Armoured Soldiers operate and maintain armoured fighting vehicles, its weapon systems and its communication equipment. Armoured Soldiers are members of the Combat Arms team, which also includes Infantry, Artillery and Combat Engineering regiments.
Armoured Soldiers begin their career with one of two types of vehicles: the tank or the reconnaissance vehicle. As a member of a tank crew trained to be a driver, operator or gunner, an Armoured Soldier has the following duties:
- Drive and maintain the tank
- Fire the tank’s main gun
- Load the tank’s main gun and machineguns
- Maintain the tank’s communications equipment.
As a member of a reconnaissance vehicle crew trained to be a driver or an observer, an Armoured Soldier has the following duties:
- Drive and maintain the vehicle
- Load, fire and maintain the vehicle’s machine-guns
- Maintain and operate the vehicle’s radio equipment
- Gather and relay information about the enemy and the terrain
The starting salary for a fully-trained Armoured Soldier is $49,400 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Armoured Soldiers who demonstrate the required ability, dedication and potential are selected for opportunities for career progression, promotion and advanced training.
The first stage of training is the Basic Military Qualification course, or Basic Training, held at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. This training provides the basic core skills and knowledge common to all trades. A goal of this course is to ensure that all recruits maintain the Canadian Forces physical fitness standard; as a result, the training is physically demanding.
After Basic Training, Army recruits go to a Military Training centre for the Soldier Qualification course for approximately one month, which covers the following topics:
- Army Physical Fitness
- Dismounted Offensive and Defensive Operations
- Reconnaissance Patrolling
- Advanced Weapons Handling
- Individual Field Craft
Armoured Soldiers attend the Combat Training Centre in Gagetown, New Brunswick. Training takes 11 weeks and teaches the following basic skills:
- Army physical fitness
- Mounted and dismounted reconnaissance patrolling
- Advanced weapons-handling
- Individual field-craft
- Driving and maintaining tanks and reconnaissance vehicles
- Firing and maintaining weapon systems currently used in Canadian AFVs
- Operating surveillance equipment on the reconnaissance vehicle
- Identifying Canadian and foreign military vehicles, aircraft and equipment
- Using tactical command-and-control communications equipment
- Organization, roles, doctrine and tactics of armour and reconnaissance
- History and traditions of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps
Armoured Soldiers may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:
- Unarmed Combat Instructor
- Assault Troop
- Armoured Crew - Reconnaissance
As they progress in their career, Armoured Soldiers who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced training. Available courses include:
- Armoured Gunnery Specialist
- Combat Arms Telecommunications Specialist
- Combat Arms Driving and Maintenance Specialist
- Crew Commander
- Reconnaissance Troop Leader
This position is available for part-time employment through the Reserves. Reservists generally work part-time for a Reserve unit in their community. They are not posted or required to do a military move. However, they can volunteer to move to another base. They may also volunteer for deployment on a military mission within or outside Canada.
Reservists train with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required professional standards of the job. If additional training is required in order to specialize skills, arrangements will be made by the home unit.
Typically, Reservists work or train with their home unit for at least four evenings and one weekend per month, from September to May of each year. They are paid 85% of Regular Force rates of pay and receive a reasonable benefits package.