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Armour Officer

OFFICER | Full Time, Part Time

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As a member of the military, Armour Officers provide reconnaissance and direct-fire support in battle from armoured fighting vehicles such as the Leopard main battle tank, the Light Armoured Vehicle or Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle, and a variant of the wheeled Light Utility Vehicle. Along with members of the Artillery, Infantry and Combat Engineering regiments, they are members of the Combat Arms. 

An Armour Officer is the leader of armoured vehicles in a Reconnaissance Squadron, a Tank Troop or Direct-Fire Support Troop. They are responsible for soldiers’ training, morale, discipline and combat efficiency, and for the operational readiness of their equipment. 

As a Reconnaissance Troop Leader, they employ stealth, flexibility and innovation on the battlefield, using advanced sensors and equipment, to locate the enemy and identify high-value targets for the commander. 

As a Tank Troop Leader or Direct-Fire Support Troop Leader, they employ mobility, flexibility and shock action on the battlefield to use armoured direct-fire systems to destroy enemy targets.

Work environment

Armour Officers serve in any kind of terrain — Arctic tundra, tropical jungle, desert, mountains, urban complex — and any kind of climate. They may be deployed abroad on operational missions or in Canada in support of civil authorities in cases of national emergency. Initially, they are posted to one of three Armour regiments:

  • The Royal Canadian Dragoons, 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, Petawawa, Ontario
  • Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians), 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, Edmonton, Alberta
  • 12th Canadian Armored Regiment, 5th Canadian Brigade Group, Valcartier, Quebec

If you chose a career in the Regular Force, upon completion of all required training, you will be assigned to your first base. While there is some flexibility with regards to postings (relocations), accommodations can’t always be made, and therefore, you can likely expect to move at some point in your career. However, if you decide to join the Primary Reserve Force, you will do so through a specific Reserve unit. Outside of training, your chosen Reserve unit will be your workplace on a part time basis, and you will not be obligated to relocate to a different base. As part of the Primary Reserve Force, you typically work one night per week and some weekends as a minimum with possibilities of full-time employment.

Career Overview


CAPTAIN ERICA YOUNG: I’m Captain Erica Young from Kitchener, Ontario — an Armour Officer currently posted to Canadian Forces Base Gagetown.


Working in the turret of a tank isn’t your typical office space, and no two days are alike working as an Armour Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces.


CAPTAIN ERICA YOUNG: The role of the Armoured Officer is to manage the fleet of vehicles and the troops that run those vehicles on the battlefield. So at our core, our role is to defeat the enemy on the battlefield through the use of battlefield mobility and firepower.


Armour Officers work with highly motivated teams of soldiers in Canada’s three armoured regiments in the Regular Force and 18 Reserve regiments. They lead battle-ready tanks and armoured fighting vehicles on ground missions around the world.


CAPTAIN ERICA YOUNG: We have the tanks, which is more about destroying the enemy on the battlefield, a little bit more aggressive. And then we have the reconnaissance aspect; reconnaissance elements are typically trying not to be seen. They can gather more information the longer they are in place so they need to have a little bit more camouflage and concealment going on.


Armour Officers command as many as eight vehicles and more than 20 troops at a time — all from the inside of these agile fighting machines that can punch a hole through an enemy position in any terrain — shooting on the move and defeating the opposition through the aggressive use of firepower and battlefield mobility.  


Armour Officers are not just commanding their own vehicle — they’re also responsible for leading all vehicles within their troop simultaneously.


CAPTAIN ERICA YOUNG: When we’re all working together, you can see the effects that we have on the enemy and it is overwhelming and devastating.


Armour Officers determine where their troop of vehicles will go, what the troop fires at, and how the troop will do it. Leadership is the key component of being an Armour Officer. The ability to build team cohesion and maintain morale in difficult situations are critical parts of the job.




CAPTAIN ERICA YOUNG: It’s a lot of fun. There’s nothing like being out on a tank — you’re going 60 kilometres an hour or more, cross-country, while your turret is fully stabilized, so you’re looking one way while your vehicle is driving another way. And meanwhile, that entire time, you’re looking for the enemy. It’s an incredible experience, and nothing like it anywhere else in the world.


Once fully trained, Armour Officers are assigned to one of three historic armoured regiments in the Regular Force: the Lord Strathcona’s Horse Royal Canadians in Edmonton, the 12e Régiment blindé du Canada in Valcartier, Quebec; or the Royal Canadian Dragoons, based in Petawawa, Ontario. There are also 18 Reserve armoured regiments across Canada.


CAPTAIN ERICA YOUNG: For the most part when you’re in garrison, it’s a 9-to-5 job. So you’re in charge of the management of the troops, and as well, the whole time, you’re managing your fleet of vehicles, so your tanks or your LAVs or your Coyotes or TAPVs. So your troops are doing maintenance, you’re helping out as much as possible, and you’re making sure that you are ready to go at a moment’s notice.


Professional development is important, and there are opportunities to advance both in rank and position, such as Transport Officer, Assistant-Adjutant, Accounts Officer or Regimental Liaison Officer.


Armour Officers regularly deploy across Canada and overseas on military operations.


CAPTAIN ERICA YOUNG: I recently deployed to Latvia as part of Operation Reassurance. It was an amazing experience where I got to meet lots of different people from different nations, see how different armies operate and how we all work together as a team as part of NATO. So it was a great experience — as well, we had an opportunity to go out, interact with the public, make our faces known, and meet different cultures and different people.


At home, they may be called upon to help during natural disasters like fire or flood relief.




CAPTAIN ERICA YOUNG: When I was younger, I didn’t quite understand what the armoured corps was all about. What was explained to me was that you’re going to be put into some sort of large armoured vehicle; you get to go out into the field, drive that vehicle; obviously you’d have a large gun, blow stuff up, and that’s actually pretty accurate. I’m glad I selected it and I have a lot of fun doing it now.


I’m certainly proud about what I do. I love being in the Canadian Armed Forces, I love putting on the uniform and representing Canada on a daily basis.


Sometimes when I’m sitting out in the field on my tank and it’s a beautiful day, I just can’t believe that this is my life, this is my job. In a good way – I love what I do.

Related Civilian Occupations

  • No directly related civilian jobs


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 Canadian Armed Forces (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.

Learn more about Basic Training here.

After basic training, you will 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.

Armour Officers attend Armour School at the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps School (RCACS) where you will develop your skills in Crew Commanding. Training includes the following topics:

  • Operating communications equipment
  • Weapons firing
  • Vehicle deployment in battle
  • Crew commanding techniques

Armour 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 a military base or armoury 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.

Armour Officers serve with the Canadian Army. The Armour, Infantry, Artillery and Combat Engineers form the Combat Arms team. Armour Officers are the leaders of armoured vehicles and are responsible for soldiers’ training, morale, discipline and combat efficiency, and for the operational readiness of their equipment. When employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis they usually serve with Armour units at CAF locations within Canada.

Find a Recruiting Centre

Reserve Force members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts. They usually begin training with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required basic professional military standards. Following basic officer training, the home unit will arrange for additional training for specialized skills. Armour Officers achieve their qualification in three phases at the Combat Training Centre at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in New Brunswick.

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.