THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO --- September 23, 2013 --- Nine recruits were enrolled into the Royal Canadian Navy as part of the Cooperative Education program being run jointly by the local school boards and HMCS Griffon.
The program is now in its 5th year. This year’s enrolees include students from Sir Winston Churchill Collegiate, Westgate High School, Hammerskjold High School, and La Verendrye High School.
Students will study topics including Military Knowledge, Military History, Canadian Armed Forces Drill, First Aid, Physical Fitness, and boat operation, Monday through Friday from 12:30 p.m-3:30 p.m. and receive two high school credits as part of the program. The course runs for 16 weeks during the first semester with graduation taking place on the 21st of January, 2014.
The students become members of HMCS GRIFFON and they have the opportunity to continue employment with the Naval Reserve after COOP, including the basic training course next summer. This is the only Navy COOP program being run in Canada.
COOP enrolment from left to right; Shirley Garrity, Caleb Vander Ploeg, Sam Hay, Caleb White, Adam Beverly, Camille Hamm, Mia Serratore, Tyler Oulton, Ordinary enrolment; Jeff Bernosky
The highlight of the program is a trip to Canadian Forces Base Halifax in December. Activities include tours of a Frigate and a Maritime Coastal Defence Vessel, visits to Damage Control School (where students observe Fire / Flood training), the Seamanship Division, Fleet Dive Unit, and the Maritime Command Museum.
The students have undergone a rigorous application process, including the Canadian Forces aptitude test, medical and fitness requirements. Even to gain entrance to the program the students have accomplished a lot.