Canadian Armed Forces is sounding the alarm over a severe shortage of recruits to fill thousands of vacant positions, with the shortfall so bad that senior officers are now calling it a crisis.On a cool Tuesday afternoon, Robert Romero walks out of the Canadian Armed Forces’ recruiting office in downtown Ottawa with an envelope full of papers in his hands.Originally from the Philippines, Romero does not have any direct experience with Canada’s military; his interest is largely derived from a sense of adventure and some of what he saw about soldiers in movies as a kid.“I idolized them,” he says. “I got hooked.
So then I started researching about it and I got more into it.” Queen Elizabeth II’s death leaves questions about vacated military patronage posts Romero is one of 11 people who have just written an aptitude test to identify which military occupations prospective recruits are qualified to fill.
He pulls his results from the envelope: intelligence officer, meteorological technician and cook.He will now talk it over with his parents to decide which career interests him, whether he wants to write the test again or abandon the whole exercise.Canada’s military is supposed to be in a period of growth as new demands increase the need for trained soldiers, sailors and aviators.
The Liberal government in 2017 laid out a plan to add thousands of full and part-time positions.While the plan came after years of troop shortages, there were signs the military was turning a corner as recruitment began to outpace departures.“We were just starting to gain momentum when the pandemic hit,” says Brig.-Gen.