Working part-time in the Reserve Force

Article / January 31, 2017

By Danielle J. Carlson, 3 Cdn Div Public Affairs

It was not a difficult decision for Captain (Capt) Jason Pascoe to become a Reservist. Originally from Australia, Capt Pascoe served ten years in the Australian Army before following his wife to Edmonton, Canada. He applied for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in 2012. Two years later, very shortly after becoming a Canadian citizen, he joined the Loyal Edmonton Regiment.

It’s something I’ve already been working on for quite some time,”  said Captain Pascoe.   “I literally went from my citizenship ceremony and straight down to the desk with my citizenship certificate so they could add that to the file.” 

Similar to the Regular Force, the Reserve Force is a fully incorporated part of CAF that has made substantial contributions to Canada's domestic as well as expeditionary operations. Unlike the Regular Force, however, there is no set minimum amount of years that Reservists must serve. They have the option of working part-time as well.

Some individuals choose work full-time in the Reserve Force; however, many enlist part-time in order to better balance their military work with other responsibilities. Captain Pascoe is an infantry officer and Platoon Commander within the Loyal Edmonton Regiment. He chose to join the Reserves because he wanted a challenging work environment that also served others. But when he is not in his military uniform, he continues to be community-oriented as an Edmonton community peace officer.

 “Being a Reservist and then a peace officer is great for leadership wherever you are,”  he explains.   “There were a lot of challenges it seemed, in relation to physical challenges and being part of a team. But it really looked like something I could achieve and be a part of.” 

There have been several moments when Captain Pascoe felt the need to draw experience from both of his jobs, such as during domestic operations. He, along with the Loyal Edmonton Regiment, provided relief while the wild fires raged in Fort McMurray last spring. Captain Pascoe believes that his experience as a peace officer helped his ability to lead his team to complete their tasks. 

Employment can also be balanced with schooling or family-related responsibilities. Since he was not required to serve a certain amount of years, being a Reservist made moving to a different country much more efficient for Captain Pascoe and his wife. Working part-time also allows him to earn his Master’s Degree in Disasters and Emergency Management through the Royal Roads University.

Communication and time management was the key.” 

While multitasking can be difficult at times, many Reservists are able to find a healthy balance between responsibilities. It is manageable as long as they set realistic expectations for themselves and communicate their situation to those involved.

 “I have managed to do this with the support of my employer, my professors, and my family. There has been some sacrifice here and there; however, the return on support and experiences is immeasurable in my mind.” 

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