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Army

Information Systems Technician

Non-Commissioned Member | Full Time, Part Time


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Overview

Information Systems Technicians are experts in Information Technologies (IT) who deploy, establish, administer, and maintain multi-platform networking computer environments, and a variety of data and voice networks. They are a part of a larger team that provides the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) with communications and information services throughout Canada and around the world. They handle communications and information systems equipment, such as:

  • Wired and wireless communications and information systems
  • Fibre optic and copper wire broadband technology
  • Voice and data network equipment and servers

Work environment

Information Systems Technicians experience the unique adventures and challenges that come with working outdoors, in military vehicles and server rooms. Information Systems Technicians work across the country and around the world wherever the CAF has a footprint.

Career Overview

Transcript

CORPORAL DEVON KROSSE: I’m Corporal Devon Krosse from Georgetown, Ontario, an Information Systems Technician posted to Headquarters and Signal Squadron in Petawawa, Ontario.

CORPORAL DEVON KROSSE: Information Systems Technicians work with servers and networks – we’re constantly working with technology, switches, routers and all sorts of programs and applications.

Information Systems Technicians work on IT equipment, network components, computer workstations and servers, as well as Voice Over IP phone and teleconference systems to ensure communications flow seamlessly on every ground mission in Canada or abroad.

CORPORAL DEVON KROSSE: Without us, communications wouldn’t be passed and the infantry who are out there facing the enemy wouldn’t be able to pass up their critical information to the officers that require it and the back lines. The officers wouldn’t be able to do their job, and they wouldn’t be able to plan out what was going to happen next in the battlefield.

Information Systems Technicians have an important role in providing connectivity from the missions abroad to back home in Canada, and to enable the full spectrum of IT services.

From Internet Service Providers to satellite terminals to tactical systems in armoured vehicles to end users, Information Systems Technicians oversee all forms of communications and information systems in the Canadian Armed Forces. On a day-to-day basis, Information Systems Technicians oversee account creation, software configuration, servicing telephone and teleconference systems and ensuring network security on bases across Canada. They work on all IT-related tasks such as cable installations, network distribution, as well as performing network scans for IT security. They also provide IT support to end-user clients to troubleshoot and analyze software, databases, and IT network problems.

CORPORAL DEVON KROSSE: There’s always opportunities to take on more responsibilities and learn something new, to move up in the ranks, or become a better Information Systems Technician, to learn a new system and become a better soldier.

CORPORAL DEVON KROSSE: The coolest part of my job is working with people every day, figuring out their issues and troubleshooting through them, taking the steps to make their job easier and their lives better. I always like seeing a happy face with the people I work with. Being able to solve their problems, at the end of the day makes me the happiest, because it makes their lives that much easier.

After becoming trade-qualified, Information Systems Technicians are posted to a brigade, base or unit, which can be anywhere across Canada.

CORPORAL DEVON KROSSE: After you’re finished all your training and you arrive at your first posting, you’ll be learning every single day with on-the-job training. There’s going to be a lot of information that you need to learn and you’ll be mentored through every step of the way.

Reservists fulfill the same role in 23 different Army Reserve Signal units across the country.

Information Systems Technicians must be able to adapt to challenging situations to troubleshoot and diagnose IT and Tactical Communications systems for mission-critical services. The ability to identify issues and resolve problems quickly is a highly desirable trait, as are analytical thinking, attention to detail, creativity, and persistence.

CORPORAL DEVON KROSSE: The job’s never stale. You’re constantly being challenged and learning something different. You’re learning a new system or working with new people. 

To maintain their highly adaptive skill set, Information Systems Technicians can expect to travel often throughout the year, participating in exercises and training courses. Information Systems Technicians will train for high readiness with their brigade and can expect to be deployed overseas.

CORPORAL DEVON KROSSE: Deployment is always a great experience. You’re continuously interacting with different militaries, learning their job roles and responsibilities, and interacting with a different culture.

CORPORAL DEVON KROSSE: Joining the military was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life – I’m able to work with new technology, new systems, and learn something new about my job every day. I work with different people and I’ve made a lot of friendships along the way.

Related Civilian Occupations

  • Computer systems administrators
  • Information Systems Analyst
  • Computer Network Technicians
  • User Support Technicians
  • Information Systems Testing Technicians

Training

 

The first stage of training is the Basic Military Qualification course, or Basic Training, held at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. This training provides the basic core skills and knowledge common to all trades. A goal of this course is to ensure that all recruits maintain the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) physical fitness standard; as a result, the training is physically demanding.

After Basic Training, Army recruits go to a Military Training centre for the Basic Military Qualification – Land Course for approximately one month, which covers the following topics:

  • Army physical fitness
  • Dismounted offensive and defensive operations
  • Reconnaissance patrolling
  • Individual field craft

 

Learn more about Basic Training here.

Information Systems Technicians attend the Canadian Forces School of Communication and Electronics in Kingston, Ontario. Training takes approximately 12 months and teaches the following basic skills and knowledge:

  • Computer systems theory
  • Information systems security
  • Installation and operation of information systems
  • Maintenance and operation of power generating systems
  • Information systems maintenance and repair techniques
  • Installation and maintenance of fibre optic and copper wire systems
  • Advanced Routing and Switching
  • Server Administration

Information Systems Technicians may have the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal military and civilian courses and on-the-job training, including:

  • Cryptographic equipment operation and maintenance
  • Advanced server management
  • Advanced switch and router, configuration and maintenance
  • Software and firmware operations and maintenance
  • Computer Network security

As they progress in their career, Information Systems Technicians who demonstrate the required ability and potential, will be offered advanced training. Courses include:

  • Data Network Designer
  • Leadership Courses
  • Life Cycle Materiel Manager
  • Army tactical network (LCSS)

Entry plans

The minimum required education to apply for this position is the completion of the provincial requirements for Grade 10 or Secondaire IV in Quebec. Foreign education may be accepted.

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 a military unit in their community and at military bases within the region where they live. Reservists may serve while going to school or working at a civilian job. They are paid during their training and are not required to move. They can, however, volunteer to move and can also volunteer for deployment opportunities within or outside of Canada.

Reserve Information Systems Technicians serve with the Canadian Army, providing fast, reliable, wired and wireless communications infrastructure to military units for training and operations. When employed on a part-time or term basis, they usually serve at a Canadian Army Reserve unit in their local community.

Reserve Force members of this occupation are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts. They usually begin training in their home unit to ensure they meet the required basic professional military standards. Following basic military training, arrangements will be made for occupational training. Information Systems Technician training takes approximately 12 months and is conducted at the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics in Kingston, Ontario.

Reserve Force Information Systems Technicians usually serve part-time with their home unit for scheduled evenings and weekends. They may also serve in full-time positions at some units for fixed terms, depending what type of work is needed. Most Information Systems Technicians work in a server room environment either inside a building or in a military vehicle. They are paid 92.8 percent of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a benefits package, and can contribute to a pension plan.