The Legion initiates outreach program to Canada’s Reserve Forces

Jan 21, 2014

Over the last 20 years, the Canadian Armed Forces have experienced a significant number of operational deployments, and members of the Reserve Forces have been an integral part of these deployments. Canada’s Reserve Force members volunteer to serve part-time in the Forces to support the Regular Force at home and abroad. They often are called on to serve as part of a mission in Canada or overseas. Currently, over 400 reserve personnel are serving on peacekeeping and humanitarian missions around the world. In the past, up to 40 per cent of all peacekeepers have been reservists.[1]

Canada’s Reserve Forces are Veterans, and deserve the same level of care and benefits as our Regular Forces.  As part of our mandate, the Legion supports and advocates on behalf of all Veterans including members of the Reserve Force.  The Legion has long expressed a concern with the lack of a proactive government outreach program to reach out to Reserve Units and their members to ensure these Veterans are being looked after. We want to ensure all Reserve Force Veterans are aware of and receive any and all benefits they are eligible for. The Legion identified this gap at the 2010 and 2012 Conventions as a high priority issue that the government of Canada must address. In 2013, the Legion also offered to be a part of the solution!

As the only national Veterans service organization with over 1400 branches across the country, the Legion is in a unique position to help. In the summer of 2013 the Legion embarked on a proactive outreach initiative, sending letters to all 263 Reserve Units offering to provide briefings to their members on the benefits and services they are eligible for, as well as the services available to them through the Legion. By connecting with all Units, we can help ensure Reservist Veterans are aware of and have access to the care they deserve. If you would like more information on this initiative, please contact Dominion Command Service Bureau at servicebureau@legion.ca6 .

As the Legion’s outreach program gets underway, we were very pleased to receive a letter from General Thomas .J. Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff of the Canadian Armed Forces, sending his gratitude and endorsement of the Legion’s outreach initiative. General Lawson commended the Legion for initiating such a program to Canada’s Reserve Units and thanked us for the work the Legion does on behalf of all current and future Veterans.

Read the full letter from General Lawson7


[1] FORCES.CA. Career Options/Part Time. Retrieved January 20, 2014 from http://www.forces.ca/en/page/serviceoptions-123#PartTime-28