Clearance Divers, NTOG mine Army event for recruits

Kateryna Bandura, 
Lookout Editor 


The best way to recruit high-level fitness members to high-intensity trades is to go where these people are, says one Clearance Diver (CD).

In search of new recruiting grounds, Master Sailor (MS) Mark Littler partnered with MS David Aubin from the Naval Tactical Operations Group (NTOG) for a 5-day recruiting campaign in Petawawa, Ont., during Exercise (Ex) Olympian Bear.

The endeavour marks the first time CDs and Naval Tactical Operators have worked together towards the same goal. Both offer unique opportunities to Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members seeking a challenging career and a faster pace.

“Ex Olympian Bear attracts the fittest, motivated, competitive CAF members, which is our target audience,” MS Littler said. “Typical recruiting relies on social media or members contacting the trade themselves. In my opinion, face-to-face is the most valuable recruiting method.”

Olympian Bear is a three-day sporting event held by Garrison Petawawa. Teams from each unit compete against each other in different sports, including basketball, hockey, powerlifting, volleyball and more. The team with the most points wins the year’s Olympian Bear Champion and bragging rights.

The Ex takes place when most members are not deployed, which ensures a perfect opportunity to speak to suitable candidates. CDs and NTOG set up a booth at the Dundonald Hall Fitness Centre while the teams competed in sports. NTOG showcased their Full Fighting Order, which is different and more advanced than the Army one.

To back up their talk, the sailors signed up at the last minute to compete against Army units in their triathlon challenge, which consisted of 1 mile on an assault treadmill, 100 calories on the assault air bike, and a 200-meter swim.

“Competing in this event allowed us to engage at a more personal level with the members and show them what we’re made of,” MS Littler said.

MS Littler says much information about eligibility is unknown, and that’s why recruiting is important. While basic information about specialty trades can be found online and through BPSOs, the personal aspects are best discussed one-on-one in an informal setting.

MS Littler says creating relationships and spreading the word that these trades exist as an option for the highly motivated Army members was accomplished to a high degree.

“We each had approximately 50 members with whom we engaged in lengthy discussions about our special trades and the application process,” MS Littler said. “Over the week, we spoke with well over 300 Army members about what the Clearance Diver and NTOG specialist trades have to offer. Our efforts were absolutely worth it.”

The team will continue to strengthen the bond and collaborate on similar recruiting projects in the near future, including a recruiting event on June 13 in Halifax.

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