PSP Barber recruits impress during deployment training

The May 9 event at Jayda’s Barbershop was held as part of PSP’s Deployment Support recruitment training in Halifax. NATHAN STONE

PSP Barber recruits impress during deployment training 

By Nathan Stone,
Trident Staff 

A group of 11 barbers spent a full day snipping, shearing and earning accolades at a free haircut event at Canadian Forces Base Halifax.  

Held on May 9 at Jayda’s Barbershop, the free haircut day event provided 27 clients with new hairdos. The barbers were recruited by Personnel Support Programs (PSP) from all over Canada. The event was a test of their skills to determine if they are fit to deploy alongside the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in support of Operation Reassurance to the Adazi military base in Latvia.

Jenna McDonald is the owner of Jayda’s Barbershop at Stadacona; she was tasked by PSP with evaluating the barber recruits. McDonald said she was judging them based on four categories: how well they interacted with customers, how efficiently they worked, the quality of the haircuts they provided and how clean they kept their area of the shop.  

Speaking after watching the recruits cut hair for several hours, McDonald said that she was extremely impressed with the skill and professionalism of all the recruits.   

“The best group we’ve ever had.” 

The evaluation was part of PSP’s semiannual Deployment Support recruitment training. Approximately 100 recruits were brought to CFB Halifax for a weeklong training course that prepares them to deploy alongside CAF personnel. Alongside the barber opportunities, PSP was also recruiting fitness instructors, retail shop workers, and other roles. One of the hopeful barber recruits was Annmarie Keohane. Originally from Ireland, Keohane has spent 25 years as a barber, with 10 of those in Canada. She lives in Edmonton and visited Halifax for the first time while on PSP training. She said that the opportunity to try something new and to give back to her adopted home enticed her to apply.  

“It’s about the new experience and doing your part.”  

Besides providing haircuts, the barber recruits spent much of the week-long training in a classroom environment, learning about what to expect while working and living on deployment. Keohane said that there was a lot of information packed into the short time frame. She described the week as “busy, but awesome.” 

Keohane and her fellow recruits can be eligible to deploy to Latvia on a 6-month contract once their training is finished.