Martin Rioux -
Artillery Soldiers are responsible for surveillance, target acquisition, and indirect fire to engage the enemy. The Artillery is part of the Combat Arms, which also includes Infantry Soldiers, Armoured Soldiers, and Combat Engineers.
As members of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, the primary responsibilities of Artillery Soldiers are to:
- Position, operate and maintain Field Guns and Air Defence weapon systems.
- Provide fire-support advice to the Infantry and Armour units
- Use and maintain personal weapons and section-level weapons up to and including machine-guns and anti-tank weapons
- Operate technically advanced command-post computers, laser range-finders and fire-control computers
- Operate and maintain surveillance and target acquisition equipment, LAV III, Forward Observation Post Vehicle equipment, air defense weapons and radar systems
The starting salary for a fully-trained Artillery Soldier is $49,400 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher.
Artillery Soldiers who demonstrate the required ability, dedication and potential are selected for opportunities for career progression, promotion and advanced training.
Although this occupation has no direct related civilian job, the experience, skills and leadership abilities developed in this position are highly valued by employers. The training and experience they gain is related to such civilian jobs as:
- Computer Network Operator
- Heavy Equipment/Tractor Trailer Operator
- Prison/Security Guard
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
Artillery Soldiers who speak English as their first language attend the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery School in Gagetown, New Brunswick. Artillery Soldiers who speak French as their first language attend the Centre d’instruction in the Secteur du Québec Force Terrestre in Valcartier, Quebec. Training takes about 10 weeks and covers the following topics:
- Gun-position duties and gun drills
- Individual Field/Battle craft
- Urban Operations
- Field communications, including use of radios and field telephones
- Basic survival, including use of personal weapons, unarmed combat, and recognition of minefields and Army physical fitness
- Dismounted offensive and defensive operations
- Reconnaissance patrolling
- Light and Medium Machine Gun training
Artillery Soldiers may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training.
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.