Chilliwack students become soldiers for a day

From firing simulated weapons to medical training, Soldier for a Day let students experience what it’s like in the Army Reserve.

Chilliwack secondary Grade 11 student

A group of high school students and adults got to experience what it’s like to be in the Army Reserve during a day-long event in Chilliwack on Nov. 19.

From firing simulated weapons, to medical training, to learning about command base stations, Soldier for a Day gave students a taste of the Canadian Armed Forces.

They got to fire compressed-air simulator machine guns in the small arms training room, take part in mock scenarios, check out military vehicles and communication systems, and use chain saws. Participants were also given basic instructions in marching, rappelling, field skills, chemical defence, technical trades, and more.

Put on by 39 Canadian Brigade Group, and taking place at the 39 Combat Engineer Regiment’s Chilliwack location on the former CFB Chilliwack grounds, dozens of army reserve enthusiasts from throughout the Fraser Valley took part in Soldier for a Day.

The 39 Combat Engineer Regiment is an Army Reserve engineer regiment of 39 Canadian Brigade Group garrisoned in Chilliwack, North Vancouver, and Trail.

The Soldier for a Day program is designed to be a fun way for participants to gain valuable experience while learning more about the role of the Army Reserve here in Canada and around the world.

The Army Reserve is made up of men and women who serve with the Canadian Forces part-time while also maintaining regular civilian jobs or attending school full-time. A reservist’s training follows school schedules closely.

They train in the local areas part-time during the fall and winter and complete full-time military training courses during the summer. There are more than 300 Reserve Units across the country with more than 20,000 reservists currently serving throughout Canada and overseas.

Since 1996, more than 1,000 students from various secondary schools in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley have participated in this program. Many students come back to participate a second time and it has become a favourite event for participating instructors.

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