The 18th field Regiment, a part of the Reserve force of Canada is recruiting Canadians looking to serve their country with a part-time career as an Artillery Field Gunner.
The Regiment has been a part of Lethbridge ever since 1908 and has gone through many changes from WWI to the present. Lethbridge is the birthplace of all of the artillery batteries currently embodied in the 41st Canadian Brigade Group artillery units.
The 18th Regiment was a total force unit, consisting of Regular and Reserve force members, but due to government cutbacks, it became a Primary Reserve force in 2005.
To become a member of the (CF) Canadian Forces, call the local recruiter, Master Corporal Panchuk or come down and watch the Reserves parade on Wednesday nights from 7 to 10 P.M.
“You can get a feel for what it’s like,” says Panchuk.
“The recruiting process from start to finish takes between three to six months,” says Panchuk.” Grade 10 is a minimum requirement to join the CF and the more education you have, the better. The first step after handing in your fully completed application form, is to write the CFAT test (Canadian Forces Aptitude test) and the higher you score, the more future job opportunities you have.
The test requires the completion of 15 multiple choice questions in five minutes to test applicants verbal skills. Followed by 15 multiple choice questions in 10 minutes to test spatial (shapes) ability and lastly, complete 30 problem solving questions in 30 minutes.
The next step is to get yourself as fit as possible and be ready to take on the Army’s physical abilities test (PT test). Pushups, sit-ups, a step test and a grip test are part of the PT testing.
Minimum requirements differ, depending on your age and gender and for more information go to www.forces.ca to see about specific requirements, training, trade information, videos and pay scales and opportunities to specialize. If further information is needed, the site has an online chat area where you can speak with recruiters directly.
Once the potential recruit has completed these two steps, they’re sent to Calgary (CFRC) for a medical and final screening interview.
If accepted, you’re sworn in and either sent to an eight week summer BMQ (Basic Military Qualification) or ten straight weekends of training Friday evening to Sunday afternoon.
Once basic training is completed, hopefully a position in the Recruits trade choice will be available. The commitment to the CF is to come out to parade night every Wednesday night to practice drill and one weekend per month.
The job is physically and mentally demanding and an ability to work well under pressure. Recruits work with Howitzers providing support for the front lines (infantry) and armored units by using land to land, indirect fire on the enemy. Training with small arms, such as machine guns, rifles, pistols, grenades, mortars, anti-tank weapons, driving LAV III light armored vehicles, reconnaissance, and the use of satellite computer systems to guide weapons systems are all part of being a Gunner. Practicing navigation and communication techniques and working under changing environmental weather patterns embody an artillery field soldiers duties.
Reservists who desire the opportunity for adventure, can join deployments to Afghanistan and other locations across the globe, usually on UN missions.
When national emergencies occur, such as major fires break-out or flash flooding, the Reserves get the call.