• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

I really want to apply to be a reserve once I receive my PR and need advice.

eve_0415

Guest
Reaction score
0
Points
10
Hi everyone. First post here and I need a bit of advice so bear with me even if my post is a bit long.

A bit of a background. I am a 24 year old female with average to below fitness (planning to work on this, to give context I can run 21 kms in 2:40 hours which I'm not proud of, 5km in 34 mins. Speed is the problem).

Currently I am in process of getting my PR -- I plan to sign up for a reserve spot as soon as I get my PR. I graduated UBC in Bachelor of Arts, Cognitive Systems so I'm not sure if that could count towards anything in the military. Anyways, I love IT, I was previously IT support + now work as a software engineer. I had always eyed military jobs, but never knew reserves were an option and this just sounds like a perfect opportunity to try out before I turn 30. I've got a few questions:

1. ATIS sounds very interesting and I think I'll learn a lot of things from it. However Vancouver seems to have Army units, so I'm interested in ACISS instead. This sounds more like a Signal Operator job / deal more with radios than computers. I want to mainly deal with computers, although radios do sound fun. Should I be aiming for IST then? When should I choose IST vs ACISS? Is ACISS the Army equivalent of ATIS?

2. So far my knowledge is that BMQ is available during the weekends and trades training will take a few months separately. In which case I would have to leave my daily job. How do people do this? Will I use my vacation, or is there a way to do it unpaid? Why does the IST page say "Information Systems Technician training takes approximately 12 months" and Sig Ops "Signal Operator training takes 19 weeks"? I can't find the page for ACISS, is it Sig Ops?

3. At what point is it an "impulsive" decision, and you know you've thought it through? What made you enroll? Not gonna lie, my friend signing up for the infantry reserve (in NZ) made me really think about signing up and here I am. I believe that being a reserve will teach me very valuable skills, I've always had the desire to do something similar in the back of my head, and I believe this is a great opportunity.. I only live once, and life is too short to ignore things you've wanted to try. But unsure if I'm signing up for something that is difficult to get out of, although I don't believe I'll regret the decision.

4. I will admit, I'm a small-sized Asian female. Do you think this will come at a disadvantage? I'm confident I will be able to learn the skills and get my fitness up. I'm not as sure if I will feel totally safe just because of the things I've heard people say (although I'm used to male-dominated environments because of my interest in IT since middle school).

If anyone could give more advice or words of encouragement, it would be great. But I want to know answers to my question, and want to be realistic about my goal. So any pointers would be appreciated, thank you so much!
 
Your running is fine, if you can do a half marathon non stop, the rest will come. My first one was 2:30, third one was 1:45.

It will be difficult to do your trades training of you have a full time job. The system is designed to train students in the summer.

You could try a trade outside your normal job, learn something new. Also the training time might be more manageable.

Drive and fitness will over come your perceived limits from being small. There will be something that are more difficult, there will be things that are easier. I've known several smaller females who do excellent work.
 
I am not a recruiter, so take everything I offer here with a grain of salt.

Check out 39 Signal Regiment. I think a chat with a recruiter would be the best way to frame your next steps. They can tell you what is available and what you qualify for. I am not sure how much of an interview you can get before you obtain your PR, but you should be able to get some information.

Regarding fitness, look at the Force Test. I am not a physical fitness expert, but a mix of cardio/endurance, strength and flexibility is required. You've trained for half marathons, so you have the ability to stick with something difficult. If you are worried about physical fitness then talk to a trainer and see what they come up for your goals.

I wouldn't worry about impulsiveness. There are several tests and checks as part of the recruiting process, so its not like you walk in the door of the recruiting centre and get whisked-off to basic training.

Regarding your concerns about size, I have plenty of successful colleagues in the CAF who share your stated demographic. I can't speak for the challenges that they faced, but I do know that they were successful!

I think your biggest obstacle will be the time for courses. Those course lengths you found are for the Regular Force, and the Reserves tend to have shorter courses. They will still require significant blocks of time. Perhaps some Sigs folks from our community can chime in.

If you are interested in part-time service then go for it. You won't know if you don't try.
 
Your issue will likely be with your security clearance. A lot of job tasks within SigOp or IST involve work with classified systems or keying material and clearances can take longer as a PR especially if you have recent work, residency or travel abroad.

