Author Topic: QUESTIONS about JOINING THE RESERVES  (Read 208488 times)

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Offline infantryman?

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Re: QUESTIONS about JOINING THE RESERVES
« Reply #450 on: July 25, 2018, 20:29:16 »
Hi everyone,

I'm in the recruiting process for the reserves with possibility of doing weekend BMQ this fall/winter.
I have a few questions I couldn't find on the forum:

- What would happen if, after I finish BMQ, something prevented me from doing trades training the summer immediately after?  Could I defer it to the following year?
     - what if something prevented me from finishing the BMQ or DP1 midway through, would I be able to do it in the future or discharged forever?

- After being fully trained in my trade, if my civilian life required me to move cities, could I transition into a new unit fairly seamlessly?

I realize some people will say don't apply if you are already planning to leave.  I assure you I'm not, I'm really excited to start after all this time looking into it.
I'm just looking for all the info in case a "once in a lifetime" opportunity arises in the next year or so.

Thanks!

Offline Ayrsayle

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Re: QUESTIONS about JOINING THE RESERVES
« Reply #451 on: July 25, 2018, 22:19:43 »
Answers in italics below.  Most of these answers can be found in detail even looking in this thread, but I'll cover the questions in general.  Feel free to send me a PM if you were unable to find more detailed answers.

Hi everyone,

I'm in the recruiting process for the reserves with possibility of doing weekend BMQ this fall/winter.
I have a few questions I couldn't find on the forum:

- What would happen if, after I finish BMQ, something prevented me from doing trades training the summer immediately after?  Could I defer it to the following year?
              This would depend entirely on your Unit and the expectations they have with regards to you being trade qualified.  Generally most Reserve Units are understanding of the realities of why you might be unavailable for training - Work, for example, etc.  You'd need to discuss with your potential Unit during the process and they will likely be curious why.

     - what if something prevented me from finishing the BMQ or DP1 midway through, would I be able to do it in the future or discharged forever?
                 See Above.  Way to many variables to answer that question fairly.  Depends on the reasons why you were unable to complete training, etc.

- After being fully trained in my trade, if my civilian life required me to move cities, could I transition into a new unit fairly seamlessly?
          As seamlessly as you make it, really.  Assuming you were in good standing with your Unit and transferred, it really comes down to your followup with the new Unit and if they have space for you in your chosen trade.  If you try transferring to another Unit that does NOT have positions for your trade, it can be a little trickier, but still worth looking into. PRes Units expect a certain amount of turnover and transfer - but if there is no Unit in the City you have transferred to.... etc.

I realize some people will say don't apply if you are already planning to leave.  I assure you I'm not, I'm really excited to start after all this time looking into it.
I'm just looking for all the info in case a "once in a lifetime" opportunity arises in the next year or so.
Best of Luck!

Thanks!
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Offline Ashkan08

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Re: QUESTIONS about JOINING THE RESERVES
« Reply #452 on: August 15, 2018, 19:00:30 »
Hi there,

I'm planning on joining the reserves as a medical assistant and had a few questions.

1. Based on what I have found till now reserve bmq is done at the unit base you apply to, on weekends. Can someone clarify this a bit? All the training can't be done inside so do they offer transportation to the training sites or do you have to find a way to get there?
2.Trade specific training seems to be taught at CFB Borden which is a 3+ hour drive from where I live. Do you go there, get your training and return or do you have to travel there repeatedly?
3.How long will it take to be a fully trained Med A (considering you choose the weekend bmq option)?
4.Where I go to school, grade 10 science is not taught in sub sections. The course itself is science and within the course the various sections are taught. The sub sections are taught separately in different classes from grade 11 onwards. According to the career options website, the required education is grade 11 bio, grade 10 physics or chemistry and grade 10 math. Would it be a problem if my grade 10 courses don't specify each of the science subsections?

P.S. I asked these same questions in the recruits only section which I later realised might give me inaccurate answers.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2018, 22:59:05 by Ashkan08 »

Offline Jiminito

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Re: QUESTIONS about JOINING THE RESERVES
« Reply #453 on: August 19, 2018, 00:20:11 »
Has anyone done BMQ Reserve Part-time? What are the usual Fall dates? (Start date to Finish date) 
Or is it different depending on your unit?

