With their scarlet tunics and bearskin headdress, the Ceremonial Guard of the Canadian Armed Forces, the Band of the Ceremonial Guard and its Pipes & Drums are one of the most recognizable military units in Canada.
For over 50 years the Changing of the Guard has been a top Ottawa summer attraction, having thrilled thousands of visitors on Parliament Hill. They proudly provide sentries at the National War Memorial and Rideau Hall, the official residence of His Excellency David Johnston, the Governor General of Canada.
This year David Belet, a Sarnia resident, has the opportunity to spend his summer as part of this tradition and will also participate in Canada Day parade.
Belet, a reservist who is a Corporal with the 1st Hussars, is also a graduate of Sarnia Collegiate Institute and Technical School. He is also extremely proud to be in Ottawa.
“I have always wanted to represent my regiment in the National Capital,” says Belet, “I can really gain a greater appreciation of the drill, formalities, and traditions within Canadian Armed Forces.”
Belet has undergone three weeks of intensive drill training during which he mastered the precision movements, attained a high standard of dress and deportment, underwent extensive physical fitness training, and was fitted and tailored in the scarlet uniform. He also expects that the knowledge he gains this will prepare him for other deployments in the Canadian Armed Forces.
During the summer, he will also participate in Ceremonial Guard appearances around eastern Ontario, and as well as the culmination event known as Fortissimo, a military and musical spectacular event that takes place in late July on the lawns of Parliament Hill. It features massed military bands, pipes and drums, guest performers and the soldiers of the Ceremonial Guard. It will take place July 23-25.
So when the scarlet tunics march through the nation’s capital, the band playing, banners flying, and the crowd cheering, remember there is a Sarnia connection.