Raven Program hosts Aboriginal youth

A RAVEN program facilitator provides instruction on how to halt and detain a potential threat (2016).

A RAVEN program facilitator provides instruction on how to halt and detain a potential threat (2016).

Will Chaster, MARPAC Public Affairs ~

Naval Fleet School (Pacific) staff are gearing up to host another round of Aboriginal youth wanting a glimpse into military life, and a possible career in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Forty candidates from across Canada are in Esquimalt July 10 to start six weeks of Basic Military Qualifications as part of the Raven Program.

This includes a military haircut and getting their full uniform and kit.

The program has two parts, a culture camp and basic training as new recruits. At the end of training they can continue as a Primary Reservist, make a component transfer to the Regular Force, or release.

Training emphasizes basic military skills, weapons handling, first aid, and ethical values. Since physical fitness is an integral component of military service, part of the course is spent on fitness training.

“Members vary in age from 16 to their late 20s and come from all over Canada; it really is fantastic seeing people from different parts of Canada come together for this course,” says Lieutenant (Navy) Alicia Morris, Leadership Officer at Naval Fleet School (Pacific).

Raven begins with recognition of First Nation’s culture through a Culture Camp at the Canadian Forces Maritime Experimental Test Ranges in Nanoose. Over four days participants explore their own culture and the cultures of other First Nations peoples by taking part in different ceremonies and traditions hosted by three instructors, usually Metis, Inuit and another member of the First Nations people.

Once finished, the youth head back to the Work Point barracks to start the training.

Graduation is set for Aug. 17.

If participants in Raven wish to join the naval reserve following the completion of the program, they can then complete their Naval Environmental Training Program (NETP) without having to complete another basic training.

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