For most of us winter survival means scraping off the windshield and jumping in a cold car, but for Reservists at the Springhill Armouries it means loading up the toboggan and pitching a tent in the great outdoors.
Preparing for the call
SPRINGHILL: For most of us winter survival means scraping off the windshield and jumping in a cold car, but for Reservists at the Springhill Armouries it means loading up the toboggan and pitching a tent in the great outdoors.
That's exactly what Reservist were doing in front of the Springhill Armouries last Saturday.
"We were doing our winter training," Master Corporal Krista Murray, who is the instructor of the exercise, said. "Our training consisted of loading up the toboggan, dragging it around the field, then setting up the ten man Arctic tent."
The seven reservists participating in the exercise pitched the tent in 11 minutes.
"Next time we'll try to do it a little faster, a little better," Murray said.
A group of about 30 recruits meets every Thursday night plus one weekend a month.
"Saturday was a regular 8 to 4 day," Murray said. "We started in the classroom with the theory behind how to do it, then we went out and practiced it."
Murray says they will have two more winter training sessions during this winter season.
Basic training for a reservist requires three basic entry-level courses.
"Once they have those courses done they are infantry qualified," Murray said. "It usually takes about a year."
Once they are done their training in Springhill reservists often do further training elsewhere.
"We have guys from Springhill all over the country at different bases," Murray said. "They're at Wainwright, Gagetown and Kentville."
The military is always looking for more reservists.
"We are rigorously recruiting," Murray said.
Murray has been a reservist since 2001. She has trained often in Wainwright, Alberta and now she is an instructor, often going to Camp Aldershot in Kentville to train recruits.
"It's very rewarding," Murray said. "You take a guy who knows very little about what's required and you get to see the end result. You can put him in a predicament and he knows how to react because he has the drills and the skill sets."
Murray says she enjoys the experience and is what you call a 'career reservist.'
"I'll be around for a very long time," Murray said.