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Why Did/Are You Joining the Armed Forces??

Jack Neilson

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On June 4th a friend and I visited Salute The Troops, the CF Day concert in Kingston.  While there we chatted with two recruiters.  They asked us a simple question ... What would you say to a young Canadian to convince him or her to join the Forces and what in our opinion would be factors which might impact this decision?  Now, we are old fellows, our service was during the 50's to the 80's and we are thus very much out of touch with modern thinking or what would encourage someone to join up.  Of course, not being particularly hesitant about coming forward we did tell them why we joined the Army and how our expectations were fulfilled etc during our careers.  Things have changed a lot both in the Forces and in civie life so our answers may or may not apply, we don't know.  I am therefore asking you, the younger generation, what your replies might be to the question the recruiters asked us.  I will pass on a printout to the Recruit Centre with your replies. 
Thanks guys,
Jack Neilson
VVV
 

GO!!!

Fallen Comrade
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Here goes,
    In conversation with my relatives, all of the males (and some of the females) voiced the exact same concern. That the CF is too politically correct, and does not place an emphasis on actual warfighting. This discourages our best and brightest. These young guys want to be challenged, worked and feel that they are part of a well organised and disciplined organisation.

Then they see commercials before the movies with a 100% visible minority cast lamenting about the lack of career opportunities on civie street. Even the "cool" recruiting commercial shows people being rescued.

Conversely, the Aussies, Brits and Kiwis show explosions, parachuting, tanks running things over and fighter jets screaming overhead - all set to a thrash metal beat.

This led them to the conclusion that the CF is a form of organised, uniformed welfare, and that they should look elsewhere for action and adventure - they did, and four of them are Marines now.

Even I am forced to admit that I will probably not get to go to another "shooting war" in the near future without quitting and going south.

The only one that signed up went to the Recruiting Center and said he wanted to be a "peacekeeper" - they made him an MSE op.

If we want to have a real army, we will have to start recruiting the young, hard chargers into all trades, not people looking for job security and benefits.

Hope this helps gents.

 

TCBF

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To quote some fifty year old guy nursing a sore back (me) :  " .... the uniformed branch of The Department of National Defence."

Tom
 

canadianblue

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I decided to join up with the forces originally MP's in the reserves and now infantry fulltime. But I think for myself it was more tradition then anything, I always loved the military, especially Canada's proud military history. I decided I wanted to become part of that tradition fulltime, and went on to apply to the regular force and await a call from the recruiting center. I have to agree with the points above though, Canada's army has become extremely politically correct, and I would consider applying to the Marines or even the Australian or New Zealand Armed Forces if the oppurtunity presented itself. Canada needs to come back to its roots, and realize that our army is for fighting and not for peacekeeping operations only. Most people that I talk to actaully believe that all the CF has ever done and ever will do is go on peacekeeping operations and never have to fight a war.

PS: I find that in some ways you don't want alot of this generation which is basically the MTV Generation to become part of the forces, they seem fine playing their XBOX's and watching reality TV. I think that the best idea is to reach out to those who feel a duty to their country as well as those who want to become part of something bigger.

This is my own opinion on the matter

cheers :salute: :cdn:
 

Britney Spears

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Things have changed a lot both in the Forces and in civie life so our answers may or may not apply, we don't know.

How have things changed since you joined? Do we no longer have enemies to slay or a nation worth defending? Have young people changed? Or has the army changed? I think your answers carry more weight than you might think. If they don't then I fear we are truly lost.



But seriously, our mess halls were known throughout the world as being second to none.  I never got very much food as a child, and my mother was a dreadful cook. That was all it took for me.


 
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Rebel_RN

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What left the biggest impression on me when i was learning about the CF was the stability( always having a job provided you are of decent character and obey the rules/laws) diversity of the Cf and what I could do in it and being able to travel to countries and areas I may never see otherwise and the idea of belonging to a tight knit community. I was very young when i first showed intrest in the CF. Now the biggest thing is testing myself once I am through the interview process and proving to myself above all that if you want it bad enough you can overcome any obstacle standing in your way.....I know it may sound corny and I imagine there will be a few offers for tea after reading this but hey it's what worked for me....not to mention i will eventualy get to try all the different IMP's that everyone Raves about and see if they are as delicious/ utterly horid as they sound  :p ;)
 

Zombie

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Having worked at a desk for about 7 years I am in need of something more. I stumbled into my profession and have just been there ever since, and do not want to sit at a desk for another 35 years. I do get a certain amount of enjoyment from my job, but I think that I will be much better suited to a military life. I nearly joined when I lived for 1 year in Esquimalt 8 years ago, but came back to Ontario and got my job through a friend. I'm 30 now and needed to make a decision about the military - either do it now, or stay in my field of work for the long run. Obviously I've made the choice to go for it, and will be applying very soon. The challenges, excitement, adventure, physical emphasis, training, respect, honour, and travel are some of what the CF offers that I am looking forward to.
 

heyjimmy

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What really caught my eye was the adventure the infantry faced in war movies like Saving Private Ryan and such.  Hiking through miles of uninhabited land with only a map, a compass and a rifle, while sharing stories with the guys of anecdotes from life before the forces.


