What They Do
Reserve Armour Recce Officers are commissioned members of Canada’s Armour regiments, which (like the Artillery, Infantry and Combat Engineers) belong to the Combat Arms.
At the beginning of your career as an Armour Officer, you will be a troop leader commanding 15 to 23 soldiers and eight armoured reconnaissance vehicles (in a Reconnaissance squadron). In this capacity, you will be responsible for your soldiers’ training, morale, discipline and combat efficiency, and for the operational readiness of their equipment.
As a Reconnaissance Troop Leader, you will employ stealth, flexibility and innovation on the battlefield, using advanced sensors and equipment, to locate the enemy and identify high-value targets for the commander. If you choose to do so, you may be deployed abroad on operational missions, or in Canada in support of civil authorities in cases of national emergency. You will work with Armour soldiers to crew and fight from armoured fighting vehicles such as the Command and Reconnaissance variant of the Light Utility Vehicle, Wheeled (LUVW).
Service as a Reserve Armour Recce Officer calls for selfless leadership and the highest dedication to the chain of command, to your peers and, especially, to your subordinates. Reserve Armour Recce Officers must be able to lead troops in close combat to achieve the commander’s goals. Troop leaders are frequently required to perform many physical and mental tasks at once, while confined in the crew commander’s position of an armoured fighting vehicle.
To succeed in this career, you must have physical and mental strength and stamina; methodical, efficient thought processes; cool, mature judgement; and the ability to perform steadily while under great stress.
You must meet Canadian Forces medical standards, and successfully complete a selection process that includes interviews and a wide range of examinations, including tests of physical fitness. You must have Canadian citizenship in order to apply.
You must be at least 16 years of age (with consent of a parent of guardian) at the time of application, must have completed a Bachelor’s degree, be enrolled in an accredited university or have a diplôme d’études professionnel (DEP) or be in a DEC program leading to university studies.
Phase I: Basic Military Qualification (BMQ)
The goal of this course is to initiate you to the Canadian Forces and to teach you the basic knowledge and skills that each soldier requires. The course includes a rigorous fitness-training and sports program.
Phase II: Common Army Phase
For Phase II, the ”Common Army Phase“ of officer training, you will go to the Infantry School at the Combat Training Centre at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, New Brunswick. During this phase, you will build upon the leadership training you received on your BMQ and you will learn the skills required of all Combat Arms soldiers and officers, including more advanced weapons handling, field-craft, and section-level tactics. You will also continue the rigorous fitness-training and sports program.
Phase III: Reserve Recce Troop Leader’s Course
On successful completion of Phase II, you will go to the Armour School at the Combat Training Centre for Phase III, the first module of the Armour Officer Development Program. This is where your Armour training begins in earnest. During Phase III, you will learn to operate in an armoured fighting vehicle, operate its communications equipment, fire its weapons, deploy it in battle and direct its crew as well as a troop of eight vehicles. You will learn the primary duties of a Reconnaissance Troop Leader, you will be exposed to the planning and command aspects of Armour operations including surveillance, reconnaissance, counter-reconnaissance and direct-fire support.
As an Armour Recce Officer, you could be called upon to serve in any kind of terrain — Arctic tundra, tropical jungle, desert, mountains, urban complex — and any kind of climate. Excellent performance is required whatever the conditions. During training and on operations, you will work long hours both by day and by night, and you can expect to be out of doors in all weathers, often in physically demanding conditions that include mud, dirt and frequent exposure to loud noise. Inside the armoured fighting vehicle, you will work in a small space, sometimes in the presence of combustion fumes.
Appropriate training, environmental clothing and equipment will be provided and Armoured Officers’ health, safety and morale will be closely monitored.
Montréal, Qc, H3H-1X2