Army Reserve’s Full-Time Summer Employment Program increases opportunities at 38 Canadian Brigade Group

Article / November 16, 2018 / Project number: 18-0366

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By Second Lieutenant Natasha Tersigni, 38 Canadian Brigade Group Public Affairs

Winnipeg, Manitoba — The newly launched Canadian Army Reserve Full-Time Summer Employment (FTSE) program, which rolled out over the summer of 2018,   has more than met the goal of attracting new recruits, says a recruiter at 38 Canadian Brigade Group (38 CBG).

A successful tool for recruiters

“The Full-Time Summer Employment program has been a successful tool for recruiters,” said 38 CBG’s Sergeant David McManus. “It is most effective when talking with post-secondary students because we can now offer the education reimbursement program as well. FTSE can often meet students’ needs for employment from May to August.”

The purpose of the program is to provide new Reservists with steady summer employment during their first four years of service so they may complete courses needed to advance their military careers.

In total, 287 soldiers from across 38 CBG, which includes 13 Army Reserve units located in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Northern Ontario, took advantage of FTSE in 2018. Soldiers from the brigade completed courses, including the Basic Military Qualification and specific trade qualifications.

Those not attending courses were given a variety of tasks throughout the Canadian Armed Forces, allowing them see the full range opportunities available to them. As part of FTSE, 38 CBG soldiers completed 144 taskings.

“The great thing about pitching FTSE to potential recruits is that it is a guaranteed four summers of employment with no strings attached,” Sgt McManus said. “I often get asked if you have to sign a contract or if there is a certain amount of time you have to stay in the military to take advantage of FTSE, and the answer is no. There is no contract to sign, and no obligatory service is required to take part in the program.”

From driver and role model to potential Bold Eagle instructor

Corporal Austin Moore-Traverse has been a member of The Fort Garry Horse, a Winnipeg-based armoured Reserve unit, for two years. He decided to sign up for FTSE in the spring of 2018 when it was introduced at the unit level. Cpl Moore-Traverse started the summer at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Wainwright in Alberta, where he served as a driver on a reconnaissance vehicle crew course.

Once the course finished, Cpl Moore-Traverse was able to stay at CFB Wainwright and work as a driver with the Bold Eagle course, which is a unique summer employment initiative offered to Indigenous people that combines cultural teachings with military training.

As a member of the Pinaymootang First Nation in Fairford, Manitoba, Cpl Moore-Traverse was able to help mentor the Bold Eagle participants and ensure they had a positive experience.

“Having grown up on the reserve, I understood what the candidates on Bold Eagle have experienced and the culture shock they went through when they came to the program,” he said.

“Although I was a driver and did not instruct directly, it still gave me a chance to talk with many of the candidates and guide them on how they too can be successful in the military.”

Cpl Moore-Traverse added that one of the reasons he decided to join the FTSE program was so he could have four months of steady employment.

“The reserve I live on is two hours away from my unit in Winnipeg,” Cpl Moore-Traverse added. “For every weekly parade night I have to drive in the night before, go to the training night and drive home the next day. With FTSE, I was guaranteed four months of work with the military, which was great.”

His work this summer has made him determined to complete his Primary Leadership Qualification, which will allow him to serve as an instructor on Bold Eagle in the future.

“Being that role model to Indigenous youth was a rewarding experience and I would like to continue that in a more hands-on role,” said Cpl Moore-Traverse.

Steady employment each summer and interesting and varied taskings

Sgt McManus noted that with experiences such as Cpl Moore-Traverse’s, FTSE is gaining traction in the Army Reserve as a valuable program that provides meaningful employment for soldiers.

“When FTSE was first introduced, there were definitely a lot of questions on what exactly the troops would be doing with their training during the summer,” he explained. “We found that it worked out really well. Many soldiers were able to attend their career courses and get their trade qualifications.”

“If they were not on their career courses, then other courses were available. As well, there were engaging taskings at their unit level for the FTSE participants, which included preparing equipment for the upcoming training year, attending community recruiting events, and even working with other units to experience different trades.” said Sgt McManus.

“This is a great program and it is something that I, as a recruiter, continually highlight,” Sgt McManus added. “Now that we are more familiar with how it works, we will be using it as a bigger recruiting tool.”

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