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Joining the canadian military?

ItotheVItotheV Registered User new member
edited March 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Dear posters of H/A that have been in the military or are considering it:

I am considering joining the forces, and I'd like to ask for your advice/opinions about this, and what my options are. I'm considering it mainly for these 2 reasons:

- I think it would be a great idea financially. By my logic, I would go into the army for a few years, come back, and all my loans would be paid off, plus I would have a bunch of money that I can live on for a while without having to work so I can have time get an online business started, and never have to worry about working a 9-5 again.

- It's the best opportunity that I know of to become a man, have strong self discipline, honour in society, combat training (besides martial arts), see and experience things that 99% of people will never see in their life, etc.

On the other hand, I don't want to die. I used to be super religious and I wasn't afraid of death in the sense that I knew there was an afterlife (although I was still afraid of going to hell), these days, I am way more logic oriented, and losing the fear of death just isn't something that clicks. Maybe if I knew I had a lot of support about it from my loved ones, but even then..

I don't want to go into a part of the army that is totally 100% safe, yet I don't want to face the risk of death, if that makes sense.

Anyway, what are my options? I want to put into consideration the risks of death, the salary, and the length of time served.

Thanks

ItotheV on

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    CorehealerCorehealer The Apothecary The softer edge of the universe.Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    ItotheV wrote: »
    Dear posters of H/A that have been in the military or are considering it:

    I am considering joining the forces, and I'd like to ask for your advice/opinions about this, and what my options are. I'm considering it mainly for these 2 reasons:

    - I think it would be a great idea financially. By my logic, I would go into the army for a few years, come back, and all my loans would be paid off, plus I would have a bunch of money that I can live on for a while without having to work so I can have time get an online business started, and never have to worry about working a 9-5 again.

    - It's the best opportunity that I know of to become a man, have strong self discipline, honour in society, combat training (besides martial arts), see and experience things that 99% of people will never see in their life, etc.

    On the other hand, I don't want to die. I used to be super religious and I wasn't afraid of death in the sense that I knew there was an afterlife (although I was still afraid of going to hell), these days, I am way more logic oriented, and losing the fear of death just isn't something that clicks. Maybe if I knew I had a lot of support about it from my loved ones, but even then..

    I don't want to go into a part of the army that is totally 100% safe, yet I don't want to face the risk of death, if that makes sense.

    Anyway, what are my options? I want to put into consideration the risks of death, the salary, and the length of time served.

    Thanks

    I know you explained why your interested, but i'm still not seeing the why. You kind of have to break down a few things like: which part of the military you want to join and what you truly see yourself wanting to do in the military and what you expect to get out of it. Are you willing to kill or die? Are you physically prepared for it? Are you mentally prepared for it? Do you have friends/family/loved ones that would support/oppose you joining? Can you think of other ways to make a living or be a man?

    It's a big decision, an honourable and unfortunately necessary one for a lot of people. I'm not in it, but I know people who are and have considered it myself, the Canadian one, the tiny peacekeeping one, and decided against it. I'm not the best person to ask but I honestly don't know how likely it'll be to find a fellow PAer who knows anything about the Canadian military or whose actually in it. I'm going to try and make a unbiased objective judgement.

    EDIT: In the morning. It's late where I am. Post more info here and i'll look at it later.

    Corehealer on
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    RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    If you don't even know which branch you're interested in, you've still got a lot of research ahead of you. Talk to a recruiter and get the booklets on the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.

    Robman on
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    CycophantCycophant Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Ex-CF member here. Though it was a few years back, I'll help you with what I can.

    For starters, salary isn't that good. Our forces members are paid well, but not excessively so. If money is the objective, spending a year working the oil sands in Alberta or something similar would be infinitely more useful.

    In terms of life experiences, you're right it does have a lot to offer. But that varies wildly depending on what MOS you join up as, how much you're willing to put into it, and to be honest how much BS you're willing to put up with sometimes.

