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FAQ for Parents of New Recruits

Daughter holding her father's hand
  • What is basic training?
    Basic training provides the knowledge that is common to all trades and elements (Army, Air Force or Navy) of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). It develops a military state of mind and behaviour, the mental and physical endurance and the combat skills necessary for the profession of arms. The training is physically, mentally and morally demanding and lays its foundation on the fundamental values of the CAF: Duty, Loyalty, Integrity and Courage.
  • How long is basic training?
    Non-Commissioned Members: Basic Military Qualifications (BMQ)
    Duration: 8.5 weeks
    Objective: To provide the knowledge that is common to all trades and elements and produce non-commissioned members that can operate in a small team.

    Officers: Basic Military Officer Qualification (BMOQ)
    Duration: 2 – 7 Week Modules (depending on the entry plan – candidates will either conduct these modules back to back or over two consecutive summers)
    Objective: Provide the knowledge that is common to all trades and elements and prepare future officers to effectively lead small teams in simple operations in both garrison (base or military post) and austere (air field) field.

    Members: Individuals who have successfully completed either the Basic Military Qualification (BMQ) course or the Basic Military Officer Qualification (BMOQ) course.

    Candidates / Recruits: Individuals who are participating in the BMQ or the BMOQ. Once the individuals complete either course successfully, candidates will become members of the Canadian Armed Forces.
  • What are candidates doing at basic training?
    Basic training will consist of the following items: drill, first aid, weapons handling, physical training, topography, field training, (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) defence), force protection regulations* & orders, communications, military history, leadership (BMOQ only), military planning (BMOQ only).
    * (Force Protection – All measures taken to contribute to mission success by preserving freedom of action & operational effectiveness)
  • When and how often can family go to visit candidates at basic training?
    Candidates will have restricted freedom for the first four weeks of training, therefore no leave will be granted until after the four week mark. After this point, leave will be permitted based on the Platoon’s training performance, however time off could be revoked at any time. Visitors can visit only on the weekends and when the candidate is on leave. The recruit can only plan to have leave for the weekend however changes to their training schedule is something that can happen and is out of a candidate’s control. Leave for the platoon can easily be cancelled at the last minute.

    **Please Note: Leave can be cancelled at any time up until Friday afternoon at 1700 hours or anytime during the weekend.

    Leave is not granted during the week, the weekdays are scheduled for military training.
  • Is there an emergency telephone number where family members can leave a message for candidates?
    In case of emergency, candidates can be reached through the Canadian Forces School Coordination Centre at (450) 358-7099, ext 7229.
  • What does a candidate need to bring with them to basic training?
    Please see the Kit List

    Quantity      Civilian Clothing - Men
    1   Seasonal jacket
    2   Casual dress pants or clean jeans without holes
    3   Casual dress shirt or polo shirt
    1   Casual sweater (fall to spring)
    1   Pair of casual dress shoes (comfortable)
    6   Underwear
    4   Sports socks
    1   Pair of running shoes (non-marking soles)
    2   Athletic T-shirt
    2   Athletic short
    1   Bath towel

    Quantity         Civilian Clothing - Women
    1   Seasonal jacket
    2   Casual dress pants or jeans without holes (no leggings)
    3   Casual dress shirt or polo shirt
    2   Casual sweater (no transparency)
    1   Pair of casual dress shoes (comfortable)
    6   Underwear complete
    4   Sport socks
    3   Sports bras
    1   Pair of running shoes
    2   Athletic T-shirt
    2   Athletic short
    1   Bath towel
    -    Hair net and hairpins (optional)

    Quantity       Other articles
    1   Water-resistant sports watch
    1   Pair of shower sandals
    1   Soap dish and toothbrush case (white)
    1   Toothbrush
    1   Toothpaste
    1   Soap bar
    1   Dental floss
    1   Razor with blades (non-disposable)
    1   Shaving cream
    1   Deodorant
    1   Shampoo (max 750ml)
    1   Hair brush (if required)
  • Will the candidate need to bring any money? If so, how much?
    Yes, the member will require money, a minimum of $150.00.

    Please be aware that in the first week of basic training in both courses, a new recruit will be given an advance of $200.00 from their first pay, to purchase the required supplies from CANEX. The advance will then be DEDUCTED from the recruits’ first pay along with the other regular deductions, like rations & quarters and taxes, making their first pay substantially smaller than normal.

