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Life in the Forces

There is no career more challenging or rewarding than serving in the Forces. You will have the privilege of defending our country, being part of history-making events, and helping those in need – both in Canada and around the world.

You will obtain world-class qualifications and develop leadership skills that will take you far in your military career. You will visit more places than most people see in a lifetime and make great friends along the way. There really is no other career quite like it.

More than 90,000 Canadians serve in the Forces in over 100 trades and professions. The Forces are made up of the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force. Some jobs are specific to a certain environment. For example, if you want to be a Pilot, you’ll serve in the Royal Canadian Air Force. If you want to be an Artillery Soldier, you’ll serve in the Canadian Army. Other jobs such as Legal Officer or Medical Officer may be filled by members from any of the three environments.

No matter which uniform you wear or the job you do, you will be part of an amazing team of people dedicated to defending Canada, protecting our interests and contributing to international peace and security.

From the moment you start your military career, you and your family become part of the larger Forces family. Military life offers your family many advantages such as the opportunity to travel and health care benefits in addition to the security and peace of mind a stable career provides.

You may wonder how a career in the military will affect your family. When not participating in a training exercise or operation, most military members work a regular eight-hour day with plenty of time after work to spend with family or friends. Depending on where you are posted, you have the option to rent living quarters on base or to buy or rent a home in the surrounding community. There are no restrictions on your choice of home. Just like any other job, you will want a home that suits your family’s needs and budget.

Your children will always have access to top quality education, either on base or in the surrounding community. Again, the choice of where your kids go to school is always yours. And when you move, they will get the same quality of education regardless of the province or country where you are posted.

The Forces also have many programs to assist your family when you are deployed or on a training mission away from home through its network of Military Family Resource Centres. Located on every Canadian base, they are staffed by trained professionals to help with your family’s needs. They also provide services such as career counselling for spouses and daycare and recreation programs for children

A reality of military life is relocating your family to a different city or country when you are posted. Most Forces members will have to move at some point during their career. Moving provides you with new opportunities for training and furthering your skills, which leads to career advancement and promotions.

Although moving can be a challenge for your family, it gives them the opportunity to travel and meet new people. To make the process as easy as possible, moving expenses are paid for by the Forces. The Military Family Resource Centres have programs in place to help families with the transition.

Find out more about Support Services available to Forces members.

Physical fitness is an essential part of life in the military. By maintaining a high level of fitness, members of the Forces are stronger, have more energy, are self-confident, have fewer injuries, and are better able to handle physical and mental stress. Our members are dependable, capable and physically ready to be deployed on short notice.

You will be tested on your level of fitness throughout your career and certain physically demanding jobs such as Firefighter or Search and Rescue Technician have their own fitness standards apart from the rest of the Forces.

Because staying fit is such an important part of life in the Forces, time for fitness training is available during normal working hours when circumstances permit. Most military facilities have a gym on site.

Getting involved in sports is another fun way to stay fit while making new friends. The Canadian Forces Sports Program plays a prominent role in promoting fitness and good health within the military community. Every base, unit and wing has a variety of both team and individual sports availablefor athletes of all kinds. If you qualify at the competitive level, you may have the opportunity to participate in regional, national and even international military sporting competitions. Team and individual sports range from recreational to highly competitive, Olympic-calibre levels.

To help you stay fit and adopt a healthy lifestyle, the Forces will provide you with: 

  • outstanding physical fitness and sports facilities
  • physical fitness programs and qualified trainers
  • participation in base, regional, national and international sports events and competitions
  • physiotherapists and sports medicine specialists
  • family sports and leisure activities that promote wellness
  • smoking cessation and addictions-free living programs
  • nutrition and weight-management programs
  • stress management programs
  • ... and much more.

Are you fit enough to join? Visit the Training section of this Web site to review minimum fitness standards.

The Forces is one of the most highly trained and respected militaries in the world and welcomes applicants from all genders, religions, ethnicities and sexual orientations. All members work together as a team and the Forces has a zero tolerance policy against discrimination of any kind.

If you are looking for a career that is out of the ordinary, or want to experience something different, then the Forces is right for you. If accepted, the military will pay for your education and training, allow you to choose from hundreds of career paths, and provide you with the opportunity to travel. The Forces’ focus on education and training ensures a strong and unified team that is able to respond to situations quickly and effectively in Canada and around the world.

The Forces respects and accepts cultural dress and traditions and has adapted uniform standards to accommodate various beliefs and practices as part of its commitment to reflect Canada’s unique diversity.


Life in the Navy

As part of the crew aboard one of the Navy fleet’s patrol frigates, support vessels, destroyers, coastal defence vessels and submarines, you will learn what it is to be a sailor. At sea and on land, Navy men and women serve in uniquely demanding roles and face life-changing challenges every day. You will be part of a team that is ready to respond to conflicts and emergencies around the globe. Navy ships have deployed recently to the coast of Africa, South America and the Caribbean.

Explore the exciting careers available in the Royal Canadian Navy by visiting the Jobs page of this Web site.


Life in the Army

If you enjoy helping those in need, in times of conflict or natural disasters, in Canada or around the world, a career in the Army may be for you. At home in Canada, and on deployments overseas, you will defend our country’s sovereignty and values with the highest standards of military excellence. Regular or Reserve Force, a career in the Canadian Army is a unique mix of service and skill, camaraderie and commitment, action and adventure.

Explore the exciting careers available in the Canadian Army by visiting the Jobs page of this Web site.  



Life in the Air Force

If you’ve always been an aviation enthusiast, dreamed of flying or working on some of the world’s largest and most sophisticated aircraft while helping those in need in Canada or around the world, a career in the Royal Canadian Air Force may be for you. You may serve at home in Canada, overseas or as part of NORAD helping the United States defend North America. Aboard fighter jets, long-range patrol or transport aircraft, tactical or search and rescue helicopters, at bases across Canada, and on board ship with our rugged maritime helicopters, the men and women of Canada’s Air Force fly and maintain one of the world’s most diverse and dependable multi-purpose, combat-capable fleets.

Explore the exciting careers available in the Royal Canadian Air Force by visiting the Jobs page of this Web site.


Life in the Reserve Force

Members of the Reserve Force serve part-time in the Forces. As a Reservist, you may serve a few evenings a week or on weekends in your own community, close to home. You will never be posted to another location and you are not required to move. Many Reservists have full-time jobs outside the Forces or are students.

However, in the event of a threat or crisis, you may be asked to serve full-time as part of a mission in Canada or overseas. As a Reservist, the choice to participate is always voluntary. The main role of the Reserve Force is to support the Regular Force at home and abroad.

You can choose to serve with the Naval, Army, Air or Health Services Reserve Force based on the kind of job you are looking for. Explore the Reserve Force units in your area and the jobs they offer by visiting the Find a Recruiter page of this Web site.