 

canadianblue

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What really caught my eye was the adventure the infantry faced in war movies like Saving Private Ryan and such.  Hiking through miles of uninhabited land with only a map, a compass and a rifle, while sharing stories with the guys of anecdotes from life before the forces.

You and me share a common dream. I still want to become a police officer, I am joining up with the army because I have an interest in the armed forces, as well I want to be challenged physically and mentally. Depending on how much I enjoy the forces I could make it a career, or at the least 3 years of service.
 

ab00013

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Jack Neilson said:
What would you say to a young Canadian to convince him or her to join the Forces and what in our opinion would be factors which might impact this decision?  

First off, for some background information before I begin writing my opinion, I'm 22 years, living in Newfoundland, have a B.A. degree in Criminal Justice, and am currently in the reserves and in the process of CT to reg force.

Young Canadians have more choices nowadays than anytime before. The employment possibilities for a young educated Canadian span the globe from all across Canada to working throughout the world. The Canadian Forces needs to be as competitive an option as other organizations/companies. Don't get me wrong, the benefits definitely far surpass many civvie companies; however, most people do not know or even think about the CF as a potential employer. For example, when I was choosing universities after I completed high school, I looked at the local universities, and some well-known Canadian and American universities. I didn't even know there was such a place as RMC! Or when, for example, students graduate with degrees from well-know Canadian universities, do they know how they can use their degree in the CF?

Potential recruits need as much information as possible. For me, before I even went into the recruiting office, I used the recruiting website; however, even after I left the initial meeting with the recruiting officer, I had numerous questions. But when you are a civvy, anyone in uniform is intimidating!  They give you there name and number to call when you have a question, but what goes through your head are questions like â Å“what is basic training like?â ?, â Å“what am I committing too?â ?, â Å“what if I want to quit?â ?, â Å“how should I prepare for basic training?â ?, â Å“how many females are there going to be?â ?, â Å“is there a lot of yelling?â ?, "do many recruits fail?". Obviously once I started thinking of all the numerous questions I had, I thought I can't call them and ask all those questions, I'll sound so stupid! Luckily I found army.ca, which answered most of my questions. Also, I'm sure most possible recruits would not only have their own unanswered questions but those of their mother, father, friends, etc. And in my opinion, if they are not lucky enough to find army.ca  ;) to get answers to their and their parents' unanswered questions, most potential recruits would probably rule out the CF as a career option!

My suggestion is for the Canadian Forces to have a large database of FAQs on their recruiting website! Such as:
  • Entry plans options
  • which degrees most benefit which occupations
  • medical condition information/drug testing information
  • religion/personal choice (vegetarian, kosher, discrimination, wearing of religious articles)
  • financial information (pay, pensions, barracks, base housing, field pay, etc)
  • basic training (atmosphere, courses, gas hut, weapons, pt)
  • education (RMC, reimbursement, etc.)
  • deployment (when, where, who, etc.)
  • CF benefits (time off, sports teams available, base facilities)
  • Component Transferring (trying out the reserves first and then CT to reg force)
  • Civvy world after (skills/jobs available after leaving the CF)
  • Myths
Those were just some of my examples. But I'm sure by going through the army.ca website you will find a lot more questions that young potential recruits were wondering.

I also suggest that as young Canadians are more internet savvy nowadays the Canadian Forces have a recruiting chatroom. I know myself I found it easier to ask a question online than to go downtown or call the recruiting center, not only because the reserve recruiting center doesn't always have someone answering their phone, but also because CF personnel are intimidating when you are a civvy! Potential recruits should be able to go online to a real-time chatroom and anonymously ask recruiters questions.

Anyways, that's my opinion. Potential recruits need as much information as possible to ensure that they have no unanswered questions that avert them from joining the CF. So to answer your question what would I say to a young Canadian to convince him or her to join the Forces? I would simply say, what is stopping you from enrolling in the CF right now? I'd probably get responses like, "parents", "not sure", "don't want to be killed", which all stem from lack of information, which I could provide.  ;D
 

TCBF

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"provided you are of decent character and obey the rules/laws) diversity of the Cf..."

- How do you obey 'diversity'?  The only true way - the fairest way - to diversify the CF is through conscription.

"Hiking through miles of uninhabited land with only a map, a compass and a rifle, while sharing stories with the guys of anecdotes from life before ..."

