no idea whether that actually was an item in the news, but fortunately had a couple of cogent comments to make on the topic (and on my debrief at the end the Lt Col said I 'contributed well' or something like that). Current affairs isn't just what has been in the newspapers specifically, after all -- it's a tad more numinous (Zeitgeist and so forth).

As long as you aren't completely clueless, and have something to say, you'll be alright. The assessment also focuses on group dynamics, whether you are too reserved, too obnoxiously loud and arrogant, or perhaps some sort of lunatic.

Right, thats enough blather from me.
 
#10
Badgers, I purchased a Subscription yesterday!! Getting it sent out here, so hopefully will see me on my way - now just someone to discuss my new found current affairs knowledge, surely between the ski bums, lifty's and frenchies i'll find someone?

Great!

Why not search out suitable candidates in the lift queue, then pay the operator to cause a stoppage when you're halfway up:

"Oh what a shame, we appear to have stopped! By the way, do you think middle eastern countries can ever function within the western concept of democracy, or do you think they are doomed to alternate between secular dictatorship and radical theocracy?"

I know people who have met husbands/wives that way!


Seriosuly though, as others have said - they're not looking for some kind of hardcore political animal - just someone who knows a bit about the world they live in, and is capable of discussing it in a sane manner.
 
#11
As long as you aren't completely clueless, and have something to say, you'll be alright. The assessment also focuses on group dynamics, whether you are too reserved, too obnoxiously loud and arrogant, or perhaps some sort of lunatic.
Bloke on my Briefing was from a much-maligned Christian sect, and when abortion got brought up he went mental. A combination of this, and blowing up at people on the leaderless tasks when they didn't do what he told them, saw him Cat4-ed.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
Point taken telec!

(snip) I just need to get my arse in gear and get organised!
Splendid. If some lunatic ever puts you in command of soldiers, you'll find they appreciate that approach. Please tell me you didn't need telec to point out the Internet as an info source for news and please don't infest a decent unit if AOSB takes its eye off the ball.
 
#14
Make sure that you are not only up to date with the facts, but that you also (and crucially) have a good opinion on the matters.

Often you will find that the group will naturally start to agree with one another, or a few others will back the opinion of one of the stronger candidates. Either play the devils advocate and provide a good case against it, or introduce an entirely new angle or consideration. By adding a new dimension to the discussion, youre going to get more brownie points than by simply toeing the line.
 
#16
You're not anywhere Morgins are you by any chance?

Why do you ask?


hmmm. So first time back online since I started this thread! February is over and resort has quietened down so now i'll have the time to knuckle down and crack on with AOSB prep. Thanks for all the advice (especially on the vaseline...!). Briefing is in May, now we're in March and it suddenly doesn't seem that far away!
 
#17
I would actually think having 3 ski seasons under your belt could even enhance your application! Most officers seem to find a way onto the slopes for a few weeks a year. I managed a week in France and a week in Austria this year!

It's been many years since I did my RCB as it was at the time, however I do remember getting something of a grilling on the interviews. Be sure to stress that you want to lead soldiers on operations and develop some leadership and managment experience and skills. Together with reading up on Military news, general news and being well presented and fit there's little to worry about.

Going to do the skiing "Seasonaire" lifestyle is quite hedonistic, and to be blunt being an Army Officer means putting your hobbies and desires in second place to the needs and requirements of the service and most importantly your soldiers. If you stress that you've got the skiing bug under control and wish to help soldiers learn to ski with your vast experience, it could actually be a plus!

Good luck, be yourself (don't act to what you think they want to see, they want to see you!)
 
#18
I came home from my Briefing this morning, thankfully with the Cat1 I wanted. My advice on the current affairs issue would be yes, a good working knowledge of the news story of the hour is needed, but not as much as you would imagine. The way it is worked is such that, as Misellalandica and Barkest pointed out, the focus is on how you react and compose yourself, find the room to interject, and remain relevant. The obvious one we all thought would come up is Libya or at least the Middle East - not a peep! We covered 'Prisoners should not have the right to vote', 'Raise the drinking age to 21', and 'No NHS treatment for the obese' to name a few. It is more a 'debating session' at Briefing than 'Current affairs'. With that in mind, my humble advice would be, get tips on debating and practice rather than worry about the day to day facts!

Also, kudos on the skiing. That'll go down well if you shine the light just right on it.
 

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