There are several institutions where joining is as easy as being alive. For instance, to join a school, you just need to be of the right age. With time, joining a higher-ranking school requires you to have attained a certain grade. To join the Army is not as easy and would require much more from you. Luckily, joining the Canadian Army is much easier than in other countries, so be glad that you are applying to join the Canadian Armed Forces. Here are the detailed steps on how to join the Canadian Army.
Before submitting your application, you need to ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria. Not everyone can enrol and even if you try to do so yet you have not attained the minimum requirements, you will be rejected. Also, you have the choice to join as an officer or as a Non-Commissioned Member (NCM). Both have the same requirements, although to be an officer, there is one more requirement. Anyway, for both, you have to be a Canadian citizen, have completed Grade 10 or Secondary IV if you are from Quebec, and have to be aged between 16 and 57. For applicants below 18, they need permission from a parent or guardian. For those joining to be an officer, they have to have or are working towards a Bachelor’s degree. Those who have not met the degree criteria may be eligible for the Army’s Paid Education programs, where they study, while in the Army, with the Army paying for their education.
Next, you have to understand the various ways to join. There are four major ways to join and get basic training, although they will depend on the applicant’s skills, qualifications, background, and ambition.
- You can join the Regular Force (full-time): these are members who spend their full time protecting Canada and defending the nation’s sovereignty. They contribute to international peace and security, as well as work with the United States to defend the North American continent. These forces are ready to go to work at a moment’s notice, responding to threats, natural disasters, and humanitarian crises, be they at home or around the world.
- You can join the Reserves (part-time): these are members of the Reserve Force who serve part of their time in the Canadian Armed Forces. They are tasked with supporting the Regular Forces, both at home and abroad. The Reservists typically serve one or more evenings a week and/or during weekends at locations close to home. Some Reservists may volunteer to be deployed on operations if said positions are available.
- Paid education: you can also join the Canadian Armed Forces and go through their paid education programs. They offer first-class education that can prepare a member for a challenging and rewarding career in the esteemed Canadian military. The Army is proud to have graduates who are leaders in their respective fields, working with cutting edge technologies, developing military strategies and making a difference, both for their communities and country.
- Programs for Indigenous Peoples: there are three main programs for indigenous people. First, there is the Aboriginal Leadership Opportunities Year, a one-year education program offered to indigenous peoples through the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC). Secondly, there are Summer training programs, for indigenous youths in military lifestyle and cultural awareness. Thirdly, there is the Canadian Forces Aboriginal Entry Program, a special three-week program for indigenous peoples who are considering a career in the CAF
Now that you know that you have the correct qualifications and know what you want to be or the way to join the CAF, it is now time to learn the steps to take to join. These are five primary steps, where each step requires your input and dedication.
- Submit your application: you will present original copies of your birth certificate, government-issued photo ID, transcripts from your highest level of education, proof of trade qualifications and professional licenses, and any additional forms required for the trade or job you selected. All overseas education must be presented with a Canadian equivalency from the Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada
- Reliability screening: you will fill out reliability screening forms that ensure you are trustworthy with sensitive information. The Canadian Forces will verify all the forms you submit so be completely honest when filling out the required forms.
- Aptitude test: this is a test to determine which military occupations are the best fit for you. Preparation is key so make sure you are well-rested, healthy, on time, and careful with your answers. You will be tested on verbal skills, spatial ability, and problem-solving. It will take approximately 60 minutes to complete a series of three Canadian Forces aptitude tests. The following practice aptitude test will provide you with an example of the style and structure of what you will experience when you write the real test at a Recruitment Centre near you. You will also complete a personality inventory that provides information on your characteristics and qualities.
- Medical exam: you will then take a two-part medical exam: First there is a questionnaire on your medical history including specific information on your medication. Then the medical staff will conduct a physical exam to measure your height, weight, evaluate your vision, color perception, and hearing. The second step is a medical file review to determine any limitations that will affect your training and career. Also take a look that What are the reasons you should take military training as a profession?
- Interview: the final step is an interview with a military career counselor; it is your official job interview and a very important step. The application process is very competitive and you will be asked questions about your work history, knowledge of the Canadian Forces, and understanding of the job you selected.