Not afraid of challenges? As an infantry soldier you are the Army’s primary war-fighters and at the core of the Combat Arms team. You are responsible for closing with and destroying the enemy.
What They Do
Each Infantry Soldier belongs to one of the Infantry regiments of the Canadian Army, some of which bear battle honours more than a century old. As the Army’s primary war-fighters and the core of the Combat Arms team, Infantry Soldiers are responsible for closing with and destroying the enemy. Supported by the Artillery, regiments of Armour and the Combat Engineers, 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.
Infantry Soldiers have the following primary duties:
- Expertly operate and maintain a wide range of personal and section-level weapons, including rifle (with and without bayonet), 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 and equipment (including clothing, survival gear and personal defensive equipment);
- Participate in airborne operations;
- Operate with support elements such as fighter aircraft, tactical helicopters (troop-carrying and reconnaissance) and artillery;
- Engage in unarmed combat; and
- Employ fieldcraft and battle procedures including camouflage and concealment, patrol, assault, defence, and escape-and-evasion tactics.
Infantry Soldiers must be physically robust, mentally tough, dependable, self-disciplined, and able to react quickly and adapt readily to changing situations. They must possess courage and common sense, and be both able and willing to learn the wide range of specialized skills and techniques made necessary by the diverse nature of infantry operations. Personal integrity and leadership ability are vital, as is the ability to work well as part of a team.
Basic Military Qualification
The first stage of training for everyone is the 13-week Basic Military Qualification (BMQ) course 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. It is also physically demanding. A primary goal of this course is to ensure that all recruits attain the CF physical fitness standard. BMQ covers the following topics:
policies and regulations of the Canadian Forces;
- CF drill, dress and deportment (the “three Ds”);
- basic safety;
- first aid;
- personal survival in nuclear, biological and chemical conditions;
- handling and firing personal weapons;
- cross-country navigation; and
- personal survival in field conditions.
On successful completion of BMQ, Infantry Soldiers go to a Military Training Centre for the 4-week Soldier Qualification (SQ) course, which covers the following topics:
Army physical fitness;
dismounted offensive and defensive operations;
advanced weapons-handling (working with grenades, machine-guns and anti-tank weapons); and
Basic Military Occupational Training
Basic Military Occupational (MOC) Training for Infantry Soldiers is conducted by their regiment. It takes about 17 weeks, and takes place at one of the following Military Training Centres:
- The Royal Canadian Regiment: Meaford, Ontario;
- Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry: Wainwright, Alberta; and
- The Royal 22e Régiment: Valcartier, Quebec. Basic MOC training covers the following material:
- 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; and
- Infantry section and platoon tactics, including offensive, defensive and transitional operations.
On successful completion of MOC training, Infantry Soldiers are posted to one of the following battalions:
- The Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR)
- 1stBattalion (1 RCR): Petawawa, Ontario
- 2ndBattalion (2 RCR): Gagetown, New-Brunswick
- 3rdBattalion (3 RCR): Petawawa, Ontario
- Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI)
- 1stBattalion (1 PPCLI): Edmonton, Alberta
- 2ndBattalion (2 PPCLI): Shilo, Manitoba
- 3rdBattalion (3 PPCLI): Edmonton, Alberta
- The Royal 22eRégiment (R22eR)
- 1stBattalion (1 R22eR): Valcartier, Quebec
- 2ndBattalion (2 R22eR): The Citadel, Québec City, Quebec
- 3rdBattalion (3 R22eR): Valcartier, Québec City, Quebec
Infantry Soldiers normally work outdoors, where they may be exposed to extreme environmental and climatic conditions for extended periods without rest or shelter. Both in training and on operations, they are frequently subjected to loud noises, and considerable physical and mental exertion is required of them. When deployed on operations, their work is physically and mentally stressful, and the risk of injury is always present. Like other CF personnel, Infantry Soldiers may be required to live in cramped quarters when deployed on operations. Appropriate training, environmental clothing and equipment are provided, and Infantry Soldiers’ health, safety and morale are closely monitored.
Advanced and Specialty Training
As their careers progress, Infantry Soldiers who demonstrate the required ability and ambition will be offered (through formal courses or on-job training) the following advanced MOC training:
- Reconnaissance Patrolling
- Anti-Armour Gunner
- Section Commander
The following specialty training may also be available:
- Basic Parachutist
- Parachute Jumpmaster
- Para Instructor
- Mountain Warfare
- Instructional Techniques
- First Aid Instructor
- Unarmed Combat Instructor
- Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defence Instructor
- Urban Operations
Infantry Soldiers enjoy excellent opportunities for advanced training and promotion, and advancement can be faster for Infantry Soldiers with agile intellect, good leadership ability and a positive attitude than for CF members in other occupations. Employment opportunities for Infantry Soldiers exist across Canada and on deployed operations around the world.
Related Civilian Occupations
The Infantry Soldier occupation is uniquely military and has no civilian equivalent; however, the experience Infantry Soldiers gain in the use and maintenance of vehicles, communications equipment, weapons and tools of all types is highly applicable to many civilian jobs. More important, an experienced Infantry Soldier has the self-confidence, integrity, loyalty and trustworthiness that good employers want. Infantry leadership skills are also highly desirable to civilian employers.