    Death isn't really something you need to worry about. If you go combat arms, or to a much lesser extent one of the professions that offers support in places like Afghanistan, you might be killed, sure. While I myself never made it overseas, talking with friends who did, many of them felt crossing the street in a busy city like Montreal was more dangerous than many days posted overseas. I would say the odds of getting killed if you weren't posted overseas are probably significantly lower, probably even less than working most regular day jobs here in Canada.

    As others have mentioned, I really think you need to narrow your focus before anyone can really offer you answers. Do some research, talk to a recruiter (though realize that their job is to be a salesman, not offer objective life advice), do some hard thinking. What occupations do you think you'd like/be qualified for? Officer or NCM? Regular force or Reserve? Army/Navy/Air Force? Narrow options like that down first and foremost.

    Cycophant on
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    Andrew_JayAndrew_Jay Registered User regular
    edited May 2021
    -

    Andrew_Jay on
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    RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    It really depends on the service AJ. With the Navy, you've got to go full time to do more then clean engine parts in port.

    Robman on
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    AethosAethos Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    The Canadian Forces website has a fancy flash section that tells about all the different jobs, and qualifications for them and such.

    Of course, they do their best to make everything seem as exciting and enticing as possible, so take it with a grain of salt. It's an interesting read, and I've been considering speaking with a recruiter-type in person after I graduate. I would suggest you do the same, navigate the site a bit, read up on some information, and then if it still interests you, speak with someone to find out what you qualify for/they'll train you for, and if it still seems like a good deal to you, go for it.

    My girlfriend's brother is in the Army, as an engineer of some sort. He served his first tour as a... driver guy, and the second as an engineer after completing the training (or at least that's the jist of what was told to me). He enjoys it quite a bit, has currently been sent down to California for more training after his second tour.

    Aethos on
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    RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Hey we have a military thread in H/A that can handle your questions far better
    Andrew_Jay wrote: »
    With the reserves you can pretty much take up any profession without any obligation to serve overseas

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    I....I just...HAHAHAHAHAHAHA :lol::lol::lol:

    Oh man

    Rent on
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    LaOsLaOs SaskatoonRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Did you miss that this is about the Canadian Forces, not the US Military? So far as I know, Andrew's right about us up here...

    LaOs on
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    RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Rent wrote: »
    Hey we have a military thread in H/A that can handle your questions far better
    Andrew_Jay wrote: »
    With the reserves you can pretty much take up any profession without any obligation to serve overseas

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    I....I just...HAHAHAHAHAHAHA :lol::lol::lol:

    Oh man

    Yeah, you're an idiot. Going overseas out of the reserves is purely voluntary and highly competitive in Canada.

    Robman on
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    NarianNarian Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    First, ignore Rent.
    Robman wrote: »
    It really depends on the service AJ. With the Navy, you've got to go full time to do more then clean engine parts in port.

    Second, there are office jobs in the Naval Reserves, Clerks, Supply Techs. etc. can get contracts on their local base.

    Narian on
    Narian.gif
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    Edith_Bagot-DixEdith_Bagot-Dix Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    It's something I've been looking at as well, so I thought I'd share what I've learned.
    ItotheV wrote: »
    Dear posters of H/A that have been in the military or are considering it:

    I am considering joining the forces, and I'd like to ask for your advice/opinions about this, and what my options are. I'm considering it mainly for these 2 reasons:

    - I think it would be a great idea financially. By my logic, I would go into the army for a few years, come back, and all my loans would be paid off, plus I would have a bunch of money that I can live on for a while without having to work so I can have time get an online business started, and never have to worry about working a 9-5 again.

    I guess this really depends on what you think great money is. Pay in the military is determined by a few factors. The first is your rank. The second is your pay increment, which is based on your rank. The third is whether you are a specialist or not. The fourth are additional "allowances" that you receive for certain types of service. There is, arguably, a fifth benefit: you don't pay income tax if you are deployed abroad.

    I'll address the basic points first: rank, pay increment and specialization. Each rank has a base pay. If you're talking about enlisting as a Non Commissioned Member (NCM), you start as a Private (or Ordinary Seaman if you're in the Navy). You're at pay increment one the first year, and you're not considered to have a specialty as you won't have completed any of the specialist courses. This means you make just over $31 000 a year. Part of that will go to housing and mess fees (but these are cheaper than rent and feeding yourself).

