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While personnel shortages are a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)-wide problem, it is even greater for the navy as fewer than eight per cent of CAF applicants ultimately choose a naval career.
“The problem is circular. By not recruiting enough members, positions aren’t filled and people get overworked,” says Rear Admiral Angus Topshee, Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff – Personnel and Training, and Commander Maritime Forces Pacific, who oversees Project Navy Generation. “Overworked sailors will be less likely to recommend a navy career to others. This is unfortunate as word-of-mouth has historically been our most successful recruiting method. We need to get more people in, get them trained, and then keep them in – that’s essentially the answer.”
The Royal Canadian Navy has a plan to fill the 1,000 personnel shortfall that often impacts currently serving sailors.