Offline BeyondTheNow

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Re: QUESTIONS about JOINING THE RESERVES
« Reply #454 on: August 19, 2018, 10:18:24 »
Has anyone done BMQ Reserve Part-time? What are the usual Fall dates? (Start date to Finish date) 
Or is it different depending on your unit?

It’s different depending on your unit and other factors also. If you read on the previous page, you’ll see info that’ll help fill you in.
"Stop worrying about getting back to who you were before it all went wrong. To heal is to understand that the person you've since become is the one who's most capable of doing whatever it is you were put here to do."~SR

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Offline Mason Jar

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Re: QUESTIONS about JOINING THE RESERVES
« Reply #456 on: August 27, 2018, 04:56:47 »
Hi everyone, I just recently got into the Reserves and I had the chance to talk to some people at my unit. Someone told me that you must be over the age of 18 to deploy on any sort of mission, whether it be in Canada or overseas. However my recruiter told me that even though I was under the age of 18 I would be able to go on domestic deployments like Natural Disasters and whatnot. I was wondering if anyone here could confirm who was right? Part of the reason I joined was for the opportunity to help out just a little in emergencies. Thanks!
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Offline mariomike

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Re: QUESTIONS about JOINING THE RESERVES
« Reply #457 on: August 27, 2018, 07:42:41 »
Someone told me that you must be over the age of 18 to deploy on any sort of mission, whether it be in Canada or overseas. However my recruiter told me that even though I was under the age of 18 I would be able to go on domestic deployments like Natural Disasters and whatnot. I was wondering if anyone here could confirm who was right?

Recruiting is your most trusted source of official, up to date information.

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« Last Edit: August 27, 2018, 07:53:15 by mariomike »

Offline radier3088

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Re: QUESTIONS about JOINING THE RESERVES
« Reply #458 on: September 06, 2018, 02:27:08 »
Greetings, I'm currently 15 years old (turning 16 soon). I am planning on joining the Infantry Reserves (I live in Toronto), the problem is I have to get in shape. I was planning on getting into shape from now until new years, then right around new years contacting a reserve unit near me to start the process. Would I be able to complete weekend BMQ during 2019 then be able to start DPL the following summer in time? Should I contact my unit earlier?
« Last Edit: September 06, 2018, 02:31:55 by radier3088 »

Offline Buck_HRA

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Re: QUESTIONS about JOINING THE RESERVES
« Reply #459 on: September 06, 2018, 11:47:29 »
Hello,

Your question was actually asked in a similar fashion earlier on this board:

Greetings, I'm currently 15 years old (turning 16 soon). I am planning on joining the Infantry Reserves (I live in Toronto), the problem is I have to get in shape. I was planning on getting into shape from now until new years, then right around new years contacting a reserve unit near me to start the process. Would I be able to complete weekend BMQ during 2019 then be able to start DPL the following summer in time? Should I contact my unit earlier?

And here was the answer

It’s different depending on your unit and other factors also. If you read on the previous page, you’ll see info that’ll help fill you in.

That answer remains the same for your query as well, it depends on your unit.

For reserve recruiting it's always best to reach out to the unit you are wanting to join and discuss training options directly with the staff there.

Offline ontheedge

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Exit plan, BMQ, BMOQ, and accommodations
« Reply #460 on: October 03, 2018, 15:54:34 »
Hi there,

1.  I'm thinking of joining the reserves, direct entry for officer.  I was told leaving the reserves is easy if it doesn't work out - e.g. 30 days notice.  Is that true?  Don't reservists need to fill out a bunch of Voluntary Release paperwork?  In the meantime, are reservists required to continue attending parades and monthly weekends?

2.  If I do join and I am waiting around for my BMQ and BMOQ - do I have to attend unit parades and on weekends?  What can I do before the BMQ?  Do I get a uniform?

3.  How strict are the weekly parades and weekend service requirements once I'm in as a reserve?  If I want to skip here and there (family obligations or religious reasons), are decision makers usually flexible?  Does it depend on the unit?

