What They Do
An Infantry Officer performs a wide range of duties, from commanding and leading soldiers as part of a team to occupying various staff positions involving planning, training, intelligence, logistics and personnel administration.
As commissioned members of Canada’s Infantry regiments, which belong to the Combat Arms, Infantry Officers are capable of operating anywhere in the world, in any environment including Arctic tundra, mountains, jungle or desert and in any combination of arms, including parachute, airmobile and amphibious operations. The primary role of Infantry during operations is to be involved in combat.
Infantry Officers experience the unique challenges of working outdoors in various weather conditions. When not in the field, Infantry Officers are responsible for garrison duties, which include physical training, office work and supervision, mixed with instructing staff and outdoor field and weapons training. Office work is focused on personnel administration and maintenance of weapons, equipment and vehicles. These duties usually occur during regular working hours.
Infantry Officers will be posted initially to one of three regiments: the Royal Canadian Regiment, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, or the Royal 22e Régiment.
The starting salary for a fully-trained Infantry Officer is $51,000 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Regular promotions through the junior officer ranks take place based on the completion of required training and on the length of service as an officer. Once promoted to the rank of Captain, their salary is approximately $74,000 per year.
At the beginning of an Infantry Officers career, they serve either in a mechanized battalion equipped with armoured fighting vehicles or a light infantry battalion. They will be a Platoon Leader in command of 30 to 35 soldiers, and be responsible for the training and combat efficiency, discipline, morale, physical condition and well-being of the soldiers under their command.
Related Civilian Occupations
Although this occupation has no direct related civilian job, the management, leadership and instructing skills developed in this position are highly valued by employers.
Basic Military Officer Qualification
After enrolment, you start basic officer training at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, for 15 weeks. Topics covered include general military knowledge, the principles of leadership, regulations and customs of the Forces, basic weapons handling, and first aid. Opportunities will also be provided to apply such newly acquired military skills in training exercises involving force protection, field training, navigation and leadership. A rigorous physical fitness program is also a vital part of basic training. Basic officer training is provided in English or French and successful completion is a prerequisite for further training.
Following basic officer training, official second language training may be offered to you. Training could take from two to nine months to complete depending on your ability in your second language.
The required training for Infantry Officers takes place at the Infantry School in Gagetown, New Brunswick. Infantry Officers will learn the duties and responsibilities required to command and lead an Infantry Platoon. This training is designed to progressively develop leadership skills while offering in-depth tactical challenges associated with conducting operations. Weaponry training will also be a part of this learning experience.
During the final phase of training leadership skills and tactical abilities will continue to be gained, while operating in a mechanized environment which includes learning to manoeuvre a Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV III), becoming proficient in the use of an array of modern infrared and night vision systems and the use of specialty weapons. After having mastered the tactical elements of commanding a Platoon from an armoured vehicle, Infantry Officers will be posted to an operational Infantry Battalion to take command of an Infantry Platoon.
Infantry Officers may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training to become a Platoon Commander. As well as command and control, an Infantry Platoon in the field and deployments. Selected Infantry Officers may also be offered the opportunity to acquire additional specialized skills such as completion of the Patrol Pathfinder course or Basic Parachutist and Free Fall courses.
If you already have a university degree, the Forces will decide if your academic program matches the criteria for this job and may place you directly into the required on-the-job training program following basic training. Basic training and military officer qualification training are required before being assigned.
Regular Officer Training Plan
Because this position requires a university degree, the Forces will pay successful recruits to complete a Bachelor degree program at a Canadian university. They receive full-time salary including medical and dental care, as well as vacation time with full-pay in exchange for working with the Forces for a period of time. Typically, candidates enter the Canadian Military College System as an Officer Cadet where they study subjects relevant to both their military and academic career. In some instances, the Forces is able to pay for Officer Cadets to attend other Canadian universities in a relevant degree program. Officer Cadets who attend other Canadian universities typically attend university during the regular academic year and participate in additional military training during the summer months. If you choose to apply to this program, you must apply both to the Forces and the Canadian university of your choice. For more information, click on Paid University.
Serve with the Reserve Force
This position is available for part-time employment with the Primary Reserve at certain locations across Canada. Reserve Force members usually serve part time at an Air Force Wing in their community, and may serve while going to school or working at a civilian job. They are paid during their training. 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.
Infantry Officers serve with the Canadian Army. The primary role of Infantry during operations is to be involved in combat. An Infantry Officer performs a wide range of duties, from commanding and leading soldiers as part of a team to occupying various staff positions involving planning, training, intelligence, logistics and personnel administration. When employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis they usually serve with Infantry units at Forces locations within Canada.
Reserve Force Training
Reserve Force members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts. They usually begin training with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required basic professional military standards. Following basic officer training, the home unit will arrange for additional training for specialized skills. The required training for Infantry Officers takes place at the Canadian Armed Forces Infantry School in Gagetown, New Brunswick.
Reserve Force members usually serve part-time with their home unit for scheduled evenings and weekends, although they may also serve in full-time positions at some units for fixed terms, depending on the type of work that they do. They are paid 85% of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a reasonable benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.
Find a unit in your area and start the application process for part-time employment now.