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Enlisted infantry

Sawesome

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Hello everyone,

I recently completed my CFAT for infantry officer and passed. I was however, told the ROTP program wouldn't accommodate the degree I was interested in taking, and could not attend RMC due to a GPA below the preferred level. I decided to switch my app to enlisted. Lately I have been quite paranoid as it feels like I'm signing my own death warrant, and have tried everything to ease my mind to no avail. I talked to a family member who served as an infantry soldier in the Brittish Army, who said I'd be more likely to be shot at a gas station in day-to-day life. He also said he'd be more paranoid about never being deployed, as apparently that can happen. I might add being an infantry soldier has been a dream of mine since being a young boy, but now that it's a possibility I'm a little bit shaken. Call it fear of the unknown. I suppose my questions would be, am I truly signing my own death warrant ? Would I be likely to deploy or more likely to never deploy ? Do we lose a lot of infantry soldiers ? Are these worries of mine rational ? Can i be an infantryman with a wife and children ?
Any information helps and I thank you all for your time and candor.
 

BurnDoctor

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Well, I'm not infantry, so take this with a bag of salt...but every trade potentially bleeds and dies, be it in deployed ops, or in training accidents.  We all accept "unlimited liability" when we take the oath...i.e. we might die. That's independent of trade. Look at the war dead from Afghanistan: infantry, engineers, logistics, med techs, and so on. The risk is relatively small,  but it ain't zero. If that is unacceptable, don't do it.

Lest we forget .
 

LegioXEquestris

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Well, "signing your own death warrant" is a tad paranoid. Your family member is absolutely right: you are far more likely to be never deployed abroad for a combat mission than to die violently as a result of such deployments.

I don't mean to sound mean, but you can alleviate your worries and answer some of your questions by doing some research. For example, during Canada's 13 year long mission in Afghanistan, less than 160 Canadian soldiers died in the country. The majority were due to IEDs. Heck, statistically you were more likely to die in non-combat situations (e.g. freak accidents or friendly fire) than enemy small arms.

Also I'm not sure why you make such a distinction between enrolling as officer vs enlisting - as if you would die for sure as a private but would be safe as a captain. When shit really hit the fan, junior officers die en mass and just as easily as their subordinates (Stalingrad comes to mind). The highest ranked Canadian solider to have fallen in Afghanistan was a Colonel, and plenty of Captains and Lts made the list too. Like BurnDoctor pointed out, infantry is nothing special and the possibility of death is something that everyone in the armed forces have to contend with.

As someone who is also going into infantry, let me just make it clear that I have no wish to die. I'm not joining the army because I wanna be like Rambo or something. It is natural to fear death and I don't blame you. Nevertheless, your paranoia is really unwarranted. We live in relatively peaceful - if somewhat tense - times. Of course that might change, but developed nations like Canada tend to have a low tolerance for high causality conflicts. Rest assured, our government is not going to throw away our lives cheaply.

If it's been your dream since a kid, then I'd say absolutely go for it. Still, it's a decision only you can make for yourself. Being an infanteer ain't easy, but I wouldn't worry about dying in the trenches just yet.  ;) 
 
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