Movie outing inspires one woman to join the Reserves

Article / November 1, 2016

By: Ashley Materi, Public Affairs, 3rd Canadian Division

For Officer Cadet (OCdt) Maria Cappis, all it took was 30 seconds to change her life.

In 2001, a friend dragged her to a movie that she didn’t particularly want to see, but welcomed the reprieve from her busy college schedule. During the previews, an advertisement promoting the Army Reserve came on, and the idea intrigued her. 

 “There wasn’t much thought put into it,” says OCdt Cappis.   “An hour and a half movie and I’m okay ‘It’s part time, what do I have to lose? It’s a good opportunity."

The next morning, she called the recruiter.

Now, fifteen years later, OCdt Cappis is still with the Reserves, and has recently taken on a new role. After working for years as a Non-Commissioned Member, she now helps with recruitment in Red Deer, Alta. and is commissioned as an Officer Cadet with 41 Signal Regiment, 2nd Squadron. She works with the community, attending events and promoting the fact that Red Deer has a Reserves unit. Cappis says that this new position is just one of the many reasons she enjoys working with the Reserves, new opportunities and challenges always pop up to keep things exciting.

Flexibility is another factor that has kept her with the Reserves for a decade and a half. In her civilian life, OCdt Cappis is an instructor at Red Deer College, teaching courses for students who are training to become parts technicians. By being a member of the Reserve Force, OCdt Cappis is able to customize her work schedule to accommodate her other career.

 “One of the things I like about the Reserves is that it’s a part-time job that can accommodate my lifestyle,”  she says.  “If I have extra time I can put into the Reserves, I could work every day all week. If I have an exam coming up for school, I can take a week off and study to be able to do well on my exams. As long as you’re working with your chain of command, there’s flexibility in what your hours will look like.”” 

Though her two career paths are different, OCdt Cappis says that there is a lot of overlap when it comes to skills that the Army has taught her that help in her daily civilian tasks. She has taken courses to help hone her proficiency in communication, leadership, stress and time management, as well as problem-solving and computer work. These skills have helped her become a better-rounded employee, and she believes that a benefit of joining the Reserve Force is increased employability.

While being attractive to potential employers is important, so is job security. Alberta is currently experiencing an economic downturn that is resulting in massive job loss across the province, but OCdt Cappis is pleased to know that her job with the Reserves is safe.

 “I’ve been in for a long time, so to have a job that I know I’m always going to have regardless of the economy or what goes on in my life is great,”  she says.  “It’s nice to have that stability.” 

Fifteen years ago, OCdt Cappis couldn’t have known that going to a movie would have put her on this life path, but she is certainly grateful that it did.

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