National Defence and the Canadian Forces

4th Canadian Division

31 Canadian Brigade Group

RHLI Open House 2005

by Capt Tim Fletcher

Have you ever wondered what was happening behind the large doors and gates of the John Foote Armouries at 200 James Street North? Hamilton and area residents had their chance to see first-hand as the RHLI held a community "Open House" on Tuesday night, November 23rd.

It was a great opportunity to see all the latest gear used by an Army Reserve infantry unit. This included basic infantry weapons, our "CADPAT" uniform, communications gear and advanced technology such as night-vision devices that allow soldiers to see in the dark. "Riley" recruiters were also on hand to provide one-on-one information sessions on what it’s like to be a part of the Army Reserve.

Displays included the chance to try the "SATS" – "Small Arms Training System" battlefield simulator. It’s a realistic laser-based small arms trainer which puts you into the middle of a full-size "combat engagement" against "video opponents" using the basic infantry rifle but without real ammunition.

A unique component of the open house had parents of servings soldiers on hand to talk to parents of potential recruits. In addition, parents were able to speak to soldiers with years of experience and get their questions answered in depth, including information on what recruits go through in basic training even down to what the dormitories are like.

A special section showed employers why hiring a Reserve soldier makes good business sense.

CHtv’s Matt Hayes did his popular noon weather forecast from the Armouries, publicizing the open house and greatly helping attendance, while an evening newscast with CH reporter Natalie Marconi carried the RHLI name into Hamilton and Burlington households yet again.


Members of the RHLI explain the workings of the C-6 MMG to these interested visitors.

A father and his daughter receive an explanation of the RHLI and the Reserves from Pte Ashleigh Lampman.

Major Sean McKee is interviewed by CHtv's Natalie Marconi and cameraman Nick Garbutt.

TV cameraman Nick Garbutt videos open house visitors trying their hand on the SATS trainer, one of the more popular sites during the RHLI open house.