Infantry Soldier

Job description 

Infantry Soldiers are the Army’s primary combat fighters and are responsible for closing with and engaging the enemy. They are the core members of the Combat Arms team, which includes Artillery and Armoured Soldiers. 

Infantry Soldiers are capable of operating anywhere in the world in any environment – Arctic tundra, mountains, jungle or desert – and in any combination of arms, including airmobile and amphibious operations. The primary duties of an Infantry Soldiers are to:

  • Expertly operate and maintain a wide range of weapons, including rifle, hand-grenades, light, medium and heavy machine-guns, and anti-tank weapons
  • Use sophisticated equipment for field communications, navigation and night-vision surveillance
  • Inspect and maintain weapon systems, vehicles, survival gear and personal defensive equipment
  • Participate in airborne operations
  • Operate with support elements such as fighter aircraft, tactical and artillery
  • Engage in unarmed combat
  • Employ camouflage and concealment, patrol, assault, defence, and escape-and-evasion tactics.
Transcript

INFANTRY SOLDIER

IN THE CANADIAN FORCES

WARRANT OFFICER KIM DOERR:  I’m Warrant Officer Kim Doerr from Edmonton. I’m an Infantry Soldier with the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in my hometown.

CORPORAL GREG HARTWICK: And I’m Corporal Greg Hartwick from Huntsville, Ontario, and I’m an Infantry Soldier with the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in Shilo, Manitoba.

DOERR: By textbook, an Infantry Soldier is anybody who closes with and destroys the enemy, by day or by night, regardless of weather, season or terrain.  Our Privates have to be experts in technical systems and GPSs and satellites and the array of communications equipment that we all carry, but also they have to be their own thinking person, they have to have their own initiative.

HARTWICK: We’re the ones that are out on the front line, interacting with people, and there’s no time to go through someone else.  I’m the one that’s standing there.  So every soldier that’s on the ground needs to be able to think on their feet and react and interact.  You have to kind of play multiple roles, being somewhat of a policeman at some times and then other times, a soldier in the classic sense.

DOERR: To be an Infantry Soldier is a lot more than just trying to find the easiest grunt job in the military.  We still do the hard-core grunt stuff, but along all that, we still have to be able to be free thinkers and work with some very technical aspects.

DOERR: In the Regular Force and in the Reserves, we bring some of the most powerful, high-tech weaponry on the planet to the battlespace. 

HARTWICK:  This is a C7 rifle. It’s the primary weapon of a rifleman and can be quickly switched from semi-automatic to automatic fire with the flick of a selector switch.  It can also be equipped with a laser-enhanced scope and a grenade launcher.

DOERR:  This is the LAV III light armoured vehicle.  It’s crewed by a vehicle commander, a driver, a gunner and 7 infantry soldiers.

DOERR:  And within those LAVs, you’re firing a 25 mm cannon out of an infantry fighting vehicle, that at two and a half kilometres can hit a water bottle.  That is pretty cool.

HARTWICK:  And this is the night vision equipment we use when we’re working in the dark.  No matter what the mission, we have the equipment and the training to get the job done.

HARTWICK: But we’re also re-builders and healers, deploying in a heartbeat in the wake of hurricanes, floods and earthquakes - bringing medicine, food, and hope.

HARTWICK: In my short four years, I’ve done everything from being a soldier on the ground in Afghanistan to fighting floods, to doing missions all over the place.

DOERR:  If you’re ready for the challenge of a lifetime, the Forces will give you the skills and the training you’ll need to live, move, and fight in any conditions, anywhere on earth.

DOERR: When I watch war movies, with the exception of MASH, I’ve never seen any television show that was ever not based around the infantry soldier.  All the video games, now, what people play for video games is what I get to do for a living. 

MODULE 2 – What’s cool about the job

HARTWICK: I’d have to say the travel.  I think that’s the coolest part.  The Army just affords an opportunity to go all over the world, go all over Canada and just meeting different people.  I think that’s definitely the coolest part.

DOERR: You’re basically paid to be in super good shape and you’re paid to do stuff that -- when you were a kid, when you’re watching TV, you don’t get excited because the car mechanic’s going to be turning a wrench. Nobody really gets excited for that when they’re 10 years old, you get excited because you see Band of Brothers taking the hill.  So that’s really what you get to do on a day-to-day basis.

MODULE 3 – Trade-Specific Training

HARTWICK: Everybody in the Canadian Forces starts their military career with Basic Training in Saint-Jean, Quebec.

HARTWICK: After that, infantry soldiers move on to one of the Canadian Forces’ Battle Schools in Meaford, Ontario; Wainwright, Alberta or Valcartier, Quebec. That’s where you’ll be introduced to dismounted offensive and defensive operations; reconnaissance patrolling; advanced weapons handling and individual fieldcraft.

DOERR: As your training progresses, you’ll continue to develop your Infantry Soldier skills – handling your rifle and heavier weapons like machine guns, grenades and anti-tank weapons; communications; camouflage; moving and fighting as a unit day and night; patrolling; and digging in on defence.

HARTWICK:  It’s serious business, and you’re going to work harder than you ever have – but you’re going to build some of the strongest friendships of your life. You’re going to be taught how to take the skills and strengths you have, to make your unit the best it can be.

MODULE 4 – Your First Posting

DOERR:  Once you complete your training, you’ll be assigned to one of Canada’s three Regular Force infantry regiments -- the Royal Canadian Regiment in Ontario or New Brunswick; the Royal Twenty-Second Regiment, a francophone regiment commonly known as the Van Doos, in Quebec; or the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in Alberta or Manitoba.

DOERR:  Your time in garrison will be spent continually sharpening your skills and staying mission-ready.

