My son recently told me he was considering a career in the Armed Forces. Needless to say I was quite surprised as he has never mentioned that to me before and I don’t know anyone who is in the military. He is 19 and in his first year of college. This past year, with the pandemic, has affected his studies and the direction he is heading. Can you give me any information on this?
Seeking Info in Scarborough
Dear Seeking Info!
I have to say that this is my first query regarding entering the Armed Forces. The first thing I want to say is that the Canadian Armed Forces is an honorable career choice but does require a very special person to take on that role.
First, to join as a NON-COMMISSIONED MEMBER (NCM) you must be between 16 and 57 years old, a Canadian citizen and have completed grade 10. To join as an OFFICER, you must be all of the above and working towards or completed a Bachelors Degree.
There are a number of ways to join. There are civilian positions, reservist and part-time options. I highly recommend going online to www.forces.ca to explore the options or, if possible, visiting a Help Centre. Their website will even allow you to chat online.
One of the great advantages of joining the Armed Forces is the training that is offered. It is important for your son to have some idea of the career path that he would wish to enter and to research if that is a transferable career upon his retirement.
This is not an option to choose lightly. Being in the Armed Forces is not only a job but a lifestyle and not for everyone. Few career options will require both a physical and mental contribution. Research is imperative. Joining the Armed Forces involves a huge commitment. Recruits start out in basic training which can be difficult. There is a lot of travel and moving involved. While that may be attractive to some, it can be a challenge to others. I highly recommend your son check out the indeed.com website which will have some first hand accounts of life in the military. Current and former members of the military talk about the pros and cons. It is best to keep an open mind. Just like google and yelp reviews some may be less objective than others.
We are all going through a difficult time during this pandemic. What is a little over a year feels like a lifetime. Many people are going through a period of reassessment about their life goals. I encourage everyone to not make quick decisions at the best of time, but now more than ever, to do research and think long and hard before making changes. Do research, talk to people and then do more research! Im hoping everyone is staying safe, getting vaccinated and looking forward to brighter days ahead!
Dear ELCEE is written by Deborah Noel, firstname.lastname@example.org
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