Canadian Forces

369 reviews

Canadian Forces Employee Reviews

  • Job Work/Life Balance
  • Salary/Benefits
  • Job Security/Advancement
  • Management
  • Job Culture
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Productive and intense work environment.
Infantryman (Current Employee), Kitchener, ONJanuary 27, 2014
Pros: free meals, transport, physical conditioning, and pretty good pay for consecutive days/weeks of work.
Cons: slave pay for harder work then any other job, and the occasional trash meal.
Coming strait out of high school, I would recommend joining the reserves, only if you plan on furthering your education. If not then joining the Regular Force would be the most beneficial. I joined in my final year in high school as a three credit co-op course that will also help me pay for College/University.

Aside from the pay, you do learn a lot about how far the human body can push itself before failing, and how 90% of the hardships are mental barriers that you can break if you have the will do do it. You learn very quickly whether or not the Canadian Forces is for you. Especially if your wanting to join the Infantry which I did, it is well known to be the most physically/mentally demanding careers in the Canadian Forces, let alone regular careers out side of the military.

This career should pay better than pro football players, but it doesn't. that's just the way it is. Hopefully that will change very soon.

Overall I give this job five stars not because of the pay and benefits, but because of the knowledge you gain about surviving, living fighting and how far your body can REALLY push itself above and beyond the limit you thought it had.

If you're serious about joining, make should to quit smoking if you do. You can start again if you really want to, only once you've realized how it really doesn't matter when you know it won't affect your ability to push yourself to the limits.

I don't smoke, only because it obviously does have long term effects.

It is a brotherhood, and you will not know how it feels until you are officially initiated into it.

For me, when I joined – more... I didn't do it for the money, I just wanted a job like this, that most people really do know nothing about. Now that i'm older I do know that I need the money to live in comfort, but if the world's currency was in food and water and not in coins and paper with ink, I would choose this career without a second thought. – less
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
A great place to learn personal discipline, leadership and developing a tough mental attitude
Officer Candidate (Former Employee), Chilliwack, BCJuly 26, 2012
Pros: self discovery, find personal limits, find personal strengths, learn behavior, discipline, honesty, obedience, integrity
Cons: in my opinion none.
A typical day while on course starts with a five mile run at 0530 hrs followed by an inspection at 0800 hrs. After completing the run standing orders are that all candidates will eat breakfast, shower, and prepare quarters for inspection (usually white glove). Needless to say being organized and developing outstanding teamwork are neccessary. Following inspection, and corrective actions (I will leave this to the readers imagination), classroom instruction takes the rest of the day until 1700 hrs. The rest of the evening you prepare coursework, most do additional runs of ten miles, and spit shine boots, and shine brass. This will take you to lights out at 2300 hrs. Tomorrow we do it again.

Course work involves such topics as military code of justice, The Queens Regulations and Orders, as well as drill and deportment, Physical Education (on top of the running) and leadership roles and conduct reviews. For three one week periods we are away from the classroom to practice leadership skills on exercise in the field where if you can get 1 to 3 hours of sleep a day consider yourself lucky. When you think you have made it through there is a two day escape and evasion exercise where you are dropped off in the middle of nowhere and have to traverse some 30 to 50 kms while being hunted by military and civilian authorities. You enter the exercise wearing coveralls and boots, it's December you will be cold and there is no sleep. If captured you will spend the duration of the exercise in a POW camp where you will be questioned and probed for weakness.

