Canadian Army implements an expedited enrollment process for its Primary Reserve Force

News Release

April 3, 2017 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Applicants for the Canadian Army Reserve will soon be able to enroll in just weeks rather than months, the Army announced today.

Starting in April, the Army is assuming full responsibility from the Canadian Armed Forces for recruitment and enrollment of its Army Reserve units across Canada. The intent of this initiative is to ensure the sustainability of the Canadian Army Reserve by putting in place an expedited process that will streamline enrollments.
This expedited process involves enrolling applicants in the Canadian Army Reserve within weeks rather than months. The applicants are subject to the same medical, security, fitness and aptitude requirements as they were previously. These recruiting steps will be synchronized within a two-visit concept, ensuring a faster enrollment process, while maintaining a high quality standard. This process decentralizes resources and gives authority to the Reserve Brigade Groups which will be instrumental in the success of this new process.

Improving the recruiting process is just one of several initiatives in an ongoing effort to strengthen the Army Reserve, and to leverage its ability to deliver operational effect.

Additional multimedia

Transferring full control of the Primary Reserve recruitment process to the Canadian Army will enable quicker and more efficient enrollment. Successful candidates will be able to join a unit of their choice and begin training in the span of a few weeks. Here, Private Martin Camungol of the Royal Regina Rifles, a Canadian Army Reserve unit, mans a C9 light machine gun during Exercise BISON WARRIOR at Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot Dundurn, Saskatchewan, August 13-21, 2016. Photo: Corporal Jean Archambault, 38 Canadian Brigade Group Public Affairs ©2016 DND/MDN Canada


“Reservists play an essential role in support of Canada’s ability to achieve success on domestic and international operations. Simplifying and streamlining recruitment for reservists is an important step forward as we improve our processes and standards, and enhancements like this will go a long way in improving reservists’ experience in the CAF from day one.”

—  Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

“Reservists are a key component of the Canadian Army. They are integral to both domestic and international expeditionary operations. Bringing recruitment ‘home’ to the unit level will accelerate enrollment, bolster the strength of units, and create a more effective Army Reserve. I am very pleased with the direction we are taking.”

— Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk, Commander Canadian Army

“A reservist can now have his or her career managed locally by their own unit from ‘day one’ until release, which is critical to maintaining morale and facilitating longer-term retention. This is a high-priority initiative for the Canadian Army and the Army Reserve.”

— Brigadier-General Rob Roy MacKenzie, Chief of Staff, Canadian Army Reserve

Quick Facts

  • Over the next three years, the Canadian Army is undertaking a series of initiatives to further strengthen the Army Reserve. While much work still has to be done, assuming ownership of reserve recruitment is a positive and necessary step forward in preparing the Army of the future.

  • A successful trial of the new process was conducted as a proof of concept in 5th Canadian Division in Atlantic Canada in the fall of 2016. Progress was closely monitored and adjustments were made according to lessons learned.

  • The handover of responsibility for Army Reserve recruitment is an important step that the Canadian Army is taking to address a deficiency that has caused significant delays. Because of these delays, applicants have considered other employment options while awaiting acceptance into the Reserve Force.

  • The processing steps and requirements will remain largely the same. The sequence of these steps will be better synchronized in order to gain time and efficiency. Candidates will still have to complete aptitude tests and character interviews. There will be no compromise to the integrity of recruiting standards pertaining to medical screening, physical fitness evaluations and security requirements.

Associated Links


Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353
Toll-Free: 1-866-377-0811

Major Michael Lagace
Directorate of Army Public Affairs
Phone: 204-229-5819

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