Canadian Forces recruiting is taking an even more specific area of interest. Diversity is the goal. They are telling more than half of Toronto, which is now not of the two founding cultures that, if they qualify, they are more than welcome.
To tell the story to a group of ethnic media members of Canadian Ethnic Media Association (CEMA) was Army Captain Aida K. Gabriel, a tall elegant lady in her low to mid thirties. In 1991she joined the joined the Royal Canadian Regiment reserves at the age of sixteen and rose through the ranks from private to sergeant until she was commissioned a lieutenant in 2002. She has a uniform full of medals from places like Afghanistan and Serbia. Gabriel speaks fluent Russian, which is the language of her mother, and her father is Eritrean.
"We are hiring but we don't know how long we will be hiring, the reason is our budget depends on the government the people elect and put into power is what we do," said Gabriel. She adds, "right now the environment is one of support, and if we have support we have funding and if we have funding we are hiring."
There are five roles in the Canadian Army. One is the defense of the country. Two is belonging to the UN, and engaging in peacekeeper roles. Three, there is belonging NATO, and fighting in Serbia and Afghanistan. Four is humanitarian efforts and sending out medical teams to disasters like the Tsunami. Finally, there are search and rescue operations done all over Canada," said Gabriel.
"Because we offer over ninety different employment opportunities the age we are looking for is between sixteen and fifty-seven and because there is such a wide spectrum of jobs people can enter at different points of their lives, added Gabriel.
"We invest two and a half million dollars on a CF-18 (fighter) pilot, so we ask for a commitment but most pilots don't want to leave because there nowhere else they will get to fly a CF-18," said Gabriel.
"In the mid nineties we went from a hundred thousand personnel to forty-seven thousand so since General Hillier came in, and the support he's been able to elicit, we're trying to get back to the hundred thousand number. We're at about seventy-two thousand right now so what I am trying to tell you is that now we are hiring, but we won't be hiring forever," explains Gabriel.
"The Afghan National army which we are training is now larger than the Canadian Army, they are at eighty-two thousand. Five years ago they were at thirty thousand," said Gabriel.
"You need a minimum of fifteen high school credits which is a grade ten education and then when you graduate from your training you receive thirty thousand dollars pay (per annum) plus (residential) equalization bonuses," said Gabriel.
"The full story is available on www.forces.ca," reminded Gabriel.
Then again if you want information on the Estonian military, they too are hiring, www.mil.ee.
Canadian Forces recruiting in high gear