Thanks for any help.

Offline Buck_HRA

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Re: QUESTIONS about JOINING THE RESERVES
« Reply #461 on: October 03, 2018, 16:04:57 »
Quote
I was told leaving the reserves is easy if it doesn't work out - e.g. 30 days notice.  Is that true?
You are required to give a minimum 30 days notice of your intention to release; the release procedures can (and often) take longer than 30 days to complete.

Quote
Don't reservists need to fill out a bunch of Voluntary Release paperwork?
Yes - there is a great deal of paperwork to fill out along with returning kit (uniforms).

Quote
In the meantime, are reservists required to continue attending parades and monthly weekends?
Technically until your Release Date has come yes, however depending on your reason for leaving exceptions can be made. That's between the member and the chain of command to discuss.

Quote
If I do join and I am waiting around for my BMQ and BMOQ - do I have to attend unit parades and on weekends?
Depends on the unit, but normally there's some sort of pre-BMQ / pre-BMOQ that you can do to help prepare you for course.  Also some units have weekend BMQ during the fall/spring.

Quote
What can I do before the BMQ
See above :-) 

Quote
Do I get a uniform?
Normally you'll get combats shortly after your enrollment date; until you receive a uniform most times it's advisable to wear semi-casual clothing (unless otherwise directed)

Quote
How strict are the weekly parades and weekend service requirements once I'm in as a reserve?  If I want to skip here and there (family obligations or religious reasons), are decision makers usually flexible?  Does it depend on the unit?
The policy is that to remain on effective strength you have to attend at least 1 parade day per 30 day period. Actual requirements to attend will depend on occupation and unit - expectations of attendance should be discussed with the unit you want to join.

Hi there,

1.  I'm thinking of joining the reserves, direct entry for officer.  I was told leaving the reserves is easy if it doesn't work out - e.g. 30 days notice.  Is that true?  Don't reservists need to fill out a bunch of Voluntary Release paperwork?  In the meantime, are reservists required to continue attending parades and monthly weekends?

2.  If I do join and I am waiting around for my BMQ and BMOQ - do I have to attend unit parades and on weekends?  What can I do before the BMQ?  Do I get a uniform?

3.  How strict are the weekly parades and weekend service requirements once I'm in as a reserve?  If I want to skip here and there (family obligations or religious reasons), are decision makers usually flexible?  Does it depend on the unit?

Thanks for any help.

Offline Brihard

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Re: Exit plan, BMQ, BMOQ, and accommodations
« Reply #462 on: October 03, 2018, 19:55:17 »

3.  How strict are the weekly parades and weekend service requirements once I'm in as a reserve?  If I want to skip here and there (family obligations or religious reasons), are decision makers usually flexible?  Does it depend on the unit?

This will vary by unit. My regiment has an attendance policy that you will attend three out of every four training nights (Thursdays) and that you will attend every exercise. Exceptions can be made, but they are to be requested in writing two weeks ahead of time, and it's still at the discretion of your company commander. Soldiers who are unable to meet this commitment will first have that documented for their annual assessment, and then their leadership begin using the administrative process to formally counsel the member on their poor attendance. Eventually this can lead to a member being administratively released.

The reserves are still a job. When you have a job, you show up. If you cannot attend regularly, we don't need you. Obviously we get that things happen in life, and there is still flexibility for that- generally the more of a reputation you build as a solid performer with reliable attendance, the more slack will be cut when needed.
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Offline ontheedge

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Re: QUESTIONS about JOINING THE RESERVES
« Reply #463 on: October 03, 2018, 22:24:21 »
Thanks for all the help guys. Pretty helpful.  Sounds like despite the bureaucracy, much will have to do with negotiations within Chain of Command etc.

Follow up q's:

1.  The specialty professional trade I'm considering doesn't have any openings and probably won't for a few years.  But I wanna start the process now.  So do I enrol and apply for another job (say, infantry officer) and get the gears rolling, so if something opens up in my specialty, I'm ready and fully trained?

2.  For the BMQ and BMOQ - is there a way to get details of the curriculum, what is covered on day to day basis, for weekend and summer offerings?  I have certain religious accommodations that will prevent me from doing certain activities on Saturdays and I'd like to know what's covered to plan around it.