    It’s important for all recruits & families to be aware of this financial shortfall prior to starting basic training so the appropriate financial arrangements can be made prior to leaving home.
  • What official documents are required to bring and present when the candidate goes to basic training?
    a.    The following documents are required upon arrival:
    i. Birth Certificate and Certificate of Canadian Citizenship or Certificate of Naturalization (if you were born outside of Canada);
    ii. Vaccination booklet (very important);
    (If you don’t have it contact public health or your doctor otherwise the candidate will be revaccinated)
    iii. Complete Security Clearance form (obtain from the Recruiting Centre);
    iv. CF 100 – Leave Request Authorization provided by the Recruiting Centre;
    v. CF742 – Emergency Contact Notification and DND 2587 – Next of Kin Identification from the Recruiting Centre
    vi. Social Insurance Card (SIN);
    vii. Void cheque (for pay purposes); and
    viii. Your lease or proof of mortgage.

    b.    The following documents are required only if applicable to the candidate:
    i. Medical Prescription;
    ii. Eyeglass Prescription;
    (If you have prescriptions the candidate can access medications and eyeglasses immediately if required)
    iii. Birth Certificates for dependents (certified true copy);
    iv. Marriage Certificate (certified true copy);
    v. Affidavit with regards to any common-law relationship (original);
    vi. Certificate of divorce (certified true copy);
    vii. Proof of Name Change (certified true copy);
    viii. Proof of change in medical status; and
    ix. DND 1654 (reimbursement of moving expenses).
  • Is basic training co-ed? Will the male quarters be separated from the female quarters?
    Most basic training courses are co-ed. In order to develop a feeling of cohesion for the platoon, everyone lives together on the same floor of the building however the females do have their own area.
  • Can the recruit bring their car with them?
    Candidates are allowed to have their personal cars with them however access will be restricted to weekend use only when leave has been granted.
  • What can I mail to the candidate during basic training? Will they receive it in time?
    Definitely, parents and friends are welcome to send mail and parcels to candidates while they are in basic training. In fact, mail greatly assists with the candidates’ morale. Things to avoid: restricted, prohibited, and large items that can’t be stored. Baked goods are a treat, and enough for the platoon is always welcome. Please consult with the candidate for allergies within the platoon before you send any items.

    Mailing Address for a CFLRS candidate is as follows:

    Service Number (Candidates will inform family and friends of their service number once they have received it)
    Rank, surname, initials
    Course number
    St-Jean Garrison
    P.O. Box 100 Stn Bureau-chef
    Richelain, QC, J0J 1R0
  • Can I phone the candidate during basic training?
    Yes, families are allowed to contact the recruit during basic training however it is limited to certain hours. Cell phones usage is restricted to after training hours and the privilege can be revoked at any time. Cell phones times will be given to candidates to pass along to their family members.

    There is a phone number in the event of an emergency:
    School Coordination Centre (450) 358-7099, ext. 7229
  • Are the candidates safe during their time in the field while at basic training?
    Recruits are safe at all times while training or in the field. All activities are supervised and many standard operating procedures (SOP) have been put in in place to ensure the safety of all recruits and staff alike.
  • What happens if a candidate gets hurt or sick during basic training?
    If a recruit gets hurt or sick at any time throughout basic training, there are medical staff and facilities on site to assist. There are regular sick parades and procedures in place in the event of normal illnesses and small injuries as well as local hospitals in the Montreal Region for larger problems. The military have medical staff trained and ready to assist around the clock.
  • Sometimes candidates aren’t exactly physically fit, will they be able to pass the fitness component of basic training?
    During the first week of basic, candidates will undergo a physical fitness evaluation. The initial physical fitness evaluation will consist of the FORCE evaluation. (Watch the videos of the four components of the FORCE Evaluation on the Personnel Support Programs (PSP) Web Page ( A candidate must achieve the standard for all of the four components of the FORCE Evaluation in order to continue with the BMQ/BMOQ course.
    There will be some time allowed for physical fitness mentorship with the PSP staff if the candidate is not up to standard.
  • Do the candidates get enough sleep?
    The candidates’ days are designed so that the days start with a wake-up call at 0500 Hrs and lights out at 2300 Hrs. The days are busy and completely structured with physical training, class room instruction, inspections, station jobs and study periods. The candidates need to manage the evening time accordingly, to ensure personal chores get completed in the allotted timeframe.
  • Will candidates have any free time after the graduation parade?
    A few weeks prior to the Graduation Ceremony, candidates will find out when and where they will have to report to for their next training establishment. In most cases, graduates leave the day following the ceremony. Please Note: BMOQ candidates will only graduate after part 2 of their course.
  • Information on Graduation Ceremonies at St. Jean
    Family members and friends of the graduates are invited to the Graduation Ceremonies. The ceremonies take place on Thursdays at 2 pm in the HD-4 Building located at the Saint-Jean Garrison. Doors open at 12:30 pm, and guests must be seated no later than 1:45 pm on a first-come, first-serve basis. Parking spots are also available for the guests.

    The ceremony is approximately one hour long and is followed by a reception for the graduates, their families and their instructors.

    A few weeks before the Graduation Ceremony, candidates will be informed of the procedure to gain permission to meet their respective families and friends for the evenings before and after the Graduation Ceremony.

    Appropriate Dress for the Graduation Ceremony

    For civilians: Business Attire – Men -Suits, dress pants/dress jacket & tie
    Women - dress/skirt, pantsuit
    For military members: 1A with medals

Post Graduation