This is a typical day for an officer – more... candidate in the Canadian Forces during my tour. Any breach of integrity, honesty (even a little white lie), or fidelity will earn you a ticket home and put a sudden and dramatic end to your military career. – less
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Human resource management, education, discipline and establishing relationships.
Health Services Group Chief Warrant Officer (Former Employee), Edmonton AlbertaMarch 13, 2014
Pros: national travel
Cons: long hours, no more job progression
Everyone who sees the military from the outside usually have no idea what we do or what goes on in our daily jobs. I worked 30 years coming up from the ground up from a working supervisor to executive level leadership. We have organization and stress management down to a science and have no issues completing tasks presented or seeking out tasks to improve the companies productivity, recruiting and retention. My years of experience of putting the requirements of the service before myself led to long hours of work and extended deployments away from home. I learned to organize, how to properly allocate resources, self discipline, personal pride, teamwork, to teach and exposure to working with different nationalities in extremely trying conditions.
Bringing a team together to accomplish a task, mission or job is a very satisfying experience.
Try telling an employer that you could complete whatever task they give you in 40 degree heat, in absolute darkness with hostile people wanting to do great harm to you and then be able to successfully present it to either the common layman or to the head of the company is not always seen as hireable skills.
This is an excellent choice for young men and women seeking direction in their lives. Pride, loyalty, service before self are vanishing traits in a "me" generation. Glad to have served.
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Always a blast (sometimes literally)
Cook (Former Employee), London, ONMarch 26, 2014
Pros: free lunchs, range days where you get to learn to shoot weapons, wages plus bonuses, garuenteed full time summer employment every summer
Cons: long hours, occassional silly or down right odd instructions, mental and physical stress
When working with the Canadian Forces - you are a soldier/sailor or airman first. This means that you are taught how to shoot, throw grenades and do all other manner of fun things while getting paid for it.
On top of this you can select a trade such as cook, vehicle or weapons technician, clerk etc. This means you will be taught your trade (which can transfer over into civilian life) and be paid for it!
As the Canadian Forces is run by the Department of National Defense, the management can sometimes be an issue but for the most part your higher ups will ensure that you are taken care of.
There are all kinds of people that work in the military and although you may not like each other or generally get along you are taught how to work as a team and push your own biases aside.
The hardest part of the job for me was pushing my limits both mentally and physically. I ended up releasing due to an injury that occurred while working with the military and it still causes me issues today.
The most enjoyable part of the job was the fact that I was being trained to do all of this and was not having to pay for it but was being paid to learn it. In addition to that it is one of the few jobs a 16 year old can get and make more than minimum wage.
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Very gratifing job with a lot of exciting courses
Driver and detachment member on M777 Howitzer (Current Employee), Petawawa, ONNovember 25, 2013
Pros: traveling
Cons: no opinion
0730 Physical training
0830 Shower/ breakfast
0930 Clean and maintain howitzers, rifles, all gun stores. Classes on fire discipline and other military tactics.
1200 Lunch
1300 Cleaning building, various classes.
1600 Dismissed

I learnt from the beginning to follow orders and carry out task as asked in the minimum amount of time but done effectively. Further on I learnt how to take orders and direct them to fellow soldiers and make sure the task was done.

The management is always sending stuff down the structural pyramid with the confidence that it will get done, sometimes with absolutely no direction and timeline. There is a lack of communication and insight on what they would like to happen.

From the lowest rank to the highest rank in directly in charge of me my co workers for the most part are great guys and girls. The cohesion between all of us is great and we can all work as a team at any given time.

Going out into the field is always the most difficult part of any military job as you never know what to expect could happen. Training is always physically and mentally exhausting.

Traveling and being part of a family like no other, I've always been honored to wear my country's flag on my shoulder.
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
4 Wing Mess Manager
4 Wing Mess Manager (Current Employee), Cold Lake, ABFebruary 28, 2014
Plan, coordinate, manage, monitor, and evaluate the operations and delivery of messes’ activities and facilities.

Plan, coordinate, manage, monitor, and evaluate the operations and delivery of bars’ services.

Enforce the requirements for health, hygiene, safety, and security standards and programs.

Ensure strict enforcement of provincial liquor legislation and DND, CF, and B/W/U policies concerning the responsible serving of alcohol, employee drinking restrictions, and customer behaviour.

Manage employees.

Manage employees’ work schedules and monitor employees’ performance.

Manage employees’ training and development in required certification to meet provincial legislation in bar services.

Authorize, monitor and document financial transactions/commitments.

Develop and implement marketing strategy for messes’ activities and facilities.

Coordinate functions, determine staff requirements and administer the protocol, table settings and arrangements, seating plans, table service and decoration, special menus, and beverage requirements.

Manage all messes’ departments to meet operational demands (bars and events).

Attend all major messes’ functions to supervise messes’ staff, personally greet and speak with patrons, and administer general arrangements.

Respond to membership feedback and messes’ committee’s directives, keep members, PMCs and the responsible managers informed of current issues and concerns, and recommend changes to products or services where appropriate.

Develop and prepare messes’ activities, bars operations budgets and business plans.

Authorize and monitor – more... expenses for all messes’ activities and operations.

Prepare timely and accurate financial accounting and operational reports.

Conduct periodic audits of operations and records.

Receive and reply to complaints from messes’ customers.

Assume responsibility for the management of the liquor licenses.

Ensure the application of financial, administrative, and operational controls.