- You are describing my future retirement!none. 

"I never got very much food as a child, ..."

"How have things changed since you joined? Do we no longer have enemies to slay or a nation worth defending? Have young people changed? Or has the army changed? I think your answers carry more weight than you might think. If they don't then I fear we are truly lost."

- Yep.  Killed by our nation's apathy.

Tom

-Amazing how much 'three hots and a cot' meant to a lot of guys who joined when I did.

"

 
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Rebel_RN

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I didn't mean obey the diversity of the CF. What I was trying to convey in that statement is the diversity of the CF should be respected.
 

alan_li_13

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Here's what my response was when I was asked why i wanted to Join at the interview:
I wanted to return my services to my country. I'm a first generation immigrated from China, and being here gave me the chance to do everyting i could. It gave my family a good living, and us kids a good education. My second reason was that in my opinion, joining the Forces is a most honorable profession. I've wanted to join the forces ever since i was young. It was not always as Army, but i could not think of a time when i did not like all things military. When i think of the military, i always thought about all the romantic images, knights in armour, calvary charges, awards and medals...
Lastly, i wanted to open up a new path for my family. I'm one of the youngest kids in my extended family. Everyone in my family has taken a relatively intellectual-only kind of job. Lots of doctors, engineers, bankers, but no one that was in or even near the military. I wanted to show to my sons and daughters and neices and nephews that people in our family can have jobs that not only exercise our intellect but our physical strengths too. I thought that taking a job that requires physical, mental, and emotional strength, as well as leadership and management skills will make my family proud.
 
U

USSRsovietsnake

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I would join because above everything else I'm proud to be Canadian.
 

FredDaHead

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Time to add my two cents...

First, like Ivan--err, USSRsovietsnake (just messing with you)--said, it's first and foremost because I'm proud to be Canadian. Also, I like the challenge of going beyond what "normal" people do. Another big reason is that I think that we Canadian soldiers, sailors and maybe even the airmen, can make the world a better place. (Ok, that sounds corny, I admit it.)

I would, however, be lying if I said the prospect of free education (heck, I'll be PAID to go to school, how cooler can it be?) and a certain job after I get my degree, isn't important to me. Of course it's an aspect I weighed, and it played a part in deciding whether to stay as a simple student at civvie U, or to join up.

There's also the respect and "admiration," so to speak, of people when I tell them I'm going to be an officer in the Canadian Forces. Although SOME people say I shouldn't do it, most people say it's an important job, that it's good, etc, and that although they wouldn't do it (for various reasons... some are just afraid), they think it's great that people like me and all of you guys on here who are in, or are joining, are willing to put ourselves on the line for the greater good.

I also want to "follow in my uncle's footsteps"... Sortof. He was in the infantry for a while (I believe he was in the CAR at one point or another before getting a back injury and being transfered to a non-combat trade, though I'm not certain) and although I've never been close to him, I've always wanted to be somewhat like him.

Then, there's the fact that over the years I've met some veterans, and I have the utmost respect for them. I think that if those men gave up, their lives, their limbs, or at least part of their life, so that we could be free, there should be people who follow up and make sure we don't lose that freedom. I know there likely won't be any war like the World Wars (thankfully) but I still think "The price for freedom is eternal vigilence." (Was it Jefferson who said that?)

And finally, I've always been fascinated by warfare, which I realize is not pretty. But the military is the best place to learn about it, especially considering my degree choice at RMC (Military and Strategic Studies... can't get any better than that for me!).

All in all, and I apologize for the length of this post, I think that for me, like most young adults and teenagers looking to join up, there isn't one big all-encompassing reason to join, but more like a myriad of smaller reasons which, put together, make us want to be part of something bigger than ourselves.

Again, just my two cents, you can bash me if you feel like it.
 
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D-n-A

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I joined the Army for a few different reasons, I come from a military family, I wanted to serve my country, an I joined the reserves while I was still in high school, thought it would be a good way to make sure I liked the army before deciding to go reg force(which I'm currently doing), plus it beats working in McDonalds or some place like that when your 17. 2 years later, I haven't regretted joining up, I've met a lot of good people, got to do some cool stuff i never would have been able to do as a civvie, etc.
 

Ninja9186

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All romantics aside, I think what attracts younger recruits today is the action, adventure, bad-ass attitude of the modern day military. Blowing stuff up, jumping out of planes, shootin lots of ammo, generally living out what most teens play everyday in video games and see eevryday in movies and on t.v.
 

P-Free

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Meal provided, a place to sleep..what more could a man want out of life?
 

scaddie

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I joined because I was really interested in the army, and for something productive to do. The reserves beat any other part time job out there, it's entertaining, great friends/people with same interests, good benifets, a paycheck, and of course serving your country.
 
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