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My application story

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Hello everybody,

First off, I just wanted to say that I have been stalking around these forums since about August of 2015, back when I was still trying to decide if I wanted to apply for the Reserves or not. All the posts I’ve read between now and then have really helped with all the questions I had about applying, the process, and everything else. Thank you.

I decided yesterday to actually join the forum, mainly so I could share my application story. I will start with a little history about myself. I am 29 years old, married, living in Saskatoon, SK. Up until November of 2015 I had been a graphic designer since I was 19. Unfortunately, I got laid off. But, this isn’t where my Army application started.

Early in 2015, I started to feel like my career as a graphic designer wasn’t really doing it for me anymore. I was tired of sitting at a desk, all day every day. The work itself wasn’t very gratifying anymore. I decided I wanted a job where physical fitness played a major role, so I started looking into getting into law enforcement. Now, to get to the point of my Forces application, I will just say that I applied for the city police in June of 2015, passed my written and physical tests, but didn’t get accepted beyond that. I was pretty devastated for a while after that.

Once I finally got over my rejection from the police, I decided that I was going to apply for the Reserves. In September I went to my local CFRC here in Saskatoon and talked with the two Corporals there about applying for the Reserves. They were very informative and answered all my questions. I filed my application on October 9, 2015. About a week later, I was contacted through email by one of the Corporals I had spoken with in order to schedule my fitness test for October 22 at 1 PM.

Now, I had done the POPAT earlier in the year for the police, and from what I had read online the Forces Physical Test wasn’t nearly as difficult. Fortunately, I have always been a very active person, playing a variety sports and working out, so when it came time for my test on the 22nd I was well prepared. It was me and one other guy doing it, so it didn’t take long at all. I passed everything without issue. The only real problem I encountered was the overly dusty floor in the gym, which didn’t allow me to stop and turn as quickly as I would have liked for the running portions of the test.

Several days later, I got an email from the recruiting centre in Regina, informing me I was scheduled to take the CFAT on November 4, so I started doing some research into the test just to try to get an idea as to what it would cover. Everything I read said it would be similar to the SIGMA test I took for the police, but slightly easier in some cases. Again, this turned out to be true. I finished the CFAT with time to spare, and felt confident that I did pretty well. The spacial awareness section was particularly easy for me.

Once it came time for my medical and interview on November 19, I was feeling good, even though I had been laid off a week before. The medical went really well. The examiner was very impressed with my vision, as he had never had anyone be able to read the bottom lines of the eye chart. After the medical was all done, my biggest concern was my very mild asthma, which I haven’t had issues with in many years.

The interview was a very simple affair that just involved talking with the Captain for a little while. It ended up being much less formal than I expected. He said I did exceptionally well on my CFAT, which, if I ever decided to switch to full time, would allow me to choose from any of the trades the Forces offered. He also said that switching from Reserves to Regular Force is much easier before being sworn in as opposed to switching afterwards. He told a story of a Reserves Combat Engineer from Saskatoon that was a reservist for 2 years then wanted to switch to full time, but it took another 2 years for his request to get approved. Crazy.

Seeing as how I hadn’t had a job anymore, and I knew that graphic design wasn’t something I wanted to really do anymore, I talked to my wife about switching my application from Reserves to Regular Force. After doing more research and reading and talking about it, she said she would fully support me if I that was something I really wanted to do. So, on December 2, I switched my application to Regular Force. It was a moment of pride for me.

Now it is January 23, 2016, and I only recently found out that my security clearance had been cleared, and my medical file had been sent to Ottawa for review and that that would probably take another month or so. On one hand it is unfortunate, but on the other I know it is just part of the process.

To add a another layer to my story, once I got laid off, I had actually applied for the RCMP as well. For anyone who isn’t familiar with it, that too is a very long process, very similar to that of the Forces. I don’t really know which I would prefer, RCMP or Army. At this point, I would be very happy and excited for either. After having done a lot of soul searching throughout both processes over the last few months, I know that I would be an excellent candidate in either occupation.

In my time waiting to hear back from the RCMP and Forces, I have taken a part time job as a security guard at SaskTel Centre, working sporting events and concerts. During the days, I spend my time getting in better shape. My 10 years of sitting at a desk had really wreaked havoc on my hips and lower body, so I count myself lucky now that I can really take the time to focus on fixing all the problems in my legs and core. In the two and some months of being unemployed I have already noticed a significant improvement. I am now in the best shape of my life, and it feels great. Also, having been approved for EI really helps with money.

So, that is about it. Playing the waiting game now, waiting to get the call. Thank you everyone.