Strengthening the Army Reserve

In 2015 the federal government directed the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces to strengthen the Primary Reserve. Along with the latest Defence Policy requirements, the result is a plan to increase and sustain the strength of the Reserve to a sustainable strength of 30,000 by 2019.  

The Canadian Army Reserve has been directed to add 1,850 of those new members. Strengthening the Army Reserve (StAR) is a detailed strategy to achieve this goal.

StAR encompasses 12 lines of effort within the areas of growth, capabilities and funding:


  • The Canadian Army has assumed full responsibility for Army Reserve recruiting;
  • An expedited recruiting process, which was trialled successfully in 5th Canadian Division in 2016, will ensure new recruits with a regular, or non-complicated background, are enrolled within 30 days - a significant improvement on the previous 60- to 90-day timeline.
  •  The Civil-Military Leadership Pilot Initiative will be expanded to an additional four provinces, allowing Army Reserve members to receive credit from civilian educational institutions, such as universities and colleges, for relevant military training. Longer-term plans will see a reverse arrangement allowing new Army Reserve recruits to get credit for civilian training;
  •  It is well understood from past experience that stable employment is a strong incentive for recruits. Therefore, a full-time summer employment program will be initiated in the Army Reserve.
  • The current Army Reserve co-operative education program will be expanded nationally, offering high school students the opportunity to complete their mandatory graduation credits and obtain Basic Military Qualification.
  • All Regular Force Cadre positions within the Army Reserve will be filled by appropriate Regular Force personnel in time for the 2018 posting season.


  • A Public Duties capability will be established within the Army Reserve with 300 new recruits allocated to The Governor General’s Foot Guards and Canadian Grenadier Guards;
  • Director Land Force Development will develop a comprehensive approach to Army Reserve Mission Tasks with input from Divisions and Corps;
  • Canadian Army Doctrine and Training Centre will provide direction and guidance to facilitate Individual and Collective Training as well as professional military education to train and validate the Army Reserves in support of Mission Tasks;
  • Canadian Army leadership will support growth and sustainment in the Army Reserves by improving access to equipment;
  • The Canadian Army will work with the Assistant Deputy Minister Infrastructure and Environment to ensure the Army Reserve has appropriate infrastructure to support its mission.


  • The funding model will be reviewed to assign resources to all StAR initiatives.

Lines of Effort

1 - Recruiting

The Canadian Army (CA) has assumed full responsibility for Army Reserve (ARes) recruiting, introducing a faster form of enrolment. This is a positive and necessary step forward in preparing for the Army of the future.

Recruiting processes are being simplified and attraction activities enhanced nationally to increase processing of new Reservists and increase interest in service with the CA.

These changes will enable applicants to be enrolled within a matter of weeks in most cases while maintaining the high standards expected of Canadian soldiers

While streamlining the ARes recruiting process is important, the CA will also synchronize the enrolment process for Reserve recruits with entry-level training at their selected ARes unit.

2 - Growth


The Army Reserve (ARes) will grow by an additional 900 positions in the near future.

The ARes is an integral part of the Canadian Army (CA). Whether on domestic operations, assisting other government departments or on expeditionary operations around the globe, the ARes must grow to fulfill the expanding number of missions and tasks it will be assigned.

Accordingly, the CA has been tasked with adding 900 new personnel to the ARes and the aim of Line of Effort 2 is to achieve this in a measured fashion by targeting the correct demographic areas of the country where this growth is most supportable.



3 - Public Duties

The Canadian Army will establish an internal Public Duties capability in the Army Reserve (ARes), including the allocation of 300 new recruits to The Governor General’s Foot Guards (GGFG) and the Canadian Grenadier Guards (CGG). This will enable both to force-generate part-time soldiers to conduct Public Duties activities in the National Capital Region.

