Working with the Cadet Organizations Administration and Training Service (COATS) – a unique component of the Reserve Force

CWO Godbout discusses cadet training with staff at the Connaught Cadet Training Centre in Ottawa
Chief Warrant Officer Gilles Godbout discusses cadet training with staff at the Connaught Cadet Training Centre in Ottawa, Ontario in July 2018. Photo: Cadet Warrant Officer Susan Charchuk

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By Captain Amber Lawson, National CJCR Support Group

Some life decisions are easy, like in 2016 when CWO Gilles Godbout decided to transfer from the Regular Force to Reserves under the Cadet Organizations Administration and Training Service (COATS).

COATS is a unique component of the Reserve Force responsible for the Cadet and Junior Canadian Rangers programs. Having started out as a cadet himself in the mid-70s, CWO Godbout recognized he had something left to share with the organization that led him to a 35-year career in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Today, CWO Godbout serves as the Regional Chief Warrant Officer for the Regional Cadet Support Unit – Central, based at CFB Borden, Ontario. He can be seen regularly traveling with his commander to meet with the over 17,000 Sea, Army and Air Cadets, and approximately 2,300 Cadet Instructor Cadre (CIC) Officers and Non-Commissioned Members throughout Ontario.

“Using 35 years of knowledge and leadership experience to help improve the lives of young Canadians and CIC officers across the country is the best part of my job,” says CWO Goudbout.

Image gallery

  • Chief Warrant Officer Gilles Godbout
  • Lieutenant-Colonel G. Dore and CWO G. Godbout visit the HMCS Ontario Cadet Training Centre
  • CWO Godbout discusses cadet training with staff at the Connaught Cadet Training Centre in Ottawa

In addition to helping to shape the next generation of young Canadians, COATS members are able to serve until their 65th birthday, with the option of continuing to build pensionable time towards the Reserve Force Pension Plan if desired.

To make it easier for members to do a component transfer into COATS, the process has recently been streamlined and simplified with the publishing of CANFORGEN 010/19 (internal link).

“Each time I meet cadets at camp or at their local training areas, I can clearly see the impact we have on their lives. I feel recharged and fulfilled hearing them speak of the impact we have on tomorrow’s leaders,” says CWO Godbout.

There are a number of full-time and part-time opportunities available for members of all ranks, trades and occupations at the COATS headquarters in Ottawa, at any one of the 5 Regional Cadet Support Units, or at the over 1,100 Cadet Corps, Squadrons and activity centres that span the country from coast to coast to coast.

If you are interested, consult CANFORGEN 010/19 (internal link) or send an email to cadet-info@forces.gc.ca for more information.

Come and help us shape our future leaders in Canada. We want to hear from YOU!

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