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Army

Infantry Soldier

Non-Commissioned Member | Full Time, Part Time


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Overview

Infantry Soldiers are the Army’s primary combat fighters and are responsible for closing with and engaging the enemy. They are the core members of the Combat Arms team, which includes Artillery and Armoured Soldiers. 

Infantry Soldiers are capable of operating anywhere in the world in any environment – Arctic tundra, mountains, jungle or desert – and in any combination of arms, including airmobile and amphibious operations. The primary duties of an Infantry Soldiers are to:

  • Expertly operate and maintain a wide range of weapons, including rifle, hand-grenades, light, medium and heavy machine-guns, and anti-tank weapons
  • Use sophisticated equipment for field communications, navigation and night-vision surveillance
  • Inspect and maintain weapon systems, vehicles, survival gear and personal defensive equipment
  • Participate in airborne operations
  • Operate with support elements such as fighter aircraft, tactical and artillery
  • Engage in unarmed combat
  • Employ camouflage and concealment, patrol, assault, defence, and escape-and-evasion tactics.

Work environment

Infantry Soldiers normally work outdoors. Both in training and on operations they live and work in conditions that would resemble those in the field. Infantry Soldiers will be posted to a battalion in Canada, but there are employment opportunities across Canada and on deployed operations around the world.

Career Overview

Transcript

SERGEANT JASON GIRARD: I’m Sergeant Jason Girard from Maniwaki, Quebec. I’m an Infanteer posted at the Canadian Armed Forces Infantry School in Gagetown.

Infanteers are the primary combat fighters in the Canadian Army. Their role is to close with and destroy the enemy. Working on the front lines, they form the backbone of the Army.

SERGEANT JASON GIRARD: You have to be in great physical shape. Mentally, I’d say you have to be mentally tough. General leadership skills, either natural or you build on them, quick decision-making skills and initiative — those are probably the general backbone of what you need to be a good general infantry soldier.

This exciting job includes mounted operations working out of a LAV 6 light armoured vehicle; airborne operations like parachuting; operating high-tech equipment or firing a multitude of powerful weapons systems, as well as driving and maintaining both soft-skinned and armoured vehicles.

SERGEANT JASON GIRARD: I’ve gone through a lot of cool stuff in my career, and then I’ve done a lot of challenges that have brought me to a higher level of physical and mental preparations.

The infantry is the tip of the spear on the battlefield. They conduct raids and ambushes in a combat mission or conduct patrols and convoy escorts as part of security and stability missions. This is a hands-on job. Infanteers are trained to fight in cities, deserts jungles, the Arctic — or any other environment they are called upon to operate in. And Infanteers are trained to do more than just fight. They deploy across the country to help Canadians combat forest fires, floods, and other natural disasters.

Standing proud for Canada as an Infanteer comes with a rich history of battle honours embodied in every Canadian regiment. They have a strong tradition of overcoming obstacles and some of the greatest challenges on the battlefield. Physical fitness and mental resiliency are two critical traits for Infanteers, who may work in harsh conditions that demand precise action.

SERGEANT JASON GIRARD: Whatever you’re going to do, go do it and do it hard. Anything you try, never give up and push even harder than you think you would, or could. ‘Cause that’s going to bring you to greater victories and greater skills.

SERGEANT JASON GIRARD: My coolest experience was in recon platoon. You’re kind of trying to determine the most likely course of action of an enemy, so that we can paint a very clear picture for the infantry when they come in and they do an attack, so they don’t have any surprises. And we’re just trying to guarantee their success.

Once trade-qualified, Infanteers are posted to an Infantry battalion at bases across Canada. Reservists in this role will return to their home units where they continue their training on a part-time basis. Soldiers are assigned to one of three rifle sections in a platoon, where they continue to build their skills through in-garrison training and field exercises and by completing additional courses, working to make their unit the best it can be.

SERGEANT JASON GIRARD: Well, I had the opportunity, as soon as I finished up all my training, to get deployed to Afghanistan in 2010. I was there for almost a 10-month deployment. Generally, I had a pretty good attitude about it, even with all the evolving situation, and walking the unknown the whole time. It was just a great experience altogether.

Battalions that are not deploying overseas participate in field training and exercises to ensure they stay mission-ready, keeping their warfighting skills at a high level.

SERGEANT JASON GIRARD: There is no life like in the Army. It’s its own little world, I mean, we have our own dynamics, and our own way of doing things, and just our own kind of team spirit — esprit de corps is just different from anything else you’re ever going to live anywhere else.

 

Related Civilian Occupations

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. 

Basic military qualification - land course

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.

Infantry Soldiers attend one of three Military Training Centres: The Royal Canadian Regiment in Meaford, Ontario; Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in Wainwright, Alberta; and the Royal 22e Régiment in Valcartier, Quebec. The training takes 17 weeks and includes the following topics:

  • Use and care of personal and section-level weapons, including rifles, machine guns and anti-tank weapons
  • Field-craft, including personal hygiene and meal preparation, camouflage, sentry duties, signalling, selecting firing positions, tactical movements and lines of advance
  • Construction of field defences, such as trenches and roadblocks, and laying and marking of minefields
  • Navigation by day and by night
  • Patrolling operations
  • Infantry section and platoon tactics, including offensive, defensive and transitional operations

Infantry Soldiers may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:

  • Basic Parachutist
  • Parachute Jumpmaster
  • Para Instructor
  • Mountain Warfare
  • Instructional Techniques
  • First Aid Instructor
  • Rappelmaster
  • Unarmed Combat Instructor
  • Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defence Instructor
  • Urban Operations

As they progress in their career, Infantry Soldiers who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced training. Available courses include:

  • Instructional Techniques
  • Primary Army Leadership
  • Infantry Soldier Section Commander
  • Infantry Soldier Platoon Second-in-Command
  • Infantry Soldier Company Sergeant-Major
  • Communicator
  • Reconnaissance Patrolling
  • Anti-Armour Gunner
  • Sniper
  • Section Commander
  • Eryx Gunner
  • Machinegunner (Heavy and General Purpose)
  • Small Arms Coach
  • 25mm Gunner and light armoured vehicle Crew Commander
  • Winter (Arctic) and Jungle Operations
  • Patrol Pathfinder
  • Tactical Intelligence Operator

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 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 Soldiers serve with the Canadian Army. They are the Army’s primary combat fighters, are responsible for engaging the enemy and are the core members of the Combat Arms team, which includes Artillery and Armoured Soldiers. When they are employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis they usually serve at a Forces Infantry unit located 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 training, Army recruits train for the Soldier qualification for approximately one month and then Infantry Soldiers attend one of three CAF training centres for 17 weeks of Infantry training.

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.