3.  How many on this forum are married and have more than 2 kids?  It seems and I've heard that army life - if you're single - the world is your oyster - and if you're married - well, good luck to you.

4.  What has been particularly heart-wrenching is hearing the stories of e.g. single moms who haven't been very well accommodated in the Forces, moved around with young kids etc (doesn't apply to reserves I suppose but still...)  Also, reading awful veteran stories... I feel like throwing up when I hear of the sacrifices and the "repayment" when the soldiers return.  It's kind of my inspiration to join the Forces and do something about it ... but realistically, I'll be one of 87,000 cogs in the monster wheel...

Offline mariomike

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Re: QUESTIONS about JOINING THE RESERVES
« Reply #464 on: October 03, 2018, 22:55:36 »
I have certain religious accommodations that will prevent me from doing certain activities on Saturdays and I'd like to know what's covered to plan around it.

Do you mean Shomer Shabbat?

If so, you may find this discussion of interest,

Being Jewish in the CAF 
https://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,123737.0.html

« Last Edit: October 03, 2018, 23:03:49 by mariomike »

Offline ontheedge

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Re: QUESTIONS about JOINING THE RESERVES
« Reply #465 on: October 03, 2018, 23:00:36 »
Do you mean Shomer Shabbat?

If so, you may find this discussion of interest,

Being Jewish in the CAF 
https://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,123737.0.html

Thanks!  yes I read that thread in full, it didn't get into BMQ or BMOQ details... in particular the curriculum component.  'spose those are details left to the unit head etc...

Offline mariomike

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Re: QUESTIONS about JOINING THE RESERVES
« Reply #466 on: October 03, 2018, 23:15:52 »
Thanks! 

You are welcome. Good luck.  :)

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Re: QUESTIONS about JOINING THE RESERVES
« Reply #467 on: October 04, 2018, 08:57:07 »
1.  The specialty professional trade I'm considering doesn't have any openings and probably won't for a few years.  But I wanna start the process now.  So do I enrol and apply for another job (say, infantry officer) and get the gears rolling, so if something opens up in my specialty, I'm ready and fully trained?

It's really best to join the occupation you want to do.  There is an administrative process to change trades (Voluntary Occupational Transfer); but VOT's are not guaranteed, they require a great amount of paperwork, chain of command approval, plus a slew of other requirements.  Yes people VOT (I am one of them), but it is not an easy process (my VOT took just over a year and had full Chain of Command support).

2.  For the BMQ and BMOQ - is there a way to get details of the curriculum, what is covered on day to day basis, for weekend and summer offerings?  I have certain religious accommodations that will prevent me from doing certain activities on Saturdays and I'd like to know what's covered to plan around it.

Day to day curriculum doesn't exist ahead of time for most courses.  Being that I've instructed military courses, most instructors get approx two weeks to "prep" for the course (unless they're full time instructors); during that two weeks you review the lesson plans and build your schedule.  Most times there is a great amount of latitude for the instructors (normally head instructor) to set up the course schedule.  There are certain things that need to be done by the end of the course and by certain bench marks of the course; but for the most part a day to day schedule of events doesn't exist pre-course.
With that said as an instructor in many situations I had students of various religious backgrounds; and whenever possible their religious needs were accommodated (the biggest one that sticks in my memory is allowing students to leave my class at certain times of the day for prayer time).  If you have food requirements, that becomes harder (aside from no pork, that's easy) to accommodate.   There were a handful of times that just because of what we were doing we couldn't accommodate the religious requirements but the students were aware of the inability to accommodate well in advance.

3.  How many on this forum are married and have more than 2 kids?  It seems and I've heard that army life - if you're single - the world is your oyster - and if you're married - well, good luck to you.
I'm sure there are many on this forum that meet that requirement; I do not (I'm single) but I've served along side many individuals who have spouses and children.  For full time members your career is what you make of it; if you show up Monday to Friday and do your job, but you do it really well good for you.  If you're able to spend time volunteering (this is where parents come in because spending time with your kids beavers, scouts, girl guides, coaching the basketball/baseball team, or anything like that counts as volunteering) even better.  One of the Sergeants I currently work with has two kids and he volunteers almost as much as I do as a single person, and it's because he volunteers with what his kids are doing.
As a Reservist, you'll be part time (unless you get a Class B contract); last time I worked at a Reserve Unit I'd say at least 90% of the unit has spouses and kids.

