How do I join the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)?

Serving in the Canadian Armed Forces is considered a dignified and respected occupation in Canada. The service also provides various social benefits to members of the armed forces.

If we talk directly about the service itself, it is more like a regular job with weekends, holidays and a schedule similar to the normal daily routine.

Professionally, everything is serious. Canada has mandatory programs for improving physical strength, handling different types of weapons, driving vehicles and mastering hand-to-hand combat techniques.

Let’s start with the basics. To begin a full or partial career in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), you must:

– For paid educational programs – you can be 16 years old (with parental consent)

– For basic reservations, you must be 16 years old (with parental consent) and registered as a full-time student

  • Have completed at least 10 years of secondary school or Secondary IV in Quebec (some programs and trades have higher levels of education)

Service in the regular forces

Regular Force members serve full-time, defending Canada and defending its sovereignty. They promote international peace and security and work with the United States to protect North America. They are ready to respond at any time to threats, natural disasters or humanitarian crises in Canada and around the world.

Reserve Force Service (part-time)

Members of the Reserve Force serve on a part-time basis. Their primary role is to support regular forces at home and abroad. Reservists usually serve one or more evenings a week and/or weekends at locations near their homes. Some reservists may volunteer for operations if positions are available. If you wish to join the reserves, you must first contact your local reserve units for available positions and then apply online. Not everyone who applies for Reserve Troops will get a spot. It depends on current needs.

Conditions of Service in the Canadian Army

Terms of service start at 3 years but can be longer depending on the type and amount of training required. The exact duration depends on your skills and the time that will be devoted to your training. Participants who apply for a paid training program will serve longer – two months for every month of paid training.

Salaries and benefits

The Canadian Armed Forces offers competitive salaries, pensions, and dental and medical benefits. They are often better than in other professions.

Pay rates in the Canadian military are based on occupation and rank. All services for men and women are paid on the same scale.

Members receive 20 days leave per year, which increases to 25 days per year after five years of service, and they also receive full medical benefits.

Age requirements for the Canadian Army

As we wrote above, you can start at 16 (with parental permission), so what is the age limit? When you join the regular forces, you must be of an age that will allow you to complete all required training and your first term of service before reaching the mandatory retirement age of 60.

military liaison

During the first five weeks of training, participants remain on base and receive no visitors. They can contact their friends and family at the end of the training day, after 6 p.m., by phone or e-mail. After five weeks, participants can leave the base on weekends and can receive visitors.

Canadian Armed Forces

Six steps to serving in the Canadian Armed Forces:

Step 1: Create an account.

First, create an account to complete the application and submit it electronically. Next, you must mail in a copy of your birth certificate, photo ID, proof of your highest level of education, proof of professional qualifications and professional licenses, and any forms additional necessary for the profession or job you have chosen.

Step 2: Reliability check

You will complete reliability check forms. The Canadian Armed Forces will verify all forms you submit, so be completely honest when completing the required forms.

Step 3: Aptitude test

You will take an aptitude test to determine which military occupations are best for you. Preparation is key, so make sure you’re well rested, healthy and mindful of your responses. You will be tested on verbal skills, spatial abilities and problem solving. It will take about 60 minutes to complete the series of three tests.

Step 4: Medical examination

You will then undergo a two-part medical examination: First, there is a questionnaire in your medical history which will include specific information about your medical conditions. Medical staff will then perform a physical exam to measure your height, weight, and assess your vision, color vision, and hearing. The second step is to check your medical records to determine any limitations that will affect your education and career.

Step 5: Interview

The next step is to speak with a military career counselor; this is your formal interview and a very important step. You will be asked questions about your experience, your knowledge of the Canadian Armed Forces and your understanding of your chosen job.

Step 6: Registration

If the Canadian Armed Forces offer you a job, you will have 10 days to decide. If you accept, you will receive membership instructions to explain the next step, including the enrollment ceremony and basic training.

Instead of concluding, a bit about the environment in the Canadian Army

The Canadian Armed Forces welcome people of all genders, religions, ethnicities and sexual orientations.

“We provide an environment where you will be respected and where you will feel accepted. This creates opportunities to learn from each other, increase productivity and expand our talent pool, thereby strengthening the force’s ability to better defend Canada,” the website reads.

Women in Canada are not subject to military service, but can volunteer to serve in the military if they wish.


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