Photo submitted Julia Rook and Mercedes Sigsworth at the Women in the Canadian Forces influencer event in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu

Photo submitted Julia Rook and Mercedes Sigsworth at the Women in the Canadian Forces influencer event in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu

Students explore Canadian Forces

Canadian Forces Recruiting Group provided an opportunity for two local students to attend a Women in the Canadian Forces influencer event.

The Canadian Forces Recruiting Group provided an opportunity for two of our local students to attend a Women in the Canadian Forces influencer event in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.

Just prior to spring break Julia Rook, from Williams Lake Secondary, and Mercedes Sigsworth, from Columneetza Secondary, attended this three day event.

The event was held to show case Women in the Forces to interested young women and as well as to women who are in contact with potential female candidates.

It was an all women’s event.

We toured through three major facilities and saw activities that all the basic training recruits go through; from the Mega Building (Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruitment School), to the Farnham Training Barracks and finally a tour through the Royal Military College in St. Jean.

The Mega building houses 1,200 recruits at one time with approximately 500 staff and 80 civilian employees.

The recruits sleep, eat and train in this building as well as train at a separate Small Arms Training Simulator and Special Fitness Centre.

Located 27 kilometres from the Mega Building in St. Jean, Que., is Farnham Training Barracks.

This outside training barracks is made up of 15 square kilometres.

This is where the life-like training exercises, field scenarios and the new Warrior Physical Challenge Obstacle course is carried out.

Finally, we had a tour of the Royal Military College in St. Jean and found out that there are over 100 jobs in the Canadian Forces both commissioned and non-commissioned officers and service people.

In the evenings female presenters such as Colonel Jennie Carignan of Five Combat Engineer Regiment and Master Corporal Joanne Hamlin, Flight Engineer, told us about their life stories in the Canadian Forces.

It was a very worthwhile and enlightening event and Julia was so keen that she also attended the Halifax Naval event which took place during spring break.

This week long event was all Navy based and included riding aboard and experiencing maneuvers on a Naval Ship in the Halifax Harbour.

We were told that women in the Canadian Forces can apply for all the same jobs as the men.

As well, women currently make up 14 per cent of their personnel in the forces and the Canadian Forces is striving to reach a goal of 25 per cent of women overall.

Any female student wishing further information can contact Ms. Cynthia Thomson in the Career Centre at Columneetza Secondary or Williams Lake Secondary.

Cynthia Thomson is a Career Programs Advisor for School District 27 .