Volume 95, Issue 21

Wednesday, October 10, 2001
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New recruits rush to sign up

Western residence fears bomb threat

Terrorism up for debate, says UWO prof

BOG profile: Scott Belton

Left-wing views cause 'uprising'

New recruits rush to sign up

By Jessica Leeder
Gazette Staff

Enrollment in the Canadian Military is up, though it remains unclear whether the conflict in Afghanistan is causing this boost in interest.

Brent Wilson, 23, who was at the Canadian Armed Forces Recruitment Centre on Tuesday looking to sign-up, said he is interested in joining the military partly due to the events in Afghanistan.

"The situation in Afghanistan has sparked my interest in the military," he said.

Captain Annette Campbell, a military career counsellor for the London branch of the Canadian Armed Forces Recruiting Center confirmed the buzz.

Military enrollment in Canada has risen, she said, though she believes it is not because of the events of Sept. 11 or even because the United States has started to bomb Afghanistan.

"We started a new recruiting drag last January due to operational commitments and attrition," said Campbell, noting that while some military advertisements made their way into movie theatres in June, they have since begun to appear on television.

As a result, many people are starting to consider employment with the military where they may not have thought of it before, she said.

"There is a big misconception that the Canadian military is the employer of last resort, but this is no longer true. We are looking for the same qualities, work ethic and experiences civilian work forces are looking for. We are trying to promote the idea that we are the employer of choice," Campbell said.

Her department is attributing the rise in military enrollment almost purely to the recruiting campaign, she said, which will help the military hire 7,200 full-time occupational officers and 3,500 part-time reserve officers each year for the next three years.

The connection with the terrorist bombings and US. retaliation is merely coincidental, she said.

London resident Elizabeth Mann, 17, who was also at the recruitment centre on Tuesday, said she was seeking a position in the armed forces because of the job security and the possibility for advancement.

Campbell said the department has received some calls from people looking to join the effort in a hurry, though most of the phone calls that came in after Sept. 11 were from people who had inquired previously and whose interest had been strengthened by the events in Afghanistan.

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