    Specialists are almost everyone who aren't in the traditional Combat Arms (for the Army, that means Infantry, Armour and Artillery). They include things like Military Police, Fire Control Systems Technicians, Flight Engineers, Biomedical Electronics Technicians and various IT type jobs. They're divided into "Specialist 1" and "Specialist 2". Specialist 2's have higher pay incentives than Specialist 1's and they tend to be trades that are in higher demand.

    If you are planning a career as an Officer, things are a bit different and you will make more money. You need to have a degree, and if you're an officer in a technical field (like what I'm considering, Maritime Combat Systems Engineer) you need to have a related degree. If this applies to you, talk to a recruiter to make sure you've got a relevant degree. Officers make more money, but it's not a huge amount more until the more senior ranks, and it's entirely possible to be an officer in command of people who make more than you.
    - It's the best opportunity that I know of to become a man, have strong self discipline, honour in society, combat training (besides martial arts), see and experience things that 99% of people will never see in their life, etc.

    Just a comment on this: as others will tell you, you'll get out of it what you put into it. The military won't make you self-disciplined, but it can help you develop that. Similarly, it won't make you honoured in society if you don't do anything else other than being in the military. If you're in the Regular Forces and in the right trade, you WILL deploy outside Canada. One thing they're very short of now are all the naval specialist trades, and those guys definitely do deploy outside Canada.
    On the other hand, I don't want to die. I used to be super religious and I wasn't afraid of death in the sense that I knew there was an afterlife (although I was still afraid of going to hell), these days, I am way more logic oriented, and losing the fear of death just isn't something that clicks. Maybe if I knew I had a lot of support about it from my loved ones, but even then..

    Another comment: it's not really that likely you will die, even in the Combat Arms, but it's definitely a possibility. It is much more likely you will suffer some sort of injury, particularly a psychological one.

    Anyway, what are my options? I want to put into consideration the risks of death, the salary, and the length of time served.

    If you're looking at the Regular Forces, the minimum commitment is three years as far as I know. At least your first year will be spent in training.

    Edith_Bagot-Dix on


    Also on Steam and PSN: twobadcats
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    LoathingLoathing Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    This means you make just over $31 000 a year. Part of that will go to housing and mess fees (but these are cheaper than rent and feeding yourself).

    Kind of want to call bullshit on that, in regards to the feeding yourself part. About $400-$500 a month goes out of your pay a month just to rations (eating at the mess for breakfast/lunch/dinner) and quarters (living in the barracks) is something like $75-$100 which yes is cheap...but that 'cheapness' means you end up sharing a room possibly with four other people.

    Anyways, back to the rations issue. Depending on where you are posted and what your daily schedule is, you might not even get into the mess to eat or just find that it's too much of a hassle. A few co-workers of mine are still on R&Q and usually end up not bothering eating at the mess (CBF Kingston) because it's too overcrowded most of the time - they end up using $300 (ball-parked from conversations we've had) of their own cash a month to buy their own meals.

    Maybe it's just the situation on this base that has me cranky, but living out is a hell of a lot cheaper food vs money wise then living in the shacks.

    Loathing on
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    LaOsLaOs SaskatoonRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Well, even if that's the case universally, the money you're saving on housing more than makes up the difference, so the original point stands, no?

    LaOs on
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    LoathingLoathing Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Yes and no - I could argue with the 'quality of life' angle. Pretty much something along the lines of this:

    If you're on a course at a base somewhere for a few months. Stay on R&Q in the shacks, saves you money and honestly who cares, you're just here for a course and then you are gone.

    You are on a base for a long period of time (think years), maybe waiting on a course, maybe on an OJT, maybe posted or attach-posted there. Would you honestly want to live in the shacks sharing a room with three other people for a year plus? And eating at the mess for that long?

    Mess situations differ base to base, back in 2008 the mess here was fine but over the last year it's kind of hit rock bottom because of the number of troops here on the base.

    Yes, at Private pay level zero (or one?) it's not really viable since you don't make that much, but hell later on if you have the option to, move out!

    I guess it all depends on the persons current situation once all is said and done, really.

