Platoon Commander's Battle Course

Discussion in 'Officers' started by Fordy2379, Sep 30, 2011.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Hello,

    I am a Canadian Army Infantry Officer and was wondering if I could get some insight as to what your platoon commander's course is like. I just want to compare what you learn and are marked on during the course, with our Dismounted Platoon Commander's Course.

  2. A lot of cold war heros are about to come on here and tell you it's nails and that you could not pass it. This is based on three months TA service in 1975 being just the same as a regular commissioning course.

    I can't tell you the course programme but its based mainly around the fired with some theoretical stuff. You get all range qualifications and do time in Belize and Kenya
  3. udipur

    udipur LE Book Reviewer

    With a bit of judicious searching, you might find a) a Canadian ex instructor or b) a Canadian ex student.

    That being said, it is nails and it rained.
  4. I did both Gagetown with the CF, and PCBC at Warminster with the British Army.

    My observations were that Gagetown was the inferior course for both the selection and development of infantry platoon commanders. The staff were of mixed quality, some being obvious rejects from battalion, and the training was neither effectively progressive nor pitched at the right level. Formalized 'battle fitness' training was non-existent and consisted mainly of off the cuff decsions to go for ruck marches of indeterminate length out of context of any identifiable fitenss program. Most training appeared to be dominated by the SNCOs, with inadequate Officer level leadership, who seemed to blend in the selection and embuggerment factor with trying to educate young officers. The term 'trial by warrant officer' comes to mind, as does the phrase 'the Canadian infantry is committed to putting a Seargeant Major's pace stick in every officer's rucksack'. Yes it was hard, and I passed, but 70% failure rates are not a good indicator of effectiveness for this type of course. Things may have changed since I went through, but reports I hear continue to indicate that the courses are being delivered quite inconsistently from one year to the next. This may be connected to a manning policy that forces the Infantry School to work with limited/uncertain resources.

    I liked the blend of Sandhurst, followed by PCBC as it got the 'selection' part done first, then focused on the 'learning' at PCBC. I found the skill at arms training, and field firing training and exercises, far superior. The instruction was superb, and professionally delivered by high quality staff selected from amongst the best in the army (yes, even the hats). The TEWTs and FTXs were pitched at the right level, and we had ample opportunity to lead a variety of different types of platoon ops in various conditions. PCBC also enjoyed the attention of an excellent and professional enemy force throughout, which helped us learn the right lessons, sometimes the hard way. We even had interesting and engaging speakers sharing their expereinces with us. I can't recall anything similar being offered at Gagetown. Hell, we even had FUN, which was sorely lacking at Gagetown where people tended to take themselves far too seriously.

    Generally, I thought that the British approach was better and produced a more confident, fitter, better trained platoon commander (and, in my case, better looking, smarter and more humble) faster.
    • Like Like x 2
  5. If you can locate your ABCA rep, he could probably give you the current full programme.

    I had a Canadian Warrant Officer as an instructor on PCBC - he was a Newfie and demonstrated all their characteristics to the full....