Recruiters aim to dispel myths on the military at open house

The Canadian Armed Forces is offering civilians small samples of military life on Saturday: The food, the physical tests, even the marksmanship.

Navy Lt. Simon Chow said the recruiting event will be the first of its kind in Victoria, noting that similar events in Vancouver have been received with enthusiasm.

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Chow said it’s hoped the event can dispel some misconceptions about military life.

For example, he said, women sometimes express doubts about their ability to meet physical demands.

“They won’t even consider a career in military because they don’t think they can meet the physical standards,” Chow said. “In fact, the physical tests are not easy, but they are achievable.”

On Saturday, military trainers will demonstrate techniques for tests such as dragging a sled loaded with 220 pounds.

Simulators will give visitors a chance to experience shooting a rifle and calling in artillery shots using laser range finders and target-finding techniques. The rifles are aimed at a screen and discharge only air, but they do recoil.

Visitors can even try field rations like those eaten by Canadian soldiers in action.

The event comes as the Canadian Armed Forces looks to boost enlistment with an additional 3,500 regular forces and 1,500 reserve forces.

Experience the Canadian Armed Forces runs 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bay Street Armoury, 713 Bay St.

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