There may be a modular approach to the training on the PRes side to reduce the training time on the classified systems but your best bet is 39 Sigs recruiting.
 
Don't limit yourself to the Army. NAVCOMs do quite a lot of IT related stuff.
 
Thank you all for your advice. I think I’ll also reach out to the recruiter once my PR is further in progress.

Also,
Don't limit yourself to the Army. NAVCOMs do quite a lot of IT related stuff.
How do I find more information on this? I’m open to all suggestions.
 
Thank you all for your advice. I think I’ll also reach out to the recruiter once my PR is further in progress.

Also,

How do I find more information on this? I’m open to all suggestions.
Here’s the job sheet for NAVCOM.


Good luck!
 
I am a little late to this (stupid Easter), all excellent replies but will throw in a few more things since I am in that world on the PRes side of things.

First, to reiterate others - size isn't an issue and if you do go down the Sig Op path, my favorite workout advice to share is get good at doing thrusters and/or strict press. The VIXAM masts can be taxing on the shoulders. Second, Sig Op training for reserves usually pans out at 9-10 weeks full time. I know in Ontario there are regulations where you can get some support but not sure in other provinces. Third, you would be surprised how much IT network occurs on the Sig Op side and if you make that known, very good chance you will fill a roll in whatever Rgmt you might land in. Last, won't lie, security clearances can be a pain so stay on top of (you don't need your SSM yelling at the troops cause he has to sign out the radios again) but if you are going through the PR process make sure you keep copies of everything cause you will get asked all that same stuff again
 
I have another question. My employer’s contract mentions I cannot take on a part time job without informing them. So, I plan to inform them when I sign up. However, I assume the trades training has to be done all at once, unlike the bmq training? That’s what you mean by full-time?

If my workplace is not too supportive, I may have to take an unpaid leave or so, likely. Is there a time limit to when you should take the trades training by, once you do bmq and sq? Just to plan out my timeline and be informed in advance.
Thanks everyone.
 
Trade training is 100% full time, has to be done at once and if you are not employed Federally (like me) unpaid leave is probably how you will have to do that. Generally speaking your Regiment will more than likely want you to do your DP1 right after BMQ. Not 100% sure if DP1 is always in summer but in my short time I haven't seen any over winter with the exception of one Sig Int one but they are different. Other than that, they will really be pushing you to do DP1 by your second anniversary rolls around
 
I have another question. My employer’s contract mentions I cannot take on a part time job without informing them. So, I plan to inform them when I sign up. However, I assume the trades training has to be done all at once, unlike the bmq training? That’s what you mean by full-time?

If my workplace is not too supportive, I may have to take an unpaid leave or so, likely. Is there a time limit to when you should take the trades training by, once you do bmq and sq? Just to plan out my timeline and be informed in advance.
Thanks everyone.
Depending on when you enroll, you'll be given the choice to do your BMQ either full-time during summer, or part-time starting on September. Depending on your trade, I believe they are all full-time during the summer and must be completed inside 24 months from the date you get enrolled.

IE: I enrolled at the end of March; I was given the possibility to either sign up for the next BMQ in the end of May, the 2nd one in June and Part-Time in September during weekends. I chose to be on all 3 lists in the event that all places are already filled up.

My trade's course will be this summer from the end of June until Mid-August. My whole summer will be dedicated on training but after that is done, you're free to attend your unit when possible with your civilian life obligations.
 
I have another question. My employer’s contract mentions I cannot take on a part time job without informing them. So, I plan to inform them when I sign up. However, I assume the trades training has to be done all at once, unlike the bmq training? That’s what you mean by full-time?

If my workplace is not too supportive, I may have to take an unpaid leave or so, likely. Is there a time limit to when you should take the trades training by, once you do bmq and sq? Just to plan out my timeline and be informed in advance.
Thanks everyone.
Nearly every province has some form of reserve service leave. Typically, this means that you must be allowed to undergo training or deploy on operations, and upon completion, be returned to the same, on equivalent role. There is also typically a requirement for you to expend vacation. Speaking solely for my employer, what this means is that if I were to go on training, I can make the request, but once granted, I would need to take any vacation entitlement as part of may absence. You should look at this page for information specific to your province:

 
Back
Top