Brig.-Gen. Derek Macaulay, commander of the 5th Canadian Division, said he also hopes plenty of people will turn out Sept. 30 for an open house hosted by the Yarmouth-based 84th Independent Field Battery. The event is part of a national recruiting day, but anyone – whether or not they are interested in joining – is invited to attend and learn about the local unit and about the military.
“There’ll be people there to answer questions – how can they join, what are opportunities – and more than anything, I think, it’ll be a great way to actually see some of the great Canadians that live here in Yarmouth and the region,” Brig.-Gen. Macaulay said.
Interviewed Sept. 19 after meeting with some local municipal government representatives and business people, he said the visit was part of an effort to get the word about the reserve.
He cited, for example, the benefits to young people from an educational standpoint, given that the reserves offer guaranteed summer employment and they also provide bursaries.
Whether they’re students or closer to middle age, he said, anyone who signs on with the army reserve gets to learn skills that can help them in their civilian workplace.
“Some of the training that we provide is easily transferable,” he said.
Brig.-Gen. Macaulay started his current position May 1 of this year, just a month or before the federal government tabled its new defence policy.
“I think throughout that document it is evident to the reader that an important part of the Canadian army is the part-time soldier,” he said, “and here in Yarmouth you have a great unit.”
Yarmouth was the first community and the 84th Independent Field Battery the first unit he officially visited since beginning his new job, he said, adding that it was perhaps a fitting place to start, given this area’s “gateway” status.
“I thought this is the gateway to us connecting better with our citizens,” he said.
He described his role as working “to ensure that we connect with our communities and we provide them detail about what they have in their community – and that’s proud Canadians that really represent their communities well.”
The 84th Independent Field Battery will hold an open house Saturday, Sept. 30, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will be a chance to learn about the army reserve and to chat with local soldiers. There will be various displays and activities.