A lesser-known trade: a signaler’s story

Article / January 9, 2017

By Ashley Materi, 3 Cdn Div Public Affairs

After moving to Canada in 2008, Private (Pte) Callum Moore decided that he wanted to do something positive to pay it forward to his new home. Originally from Scotland, Pte Moore became a Canadian citizen in 2011 and decided that joining the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) as a Reservist was a way he could give back to the country.

 “I love the fact that I’m able to represent Canada the way I can,” he says.   “It’s a great feeling.” 

He recognized the practicality of the Signals trade, which prompted him to sign up with the Royal Canadian Corps Signals in October of 2015. Currently a full-time sociology student at the University of Calgary with a focus on criminology, Pte Moore intends to join the police force, either with the Calgary Police Service or with the RCMP.

He says that despite the need for careful balancing between his studies and his work, the Reserves is a great part-time job while being in school. It’s more interesting than a job at a coffee shop or warehouse because  “there’s a lot more variety for what you’re doing on a weekend or a Wednesday night than a regular job would have,” he adds.

While he acknowledges that there are many exciting options within the Reserves world, he opted for Signals because it meant that he would receive useful training and a skillset that he wouldn’t otherwise be able to hone.

Though army trades like infantry and artillery typically garner the largest share of the spotlight, lesser-known trades such as signallers are instrumental to the battle group. They provide the means for tactical and strategic communications between CAF members during operations and exercises, and deliver support to civilian authorities during times of domestic emergency and security. Whether it’s telephone lines, radio nets or internet cables that the signallers are working on and maintaining, their job allows for reliable and secure communication.

Pte Moore finished his Basic Military Qualification (BMQ) course in the summer of 2016, and moved straight to the Development Period 1 (DP1) course for Signals, which taught him the necessary skills to participate in Exercise Bison Warrior in Dundurn, Saskatchewan. He appreciates the availability of unique and fun courses that he can take for training, and voraciously accepts as many as possible. Up next is likely a line course in Kingston, which teaches the specifics of how to be a lineman, including running lines, climbing poles safely, and getting into different line systems.

Having the opportunity to learn new skills is important to Pte Moore, but he says that community engagement is another significant factor for him. He appreciates when civilians approach him on the street and ask questions, whether it’s what the “RCCS”  (Royal Canadian Corps Signals), on his uniform stands for or what the soldiers are doing on a given day. The visibility is an important reminder for civilians that Reserve units are spread throughout the country, and soldiers are serving their communities throughout the year.

 “I feel for a lot of people the army is an unknown entity you only see about once a year on Remembrance Day or on the occasional parade, so it’s nice to be able to talk to people. We’re not just the guys running around in camouflage. We’re here, in your community, we’re at school, we’re at work — we’re all here with you.” 

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