4.  What has been particularly heart-wrenching is hearing the stories of e.g. single moms who haven't been very well accommodated in the Forces, moved around with young kids etc (doesn't apply to reserves I suppose but still...)  Also, reading awful veteran stories... I feel like throwing up when I hear of the sacrifices and the "repayment" when the soldiers return.  It's kind of my inspiration to join the Forces and do something about it ... but realistically, I'll be one of 87,000 cogs in the monster wheel...
In regards to the veteran stories, keep in mind that is not the CAF treating them that way - that is Veteran's Affairs which is a different agency entirely. 
With the other situations, not to downplay what has happened to those individuals; but the CAF is a large organization.  You take any organization the size of the CAF and there are going to be individuals who aren't happy. 
If you have a spouse and kids and you join an occupation that is gone to sea (or deployed) most of your career, and then complain that you're never with your family - is that the fault of the person who joined that occupation or the organization?  I know on the recruiter course, recruiters are taught to be honest that Regular Force members can potentially be moved every 3 to 5 years (sometimes quicker than 3 years due to promotions, courses, etc); and that when you're moved you may not get your #1 preference of where you want to move.  To me it's disheartening to see media stories of people complaining about moving all over the place when the organization is open about that fact. 

As a person joining the Reserves, you will only move if you choose to move.  I've been in for 20 years now, all as a Reservist - I've been full-time since 2003 and I've been to Halifax, Ottawa, Kingston, Meaford, Borden & Victoria during my time in; and all of those locations (except Meaford, I was tasked there as an instructor for a short time period) I picked to go.

* Disclaimer: The above comments are based purely on my experience in the CAF, and should not be taken as official responses of the CAF.  I make this disclaimer as many on here know I work within Recruiting so I want to be clear about my comments.

Offline ontheedge

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Re: QUESTIONS about JOINING THE RESERVES
« Reply #468 on: October 05, 2018, 01:59:16 »
What are the food options like in the cafeterias generally?  I could live off fresh fruits and vegetables, boiled eggs, nuts and seeds.   And coffee.

But for those with dietary restrictions, can we bring our own food?  Like protein powders, a small fridge to store our own perishable kosher meat, etc.

I could get by not eating during the day, or just relying on special portable energy bars. But I’d need to have access to my own food stock at night.

Offline LunchMeat

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Re: QUESTIONS about JOINING THE RESERVES
« Reply #469 on: October 05, 2018, 02:30:54 »
What are the food options like in the cafeterias generally?  I could live off fresh fruits and vegetables, boiled eggs, nuts and seeds.   And coffee.

But for those with dietary restrictions, can we bring our own food?  Like protein powders, a small fridge to store our own perishable kosher meat, etc.

I could get by not eating during the day, or just relying on special portable energy bars. But I’d need to have access to my own food stock at night.

There's a wide variety of foods. There's the hot meal line with your meats, starches, vegetables, and your vegetarian offerings, salad and fruit bar, desserts. Dining Halls offer all three daily meals and are generally open 0600-1830 but close between each meal.

Generally you cannot keep food in the barracks, anything you do have must be sealed (supplements, granola bars). You may have a small bar fridge depending on where you are and you can have a microwave. You're not permitted any other appliances in the barracks.

While you are at the CFLRS in St Jean you are not permitted to keep any food; supplements, protein bars etc. will be confiscated.
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Re: QUESTIONS about JOINING THE RESERVES
« Reply #470 on: October 05, 2018, 06:37:12 »
What are the food options like in the cafeterias generally?  I could live off fresh fruits and vegetables, boiled eggs, nuts and seeds.   And coffee.

But for those with dietary restrictions, can we bring our own food?  Like protein powders, a small fridge to store our own perishable kosher meat, etc.