    Loathing on
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    DrFrylockDrFrylock Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    FYI there's a joke in here somewhere whose punchline is "the Ehr Force" and a followup whose punchline is "the Nehvy."

    DrFrylock on
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    mrcheesypantsmrcheesypants Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    DrFrylock wrote: »
    FYI there's a joke in here somewhere whose punchline is "the Ehr Force" and a followup whose punchline is "the Nehvy."

    Armeh?

    mrcheesypants on
    Diamond Code: 2706 8089 2710
    Oh god. When I was younger, me and my friends wanted to burn the Harry Potter books.

    Then I moved to Georgia.
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    ComahawkComahawk Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Another CF member throwing in some advice here...

    As stated, the pay is not that great for NCMs initially, even as an officer your first pay grade is around $50k/year. Personally, I do not consider the military something to join for just a few years, I believe it is something you choose to do as a career and dedicate yourself to, I am somewhat altruistic about that though.

    You will not "become a man" from serving in the CF, that is really a personal issue more than anything else. I may be reading into this more than I should, but it sounds like you want to be some sort of hero, this is not really what the military is about.

    As far as killing or being killed, those are very much realities of service. Do not assume we are a peacekeeping nation that never comes into "actual" conflict. Your job will require you to potentially be harmed/killed and kill others, even though in actual practice this may not be likely, it is still a reality of joining.

    In my personal opinion, if you still want to join, go Navy. I'm not just saying this because I'm in the Navy, but if you want to travel, make money and experience what others will not, it is the way to go. You get to travel around the world, work in a challenging environment and you will not really have to worry about working a 9-5 shift on a ship. On a purely opinionated note, we kick ass.

    Comahawk on
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    RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Comahawk wrote: »
    Another CF member throwing in some advice here...

    As stated, the pay is not that great for NCMs initially, even as an officer your first pay grade is around $50k/year. Personally, I do not consider the military something to join for just a few years, I believe it is something you choose to do as a career and dedicate yourself to, I am somewhat altruistic about that though.

    You will not "become a man" from serving in the CF, that is really a personal issue more than anything else. I may be reading into this more than I should, but it sounds like you want to be some sort of hero, this is not really what the military is about.

    As far as killing or being killed, those are very much realities of service. Do not assume we are a peacekeeping nation that never comes into "actual" conflict. Your job will require you to potentially be harmed/killed and kill others, even though in actual practice this may not be likely, it is still a reality of joining.

    In my personal opinion, if you still want to join, go Navy. I'm not just saying this because I'm in the Navy, but if you want to travel, make money and experience what others will not, it is the way to go. You get to travel around the world, work in a challenging environment and you will not really have to worry about working a 9-5 shift on a ship. On a purely opinionated note, we kick ass.

    When there's money in the budget for fuel

    Just saying

    Robman on
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    Edith_Bagot-DixEdith_Bagot-Dix Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Loathing wrote: »
    This means you make just over $31 000 a year. Part of that will go to housing and mess fees (but these are cheaper than rent and feeding yourself).

    Kind of want to call bullshit on that, in regards to the feeding yourself part. About $400-$500 a month goes out of your pay a month just to rations (eating at the mess for breakfast/lunch/dinner) and quarters (living in the barracks) is something like $75-$100 which yes is cheap...but that 'cheapness' means you end up sharing a room possibly with four other people.

    Anyways, back to the rations issue. Depending on where you are posted and what your daily schedule is, you might not even get into the mess to eat or just find that it's too much of a hassle. A few co-workers of mine are still on R&Q and usually end up not bothering eating at the mess (CBF Kingston) because it's too overcrowded most of the time - they end up using $300 (ball-parked from conversations we've had) of their own cash a month to buy their own meals.

    Maybe it's just the situation on this base that has me cranky, but living out is a hell of a lot cheaper food vs money wise then living in the shacks.

    I don't want to step on anyone's toes, I'm just basing this on what I've heard from some friends. The guys I know are in Atlantic Block at CFB Halifax. Maybe it depends where you're stationed?

    Edith_Bagot-Dix on


    Also on Steam and PSN: twobadcats
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