Monitor and control the use of messes’ equipment and facilities assets. – less
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Excellent organization to work for
Artillery soldier, CP SIG/TECH (Current Employee), Petawawa, ONFebruary 15, 2013
Pros: different daily challenges and problems to overcome
Cons: lack of international missions at the present time
As a signaler and technician in an artillery command post I would be constantly multi-tasking. Keeping track of information, geographical locations while communitcating over the net using proper voice procedure and with the people in the command post. Updating them on the status of our forces and computing and updating the computer with information as required. I also would be scribbing down information and relaying only the vital information to my chain of command.
Sometimes all of this would be happening while we were under attack by enemy forces, like in Afghanistan or when we were engaged in a fire mission.
I enjoy working in a dynamic team, and I have become close with my co-workers like family. The hardest part about my job is establishing these relationships and then being deployed, or posted to different units, or sections. Making new bonds and friendships are easy for me but it is hard when you have come so close with your other team members. Although I can say I am used to change, and embrace it.
The most enjoyable part about my job is serving my country and being a proud member of the Canadian armed forces. I enjoy making a difference in the world and with this job I have definitely accomplished that.
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
No Life like it.
Supply Technician / Postal Clerk (Current Employee), CFB EdmontonFebruary 26, 2015
Pros: job security, adventure, never the same day.
Cons: away from home a lot, never knowing when your going to be called in, on call 24/7 with no overtime.
There is no such things as a typical day in the Army. Everyday brings new adventure and bigger challenges. You learn to adapt, improvise and over come any and all obstacles. You get the job done with results even if your given little to know information or tools.
Management has been the best of both worlds, I've had some great supervisors who you don't mind going above and beyond for and then I've had some well you do what is expected from you but always get the job done. The important thing is to learn from everyone and take what you need to progress in your own career.
My co-workers have been nothing shy of the best, they stand beside you in good times and bad times, they are always easy to come to work and know one of them is going to make your day better.
The hardest part of the job is the uncertainty of not knowing what is coming up in your future and last minute taskings that take you away from your life outside of work at drop of the hat, putting you in rough conditions with little comforts.
The most enjoyable part of te job has been knowing that with all the hard work, you're making a difference in the lives of others.
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
My Jobs included, teaching cadets, managing supplies and dealing with administrative issues.
Administrative Officer (Former Employee), Richmond, BCSeptember 19, 2014
Pros: the work was intrinsically rewarding.
Cons: was expected to dedicate a large amount of time outside of working hours.
My day at work depended on which position I was filling.

As an administrator, I was in charge of the files of 120 cadets. This included keeping track of their attendance, making sure that they were up to date with their expenses and handling the writing of memo's and alerts which required a specific format

As a supply officer, I was in charge of fitting ordering and distributing uniforms as well as being in charge of all supplies outside of uniforms.

As a divisional officer, I was in charge of leading and teaching my cadets about naval tradition past and current as well as maintaining their well-being and handling any issues they bring up in and outside the unit.

I've learned a large amount of administrative skills, how to communicate and deal with youth; in summary, both qualitative and quantitative skills.

I was expected to take on management duties in regards to the youth that were in my division. This meant assigning them work, following up and doing performance reviews.

I worked very well with my co-workers and have learnt as a result of the military setting, how to work in a cooperative environment to a high level.

The hardest part of the job was making sure that everyone under me was receiving a good experience; this meant devoting a large amount of my time outside of work to the maintenance and well-being of my subordinates.

Seeing the results of my work through my cadets was the best part of work, knowing that they are thriving and are happy makes me happy.
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Productive, family friendly environment to work.
Resource Administrator (Current Employee), Gagetown, Oromocto, NBJanuary 7, 2014
Pros: great opportunity for professional advancement
Cons: they are times when one is required to be away from family for a long period of time; so, an individual must be ready for those times before joining
My day starts with Physical Fitness; the rest of the day revolves around customer service, project management, research on multiple topics, writing reports, presentations of findings.

I have learned the importance of being able to work in team and individually. Communication, planning and being organized helps me and the team to meet deadlines and avoid unnecessary stress.

The management pays attention to personnel's professional needs (skills and training) and accommodates family needs as much as possible

My co-workers are very important to my everyday work life, without their trust and commitment to personal and team responsibilities nothing could be achieved. Simply put - my co-workers are very important.

The hardest part of the job is the requirement to move often anywhere in the country whenever needed. This can be hard on families.

