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Logistics Officer

OFFICER | Full Time, Part Time


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Overview

Logistics Officers provide the various means of transportation, equipment and supplies for the movement of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and all types and sizes of cargo throughout the world.

The responsibilities of a Logistics Officers include:

  • Procurement
  • Warehousing items and material control
  • Distribution and disposal of military material, equipment, and ammunition
  • Coordination of food services, postal services, human resource or financial services

Work environment

Logistics Officers can be employed in the Royal Canadian Navy, Army or Royal Canadian Air Force and experience the unique challenges associated with these environments. They may work at on a base within Canada, at a home port, or be deployed during operations.

Logistics Officers that work in the Royal Canadian Navy will serve at sea as a Ship’s Supply Officer early in their career. A Logistics Officer in the Army will be employed as a platoon commander in a General Support or Close Support Service Battalion. Logistics Officers in the Royal Canadian Air Force in the early stages of their career will be employed in an entry level junior Logistics position at an operational Wing where they will learn about the unique aspects of providing support to air operations. This experience will be followed by a position at a squadron. Subsequent tours will provide you with opportunities to further develop your knowledge and experience within one or more of the main Logistics disciplines.

Career Overview

Transcript

TITLE:

LOGISTICS OFFICER

LIEUTENANT COLIN DE GRANDPRÉ: I’m Lieutenant Colin de Grandpré from Ottawa. I’m a Logistics Officer at 2 Service Battalion, in Garrison Petawawa, Ontario.

In order to be an effective presence at home and abroad, the Canadian Armed Forces requires the provision of efficient and coordinated logistics support.

Whether it’s with the Navy, the Army, the Air Force or Special Operations Forces, Logistics Officers are responsible for ensuring that all military operations and exercises are properly supported. 

LIEUTENANT COLIN DE GRANDPRÉ: The broad scope is supply, transportation, finance, and human resources. But every officer is going to want to specialize in one of those branches, and then they can diversify their skill set based on there. So I decided to choose supply because I had an interest in warehousing, material movements and material management. But my job will also touch on finance, budget management, and then transportation planning as well.

Providing support to air operations is a considerable challenge due to the stringent maintenance cycles of aircraft. Being able to replenish the fleet anywhere in the world is essential to keeping it operational. 

In the Navy, Logistics Officers will serve as Ship’s Logistics Officers in the early stages of their career. Responsible for the oversight of all shipboard logistics, their main role is to take care of getting the ship what it needs to get its job done. 

Army Logistics Officers are primarily concerned with coordinating sustainment of the field force, whether it’s warehousing or moving supplies, ammunition, fuel and food, or the actual vehicles and armaments being used on operations or training exercises.

A Logistics Officer employed at a Special Operations unit needs a wide breadth of logistical knowledge, flexibility and resourcefulness to fully support their unit, at times in very austere environments and always with enhanced requirements for operational security.

This is a multifaceted career, throughout the course of which Logistics Officers will work in: Transportation and Movements, Supply, Ammunition, Food Services, Human Resources Management, Finance or Postal Services.

LIEUTENANT COLIN DE GRANDPRÉ: Understanding what our combat soldiers, what our pilots, what our sailors do is really important because it allows us to better understand how we can support them. It’s a question of being able to do jobs that, you know that if they go well, no one will ever notice. There’s a joke that if logistics goes right, you’ll never hear about it. But that’s part of the goal, is that there are no kinks in the system. The ultimate supply chain is the one that gives you everything you want, at the right time, in the right quantities, at the right place. 

As an officer, their primary responsibility is to lead a team of talented professionals under their command.

LIEUTENANT COLIN DE GRANDPRÉ: A huge part of the job is accepting that you are not the most qualified person in a technical skill. But it’s knowing who to talk to, and how to talk to them to get their ideas, get to know solutions that come from them, and finally apply them to the overall goal. I think one of the strongest skills that you need is good interpersonal skills and a strong will for communication, both verbal and written.

LIEUTENANT COLIN DE GRANDPRÉ: One of the things I really appreciate about this job is that it throws you in positions that you would never see in a civilian equivalent. So for someone my age, with my qualifications, to be put in a managerial role, in charge of a warehouse, communicating with all sorts of units and entities around, you’d never see that for a 23-year-old.

On completion of their military and occupation training, Logistics Officers will be typically posted to a tactical unit in the Army, Navy or Air Force to build on their training and to develop their leadership skills and experience.  

