The Royal Canadian Navy introduces a new recruitment opportunity

News release

March 31, 2023 – Ottawa – National Defence / Royal Canadian Navy

Starting today, the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) is launching a new recruitment program to give Canadians the opportunity to experience the Navy as a sailor on a one-year contract and provide them with exposure to a variety of naval trades before deciding if a career in the Navy is the right fit for them.

Through the new Naval Experience Program (NEP), the Navy is rethinking the way it attracts, recruits, and trains sailors. The aim of the program is simple: to reduce the amount of time it takes to train civilians as sailors, to foster the development of sailors who love their work, and to attract those who enjoy the unique lifestyle that the Navy offers. 

  • By participating in the NEP, new recruits will:
  • Benefit from a streamlined enrolment for those who qualify;
  • Earn a competitive salary equivalent to entry level positions within the private sector, with paid rations and quarters;
  • Follow an 8-week basic military training, and naval environmental training, in either Halifax, N.S., or Esquimalt, B.C.;
  • Experience the Navy life within the Atlantic or Pacific Fleet, as a sailor with time at sea and ashore;
  • After the one-year contract, participants can choose to continue to serve with the RCN, either full-time or part-time, transfer to another element, or leave the RCN, no strings attached;
  • For those who stay, they will transfer to a trade and carry on with their naval career; and
  • For those who choose not to continue with the RCN, they will have had an amazing opportunity, and a valuable life experience to add to their resume.

The NEP is one of the many recruiting programs offered in the Navy. For more information on other recruiting programs, please visit the Canadian Forces Recruiting Group Website.


“The Navy offers Canadians the opportunity to see the world while serving their country. It also provides stability, job security, benefits, paid education and training, lifelong friendships, adventure, and more. Life in the Navy can be demanding and challenging at times – it is not for everyone and that’s why the new Naval Experience Program gives participants the chance to experience life in the Navy, for one year, no strings attached. The program also allows the Navy to assess the suitability of the new participants and offer them career choices based on their success.”

Vice-Admiral Angus Topshee, Commander Royal Canadian Navy

Quick facts

  • The NEP is open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents between the age of 16-57. Applicants under 18 will need permission from their parent or guardian when they enroll.  

  • Participants receive the same pay and benefits as any other recruits to the Canadian Armed Forces.

  • NEP is a perfect opportunity for experience seekers and students who would like to take a gap year from their studies to experience the Navy with no long term commitment.

  • Complete information about the program is available on the NEP website

Associated links


Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-904-3333


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