Windsor army reserve platoon looking to recruit following pandemic lull

Reserve soldiers train on weapons at the Major F.A. Tilston Armoury in Windsor. (Jacob Barker/CBC - image credit)
Reserve soldiers train on weapons at the Major F.A. Tilston Armoury in Windsor. (Jacob Barker/CBC - image credit)

The Canadian Army Reserve in Windsor took a hit in recruitment in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to one commander, and while things are picking up again, they would like to see more people come out to sign up.

"You can join in sooner. You can get fully trained and you can get out here earning money and learning new great skills and travelling Canada," Major Mitchell Colomba said.

Starting last week and continuing for the next little while, soldiers in the Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment will be marching around the area of Major F.A. Tilston Armoury on Sandwich Street.

Jacob Barker/CBC
Jacob Barker/CBC

They meet once a week on Tuesdays and one weekend per month to do drills and learn things like weapons handling and infantry battle skills.

"They all work within the community," Colomba said.

"We've got teachers, people that work for Chrysler automotive. All walks of life here and every Tuesday they come out and put on the uniform."

The training is paid for and leads to opportunities to serve overseas. Colomba recently took part in Operation Impact in Kuwait.

"When I joined, one of my big career goals was to deploy because what's the point of doing all the training if you don't get that big check in the box to show that you know what you're doing."

For Private Drake Audet, his favourite part of the training is learning weapons systems.

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"I love it," he said. "My dad kind of introduced me to it, he's a sergeant."

Audet is still in Grade 12 and plans to go into nursing. He says he wants to keep going with reserve duty after he's graduated.

"Maybe go nursing officer or just infantry officer once I get a degree," he said.