A question for my Canadian friends

LocoTex

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For some reason the thought of the many military veteran posts here got me to wondering......what percentage of the male Canadian population is composed of military veterans? I know it has to be a lower number than the American percentage, but I'm curious. We probably (well, certainly) have a more military-centric view than many other countries, us being the biggest guy on the block, but I know Canada has a most capable force. So, if you are a Canadian vet, sound off and give us your story!
 

Bigfoot410

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Why only male? I know several female vets who have proudly served.

The Canadian military as I learned a few years ago, has dwindled to around 40,000 active and reserve. Out of 40 million, that doesn't equate to many.

They rely mostly on the US for military protection. Aside from the JTF-2 and the RCAF, the Army is under staffed and under equipped anymore.

At the start of the Gulf War, the Canadian troops showed up with jungle camo in the desert and had to borrow batteries from the US to even start their CF-18 fighters.

It's sad as Canada had a huge force in WWII with the third biggest Navy (including merchant supply/troop ships) and a huge army. Many Canadians went over to fight under the British flag in the Royal Air Force as well.

I worked as a civilian on a WWII Tribal Class destroyer for a few years when I was young and was all gung ho to join the Canadian military until I learned that the government didn't view the military as a real necessity anymore.

I moved to the USA 11 years ago and at that time, I only knew about 10 Canadian military vets. They are few and far between.

There were tens of thousands of vets when I was a kid, but they've all since died off.
 

Droog

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I'm a first generation Canadian, and if you look at our older population, a lot of them served in WW11, Korea, even some in Vietnam. in later generations like mine and younger, I know many who have served but certainly most have not. For those who have served, we thank you for our freedom and protection.
 

OldBenKenobi

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I'm Canadian and the only veterans I've ever met (knowingly) were my uncle, who was forced into the military by my grandfather because he was a hoodlum, and the WWII vets they used to bring into school when I was a kid.

I have a cousin in the Navy, other than that no one I know has enlisted. In high school it was universally accepted that our military was a joke and only suckers enlist.

Every once in a while I see one of the license plates they give vets.

That's about it.
 

Olds442

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i think the moose intimidate most of the younger Canadian types. kind of like camels in the middle east, it's just a hunch.
 

dave b

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I'm Canadian, ex Navy vet (70s/80s) and if asked, would have said maybe 1%. So I googled a bit, and the numbers I came up with were approx 600,000 living vets. Works out to 1.6% of the population. :thumb:
Wasn't going to bother breaking it down by gender
 

LocoTex

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I'm Canadian, ex Navy vet (70s/80s) and if asked, would have said maybe 1%. So I googled a bit, and the numbers I came up with were approx 600,000 living vets. Works out to 1.6% of the population. :thumb:
Wasn't going to bother breaking it down by gender
That's probably a smaller percentage than I would have thought. What are you Canadian citizens ideas on why such a wide difference?
 

efstop

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Maybe we don't generally want to work in such a structured environment or be moved from home.
 

Roberteaux

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In the Seventies, I served alongside a former Canadian soldier. :hmm:

I met him in Special Forces school. Turned out that he'd done some years in the Canadian military as an infantry soldier, but had enlisted in the US Army to serve as airborne infantry and as an SF trooper. IIRC, he was assigned to the 7th Special Forces group after successfully completing the Q-course.

The reason he was among us was simple enough: the US government would award him full citizenship in exchange for a six-year enlistment in the US Army. We had a lot of Guamanian, Puerto Rican, and Filipinos who'd enlisted in the US military for the same purpose... I knew several of each, but only that one Canadian guy.

I liked the dude. He was an excellent soldier, very proficient at his soldier's stakes, and you didn't have to tell the guy anything twice. I would have been comfortable enough going to war with that guy as a comrade-in-arms... he was nobody's fool, and he was nothing if not a well-accomplished and highly reliable infantryman.

He kind of kept to himself some... and he wasn't as interested in boozing and whore-hopping as the rest of us tended to be. But by the same token, the man wasn't an introvert or anything. He was an apt conversationalist, well-read, and I enjoyed his company very much... on top of having a great deal of faith in his capabilities as a combat soldier.

--R
 
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brokentoeswalker

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Its probably because most people think if you join, you will probably be training in the Arctic or out in the middle of nowhere. Canada is mostly a big desolate unforgiving land, Don't let the toursist ads for Niagara falls fool you. Training in -60 degrees doesn't get a big "hell yeah" from most of us. Also we haven't been in a serious war since Korea, before Kuwait there was a pretty long stretch with actual peace. Peace ain't so bad. Canada ends at our borders, we have no places we took over from the locals but this country lol Its not like you could get posted to somewhere like Hawaii. I don't think you get a big bonus to join like the States either. The people who do join have my utmost respect, as they should. They represent our country and have to go and do things like fight in Afganistan that our leaders think is in the best interest of the world and our country. Whether or not i personallly think going to war with whoever is a good idea, i'll damn well respect the guy who goes to do that job for us.

I am not a vet by the way. Military in my family but most were killed in WWII and I.
 

TheX

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Maybe we don't generally want to work in such a structured environment or be moved from home.
That makes perfect sense. I joined because I wanted to get away from home. I knew that the environment wasn't going to get better, all my friends did drugs and my parents were the only family on our block (early 70s) to get divorced. I needed to get the hell out of there.
 

Howard2k

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It's a damn good question.

I think society just seems to view the armed forces differently down there. Where I went to school we did have the armed forces come in for career day but I don't think it's anything like the way that you recruit from high schools in the US. In movies and on The Internet (and how could this possibly represent an inconsistent view?) we see The Marines going into schools and recruiting under privileged kids into the forces so that they can build finish and education, build a career etc. It seems like a harder sell. Again, that's totally based on movies and The Internet, but I imagine there is a grain of truth in there.

And since a higher population of the US has served, then those people also influence other folks around them.

According to this link:

The US has approx 0.8% of its workforce serving, while Canada has 0.4%. So for every Canadian who has 1 vet in their family there is someone in the US who has 2 vets in their family. That's a pretty significant difference.


My grandfather served in WWII. Joining the Air Force was my Plan A at one point but when I left school I was too young to enlist so I chased my Plan B for a year while waiting and then my Plan B became my Plan A.
 

rogue3

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Additionally, we have the reserves.They train initially for 10 weeks,then once a year,for 35 days. I knew quite a few guys back home in the reserves.If the numbers are correct,16,000 active Army, and 4,000 active Naval reserves.
 

Howard2k

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Bigfoot410

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Shred Astaire

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I would think that since we tend to lend aid in disputes rather than have our own disputes, most Canadians don’t really consider our armed forces as a career. You know, not my circus, not my monkeys.

I’ve never really thought about it though. Right or wrong, I’m sure most of us just assume the USA would come help us if we were in trouble militarily.
 


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