Kingston, Ontario – Life in the Canadian Army can be a challenging endeavor, both for the soldiers and for their families. Soldiers must not only be ready to meet the daily demands of their work but also all the other aspects of their personal and Army life that make this profession one-of-a-kind.

While the military life certainly does place extra demands on members who need to be prepared for exercises, for deployments and continuously changing positions, there are just as many demands placed on the family members of those who serve – and the Canadian Army wants to help.

In December 2015, the MISSION:Ready strategy was launched to enable all members, civilian employees and family members to have access to all the resources they need to be ready to handle whatever military life throws at them. The right foundation, in all aspects of life, will build a healthy, fit, ready and resilient Army Team. The areas that this strategy focuses on include physical, emotional, social, spiritual, intellectual, and familial.

Four tools make up the strategy

The MISSION:Ready strategy is currently comprised of four main tools that soldiers, their families and civilian employees can use to help them develop a strong foundation and increase their overall wellbeing. These tools are:

the MISSION:Ready website at http://strongproudready.ca;

the Readiness and Resilience Guide for Leaders,

the Canadian Army Performance Triad (CAP3) Guides and

the Road to Mental Readiness.

The MISSION:Ready website: for family and friends also.

The cornerstone of this strategy is the MISSION:Ready website, which houses links to all the programs and services offered by the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces.

The MISSION:Ready website has shown steady growth since its launch. Most often accessed are the categories of My Career, My Family and My Fitness.

Information and lists of available resources relating to career, family, health, relationships, beliefs, and finances can be found on this website. This information is not only for military members. There is great information for the family and friends of deployed soldiers. For those posted, there are links to organizations and resources to help spouses find work in the new location and how to access local resources in the new city. Civilian employees can find information to help them progress in their career as well as find recreation clubs in their area.

The Readiness and Resilience Guide for Leaders

The Ready and Resilient Guide for Leaders, which can be found on the MISSION:Ready website, is meant to start conversations between leaders and their soldiers as they explore areas that could impact their overall performance. By identifying opportunities and risks early on, soldiers can be connected to the right resources to support their efforts and enhance their skills.

The Canadian Army Performance Triad (CAP3) Guides

The CAP3 Guides are designed to help leaders, soldiers, families and civilian employees adopt healthy lifestyles that are based on achieving the optimal level and mix of activity, the right amount of sleep, and fueling the body and brain with the right food. Currently, there are specific guides for leaders and families, with a couple more currently in progress. The guides can be found on the MISSION:Ready website.

The Road to Mental Readiness

The Road to Mental Readiness training aims to ensure that the most appropriate mental health training is provided to all CAF personnel at every stage of their careers, including deployments. This training will help soldiers and their families be prepared for any challenge that may come their way.

Change is the only constant and resilience is the answer

The military is changing. How battles are fought is changing. The world around us is changing. To help soldiers, their families and friends and civilian employees adapt to these changes and ensure they are ready to handle whatever may come, they need access to tools and resources that will make sure they are resilient and prepared for military life and all it entails.

Getting started

The first step is to visit the MISSION:Ready website at http://strongproudready.ca to get familiar with the different types of information that can be accessed. Personnel should make sure those they work with, both military and civilian, know about the website and how it can benefit them. Family members are also encouraged to visit the site and see all the resources available to help them in their own lives and as part of the extended Army Team.

MISSION:Ready provides the resources to help ensure performance, health and fitness are central to everything the Canadian Army does. MISSION:Ready’s goal is to change the Canadian Army culture for the better.