Fairview youth to continue military training after graduation from high school

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Now in grade 12, Tyren Heck, a resident of Fairview, has already started his military training and plans to continue when he graduates from high school in 2022.

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Heck, who is of Métis descent, decided to enroll in Raven’s Indigenous Youth Employment Program last summer in Esquimalt, BC, at Work Point Barracks. The program is organized by the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) for Indigenous youth from across Canada.

“I wanted to join the military after high school,” Heck said. “I thought it was a good start. The training camp was from July 7 to August 14. Unless it was a gym class, everyone wore uniforms during training.

The program is designed to build bridges with Indigenous communities across the country and provide youth with the option of part-time or full-time employment with the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) upon completion, says a website of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). Government of Canada. Applicants for the Raven program must have completed Grade 10; be at least 16 years old (there is no maximum age limit); consider themselves to be an Aboriginal person (First Nations, Métis, Inuit or without status); and be a Canadian citizen.

Heck learned a number of skills in the Basic Military Qualification (QMB) course, taught by trained military personnel.

“It was totally worth it,” he said. “We learned first aid, fire safety, we had military training – in navigation, handling the C7 rifle. We did a combat simulation: we protected bases, patrolled barriers, did a helicopter rescue simulation. Heck and company also practiced military marching.

Other required learning included inspections, outdoor craft and an obstacle course. The Raven candidates also spent a day sailing aboard an RCN vessel, where they experienced life at sea, including exposure to firefighting, flood containment; and the principles of damage control.

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In addition to the physical aspect of the training, “we got to know other cultures, for example the Inuit,” Heck said. This was part of the three and a half day cultural camp held in Nanoose Bay. Candidates learn about traditional Indigenous values ​​and teachings taught by Elders and cultural staff. The camp is designed to help candidates understand the need for self-discipline and teamwork, and it also instills pride through Indigenous traditions within military service. All travel expenses to and from CFB Esquimalt are covered, as are meals and accommodation; military clothing and equipment; and a salary of approximately $ 4,200.

Upon completion of the program, Heck had a Basic Military Qualifications Certificate in hand.

Heck was part of the National Indigenous Veterans Day ceremony held in Peace River on November 8. He is aiming to graduate next year.

“After high school, I will have to do my basic infantry soldier training, then after that, I will be an infantryman in the Canadian army,” he noted. One of the training areas is in Wainwright, Alberta.

Joanne McQuarrie / Postmedia Staff

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