The most enjoyable part of the job is the ability to learn multiple skills and being able to handle multiple tasks. I enjoy working in a fat paced environment and the opportunity to work both indoor and outdoor environment.
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Great experience!
I/C SPV Cargo Base Transport (Current Employee), CFB Esquimalt, Work Point.April 30, 2013
Pros: after 25 years, developing lifelong friends.
Cons: being away from family for extended periods of time.
My day starts at 0730. I discuss with subordinates about previous days events, if any, and implement ways to better suit the needs of our customers. Whether my personnel are operating a 60 ton crane, tractor trailer or operating a forklift within the ever changing confines of the Dockyard, I gain knowledge from thier experience and seek ways to address their concerns, whether it is work related or family related. I ensure that the previous day's data has been accurately downloaded into the Fleet Management System. My co-workers are dedicated professional operators who make my job easier and more enjoyable. The hardest part of my job is passing on information that my operators may not agree with. As part of the management team, my peers/bosses are deicated professionals who have the upmost respect for our operators. Knowledge is their greatest assest and as a manager it is my duty to pass that knowledge on to my subordinates. The most enjoyable part of my day is when I don't hear complaints, that the work was completed safely and that the operators are still joking at the end of a hard day.
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Efficient workplace
Medical Technician (Current Employee), Edmonton, ABOctober 31, 2012
Pros: an hour of physical training in the morning.
Cons: too much time away from home.
A typical day in the Canadian Forces includes physical training in the morning for about an hour and then a brief description of the work to be accomplished that day by the supervisor for each section.

We would then complete whatever work needed to be done and report to our supervisor. If there were more tasks they would be given out and if not we would have to time to do any personal administration we needed to do.

Most of my co workers are ambitious and know the system so therefore the work was always done quickly and efficiently. Some of the things I learned were how to manage different tasks and how to delegate work to coworkers, while being fair and respectful.

The hardest part of the job would be leaving for a couple months at a time on taskings and excercises with no cell reception so therefore unable to keep in contact with family members and having to plan for pre paying bills.

The most enjoyable part of the job was the people I worked with. They knew when to joke around and when to take things seriously. There's nothing more enjoyable than working with good people who finish the task they were given quickly and efficiently. It takes away from the stress of the job.
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
There was a war going on and they needed people so I joined up but now that the war is over it's time to move on.
Combat Engineer (Former Employee), EdmontonOctober 19, 2013
Pros: getting paid to further my education and work on my physical fitness.
Cons: not enough money to train more
A typical day at work involved physical training, working in a hazmat area, POL compound, in and around the regiment doing various tasks. I learned a lot in the army about teamwork, traditions and values and picked up a lot of skills when it comes to combat and stressful times and how to work through lots of difficult situations. Whenever we're training we take turns in leadership positions organizing anywhere from 5 guys to 60 guys to get them to work together to accomplish the mission. I got to see what happens to people when they are pushed way beyond their comfort level and how to help them cope with it and at the end of the day succeed. The hardest part of the job was by far getting people to work together no matter how hard the situation presented to us was. The most enjoyable part of my job was when the mission was accomplished and we got to go home and see our families.
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Excellent experience for a young man in the trades
Hull Technician (Current Employee), Halifax, Nova ScotiaApril 22, 2013
Pros: job security, free meals, health benefits
Cons: quality of life
My time with the Canadian Forces has been a very educational experience and has given me the neccessary skill set and discipline to be a productive employee wherever I work. I learned how to be an effective leader in a work environment, the importance of puntuality, unwavering professionalism, along with all of the experience in trades that my specific job gave me. A typical day would entail a meeting at 7:50am to detail the members of the shop as to what they would be fixing/maintaining/installing/fabricating that day. I then would carry out the task I was assigned to and when completed would find my supervisor to be tasked with something new. My co-workers/supervisors were/are some of my best friends. Working for someone you respect inside and outside of the workplace was an absolute pleasure. The hardest part of my job is being away from family for months at a time. The most enjoyable part of my job is the relief I feel after troubleshooting a problematic system and rectifying the issues through knowledge and skill.
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Very good place to work with a lot of security and pride
Supply Technician (Former Employee), Oromocto, NBMay 21, 2015
Pros: Pride, job security, pension, very good benefits, seeing many parts of the world
Cons: extended periods away from family
As a member of the Canadian Forces my day varied all the time. Most mornings started with PT (Physical Training) but many days included other training, both domestic and also in preparation for upcoming deployments. I could be working in one of many warehouses one day and be out on the ranges throwing grenades and firing weapons the next. What I learned is that every job I've ever experienced is most successful when you can 100% rely on the people around you that you work with. Management was critical. Most "managers" were very good at their jobs and learned to "lead by example". Most of my co-workers were incredible to work with and I trusted them completely with my safety in some very unsafe environments and situations. The hardest part of my job was the regular long periods away from my family and feeling like I was missing out on my kids lives. The most enjoyable part of the job was the feeling of pride. Feeling like I was a part of something bigger than myself, and the ability to "do my part" on the world stage to represent my country.
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Constantly busy, very rewarding, extremely secure employment
AVIATION TECHNICIAN (Current Employee), 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron, Patricia Bay, BCDecember 3, 2013
Pros: extremely secure employment
Cons: retirment age limit restrictions
A typical day would see me meeting my small work crew and briefing them on the days work plans and expectations. I would disperse the daily tasks to suit each employees specialty skills and periodically confer with the team. At the end of the day, it was my job to inspect and sign for their work.

