SAULT STE MARIE Ont. – After earning the Top place in Northern Ontario recently, the combined 155 Air 2310 Army Pipe and Drum are off to compete this weekend at the Ontario Band and Drill Competition.
Cadet Flight Sergeant (F/Sgt.) Tyler Duncan of the 155 Borden Gray GC Squadron (Sqn.) is the Pipe Major of the band and is “hoping we bring home first place or at least a second place win”. He will be competing in his fourth Provincial Competition at CFB Borden outside of Barrie. “We are competing against the best cadet Pipe and Drum Bands from across Ontario, some with up to eight Pipers to the local bands three”. The local band is in a rebuilding phase after several senior band members have aged out on their nineteenth Birthday.
Cadet Warrant Officer (WO) Cassandra Breckenridge of the 2310 Army Cadets is also competing in her fourth competition but this time as a Swing Tenor Drummer instead of as a Highland Dancer. She said about this weekend, “I enjoy watching the other bands compete especially the Military Bands as they are very big”. During the long ride to Southern Ontario on the Coach the cadets, “play cards, watch movies and practice” while hanging out with their friends that will eventually turn into life long friendships.
When asked what she enjoys about the Pipe and Drum Band Cadet WO Grace Assiginack stated “ I enjoy spinning the Mace while the band plays. At the recent Northern Ontario Area Band and Drill Competition, she earned Top Drum Major. She added, “as the Drum Major I am responsible to gather the band members together prior to preforming and then check their uniforms for undone buttons and missing items before the judges inspect and they would deduct marks for such items.”.
WO Kaylee Marcil also of the 2310 Army Cadets and F/Sgt. Angelica Lanthier of the 155 Sqn. are two of Highland Dancers who practice on Tuesday nights at the Macleod Highland Dance Studio. They both practice many hours at home during the week. Kaylee said, “I am looking forward to seeing some of my friends from the Southern Ontario cadet units”. The part that Angelica enjoys most about being a part of the band “is the team work and that we all work together as one”.
Both Casandra Breckenridge and Kaylee Marcil also participate in the cadet biathlon program and competed in the Regional Biathlon, which was held this past winter here in the Sault. This summer Cassandra will be at Connaught Summer Training Centre where she will be building on her marksmanship skills while attending the Full Bore Rifle training program.
Kaylee will be at Blackdown CSTC where she will be in a Staff Cadet position. This will build on her leadership skills and character – defining experiences while also receiving a weekly training bonus, which are funds payed to the staff cadets that can go towards their post secondary school education. Tyler Duncan will also be at Blackdown CSTC where he will again be the Pipe Major in the Blackdown Pipe and Drum Band.
Grace Assiginack will be taking part in Advance Summer Training at Rocky Mountain Summer Training Centre in Alberta with 200 other Army Cadets from across Canada and United Kingdom. There they will participate in outdoor adventure training that includes alpine treks, white water kayaking and canoeing, survival skills, rock climbing, mountaineering, mountain biking and more.
There is no cost to join the local Sea, Army and Air cadet programs and all the transportation, meals and accommodations for this weekends’ band and drill competition as well as summer training are funded through the Department of National Defence. To learn more about the Canadian Cadet Movement please go to www.cadets.ca.