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The Royal Westminster Regiment
The Royal Westminster Regiment
The Royal Westminster Regiment

The Royal Westminster Regiment

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1 - Who may join the Canadian Forces?

A1 - Any Canadian citizen who meets the basic prerequirites of the entry plan for which he/she wishes to apply may join the Canadian Forces. Landed immigrants may apply for the Reserves.

Q2 - What are Non-Commissioned Member entry plans?

A2 - Unskilled NCM plan: For candidates who have completed high school or have at least a Grade 10 education or its equivalent, and who wish to learn one of the many available occupations. They are, of course, subsequently employed in that occupation.

Skilled/Semi-skilled NCM plan: For candidates who have already achieved a certain level of competency in one of the available occupations and wish to be employed in that particular occupation.

Q3 - What are Officer entry plans?

A3 - Officer Candidate Training Plan (OCTP): For high school graduates who wish to be trained and employed in an operational occupation.

Direct Entry Officer (DEO): For university graduates and technologists who wish to be employed in their specialized field or in one of the other operational combat-related or support occupations.

Reserve Entry Scheme - Officers (RESO): Intended for individuals pursuing full-time post, secondary studies. The candidate must be registered as a student in a full-time study program at a college or a university and is required to remain in this program for a minimum of two years.

Q4 - If I meet all the prerequisites, will I be hired?

A4 - Hopefully so; however, like any other employer, the Canadian Forces have a competitive selection process. When the number of applications exceeds the number of vacancies, we must select the most competitive applicants. The keenness of the competition, of course, varies from one plan or occupation to another.

Q5 - What's entailed in the selection process?

A5 - The selection process is complex. Basically, it entails an aptitude test, a medical exam, a physical fitness test and an interview. In some cases, it may also entail travel to military units in Canada for familiarization visits and interviews or, in the case of aircrew applicants, further aptitude testing.

Q6 - How short will my hair have to be?

A6 - Appearance is important in the Canadian Forces. Both men and women must adhere to strict hair guidelines. Men must wear their hair short and neat; but that doesn't mean a crew cut! Women can wear their hair in varying styles so long as it doesn't extend below the lower edge of the collar or preclude the proper wearing of military headdress.

Q7 What is the training like?

A7 - The training will vary with the field or occupation assigned to you. Because of its structure and rigidness, the training you will receive from the Canadian Forces will rank among the best. You'll be taught by some of the best instructors in the country. And you will continue to learn with every new assignment!

Q8 - What is Basic Training?

A8 - The Basic Training programme is designed to introduce you to military life in a very short time. Emphasis is given to drill and physical fitness as well as to classroom instruction about the Forces. The course will last 30 days.

Q9 - I guess Basic Training is pretty tough?

A9 - There is no doubt about it, Basic Training is tough, but the time passes very quickly and you'll discover yourself in great physical shape at the end of it.

Q10 - Will civilian employers recognize my military occupation training?

A10 - Where the occupation you have learned has applications in civilian life, civilian employers often recognize your training. In fact, some occupations are recognized by provincial licensing bodies. But don't forget that our occupations are designed to meet the Canadian Forces' needs and some have no civilian equivalent.

Q11 - Can I choose the job I want to learn?

A11 - In the Canadian Forces, we try to match your interests and your aptitudes with the job vacancies. If this is not possible, we suggest you consider re-applying at a later date rather than enroll in an occupation that doesn't really interest you. There are jobs, however, that require some military experience in other occupations. These are commontly known as "remuster trades" and include, but are not limited to, occupations like Search and Rescue Technician and Clearance Diver.

Q12 - What if I want to change occupations?

A12 - People are hired in the Canadian Forces for a specific job. While there is a provision for "remuster", or change of job, it will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. As a result, great care should be taken when indicating your choice of occupation.

Q13 - What about promotions?

A13 - Like any job, promotions are awarded according to merit, seniority and application to your job. Those who give conscientious service can count on promotions and increases in pay.

Q14 - What is the pay like?

A14 - Detailed pay information can be obtained from your local Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre and in this Web site.

Q15 - Are there any deductions?

A15 - Yes! There are several deductions made from your pay such as income tax, employment and life insurance premiums.

Q16 - Do I have job security in the Reserves?

A16 - The Primary Reserve is not a part-time job; if your career, discipline and availability are not affected, the unit can manage your employment in accordance with its budget.

Q17 - Will I have to wear a uniform at all times?

A17 - No. Except for Basic Training, you wear your uniform only when on duty. The rest of the time, civilian clothing is okay.

Q18 - So everyone has to live by the rules?

A18 - The Canadian Forces are a team, and a team is only as good as the discipline of its members. We are good team... because we insist that every member must follow the rules.

Q19 - If I work full time, can I return to my job after the summer season?

A19 - Is my employer obligated to take me back? There is a program that groups together several private companies that can be of assistance to you in obtaining an authorization from your employer releasing you for the training period.

Q20 - Once I become a soldier, am I insured against accidents and accidental death? What will you do for my family?

A20 - There is compensation you can receive from the Reserves as well as other forms of compensation that your estate can receive.

Q21 - If I have already been a member of the Canadian Forces in an infantry reserve regiment and I left the Forces, do I have to go through the selection process again? Can I change military occupations?

A21 - You can be reassigned to a Reserve unit if you have been transferred to the Supplementary Reserve (SHR or SRR). Your unit will have to go through the process of transferring you to the Primary Reserve: verification of previous service, medical equivalencies and relevant documentation. If, however, you were not transferred to the Supplementary Reserve, you must start the selection process again with the Recruitment Centre. Yes, it is possible to choose a new trade, but this will require an in-depth equivalency check.



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The Royal Westminster Regiment

The Royal Westminster Regiment

A Company, 530 Queens Avenue, New Westminster, B.C. V3L 1K3
B Company, CFS Aldergrove, PO Box 4000, Building 26
Aldergrove, B.C. V4W 2V1

Orderly Room: (604) 666-4374 Fax: 604 666-4042

Publication Date: 2003-01-07
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