I could get by not eating during the day, or just relying on special portable energy bars. But I’d need to have access to my own food stock at night.

Asking questions is good, but searching and reading yourself helps as well.
An reliable search term on Google, for most questions is: "site:navy.ca ???  "

After copy and pasting:  "site:navy.ca food diet", the top result answers most of your diet questions.

"What the food like?", reply # 10

Quote from: Pusser

Quote
Kosher/Halal & vegetarian meals are available at most, if not all, messes.  These dietary lifestyles are also available in IMP format.

Vegan, however, isn't an option.

Careful here.  Just because foods that are acceptable to the Jewish/Muslim diet are available does not mean that they are Kosher or Halal.  Preparation is a key element to Kosher and  Halal foods and CF cooks are not trained in Kosher or Halal preparation.  Nor do we have the facilities to be able to offer Kosher or Halal meals (require separate preparation areas and in many cases separate dishes, utensils, etc.)  We do not have a sufficiently high enough population of either Jews or Muslims in the CF to make this feasible.  Can we prepare pork free meals?  Yes.  Are they Kosher or Halal?  No.

This reminds me of a course run on one base where box lunches were required.  One of the students on the course was Muslim and so the order for box lunches specified "no pork products" for his lunch, yet everyday there was a ham sandwich.  When the kitchen was queried on this, the guy in charge of box lunches said that he knew the lunch was supposed to be pork-free, which is why he made sure it was made with ham and not pork.  Sometimes the best laid plans can be completely sidelined by idiots.  He honestly didn't seem to realize that ham was a pork product.

As of this moment, the only separate dietary requirements that are protected by regulation are those for medical reasons as prescribed by a medical doctor.  Having said that, we try to be reasonably accomodating to the point that we don't simply point to the salad bar if there is a request for more vegetarian options.

Food on board ship and in field kitchens is prepared to at least the same standard as on bases and in many cases is even higher.  This is largely because CF cooks are trained to an exceptionally high standard, but the civilian cooks on bases are trained on the job (if they don't have a qualification before being hired) and so their training and experience can vary from base to base.  The limiting factor in ships and field kitchens is the availability of supplies.  Sometimes, things are just not available and so options and choices are limited.  When you run out of fresh fruit and vegetables, you just have to make do with pasta salad until you get re-supplied.  I remember one trip where we ran out of bread.  Thus our night baker had to bake forty loaves of fresh bread every night for about two weeks.  The ship's company took it in stride though and I never heard one complaint about the lack of wholewheat, 12-grain, low-sodium, non-fat Kosher bread.  Instead we all took one for the team and suffered daily with hot fresh bread!  Man it was rough. ;D
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Re: QUESTIONS about JOINING THE RESERVES
« Reply #471 on: October 05, 2018, 08:03:18 »
if  the army can figure out  a way to accommodate 28 gender identifications I’m confident it can figure out how to accommodate religions 1200-3500 years old...

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Re: QUESTIONS about JOINING THE RESERVES
« Reply #472 on: October 05, 2018, 09:54:55 »
if  the army can figure out  a way to accommodate 28 gender identifications I’m confident it can figure out how to accommodate religions 1200-3500 years old...

For reference to the discussion,

Religion in the Canadian Forces & in Canadian Society 
https://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=25815.0
25 pages.

Release for Religious Reasons 
https://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=112124.0

Offline infantryman?

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Re: QUESTIONS about JOINING THE RESERVES
« Reply #473 on: November 19, 2018, 22:26:30 »
If some sort of event or emergency came up while away on course like DP1 in the summer, how quickly could you return home to deal with it? Would you have to wait for some paperwork to be cleared before being allowed?
If you were only gone for 2-3 days would you be able to return or would you automatically be re-coursed?

I'm sure there's lots of variables but any insight is appreciated!

Offline PuckChaser

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Re: QUESTIONS about JOINING THE RESERVES
« Reply #474 on: November 19, 2018, 22:42:15 »
Depends on how far you're traveling. If it's a very time sensitive emergency for immediate family you could be on the next available flight or driving home within a few hours.

Most courses don't have a lot of extra time built in so it really depends on what classes or tests you're going to miss.