Remembrance Day Sentry Program marks 25th year with major expansion
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Remembrance Day Sentry Program, which publicly recognizes outstanding Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members from both the Regular Force and the Reserve Force, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), for their dedication, professionalism and performance in service to Canada.
To acknowledge this milestone, General Wayne Eyre, the Chief of the Defence Staff, has approved an expansion of the program. Going forward, the number of participants has increased from seven to 21, and will now consist of two teams instead of one. Eleven members were honoured with the important duty of standing vigil at this year’s Remembrance Day ceremony at the National War Memorial, and 10 additional members participated for the first time in the Remembrance Day ceremony held at the National Military Cemetery at Beechwood.
Expanding the program enables the CAF to recognize a more inclusive selection of members from a wider range of diverse trades. New to the program are a Canadian Ranger Sentry, an Eagle Staff Bearer and two musicians: a Piper and a Bugler.
Program participants have the distinction of being chosen from all nominees across Canada based on criteria that includes deployment experience, community involvement, physical fitness and their record of conduct.
Among the personnel who took part in the 2023 program was Sailor 1st class Martin Joseph Chenier of HMCS Charlottetown, who served as the Royal Canadian Navy Sentry at the National War Memorial, as well as Master Sailor Emily Bellman of the Stadacona Band, who served as the Bugler at the ceremony at the National Military Cemetery.
The Remembrance Day Sentry Program was created in 1998 as a way of publicly acknowledging exemplary Regular Force and Reserve Force sailors, soldiers, aviators and Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers. The program is expanding this year from six CAF members and one RCMP officer to 19 CAF members and two RCMP officers, to better reflect the diversity of our military and security personnel.