Public Duties events include the daily Changing of the Guard ceremony and the provision of sentries at Rideau Hall during the summer and other public events in the National Capital Region, to include honour guards for arriving dignitaries and funerals at the National Military Cemetery located in Beechwood Cemetery. Public Duties events are highly visible to visiting Canadians and international tourists, and, as such, the Ceremonial Guard is the face of the Canadian Army in Ottawa during the summer.

Presently, the Ceremonial Guard is composed of members of the GGFG and the CGG as well as Reserve and Regular Force members from all units across Canada. Under Strengthening the Army Reserve Line of Effort 3, the GGFG and the CGG will reinvigorate their ceremonial role over the next few summers and these two units will be increasingly responsible for the execution of all Public Duties in the National Capital Region.

The GGFG and the CGG are light infantry units, and Soldiers who join their ranks will be fully trained as light infantry with an added emphasis on personal drill and deportment. They can expect their summers to be occupied with challenging and rewarding training and the execution of Public Duties in the National Capital Region.

4 - Mission Tasks

Army Reserve (ARes) Brigades and their Units will have vital missions that provide meaningful contributions to the Canadian Army (CA) mission.

As part of the Strengthening the Army Reserve (StAR) initiative, ARes units will be focused more closely on specific Mission Tasks. Mission Tasks mean viability. Clear responsibilities to support the Army mission provide opportunities to grow and integrate better into operations with the Regular Force.

The ARes has expertise that is valued for domestic and international operations. Given current threat environment and political realities, renewed vigour has been injected into achieving capability. Many capabilities, such as Influence Activities and Arctic Response Company Groups, are already established.

Units that perform well will be rewarded with growth and Mission Tasks.

Line of Effort 4 will help drive force generation structure and efforts by attracting prospective recruits with particular interests in those Mission Tasks. This will also create opportunities for the ARes to grow and better integrate into operations with the Regular Force.

5 - Training

Army Reserve (ARes) training means flexible options, greater retention and better promotion opportunities.

The Canadian Army is committed to increasing training opportunities for the ARes. New enrollees will have access to a training regime that will provide them the skills and knowledge needed for rapid progression, more opportunity and increased responsibility as ARes members.

Within four years of enrolling in the ARes, Non-Commissioned Members will have the necessary qualifications to reach the rank of Sergeant. Officer recruits will be qualified to reach the rank of Captain in the same time period. Each promotion provides enhanced financial benefits and employment opportunities, including options to volunteer for deployments on domestic and international operations with Regular Force members.

6 - Equipment

The Canadian Army (CA) is committed to ensuring its Army Reserve (ARes) has access to the right equipment for its mission.

The CA will reinforce the ARes through the establishment of defined tasks and sustained growth to strengthen the CA in the delivery of decisive land power in the achievement of Canadian defence objectives.

Historically, access to equipment for training and operations for ARes units has been challenging.The intent of Line of Effort (LoE) 6 is to revitalize and enhance the ARes experience through improvements to training capacity and access to equipment.  LoE 6 will be an enduring activity that will serve to guide and synchronize future equipment efforts, enhancing the production and management of the ARes Equipment Reinforcement Plan. 

The end state will see a strengthened ARes that is well integrated into the total Force with sufficient numbers trained, prepared and equipped to be ready to contribute to operations at home and abroad.

7 - Regular Force Cadre Enhancement

Army Reserve (ARes) Units will get full  staffing for Regular Force positions.

The Canadian Army (CA) is responsible for staffing Regular Force Cadre (RFC) positions within all ARes units. The RFC is composed of members of the Regular Force who are posted full-time to ARes units and have proven themselves invaluable for the depth of knowledge they provide. The CA is committed to filling all of these positions by Annual Posting Season 2018.

By doing this, the CA will ensure the ARes is fully supported by a complete and sustainable RFC structure that is composed of fit, healthy and resilient personnel. This will be a joint effort of Army Staff Headquarters, Career Managers and Corps Directors of all Military Occupation Specialties for which the CA is the Occupation Authority. 

