Learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence

The Cana­dian Army Re­serves of­fers a taste of mil­i­tary life, while in­still­ing re­cruits with lead­er­ship skills and dis­ci­pline for ev­ery­day life.


As a part-time job, there’s a lot to be said for join­ing the Cana­dian Army Re­serves.

And to get a bet­ter idea of the re­serves, the pub­lic was re­cently wel­comed to an open house at the Truro Ar­moury where they could draw their own con­clu­sions.

“This is a great op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple within our com­mu­nity to come in, meet some of the sol­diers, talk to them,” said Lieut.Col. Colin Todd, com­mand­ing of­fi­cer of the Nova Sco­tia High­landers.

“It’s re­ally about show­ing the com­mu­nity who we are, what we do, our ca­pa­bil­i­ties, what we bring to the com­mu­nity, which is sig­nif­i­cant.”

The re­serves, open to ages 16 to 52, of­ten serves as a step­ping stone to the reg­u­lar armed forces and gives mem­bers a taste of mil­i­tary life. But it can also be a re­ward­ing and rather lu­cra­tive part-time job, par­tic­u­larly for young peo­ple.

Sol­diers make $96 for a full day’s pay, ac­cord­ing to Todd, who has been in the ser­vice for 31 years. Af­ter be­ing in the army two years and with the re­quired cour­ses com­pleted comes a pro­mo­tion to cor­po­ral, and $140 per day.

There is train­ing Thurs­day evenings and, on av­er­age, one

week­end a month. It can be full time in July and Au­gust with cour­ses.

“Most of the re­cruits are young,” Todd said, “largely be­cause they have July and Au­gust off. So they can go away and do that block of train­ing.

“Young peo­ple, if they’re in high school, they’re in com­mu­nity col­lege,

they’re in univer­sity, we’ve got some ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­ni­ties, no only for army train­ing but for lead­er­ship train­ing.”

Ba­sic train­ing is a lot about dis­ci­pline and team­work, Todd said. They learn first aid, and re­ceive drill and weapons train­ing. They also learn about work­place haz­ardous ma­te­ri­als through WHMIS train­ing.

The dis­ci­pline they pick up is par­tic­u­larly ben­e­fi­cial.

“It’s an en­vi­ron­ment that’s very struc­tured,” Todd said, “and we’ve got dress, de­port­ment, dis­ci­pline. These are not just army skills, they are life skills.”

Other em­ploy­ers in the com­mu­nity, he added, are pleased to find po­ten­tial em­ploy­ees coming equipped with these skills and train­ing.

There is also a pen­sion plan and health ben­e­fits to take into ac­count. As well, the pro­vin­cial Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion re­cently an­nounced that do­ing ba­sic train­ing now counts to­ward a Grade 11 high school elec­tive credit.

“I can’t say enough good things about what we have to of­fer,” Todd said.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the Army Re­serves, con­tact Sgt. Jim Hunter, 902-893-6893 or James. hunter3@forces.gc.ca .


Cpl. Miriam Har­ri­son of Stewiacke stands watch while Cpl. Kyle Singer of Glen­holme works on a cook stove. The two were demon­strat­ing the var­i­ous equip­ment and types of shel­ter used by re­serve sol­diers for train­ing ex­er­cises, dur­ing the colder months.


The pub­lic was in­vited to learn more about the Cana­dian Army Re­serves at a re­cent event held at the Truro Ar­moury. There were demon­stra­tions of weaponry and equip­ment used by re­serves mem­bers, and in­for­ma­tion on ben­e­fits the re­serves can of­fer.

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