‘Fun’ command performance
Submitted by Major Sandy McDonald The newly formed Glengarry Drill team competed at its first ever competition May 4 as part of the Ottawa and St. Lawrence Area annual band and drill competition.
Cadets from 379 Glengarry Mustangs Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron and 253 Claude Nunney VC Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron joined together to form a team to compete. The Ottawa and St. Lawrence Area consists of 28 cadet units, a combination of air, army and sea, all able to compete at the competition.
“I enjoyed my experience,” said Leading Air Cadet (LAC) Davin Este from Alexandria. “I was really nervous at first but as we went along, I felt so much more comfortable and I look forward to doing it again.”
“I had so much fun,” commented Air Cadet (AC) Brianna Prieur, who is also a first year cadet with 379 RCACS.
At the competition, teams complete a compulsory sequence, consisting of 95 commands, all which need to be memorized and delivered in proper sequence. This year’s drill team commander was Warrant Officer Second Class (WO2) Shawn Oertle from 379 RCACS.
Due to a last-minute withdrawal, WO2 Oertle took the role with less than 24 hours before the competition, speaking highly of his ability to adapt to perform under pressure.
Following the compulsory sequence, teams perform a silent routine, often referred to as their Freestyle. During this portion of the competition, a four to fiveminute routine is performed, using only drill movements, and no commands. This means the entire routine needs to be memorized by each and every member of the team.
Many hours of practice went into getting the team ready for competition, especially since many drill movements are not typically seen in a regular parade, as well as there being a large quantity of brand new cadets on the team. AC Jade Berthiaume, who has been a cadet for less than a month with 379 RCACS, was one of these members. “I had fun and loved seeing the other squadrons and corps doing their routines. This has made me enthusiastic for next year.”
Although they didn’t place, the experience was well worth it, building motivation and confidence amongst the cadets that they can perform at a high level. The judges specifically commented that the Glengarry Drill team had the most accurate cadence as well as the best slow march of the day.
The team was coached by staff from both squadrons: Capt. Cheryl McBean, