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Kevin asked in Politics & GovernmentMilitary · 1 decade ago

What is the Canadian air force like? Thinking of joining?

I'm currently a 19 years old student training to be an aircraft maintenance engineer. A teacher said that Royal Canadian Air Force is hiring people in my field, so I'm thinking of applying for full-time position as a maintenance tech.

If I apply for full-time, will I have to live at the base? If I do, how much leave am I allow per year? Also, what is the minimal service length for my position and what am I to expect once I get in?

Update:

Thanks for answering! Just one more thing, "living off base", does that mean that I go home after work at the end of the day?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    My fiance is a maintenance tech. Like you, he went to college before joining full-time. After college he was in the Army part time and working as a civilian for Air Canada and IMP and soon realized that the military offered more permanent work and he wouldn't have the risk of being laid off, so he joined the Reg Force and remustered to become Air Force.

    First you will have to go to Borden, Ontario to do additional training and familiarization courses for military aircraft. You may have a shortened time there as opposed to those who never went to college as a civilian. My fiance was in Borden for around 18 months and was a one hook Private (private trained) when he got there since he had the college background. So he is paid more than the other privates. (By the way, you are paid while in school). In Borden you won't get much leave since you will be on courses all the time. However the base shuts down at Christmas for a couple weeks. After you leave Borden you will be posted to another base and will get around 20 days leave per year, which is pretty good. You will sign a contract for five years I think. As for what to expect, while in school in Borden you will live in the shacks and have one to three roommates. You can't live off base. But when you get posted after Borden, you can. My fiance got posted to Trenton, Ontario and we bought a house in Belleville which is nearby. He works on a large crew and works 12 hour shifts two to three days per week and gets every other weekend off. He really loves it. You should talk to a recruiter about all the details.

    EDIT: Yes, once you are posted out of Borden you should be able to buy a house wherever you want to, or rent an apartment or military housing - whatever you want to do. After your shift you would "go home" to your own life outside the military. But while you are in Borden you will have to live in the shacks with roommates. Two of my fiance's roommates while he was in Borden had wives and families but had to live without them in the shacks instead. So their families stayed living in their house in whatever town they were from until their training was done in Borden. I forgot to mention earlier that you will have to do some kind of basic training also but I don't know much about that since my fiance did that long before I met him. A recruiter could tell you more about that. If you check out the Canadian Forces website it will also say if there is a signing bonus for your trade right now.

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