DOERR: As your career progresses, you can branch out into a huge range of incredible specialties.

DOERR: Since joining the Army, I’ve done a Basic Reconnaissance course, Advanced Reconnaissance courses, Basic Anti-Armour course to Advanced Anti-Armour courses; I’ve done Basic Parachutist, Military Freefall Parachutist, Static Line Square Parachutist, Landing Zone Drop Zone Controller, Desert Warfare, Winter Warfare, Basic Mountain Operations.  So I’ve done a ton of different things.

MODULE 5 - Testimonials

DOERR: I guess the coolest part of this job is to see the evolution of the military.  Most of Canada didn’t really know what our military was capable of, but it was our history that made us proud.  And now, with the myriad of other things that Afghanistan has changed for the military, the biggest change that it has made is now it’s opened up a whole new generation to be proud of what our country really is.

HARTWICK: It’s definitely gone farther than what I expected.  Getting in, I was hoping for deployments, I was hoping for some travel and stuff like that.  But I really didn’t have an idea of how much stuff would actually be going on, how busy I would actually be, and it’s definitely gone way above and beyond what I ever expected.  There really is no other lifestyle like it, and being in the infantry especially, I’ve loved it, from Day 1.

TITLE:

INFANTRY SOLDIER

IN THE CANADIAN FORCES

Overview

Working environment

Infantry Soldiers normally work outdoors. Both in training and on operations they live and work in conditions that would resemble those in the field. Infantry Soldiers will be posted to a battalion in Canada, but there are employment opportunities across Canada and on deployed operations around the world.

Pay and career development

The starting salary for a fully-trained Infantry Soldier is $49,400 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Infantry Soldiers who demonstrate the required ability, dedication and potential are selected for opportunities for career progression, promotion and advanced training, including Paratrooper training.

Related civilian occupations

Although this occupation has no direct related civilian job, the experience, skills and leadership abilities developed in this position are highly valued by employers.

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Training

Basic military qualification

The first stage of training is the Basic Military Qualification course, or Basic Training, held at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. This training provides the basic core skills and knowledge common to all trades. A goal of this course is to ensure that all recruits maintain the Forces physical fitness standard; as a result, the training is physically demanding. 

Basic military qualification - land course

After Basic Training, Army recruits go to a Military Training centre for the Basic Military Qualification – Land Course for approximately one month, which covers the following topics:

  • Army physical fitness
  • Dismounted offensive and defensive operations
  • Reconnaissance patrolling 
  • Individual field craft

Basic occupational qualification training

Infantry Soldiers attend one of three Military Training Centres: The Royal Canadian Regiment in Meaford, Ontario; Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in Wainwright, Alberta; and the Royal 22e Régiment in Valcartier, Quebec. The training takes 17 weeks and includes the following topics:

  • Use and care of personal and section-level weapons, including rifles, machine guns and anti-tank weapons
  • Field-craft, including personal hygiene and meal preparation, camouflage, sentry duties, signalling, selecting firing positions, tactical movements and lines of advance
  • Construction of field defences, such as trenches and roadblocks, and laying and marking of minefields
  • Navigation by day and by night
  • Patrolling operations
  • Infantry section and platoon tactics, including offensive, defensive and transitional operations

Specialty training

Infantry Soldiers may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:

  • Basic Parachutist
  • Parachute Jumpmaster
  • Para Instructor
  • Mountain Warfare
  • Instructional Techniques
  • First Aid Instructor
  • Rappelmaster
  • Unarmed Combat Instructor
  • Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defence Instructor
  • Urban Operations

Advanced training

As they progress in their career, Infantry Soldiers who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced training. Available courses include:

  • Instructional Techniques
  • Primary Army Leadership
  • Infantry Soldier Section Commander
  • Infantry Soldier Platoon Second-in-Command
  • Infantry Soldier Company Sergeant-Major
  • Communicator
  • Reconnaissance Patrolling
  • Anti-Armour Gunner
  • Sniper
  • Section Commander
  • Eryx Gunner
  • Machinegunner (Heavy and General Purpose)
  • Small Arms Coach
  • 25mm Gunner and light armoured vehicle Crew Commander
  • Winter (Arctic) and Jungle Operations
  • Patrol Pathfinder
  • Tactical Intelligence Operator

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Entry plans

Required education

The minimum required education to apply for this position is the completion of the provincial requirements for Grade 10 or Secondaire IV in Quebec. Foreign education may be accepted.

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Part-time option

This occupation is available part-time within the following environment: Army

Serve with the Reserve Force

This position is available for part-time employment with the Primary Reserve at certain locations across Canada. Reserve Force members usually serve part time at a Unit in their community, and may serve while going to school or working at a civilian job. They are paid during their training. They are not posted or required to do a military move. However, they can volunteer to move to another base. They may also volunteer for deployment on a military mission within or outside Canada.

Part-time employment

Infantry Soldiers serve with the Canadian Army. They are the Army’s primary combat fighters, are responsible for engaging the enemy and are the core members of the Combat Arms team, which includes Artillery and Armoured Soldiers. When they are employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis they usually serve at a Forces Infantry unit located within Canada.

Reserve Force training

Reserve Force members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts. They usually begin training with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required basic professional military standards. Following basic training, Army recruits train for the Soldier qualification for approximately one month and then Infantry Soldiers attend one of three CAF training centres for 17 weeks of Infantry training.

Working environment

Reserve Force members usually serve part-time with their home unit for scheduled evenings and weekends, although they may also serve in full-time positions at some units for fixed terms, depending on the type of work that they do. They are paid 85 percent of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a reasonable benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.

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