Canadian Scottish Regiment looking for members

The Canadian Scottish Regiment is looking for people to join the Comox Valley unit that operates out of the Seal Bay Armoury on Waveland Road.

Lt.-Col. Steve Sawyer said the reserves can be a good fit for high school graduates trying to determine what to do with their lives.

“For those seeking a bit of structure in their lives, it’s excellent,” Sawyer said. “It’s a good part-time job. We give them a summer’s worth of employment. If they’re going to (post-secondary) school, that money they earn in the summer will set them up for a year. And they can apply for education assistance as well.”

The history of the Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s) dates back to the early-1900s. It’s headquartered in Victoria, with branches in Nanaimo and the Valley.

While growing up in the Comox Valley, Evan Machin wasn’t aware of the unit. When he joined, he learned that his grandfather, George Machin, had joined the Scottish before heading overseas — as did many others from the Comox Valley who served in the Second World War. Evan is now a lieutenant with the regiment.

“We’re a component of the Canadian Armed Forces, so we do all the same training,” Machin said. “Our role is kind of to augment the regular force. We also help out quite a bit with domestic operations. A number of our folks were up fighting the fires this summer.”

As an infantry unit, reserves are trained on standard rifles and machine guns, and receive first aid and leadership training.

“We train our soldiers professionally,” Sawyer said. “It’s the same course work and content that our counterparts in the regular force do.”

But regular force members have to serve wherever they are sent.

“They have choices in the reserves that the regular force don’t have,” Sawyer said.

The detachment at Seal Bay has about 24 members who parade on a regular basis. In five years, Sawyer would like to see that number expand to 100.

Members need to be 17 years old, have finished Grade 10 and have Canadian citizenship. Machin notes the regiment draws people from a variety of backgrounds: from carpenters and other trades people, to bakers and accountants.

“For people interested in joining the army, it’s a good option because you can stay local, and serve as part of the CAF in your area, so it’s a big draw that way,” Machin said. “It’s a great team environment.”

Members are eligible to have 50 per cent of the cost of their post-secondary education reimbursed, up to $2,000 a year, or $8,000

over four years.

FMI: email david.coull@forces.gc.ca or visit forces.gc.ca

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