This enhancement of the RFC will, in turn, facilitate ARes integration with the Regular Army and improve training and access to equipment, thereby setting the conditions for a more beneficial experience for Reservists.

8 - Civil-Military Leadership Pilot Initiative

The Canadian Army (CA) is expanding its advocacy in obtaining university and college credits for Army Reserve (ARes) training across Canada

The CA is expanding the already-successful Civil-Military Leadership Pilot Initiative (CMLPI) to locations in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. CMLPI is a mutually beneficial partnership between the Canadian Armed Forces and various Canadian academic institutions through which ARes members can be granted advanced standing in an academic program for their military training. Longer-term, the intent is to further expand CMLPI to allow civilian qualifications to be recognized in military trades.

9 - Canadian Army Reserve Funding Model Review

Canadian Army Reserve (ARes) Brigade and Unit funding is transparent and secured.

The Canadian Army Funding Model (CAFM) is a key element of the financial management framework of the Canadian Army (CA) and the focus of this Line of Effort (LoE).

LoE 9 will provide the platform to ensure that adequate and consistent funding is provided to the ARes to successfully achieve the objectives set out in Strong, Secure, Engaged: Canada’s Defence Policy.  

The re-alignment of funding will directly link budgets to results with the aim of ensuring assigned tasks are properly funded. ARes leadership at all levels will understand the link between resources assigned, which includes proper funding, to objectives they are tasked to achieve. The re-aligned Canadian Army Reserve Funding Model (CARFM) will better position the CA to fully demonstrate stewardship of its resources.

10 - Full-Time Summer Employment

All Canadian Army (CA) Reservists can expect to be gainfully employed for at least the first four summers of their engagement.

The prospect of stable summer employment with a regular paycheque has long been a major factor in attracting young Canadians to the Army Reserve (ARes). Line of Effort 10 will initiate the Full-Time Summer Employment (FTSE) program starting in 2018 and it is intended to draw more young Canadians to the ARes. All ARes soldiers who wish to be employed on a full-time basis between  May 1 and  August 31 can do so by indicating their availability to their Chain of Command.

ARes members who were recruited in September 2015 or later are guaranteed full-time summer employment during their first four years of service. By committing to joining or staying with the ARes, they will receive a sustained income stream to assist with their continuing education or other goals.

Full-time summer employment will not be limited to those first four years; embarking on a comprehensive program such as FTSE will require plenty of leadership and support staff to ensure its success. Members who are not in their first four years, but are interested in full-time summer employment, can expect to continue their training or to be gainfully employed supporting the FTSE program. Those interested should simply indicate their availability to their Chain of Command.

11 - High School Co-op Program

The Army Reserve will expand basic training into more high schools across Canada. Recruits in high school will study, gain school credits and get paid.

The intended result of Line of Effort 11 is a national expansion of the Canadian Army High School Co-op Education Program, which has been in existence since 2005.

The program offers students opportunities to complete their mandatory high school credits while also pursuing their Basic Military Qualification, which may lead to furthering their career opportunities within the Canadian Armed Forces, Regular or Reserve.

12 - Infrastructure

The Canadian Army (CA) is ensuring future infrastructure changes will support the Army Reserve (ARes) locations.

Assistant Deputy Minister Infrastructure and Environment (ADM (IE)), not the CA, is responsible for the management of all Canadian Army Real Property. The aim of this Line of Effort is to ensure that the ADM (IE) plan for ARes Real Property fully supports the ARes organizations, establishments, missions and tasks resulting from this order.

CA buildings must be efficient, suitable, accessible and located in advantageous recruiting catchment areas. They must also reflect the importance of the CA to the community. 

Investments are being made to modernize and improve infrastructure supporting the ARes to better meet current and future demands. The end state will be a much higher-quality infrastructure portfolio. 

The CA is fully participating in studies to determine how it can best improve the quality of its buildings and meet its emerging mission requirements.

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