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Sudbury’s reserve unit hopes recruits will help it return to pre-pandemic numbers

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The Canadian Army Reserves has been holding job fairs across the country for the past month.

On Tuesday, it was the job fair and open house for the reserve unit in Sudbury, the 2nd Battalion Irish Regiment of Canada.

Civilians stopping at the Sudbury Armories had a chance to attempt the Force Test to measure their fitness capabilities.

It was one of the interactive displays set up during the open house and job fair.

“It’s a lot of hard workers here in Sudbury. We want the best that we can get,” said recruiter Master Corp. Sebastian Moellenkamp-Plouffe

“We’re always looking to recruit, which means that here in Sudbury, we do want to open it up to the public as much as we can, remind people that we’re looking for people.”

Reservists in the Canadian Armed Forces work part-time and are often deployed to help with domestic operations, such as after a flood or other natural disaster. They can also sign up for overseas missions.

Sgt. Scott Barbe said it’s the camaraderie that appeals most to him.

“We’re always together, sleeping together, and getting through the hardships and there’s no other job out there that forms that,” Barbe said.

“It’s just something that gets me going every day. Just that nice camaraderie, that sense of family and duty that we have here.”

There are about 70 members of the Irish Regiment in Sudbury. Recruiters want to build those numbers back to where they were before the pandemic.

Reservists conduct military training once a week, as well as some weekends and for a block of time in the summer.

For Moellenkamp-Plouffe, it’s the stressful training that he appreciates most of all.

“If you get past being in the rain and cold and it’s been a week that you’re out in the bush training – if you get past that, you tend to reflect a little bit on why you’re doing it, who you’re doing it with, and at the end of it what comes out of it,” he said.

“You’re in a high-stress environment so you come out of that setting into a low-stress environment, everything becomes a little bit easier now.”

Reservists in Sudbury train every Thursday evening at the Sudbury Armories.

They’ll be at in the Mattawa and North Bay area this weekend for emergency response training. No weapons or ammunition will be present during the exercise.

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