Military Summer Employment Program Unveiled

The BC Dragoons regimen in Kelowna was paid a visit by Federal Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan on Tuesday afternoon, who announced a brand new program for Canada's military reserves.

Starting this summer, the Full-Time Summer Employment Program guarantees reservists summer employment with the military from May 1st to August 31st for the first four years of their service.

"We know that Canadians are keen to see increased support of the reserves, as well am I," says Sajjan. "It's not just about the jobs, it's about giving the predictability for members who are joining. So for four years, they'll have that ability to plan for the remainder of the year.

Exact jobs in the program will depend on a reservist's rank and the time they have available, and anyone enrolled will receive competitive pay and training that could lead to career progression.

And those who display significant leadership qualities during this summer period could be eligible for leadership training during the regular training season.

Lieutenant Colonol Mike McGiinty, Commanding Officer of the Dragoons, says this guaranteed employment would make the schedules of reservists less sporadic. 

"That's very difficult for people to run their lives on," Says McGinty. "If we offer them two weeks here, and three weeks here, and two weeks there, then maybe they decide to get another summer job, because they need it. Whereas if we can give them some certainty, then it allows us to program in the training that we need, and also to have the flexibility to employ them."

McGinty also hopes that this new program will help the Kelowna regimen reach its goal of increasing its number of members from 100 to 170.