IN THE CANADIAN FORCES
WARRANT OFFICER KIM DOERR: I’m Warrant Officer Kim Doerr from Edmonton. I’m an Infantry Soldier with the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in my hometown.
CORPORAL GREG HARTWICK: And I’m Corporal Greg Hartwick from Huntsville, Ontario, and I’m an Infantry Soldier with the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in Shilo, Manitoba.
DOERR: By textbook, an Infantry Soldier is anybody who closes with and destroys the enemy, by day or by night, regardless of weather, season or terrain. Our Privates have to be experts in technical systems and GPSs and satellites and the array of communications equipment that we all carry, but also they have to be their own thinking person, they have to have their own initiative.
HARTWICK: We’re the ones that are out on the front line, interacting with people, and there’s no time to go through someone else. I’m the one that’s standing there. So every soldier that’s on the ground needs to be able to think on their feet and react and interact. You have to kind of play multiple roles, being somewhat of a policeman at some times and then other times, a soldier in the classic sense.
DOERR: To be an Infantry Soldier is a lot more than just trying to find the easiest grunt job in the military. We still do the hard-core grunt stuff, but along all that, we still have to be able to be free thinkers and work with some very technical aspects.
DOERR: In the Regular Force and in the Reserves, we bring some of the most powerful, high-tech weaponry on the planet to the battlespace.
HARTWICK: This is a C7 rifle. It’s the primary weapon of a rifleman and can be quickly switched from semi-automatic to automatic fire with the flick of a selector switch. It can also be equipped with a laser-enhanced scope and a grenade launcher.
DOERR: This is the LAV III light armoured vehicle. It’s crewed by a vehicle commander, a driver, a gunner and 7 infantry soldiers.
DOERR: And within those LAVs, you’re firing a 25 mm cannon out of an infantry fighting vehicle, that at two and a half kilometres can hit a water bottle. That is pretty cool.
HARTWICK: And this is the night vision equipment we use when we’re working in the dark. No matter what the mission, we have the equipment and the training to get the job done.
HARTWICK: But we’re also re-builders and healers, deploying in a heartbeat in the wake of hurricanes, floods and earthquakes - bringing medicine, food, and hope.
HARTWICK: In my short four years, I’ve done everything from being a soldier on the ground in Afghanistan to fighting floods, to doing missions all over the place.
DOERR: If you’re ready for the challenge of a lifetime, the Forces will give you the skills and the training you’ll need to live, move, and fight in any conditions, anywhere on earth.
DOERR: When I watch war movies, with the exception of MASH, I’ve never seen any television show that was ever not based around the infantry soldier. All the video games, now, what people play for video games is what I get to do for a living.
MODULE 2 – What’s cool about the job
HARTWICK: I’d have to say the travel. I think that’s the coolest part. The Army just affords an opportunity to go all over the world, go all over Canada and just meeting different people. I think that’s definitely the coolest part.
DOERR: You’re basically paid to be in super good shape and you’re paid to do stuff that -- when you were a kid, when you’re watching TV, you don’t get excited because the car mechanic’s going to be turning a wrench. Nobody really gets excited for that when they’re 10 years old, you get excited because you see Band of Brothers taking the hill. So that’s really what you get to do on a day-to-day basis.
MODULE 3 – Trade-Specific Training
HARTWICK: Everybody in the Canadian Forces starts their military career with Basic Training in Saint-Jean, Quebec.
HARTWICK: After that, infantry soldiers move on to one of the Canadian Forces’ Battle Schools in Meaford, Ontario; Wainwright, Alberta or Valcartier, Quebec. That’s where you’ll be introduced to dismounted offensive and defensive operations; reconnaissance patrolling; advanced weapons handling and individual fieldcraft.
DOERR: As your training progresses, you’ll continue to develop your Infantry Soldier skills – handling your rifle and heavier weapons like machine guns, grenades and anti-tank weapons; communications; camouflage; moving and fighting as a unit day and night; patrolling; and digging in on defence.
HARTWICK: It’s serious business, and you’re going to work harder than you ever have – but you’re going to build some of the strongest friendships of your life. You’re going to be taught how to take the skills and strengths you have, to make your unit the best it can be.
MODULE 4 – Your First Posting
DOERR: Once you complete your training, you’ll be assigned to one of Canada’s three Regular Force infantry regiments -- the Royal Canadian Regiment in Ontario or New Brunswick; the Royal Twenty-Second Regiment, a francophone regiment commonly known as the Van Doos, in Quebec; or the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in Alberta or Manitoba.
DOERR: Your time in garrison will be spent continually sharpening your skills and staying mission-ready.
DOERR: As your career progresses, you can branch out into a huge range of incredible specialties.
DOERR: Since joining the Army, I’ve done a Basic Reconnaissance course, Advanced Reconnaissance courses, Basic Anti-Armour course to Advanced Anti-Armour courses; I’ve done Basic Parachutist, Military Freefall Parachutist, Static Line Square Parachutist, Landing Zone Drop Zone Controller, Desert Warfare, Winter Warfare, Basic Mountain Operations. So I’ve done a ton of different things.
MODULE 5 - Testimonials
DOERR: I guess the coolest part of this job is to see the evolution of the military. Most of Canada didn’t really know what our military was capable of, but it was our history that made us proud. And now, with the myriad of other things that Afghanistan has changed for the military, the biggest change that it has made is now it’s opened up a whole new generation to be proud of what our country really is.
HARTWICK: It’s definitely gone farther than what I expected. Getting in, I was hoping for deployments, I was hoping for some travel and stuff like that. But I really didn’t have an idea of how much stuff would actually be going on, how busy I would actually be, and it’s definitely gone way above and beyond what I ever expected. There really is no other lifestyle like it, and being in the infantry especially, I’ve loved it, from Day 1.
IN THE CANADIAN FORCES