All members of the Canadian Forces, including those of the Naval Reserve, must demonstrate ethical conduct, strong values, and a high standard of personal appearance. During training, you must demonstrate attributes including teamwork, loyalty, integrity, honesty and responsibility. You will be taught how to maintain your uniforms and equipment, follow military protocol, and respect the rights of others. For the Naval Reserve, our Basic Military Training is primarily conducted at the Naval Reserve Training Division (NRTD) Borden; this training base is located approx. 30 minutes outside of Barrie, Ont., and approx. 1 hour north of Toronto, Ont.
It's an intensive course designed to teach the skills you will need in your career and build strength of character. It will help to make you physically and mentally prepared for any challenge. It is an obstacle you must overcome to earn your spot on the Naval Reserve team. Here's what to expect: You'll be up early... very early. You'll do lots of push-ups, sit-ups and chin-ups. You'll run. You'll practice drill. You'll learn about weapons... how to handle them, how to take care of them and how to use them. You'll be taught orienteering and how to live in the field under tough conditions. You'll learn First Aid and CPR. In short, you'll become a soldier. The key to surviving Basic Training is to keep everything in perspective. You are learning a new way of life. Listen. Take notes. Work hard. You can make it and become part of our team.
Course training dates:
Spring Serial — approx. end-April to the end of June each year.
Summer Serial — approx. End-June to the end of August each year.
Training Expectations and Course Curriculum
The aim of the General Safety Program is to prevent accidents. You will learn to ensure that anything you may be responsible for—you, your peers, and your equipment—are not injured or damaged in preventable accidents. Safety is common sense.
First aid is the emergency care given to an injured or suddenly ill person at the scene, using readily available materials. The Canadian Forces teach the St. John Ambulance program. We also instruct first aid from a military perspective to ensure our soldiers consider operational factors, such as terrain and the enemy, to effectively help injured personnel.
Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defence
The objective of nuclear, biological and chemical defence is to ensure that all elements of the Canadian Forces are able to continue to operate effectively in the event that nuclear, biological or chemical weapons are used. You will be taught to recognize the signs and effects of such weapons, as well as how to use special equipment and measures to protect yourself.
Drill that is well-taught and well-executed develops individual pride, mental alertness, precision and esprit de corps that will assist soldiers in the performance of their duties. Military troops that display constant competence in drill are universally recognized as highly trained, well disciplined and professional.
Soldiers are trained in the use of small arms so that they are able to protect themselves and others in operations. You will learn how to maintain and fire the C7 rifle. To successfully complete Basic Training, you must pass a personal weapons test.
In the course of your training, you will learn to recognize and comply with Canadian Forces policies including military law and regulations, the Geneva Conventions, and routine administration.
Canadian Forces members must be physically fit to meet military operational requirements, to perform under a wide range of geographical and environmental conditions, to cope with the stresses of sustained operations and to be ready to respond on short notice. Obstacle course training involves performing physical tasks like scaling 2- and 4-metre walls, climbing a 4-metre netting apparatus, and traversing a 4-metre ditch while hanging from a set of monkey bars. Good upper body strength and power are necessary to successfully complete the obstacle course. (For this reason, push-ups, chin-ups and other resistance exercises are recommended in your pre-enrollment training program.) During Basic Training, you must also meet the military swim standard. The test consists of jumping off a three-metre board wearing a life jacket, then swimming 50 metres. You must also somersault into the water without a life jacket, tread water for two minutes, then swim 20 metres. If you cannot swim now, you are advised to take a basic swimming course before proceeding on training. Success on Basic Training depends on your individual effort and contribution to the team. If you are constantly tired during training because you are out of shape, you will not learn as much, you will not do as well on the exercises, and you will not be a strong team member. So when you come to Basic Training, it is important for you to be as fit as you can.
Topography (Map Reading)
Topographical exercises teach students to navigate in the field. You will learn to identify topographical symbols, to identify positions on a map, to orient yourself according to the features of the terrain, and to plan routes. Practical exercises will hone your day and night navigational skills using only a compass and a topographical map.
Survival in the Field
To be a soldier, you've got to be able to survive in the field. You will learn to:
A graduation ceremony signals the end of Basic Training and the start of an exciting new career. The parade is a visual representation of the effort and teamwork needed to successfully complete the weeks of intense training. Everyone who completes Basic Training has good reason to be proud, and your family and friends can share in your accomplishment as well. And for those that strive for success, there are awards to be won during basic training:
Basic Training for Officer Candidates is similar to the Basic Recruit Training course (described above), but with the addition of leadership training. Leadership theory is taught in the classroom, and candidates have the chance to apply what they have learned in a variety of practical exercises. Finally, Officer Candidates are evaluated on their leadership skills in order to be effective military leaders.