Following the example of the American Special Operations Forces (SOF), the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) is considering a recruiting plan that will allow civilians off the street to try out for SOF selection.

With the increased importance of SOF becoming evident with each passing conflict, the Canadian military is trying to swell its SOF ranks by an additional 600 operators.

“This is not about achieving set quotas or anything else,” said Maj. Gen. Peter Dawe, commander of the CANSOFCOM, in an interview with The Canadian Press. “From a hard-operational perspective, do we have the right mix of people with the right sort of background, education, language, ethnicity, and gender that will allow us to do what our government expects us to do and will expect us to do in the future?”

CANSOFCOM is currently composed of about 2,000 commandos and contains four units: the Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR) specializes in Special Reconnaissance (SR) and Direct Action (DA) missions; Joint Task Force 2 (JTF-2) specializes in counterterrorism, the Canadian equivalent of the Delta Force; The 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron provides aviation support; and the Joint Incident Response Unit specializes in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) warfare.