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No Amount of Training Prepares You

Heroes Remember

No Amount of Training Prepares You

I came here to CFB Petawawa. I did my entire course here all in one shot instead of going through to Cornwallis. It was something new they were trying back in those days basically being trained by the RCR, The Royal Canadian Regiment. We had their staff, so it was all RCR officers and NCOs that basically trained us during this time So we didn’t, we weren’t basically having a chance to deal with air force, or navy or what have you. So it was strictly infantry guys training infantry guys and, you know, basically so they had you from the get go for six months. Hard solid training, gained a lot of weight, you know, put on some muscle mass. I was 17 years old and weighed about 170 pounds and, of course, doing a lot of PT, running. You’re learning all sorts of different skills whether it be weapons handling, unarmed combat, you name it. I mean, it was very, very, it was really, really good and of course the drill and the discipline as well, you know. Interviewer: And with all that training, then you are told that you’re going to the former Yugoslavia. Yes. Interviewer: That you’re going to go on tour. Did that type of training that you have prepare you for what you were about to face? Nothing prepares you for that. Doesn’t matter, I don’t care how much training you couldn’t, until you go there and you get your feet wet in it, it doesn’t matter how many hours or how many years of training. Now there are some things, of course, when you are there you have to, you know, you take it with a grain of salt of course, but some of the training, the skill sets that you learn whether it be accuracy with a weapon, whether its how quick you are to set up or dig in, you know, and of course the comradery thing as well. So you have all that, it’s part of the training but there’s really nothing until you’re actually there that really can duplicate that and I think that’s what people fail to realize is that it’s no matter how much training we do on the bases, until you’re actually in theatre, it’s a good start but it’s not, it’s not it. The realism, the reality that sets in as soon as you step foot on the soil.

Mr. Ott explains the level of training received with RCR, yet realizing that no amount of training can prepare a soldier for arrival in Sarajevo

David Ott

Mr. David Ott was born January 26, 1968 in Amherst, Nova Scotia. Fresh out of high school, Mr. Ott made his decision to join the military and entered battle school. The military way of life held a fascination for him and after being in army cadets for 6-7 years prior, it was an easy decision to choose army as his branch of service for active duty service. He joined The Royal Canadian Regiment and held rank of Corporal. Mr. Ott took his basic training in Petawawa, Ontario and after six months there, travelled to Germany for additional preparation. In 1992, Mr. Ott was part of the contingent of soldiers to arrive in the besieged city of Sarajevo for the purpose providing humanitarian aid and medical supplies, as well as reopening of the airport and for this received an honour, Commander-in-Chief Unit commendation. Mr. Ott made the decision to leave the military shortly after this tour.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
David Ott
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Royal Canadian Regiment

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