Across Canada there are Canadian Forces Reservists at work in business and government offices.
Existing Reserve units are the framework or structure the Army would use to mobilize or expand the Army should the nation ever need to respond to a large crisis as in the World Wars.
Located in over 100 communities across Canada, the Army Reserve connects Canadians with their Army.
The Army Reserve augments the Regular Force by providing soldiers, units or specialists to the Canadian Army.
Many Reservists also hold full time employment, but must take unpaid time away from work for mandatory Reserve training.
Businesses who employ Reservists are asked to support them by allowing them to take this unpaid leave without the use of vacation time, the reasoning being reserve training is hard work, not a vacation.
The Canadian Forces Liaison Council has a special award to recognize employers who support Reservists.
Ilo Van Gilder of the Kimberley Aquatic Centre was presented with the award this week by L. Col Cliff Jamieson.
L. Col Jamieson said that this award is only presented to those who provide outstanding support for Reservists.
Van Gilder was nominated for this award by Pte Caralee Blackwell, who Jamieson says wrote in glowing terms about the support she receives at the Kimberley Aquatic Centre.
“Private Blackwell would never have been able to do her training as a Reservist without this employer support,” he said.
While employers do lose their employees for certain training times, L Col. Jamieson said the upside is a better employee.
“Reservists make excellent employees,” he said.