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What to consider before join the CAF?

I've recently been interested in joining the Canadian Armed Forces. It is now something I'm highly considering after I finish my undergrad degree. However, not a lot of people followed this path and was wondering is there anything to consider being committed to this option?

#CAF #Candianarmedforces #Physiciansassistant #JULY20 #army #military

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Subject: Career question for you

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Jacob’s Answer

Hi, Kelly,

I'm a former United States Army Officer so I can't speak to the specifics of the Canadian Armed Forces but I think I can give you some high level things to think about since the two likely share some similarities.

I think you're already off to a good start. Seeking the perspective of other people to help gain greater insight into what military life is like is important. The reality of military life is starkly different from the picture painted in the media. I'd encourage you to continue seeking out veterans' and current service members' stories and experiences to help you determine whether serving in the CAF is the right path for you.

Some other things to consider:
1) What is your motivation for joining the military? Is there a specific job or career path you have identified that you want to follow (based on your tags, potentially a physician assistant)?
2) If you have identified a specific job or specialty you want to pursue, what are the requirements for it?
3) Do you want to pursue a career as an officer or an enlisted person?
4) Do you want to complete college prior to beginning your service (note, this is likely a requirement to be an officer and probably provides big advantages for enlisted career progression)? Is serving a way you're thinking about financing your higher education?
5) Are you ready or starting to get ready for the physical requirements of serving (i.e. the CAF physical fitness standard)?
6) Have you thought about the potential for physical separation from your family and friends? Are CAF installations where you could be stationed easy to travel to/from?
7) Have you thought about the discipline required to be successful in the military? The CAF is likely more than just a career - it's effectively a way of life that is very different from how normal civilians live. Do you think you would be successful making such a big transition?
8) Similar to #7, does the prospect of a more limited social life (blocks of vacation time that you cannot choose, field training time, very structured day to day schedule, etc.) something that you would be comfortable with?
9) If called upon, would you be ready and willing to deploy to another country for training, a humanitarian relief mission, or (hopefully it never comes to this) war?

There is a lot to consider when making such a big decision but, again, your head is in the right place. Keep an open mind, do some research online, and talk to veterans and those currently serving. If you have more questions, I'm happy to help as much as I can.

I hope you found those questions useful. Good luck as you explore this path further - feel free to throw a comment on this answer if you have any follow up questions.

- Jake
Thank you comment icon Hi Jake, Thank you for your guidance. I really took some time thinking about the questions you mentioned in the post. I do plan on pursuing post-secondary education while I continue to think about this possibility of joining the CAF. I think this is a good time to reach out to veterans. However, I'm not aware of anyone in my family or community that has joined the CAF. Do you have any advice on how to start networking in this field? Kelly
Thank you comment icon Hi, Kelly, thank you for following up. While I can only truly speak to my experience in the US Military, my hunch is that the same is likely true in the Canadian Armed Forces: there are few formal networking opportunities outside of the typical recruitment process. With that said, I think I can still help provide some high-level direction. You may have already visited these pages in your research and, if that's the case, apologies for the repetitiveness. The CAF Website is a helpful starting point to browse careers and it also provides some details about what the community and life in general is like in the CAF: - career info: https://forces.ca/en/careers - FAQ info: https://forces.ca/en/faq/ - life in the forces: https://forces.ca/en/life-in-the-military/#st Jacob Schwarber, CPA
Thank you comment icon Another option is to visit the CAF's page on Linkedin (https://www.linkedin.com/company/canadian-forces/people/). I clicked around and it gives some insight into current events with the CAF along with information about the CAF's life, jobs, and people. I think it probably paints a more detailed picture of the demographics, education, etc. of those who are part of the CAF and on linkedin. As you identify some different fields you find interesting, you could look at those who follow the CAF on the site and message them to see if they would be willing to ask a few questions about their experience. Again, I'd caution you to follow typical internet safety protocols (i.e. don't divulge too much personal information, if something in the conversation feels off then stop talking to that person). Jacob Schwarber, CPA
Thank you comment icon If you have visited those sites already, it might be a good idea to try calling a recruiter to get her/his advice on how to get in touch with veterans or those currently serving. If you choose that option, I'd encourage you to make it clear that you are still trying to determine whether service in the CAF if right for you and that you truly only want to talk over the phone/email to ask some questions. I hope this helps - again, feel free to add another comment if you have any other questions or are still having trouble getting traction with the networking piece. Good luck! Jacob Schwarber, CPA
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Mansi’s Answer

Here are the things you need to understand and consider while you prepare to meet with a recruiter:
Self-motivation.
Best Fitness.
Personal Initiative.
Plan Your Recruiter Visit.
Gather Medical Records.
Ace The ASVAB – Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.
Best Behavior.
A Higher Discipline.
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Husseina’s Answer

I am currently an active duty military member with US Army for more than 19 years. By my experience, first talk to God through prayer for His guidance and directions for your destiny in life - most importantly, your plans to join military.
Just as Jacob mentioned earlier on his answer to you, do some online research, talk to veterans, active member and finally recruiter will definitely be of good help as well.

It is always a great privilege to serve others by sacrificing oneself regardless of our personal intention. There is an eternal great reward in it apart from the physical reward.

Wishing you all the best!

Husseina Abba
M.S.H.S International
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