The open day was part of a nationwide recruitment effort for the Canadian Armed Forces.
Master Warrant Officer Kristin Trace says the camaraderie and support of joining the reserves cannot be matched.
“You learn things that you don’t learn in many other jobs that include teamwork and resiliency. It can be raining and we can be in mud up to our ears, but we are still doing the job and having fun at the same time. Plus, you get to know people that you wouldn’t run into on a regular basis.”
Prince Edward Island Regiment is a "Primary Reserve Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment" with 130 members, and room for twice that number.
“Armouries across the country are holding an open house to bring people in and show them opportunities that young or old people can take part in,” added Trace.
Summerside is the location of one of the Regiment's armouries, along with Charlottetown. The Regiment as a whole has 130 members.
There are three Reserve units on the Island - two Army, and one Navy.
“The training regime involves a bunch of different things. Most soldiers start with a Basic Training Course, which falls within Developmental Period 1 (DP1) and involves learning to drive and the tools of communication,” explained Trace. “After, they do more advanced training (on their chosen trade).”
Visitors were given the opportunity, under the guidance of sergeant Josh Gallant, to handle and practice their marksmanship using an unarmed weapon that was equipped with lasers.
Highlights of the open day also included Mercedes-Benz or “G-Wagon” tours, the ins and outs of an army tent, experiencing the weight of a typical army backpack, and a display of weaponry.
“We are demonstrating some of the tools that we use and equipment, like the tents here, G-Wagons, weaponry, and small arms training,” noted Trace.
Sergeant Ian Ross says the open day was very successful, which has been a priority for a long time.
Ross was also one of three P.E.I. members of the 5th Canadian Division, and the team placed first in the Reserve Patrol portion of the Worthington Challenge in Gagetown, N.B. The annual international competition was held from Sept. 23-29.
“I feel very happy and proud of my team because we only trained for a couple of days before and our cohesion came through at the end,” he concluded.
For more information on the recruitment process visit www.forces.ca or email Sergeant Trent Vail at Trent.Vail@forces.gc.ca