LIEUTENANT COLIN DE GRANDPRÉ: So when you first start out in the job as a platoon commander, it is pretty intimidating to be placed in charge of these experts, these technicians who have a huge vault of qualifications, training, experience, even operational deployments under their belt – and every single day, if you talk to any of my soldiers, they’ll tell you that I bombard them with questions. I’m always going to ask them more about how the warehouse works, how our material management is being done, so that I can better understand how their technical job fits in the bigger picture.

As their career progresses, Logistics Officers will have opportunities to be employed at higher headquarters, dealing with the management of logistics functions in Joint and Combined Operations. There are also opportunities to work with Special Operations Forces, as well as out-of-country postings working with allies and partners.

LIEUTENANT COLIN DE GRANDPRÉ: I’m really, really happy in the job that I’m doing right now. Being able to work with the soldiers that we have in the warehouse and in the platoon is a blessing, every day. It’s a challenging job – I’ve always joked that if you’re enjoying your time, 100% of the time, as a platoon commander, you’re probably doing something wrong. That’s all part of the job, and that’s all part of the challenge, and that’s why I really appreciate what I do.

Related Civilian Occupations

  • Logistics Analyst
  • Supply Chain Manager
  • Inventory Control Manager
  • Manufacturing Manager
  • Purchasing Manager

Training

After enrolment, you start basic officer training at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, for 12 weeks. Topics covered include general military knowledge, the principles of leadership, regulations and customs of the CAF, basic weapons handling, and first aid. Opportunities will also be provided to apply such newly acquired military skills in training exercises involving force protection, field training, navigation and leadership. A rigorous physical fitness program is also a vital part of basic training. Basic officer training is provided in English or French and successful completion is a prerequisite for further training.

Following basic officer training, official second language training may be offered to you. Training could take from two to nine months to complete depending on your ability in your second language.

Common Army phase

If assigned to the Army, Logistics Officers go to the Infantry School at the Combat Training Centre in Gagetown, New Brunswick. You will build upon the leadership training you received in basic officer training in addition to learning the skills required of all Combat Arms Soldiers, including more advanced weapons-handling, field-craft, and section-level tactics.

Naval officer training

If assigned to the Navy, Logistics Officers attend a nine-week Naval Environmental Training Program held at the Naval Officer Training Centre in Victoria, British Columbia. This course introduces the naval environment and includes four weeks onboard a minor war vessel for officers to experience life at sea.

Learn more about Basic Training here.

Logistics Officers attend the Canadian Forces School of Administration and Logistics in Borden, Ontario, for a common introductory course on logistics support. Then Logistics Officers will undergo logistics training relating to the branch of the service to which they have been assigned.

Logistics Officers may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training.

Entry plans

If you already have a university degree, the CAF will decide if your academic program matches the criteria for this job and may place you directly into the required on-the-job training program following basic training. Basic training and military officer qualification training are required before being assigned.

Regular Officer Training Plan

Due to the requirement for CAF officer to obtain a university degree, the CAF will pay successful recruits to complete a bachelor degree program in the Royal Military College System. Recruits will receive full-time salary including medical and dental care, as well as vacation time with full pay in exchange for working in the CAF for a period of time. Typically, candidates enter the Canadian Military College System as an Officer Cadet where they study subjects relevant to both their military and academic career. In rare instances, based on the needs of the CAF, candidates may be approved attend another Canadian University. A determination will be made on a case by case basis. If you are applying for this program, you must apply to the CAF and it is recommended to apply to other Canadian universities of your choice should you not be accepted for ROTP.

Learn more about our Paid Education programs here.

Part time options

This position is available for part-time employment with the Primary Reserve at certain locations across Canada. Reserve Force members usually serve part time at an Air Force Wing in their community, and may serve while going to school or working at a civilian job. They are paid during their training. They are not posted or required to do a military move. However, they can volunteer to move to another base. They may also volunteer for deployment on a military mission within or outside Canada.

Logistics Officers may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army or Royal Canadian Air Force and experience the unique challenges associated with these environments. Logistics Officers employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis usually serve at CAF bases, wings, home ports and units at locations within Canada.

Reserve Force members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts and usually begin training with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required basic professional military standards. Following basic officer training, introductory occupational training for the Logistics Officer qualification is conducted at the Canadian Forces Logistics Training Centre in Borden, Ontario or the Canadian Forces Fleet School in Québec, Quebec. They then undergo logistics training relating to the branch of the service to which they have joined.

Reserve Force members usually serve part-time with their home unit for scheduled evenings and weekends, although they may also serve in full-time positions at some units for fixed terms, depending on the type of work that they do. They are paid 92.8% of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a reasonable benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.