Duty Calls

Standing on Guard: National Sentry Program

T Here are just a few short weeks left this year to spot and admire a sentry guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The National Sentry Program, which began on May 15 of this year, will come to a close on Nov. 10. As per tradition, sentries stand guard of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, located in the nation’s capital.

“The National Sentry Program (NSP) reinforces Canada’s commitment to remember and honour Canadians who served in the twentieth century’s major wars, including both World Wars. NSP also honours those who have contributed to Canada’s long-standing tradition of military excellence through to the present day,” stated a Facebook post from Canadian Armed Forces Operations.

The National War Memorial, also known as “The Response,” is a cenotaph symbolizing the sacrifice of all Canadian Armed Forces personnel who have served Canada in the cause of peace and freedom. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is located in front of the National War Memorial.

This year’s sentries

As in years past, this year’s sentries come from across the country and different elements of the Canadian military.

The sentries this year are:

  • Corporal Tristen Parsons, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Newfoundland Regiment
  • Corporal Cirrus Pruchnicki, 31 Combat Engineer Regiment (The Elgin’s)
  • Corporal Andrew Rutherford, The Princess Louise Fusiliers
  • Corporal Ethan Urquhart, The Princess Louise Fusiliers
  • Corporal Lennox Marshall, The Cape Breton Highlanders
  • Private Alyssa Mason, 1st Battalion, The Royal Newfoundland Regiment
  • Bombadier Bea Aldea, 4th Artillery Regiment (General Support)
  • Aviator Faraz Sheikhhasanabadieikeche
  • Master Corporal Derek Steffensen
  • Ordinary Seaman Willem Van Volkingburgh
  • Corporal David Andre
  • Corporal Michelle Beechinor
  • Master Corporal Gabriel Campbell
  • Private Tamara Centis, 21 Electronic Warfare Regiment
  • Corporal Ryan Devost, 36 Service Battalion
  • Corporal Philipe Forest, Canadian Army Intelligence Regiment Detachment Kingston
  • Master Corporal Tristan Bateman, The West Nova Scotia Regiment
  • Sergeant Jeff Andrews, 36 Canadian Brigade Group Headquarters
  • Private Mohammed Karim Ben Ammar, The North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment
  • Private William Bergeron, 12e Régiment blindé du Canada
  • Private Cloe Arsenault, 2nd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment
  • Corporal Nathan-Paul Bédard, The Sherbrooke Hussars
Image:[Canadian Armed Forces Operations](Canadian Armed Forces Operations)

A program 16 years in the making

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has posted sentries at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier since 2007. However, the program was given a new and special meaning in 2014 when Cpl. Nathan Cirillo lost his life while on sentry duty.

Sentries are chosen from across the CAF every year, including the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the Canadian Ranger units.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was erected on May 28, 2000, when the remains of an unidentified Canadian soldier from the First World War were buried in a tomb in front of the National War Memorial in Ottawa. The Tomb became a symbol for all those soldiers from all branches of the CAF who have given their lives in service to Canada.

Sentries stand guard of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier seven days a week from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

To learn more about the program visit here.

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Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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