Optimizing CAF Fitness, DFIT is now used to help Canadian Astronauts reach the stars

Lieutenant-Colonel Joshua Kutryk and Jennifer Sidey, the two newest Canadian astronaut recruits at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) in Saint-Hubert Que. on July 5, with DFIT personnel support program members.
Lieutenant-Colonel Joshua Kutryk and Jennifer Sidey, the two newest Canadian astronaut recruits at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) in Saint-Hubert Que. on July 5, with DFIT personnel support program members.

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The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) launched the fourth astronaut recruitment campaign on June 17, 2016. DFIT was responsible for the design and conduct of the physical aspects of the selection process.

The DFIT team designed the various physical fitness tests, training sessions, realistic-job-preview scenarios and physical assessments that the candidates were subjected to during two distinct selection periods: Saint-Jean-sur Richelieu (February 2017) and Halifax (March 2017). Throughout the selection process, tremendous support was given by the Personnel Support Programs Fitness Staff in both Saint-Jean and Halifax.

Out of 3 772 applications from Canadians in every province and territory, as well as outside Canada, just two candidates were selected to represent Canada’s new generation of space explorers.

On July 1, more than one year after applications opened, Lieutenant-Colonel Joshua Kutryk and Jennifer Sidey were named as the two newest Canadian astronaut recruits. A recognition ceremony took place for all personnel involved in the 2016–17 Astronaut Recruitment Campaign at the CSA in Saint-Hubert, Que. on July 5. Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces supported the campaign.

During the ceremony, Patrick Gagnon, Senior Manager Human Performance/DFIT, along with Dr. Joy Klammer and Major Lenora Collins from Director General Military Personnel Research and Analysis, were awarded the CSA president’s coin in recognition of their leadership, commitment and execution of a very demanding mandate.

DFIT Human Performance helps prepare Canadian Armed Forces personnel for the physical rigours of today’s complex and demanding operating environments. This includes fitness programs designed especially for Navy, Army and Air Force tactical athletes to help optimize their fitness and operational effectiveness.

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