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Army

Infantry Officer

OFFICER | Full Time, Part Time


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Overview

An Infantry Officer performs a wide range of duties, from commanding and leading soldiers as part of a team to occupying various staff positions involving planning, training, intelligence, logistics and personnel administration.

As commissioned members of Canada’s Infantry regiments, which belong to the Combat Arms, Infantry Officers are capable of operating anywhere in the world, in any environment including Arctic tundra, mountains, jungle or desert and in any combination of arms, including parachute, airmobile and amphibious operations. The primary role of Infantry during operations is to be involved in combat.

Work environment

Infantry Officers experience the unique challenges of working outdoors in various weather conditions. When not in the field, Infantry Officers are responsible for garrison duties, which include physical training, office work and supervision, mixed with instructing staff and outdoor field and weapons training. Office work is focused on personnel administration and maintenance of weapons, equipment and vehicles. These duties usually occur during regular working hours.

Infantry Officers will be posted initially to one of three regiments:

1) the Royal Canadian Regiment in Petawawa, Ontario or Gagetown, New Brunswick;
2) Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in Edmonton or Shilo, Alberta; or
3) the Royal 22e Régiment in Valcartier, Quebec City, Laval, or Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec.

Career Overview

Transcript

CAPTAIN ALEX BUZOIU: I’m Captain Alex Buzoiu from Montreal. I’m an Infantry Officer currently serving at the Canadian Armed Forces Infantry School in Gagetown.

Infantry Officers in the Canadian Armed Forces are the first boots on the ground for military operations around the world. From raids and ambushes, to security and stabilization missions, Infantry Officers have an exciting job. The role of the infantry is “to close with and destroy the enemy” but it’s much more than that. It’s the infantry that takes and holds ground on the modern battlefield, as part of a combined arms team including Armour, Artillery, and Engineers.

CAPTAIN ALEX BUZOIU: The role of the infantry in relation to other arms, may it be combat or not, is the centrepiece. So around it, the infantry will provide the bulk of the ground forces, but they are always collaborating, may it be with armoured units, artillery units, air force units, and even logistical support non-combat units in order to achieve that. So the infantry provides the combat presence, and often provides most of the leadership presence.

The Army has a proud heritage in Canada and abroad, having accomplished many battle honours. A regimental cap badge is a symbol and source of pride, of belonging to a storied regiment that can be more than 100 years old. This sense of history and pride is embodied in every Infantry Officer and regiment across Canada.

CAPTAIN ALEX BUZOIU: When I’m at the unit, my job consists of maintaining both the morale and physical fitness of the men and women that are part of my unit, but also preparing for the next task, next mission, may it be combat operations here or just operations to fight fires, to prevent floods, or even, as I did, go overseas and do capacity training and security building in other nations.

Fitness, mental resiliency, and the will to fight are some of the top skills for Infantry Officers, who can expect to be challenged and tested in every endeavour.

CAPTAIN ALEX BUZOIU: The infantry was my first choice, actually. Because I realized that the infantry would provide me the most diverse opportunities in terms of employment, career paths, both short-term and long-term, within the Canadian Armed Forces, and as well, the most interesting opportunities to command may it be at a platoon level, the company, the combat team level, and if I’m lucky enough, to the battle group level.

Being an Infantry Officer is an adventure that can take you anywhere in the world — be it urban, rural, desert, forest, jungle, arctic, or working with our allies overseas on important NATO missions. Leadership is not just a word in this line of work — it’s a motto to live by and demonstrate every day. Infantry Officers are excellent problem-solvers who work under demanding conditions and tight timelines to get the job done.

CAPTAIN ALEX BUZOIU: So you need to be the type of person that can kind of go for the stress, but also be able to simultaneously see the short-term and the bigger picture. It takes capacity to be courageous in what you do and go forth, but also humble in order to kind of realize that

sometimes you may not have the solution but there’s people in your unit, in your platoon, in your company that may be able to supplement that so you can solve that problem.

CAPTAIN ALEX BUZOIU: I worked in the private sector before I joined and never will you find an employer where on Day 1, once you’re qualified, you have at least 30 people that you’re fully in charge of, and you are responsible for them. It’s yours to manage and to lead, and you’re given full freedom of movement from Day 1.

Upon completion of their army phase training, Infantry Officers in the Regular Force are posted to a battalion at one of Canada’s major bases and assume command of a platoon of 30 to 40 soldiers. Reservists return to their hometown regiment after their training and also assume a leadership role.

CAPTAIN ALEX BUZOIU: The first 3 years tend to be very similar for all of us. Afterwards, it’s really what fits you and your careers can go in many different directions. You can be an assistant for a general; you can go to a training establishment where you get specialties and qualifications throughout that time; or you can go to a Reserve unit where you help train the Reserve and occupy a lot of key senior positions; or you can go, actually, in diverse routes, like to tech school where you get a specialty in doing army development projects — all sorts of avenues.

CAPTAIN ALEX BUZOIU: I wanted to give back, primarily because I’m not born here. I came to Canada when I was a young kid, 8 years old, in the ‘90s. I got tremendous opportunities in Canada. I think some Canadians sometimes forget how great Canada is. It helps that people give back into it, with their abilities, skills, knowledge or just desire. And I felt that in this profession, I could do that. I think I’m doing a pretty good job.

 

 

 

Related Civilian Occupations

  • Although this occupation has no direct related civilian job, the experience, skills and leadership abilities developed in this position are highly valued by employers

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 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.

The required training for Infantry Officers takes place at the Infantry School in Gagetown, New Brunswick. Infantry Officers will learn the duties and responsibilities required to command and lead an Infantry Platoon. This training is designed to progressively develop leadership skills while offering in-depth tactical challenges associated with conducting operations. Weaponry training will also be a part of this learning experience.

During the final phase of training leadership skills and tactical abilities will continue to be gained, while operating in a mechanized environment which includes learning to manoeuvre a Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) III, becoming proficient in the use of an array of modern infrared and night vision systems and the use of specialty weapons. After having mastered the tactical elements of commanding a Platoon from an armoured vehicle, Infantry Officers will be posted to an operational Infantry Battalion to take command of an Infantry Platoon.

Infantry Officers may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training to become a Platoon Commander. As well as command and control, an Infantry Platoon in the field and deployments. Selected Infantry Officers may also be offered the opportunity to acquire additional specialized skills such as completion of the Patrol Pathfinder course or Basic Parachutist and Free Fall courses.

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 unit 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.

Infantry Officers serve with the Canadian Army. The primary role of Infantry during operations is to be involved in combat. An Infantry Officer performs a wide range of duties, from commanding and leading soldiers as part of a team to occupying various staff positions involving planning, training, intelligence, logistics and personnel administration. When employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis they usually serve with Infantry units at CAF locations within Canada.

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. The required training for Infantry Officers takes place at the Canadian Armed Forces Infantry School in Gagetown, 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 percent of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a reasonable benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.