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January 2004

CdnMilitary.ca was honoured to have an official Canadian Forces recruiter stop by our forums to answer questions on the recruiting process and providing advice to interested parties. That officer provided this guide to the application process for joining Canada's military.

This post is designed to provide some useful information that may help you prior to and during the application process and to clear up some misgivings that exist on other posts on this board. I have been working in recruiting for the past three years as a processing supervisor (in case you were wondering).

There are basically three types of people who apply for jobs with the CF.

1. There are some applicants who have very little knowledge of the military and are looking at the CF for employment. “I want to join the military”;

2. There are some that see a significant news event or a movie which sparks an interest in a career in the military. “I want to be a peacekeeper”; and

3. There are those that have always had an interest in the military and for the most part already know which trade or career path they want.

So when you are in the recruiting centre and the recruiter starts talking about other trades, he is not trying to convince you to go into a trade because they need to fill a quota. What the recruiter is doing is showing you all the trades available that share similarities to the trades that you are looking at. Numbers 1 and 2 above make up the majority of people who are applying and it is the recruiter’s job to provide information. THE DECISION IS ALWAYS YOURS.

The Process

The aptitude test is an indicator to the military as to which trades you are most suitable. There is no pass or fail and the test is not designed to challenge your intellectual abilities. There are example questions on the recruiting website that will give you an idea of what the test is like. TIP – brush up on your math.

The medical exam is to ensure that you meet the requirements of the trade to which you are applying.

The fitness test is designed to ensure that you meet the entry requirements for the military. TIP – practice pushups, sit-ups, and handgrip.

Just like any other job interview, the career counselor will want to know why you want join the forces. TIP – Do your homework! Learn about the trade that you are applying for. Where you could be posted to, what the working conditions are like, etc.

The entire application process can take anywhere from as little as 14 days to 2 years. It all depends on circumstances surrounding each applicant file and the career choice you are applying for.


All information, direction, standards, open/closed trades, and processing are directed by Canadian Forces Recruiting Group Headquarters. This information is passed to all recruiting centres across Canada so if you try phoning different centres in an attempt to get different information, you are wasting your time and ours.

Trades open and close depending on how many members release or retire in a given period. As this information is cannot be determined in anticipation, it is impossible to know when a trade will open or how long it will be open for.

Someone tells you that if you join the military and if you don’t like the trade that you’re in, you can change trades (re-muster). Changing trades while in the military is possible but it is not an easy process and normally is only entertained once you have at least 4 years in the military, the trade that you want is open, and the trade that you are currently in is willing to let you go.

If you have any general questions regarding the recruiting process, I encourage you to talk your local recruiter and/or post your questions here and I may be able to answer them or find the answer for you. “The only stupid question is the one that is not asked!”

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