Armed Forces Have Numerous Career Opportunities.
By William Doyle-Marshall
“I would encourage you when you see someone in uniform, although you may not know their name, they are already committed to defending you with duty, with loyalty and with courage and if need be to sacrifice their life in defence of you in defence of Canada, defence of Canadian interest, as forefathers before them for many years.” General Tom Lawson, Chief of Defence Staff gave this advice to members of the National Ethnic Press and Media Council Monday morning.
Council members met with the top National Defence spokesman at a specially convened during which he briefed them about current developments related to national and international happenings. As Chief of Defence Staff General Lawson emphasize the greatest assets are our people, not the thousands of pieces of equipment in the Canadian Armed Forces custody. “They (people) are the ones wearing the uniform, they are the one using the equipment. With people comes hope; they make the decisions on the ground – the key decisions that make their actions effective,” the general disclosed.
The General stressed the importance of having the opportunity to speak to ethnic media representatives provided him an opportunity to make sure that those who come and make Canada and Toronto such a rich part of this nation are well aware of what Defence means to them. We who are in uniform are defending those things you are interested in. The Canadian Armed Forces are very interested that the media takes the time to comment on its role in society. Lawson urged them to see themselves invested in defence. In addition, he hopes those who are influence by the media practitioners -- children, nieces and nephews may consider a career in the Canadian military. “More and more people are doing so,” he counseled.
The remarkable individuals serving in the Armed Forces, he noted, come from all backgrounds. Some came from rural communities; some like him are from right here in big cities like Toronto. The General proudly proclaimed young men serving in the Canadian Armed Forces are like the strength of our great nation. They represent the nation’s diversity, Lawson concluded. “Our key factor is placing these recruits where they can best use their unique skills and preparing and supporting them properly so they can deploy as we look at whenever and wherever they are needed,” General Lawson continued.
The forces offer a huge variety of opportunities – 100 different career paths to be exact; pilot, public affairs. We have everything from vehicle, aviation. Electronics, dentists, doctors, engineers, cooks. “We even have musicians. You have to be a pretty good musician to be in one of our bands,” he quipped.
“Getting everyone trained is a massive task. To accomplish it we have schools across Canada where our members receive their specialized training for these careers and that includes under graduate degrees – a very small number – even PhD studies,” General Lawson explained. Continuing education is viewed as a responsibility to the people who are going to be making life and death decisions wherever they are in a complex operating environment, the Force’s Chief of Defence Staff assured. It is also seen as an investment for all Canadians who will count on “our people to act with integrity”.
“It’s not enough just to prepare your people for their mission. It’s also our duty to care for them and for their families. These men and women have chosen to put country before self quite fundamentally and have accepted at the time very real risks on behalf of their fellow Canadians. That’s why we strive to provide them with really comprehensive services such as physical and mental health care, emergency child care and family programming and very special benefits for those who have become injured as a result of their duty in the service,” the top military personnel said.
National Defence is the largest federal department in Canada both in terms of budget and people. It includes 92,000 full time employees. 67,000 of those are in uniform every day. There are 24,000 public servants in Ottawa and spread out across the nation. Part-time reservists in the military number 28,000 and 5,000 rangers spread across dozens of communities. “Our military in the north are quite woven into the fabric of this nation. Their involvement include being alert in the high arctic,” Lawson said.
While the Armed Forces help keep Canada safe for Canadians, the General stressed its number one priority will always be the defence of Canadians on home turf. But because Canada is an international player, it has rarely been an isolationist nation. Acknowledging that more and more many Canadians were not born in this nation Canada has family and friends abroad. “We vacation, we do business in other countries as this is an inter-connected world,” he observed. In view of the fact that events everywhere could very quickly impact our security here at home, General Lawson emphasized that the Canadian Armed Forces have a role to play in defending North America certainly but also in contributing to international peace and security. “We do it in providing humanitarian assistance but we also help train and build the capacity of nations; help in operations against terrorists, countering narcotic organizations and ultimately and only where necessary combat operations,” Lawson continued.
During the brief session he noted Canada’s role in the Ukraine, Syria, Baltic states, the Caribbean and elsewhere where humanitarian assistance and other services were needed over the years.
September 8, 2014