Who are the Infantry, and what do they do?

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The Infantry is the backbone of any fighting force; its classic role is “to close with and destroy the enemy.”  In modern warfare, the infantry works closely with the Artillery, Armoured, and Field Engineers as part of the Combat Arms team.  While the Regiment is a dismounted light infantry unit, recent years have seen training in airmobile and amphibious operations.

The Calgary Highlanders train as a unit for not only modern warfare operations, but also other missions such as aid to the civil power.  Individual Highlanders have the opportunity to accompany Regular Force units on overseas missions; in recent years many Calgary Highlanders have served in places like Cambodia, the former Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan.

Infantrymen in the Calgary Highlanders train with all types of weapons, including pistols, rifles, grenade launchers, light machine guns, general purpose machine guns, hand grenades, pyrotechnics, the 84mm rocket launcher, and the 81mm mortar.

A variety of training is provided in basic overland navigation, field communications, driving military vehicles, heavy trucks and armoured personnel carriers, as well as basic survival skills, defence against nuclear-biological-chemical weapons, fieldcraft and battle procedure (including camouflage and concealment, internal security, patrolling, and escape and evasion tactics.)

The men and women of the Infantry perform their duties outdoors, by day or by night, exposed to all weather conditions. The work is physically and mentally demanding and is often carried out for long periods of time with little chance for rest. In combat or operational situations, the job is mentally stressful and the risk of physical injury is always present.

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Qualifications and Interests

Infantry soldiers must be dependable and self-disciplined. They must be able to react quickly, and adapt readily to changing situations. Courage, physical and mental stamina and positive attitude are essential attributes. The ability and willingness to learn new skills and techniques is also necessary, as the diverse nature of infantry operations requires the development of many specialized skills. Leadership and people management abilities are very important and the ability to work well as part of a team is essential.

Information Sessions

Information sessions are run at Mewata Armouries every Wednesday night during the training year (September to May). Anyone interested in joining The Calgary Highlanders is highly encouraged to attend. The unit traditionally has had recruiting stands and weapon displays at various events throughout the city during the summer months, including the Calgary Stampede.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, All a person has to do is request a release from the Army Reserve or transfer to another military trade. The release process is relatively simple.

The Highlanders generally train most Wednesday Nights during the training year (September to the following May) and one or two weekends a month. Training on Wednesday nights is at Mewata Armoury in downtown Calgary, next to Millennium Park and former Centennial Planetarium. Some weekend field training is conducted at Canadian Forces Base Wainwright in northern Alberta, or Canadian Forces Base Suffield near Medicine Hat, as well as other locations in southern Alberta or British Columbia

No, The Highlanders understand you may have other commitments that may be more important, such as school or personal matters that may prevent you from attending on occasion. For extended absences due to family or personal concerns, it is also possible to obtain a leave of absence, called “Exemption from Drill and Training”

Yes. Ask your school’s Guidance counsellor for additional information.

Because of the nature of the training and possible duties you may be asked to do, it is important to ensure the each candidate is suitable for employment in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Yes, basic training will test you both mentally and physically. However, the training is achievable and does not resemble what you may have seen in movies. If you pass the Physical Training test you should have no problem with the physical aspect of your basic training. You will learn to work together with your peers towards a common goal. At the end of basic training most recruits are left with a positive feeling about their personal capabilities and accomplishments.

No. The Reserve Army currently has no positions for snipers. The Canadian Army sniper course is one of the most demanding courses in the military. Potential snipers are subjected to rigorous physical and mental screening, and candidates must demonstrate competency in a wide variety of military skills, from range finding to fieldcraft, camouflage and concealment. It is a very specialized trade and only a very few positions in the Regular Army are available. The Reserve Army has no snipers whatsoever as it lies outside the scope of what is considered normal training. However, much of what popular culture associates with snipers in the form of field-craft and marksmanship is part of light infantry skillsets and missions.

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