Pte. Dax Lucas inside a Reserve Forces tent Saturday. The tent sleeps eight to 10 reservists, who take turns keeping a lantern and camping stove lit for warmth. The members sleep in a circle with their feet pointing towards the middle of the tent. Stove watch shifts are scrawled on a slip of paper, Lucas says the best stove watch position is the last which guarantees the most amount of sleep. Strings attached to the tent walls hold clothing hung to dry and each reservist carries with them a sleeping bag. Even at -45 C, Cpl. Michael Ewen says the tent stays slightly above 0 C. Emelie Peacock/NNSL photo
The reserves want you.
The members C Company, The Loyal Edmonton Regiment opened the doors of their armoury in Kam Lake last weekend to people interested in getting a firsthand look at what they do.
This is part of a federal cross-country recruitment push to see the reserve force increase its numbers by 1,500, to a total of 30,000 members.
Weapons systems, outfits, survival gear and training systems were on display Saturday, all part of the training and work of the regiment that currently has 22 members.
High-powered weapons may impress some new reservists, but Cpl. Michael Ewen said skills such as reading a map, packing a sled and working in a team can be life-saving.
“A lot of people they look at the weapons systems, and they’re awesome, totally awesome,” he said. “If you don’t have the compass and map skills, you’re lost. And if you can’t use this equipment you’re not effective in the field.”
After initial training, the reserves are a commitment of one night per week and one weekend per month, allowing people to have regular jobs in addition to their position in the reserves. Members can be deployed to combat zones or disaster situations. Yellowknifers have assisted during the 2016 Fort McMurray fires and 2013 Alberta floods.