My responsibility is to report to mid-level management my teams productivity for each day. I am held accountable for the results of their production.

I found the most challenging part of the job (sometimes) is having to do more with less. Not enough trained personnel.

The most enjoyable part of the job is seeing my employees receiving the recognition for a job well done!

I have learned two very important things in 33+ years employment here.

1. There is always something new to learn. You must be able to adapt to changing situations at any time.

2. Respect is earned. It is not issued nor is it an entitlement simply because of rank or position.
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Busy and active
Resource Management Systems Clerk (Former Employee), Ont, AB, BC, NSSeptember 17, 2012
Pros: christmas dinner
Cons: trg you receive and when u retire it does not qualify u for cilivan job.
Canadian Forces is not the same as it was when I joined 31 years ago. It was strict and yet fun to be apart of. Now it is totally different. They think they can control you to their likings not the proper procedures being followed.
A typical day in the Military was go to the office and get your job done. Years ago when you did that it was appreciated but now no matter how hard you work they find fault. There is NO appreciation what so ever. If someone higher can give you most of their work to do so they have nothing to do that is what happens. It is really sad the way you are treated in the Military.
They screw up your pay etc and they don't care.It is the oh well attitude. When I have time it will get corrected. In the meantime the member suffers and when they do correct it you get to pay the extra taxes because of their mistakes or loss on your Pension. It is not the way it use to be so that you are proud to wear the uniform and protect your country.
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Best friends and times of my life
Infantryman (Former Employee), Gagetown, New BrunswickSeptember 16, 2015
Pros: Always fit
Cons: Could have to leave your family unexpectedly
A typical day at work would consist of physical training first thing in the morning, then for the remainder of the day would be refresher trainer so were always ready to go.

During my 14 years in the Forces I learned to be very punctual, reliable, hardworking and dedicated, no matter how big or small the task maybe, and how to ensure that you are properly prepared for those individually.

Management/the chain of command changed quite frequently and was very difficult to any one person. For the most part though, I was lead by a very well trained extremely knowledgable leadership. which lead me to also be placed on the leadership course, to allow me to progress through the ranks.

Brother in Arms are the most dependable friends you will ever have, we never leave a man behind.

The hardest part of the job was November 24th 2005, I had a friend pass in my arms.

The most enjoyable part would be all the travel, and meeting so many awesome people.
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Very physically demanding, and meet a lot of new people of different backgrounds
Combat Engineer (Former Employee), CanadaApril 15, 2015
Pros: Cooked meals, awesome benefits, free gym, discounts at certain stores
Cons: long waiting periods to start training courses
After basic training I lived on a PAT platoon which is where you are put until your course trade starts. A normal day would be waking up at 6 am to start morning pt at 6:30 and then breakfast at 8:00 to sit in a classroom all day doing absolutely nothing, unless you had a tasking given to you. Lunch at 12:00 till 1:00 and back to the classroom. Then afternoon pt at 3:00 till 4:00 and the rest of the day was mine to do as pleased. When you are on a training course though, it is fun and a great experience. You meet a lot of unique people and learn to work with people even if you do not like them. Teamwork is everything. I learned how to transition into military life which is a culture shock, qualified as a soldier, and got to see different parts of Canada.
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
High pace enviroment. Much to learn in very little time.
Combat Engineer (Current Employee), Toronto, ONJanuary 15, 2016
From day one when you start boot camp you're on the ground running. A barrage of information is thrown at you at all times and you're expected to remember it and memorize it in an instant. Its very hard at first but after a few weeks you find it start to become easier and easier.

The classroom is just as intense as the physical side of the military. You'll be in a classroom learning and taking notes just as much as you'll be sleeping in a hole or crawling through mud.

Since the Canadian Forces is a volunteer force everyone there wants to be there. You'll make life long friends as you suffer together through the first grueling year of basic training courses.

There are many branches of the military and within those branches there are dozens of jobs which are crucial to its function. From a front line fighting infantrymen to the pencil pushing clerks. Everyone has a purpose and a reason within the big green machine. No one has a pointless job and everyone is crucial to the bigger picture in one way or another.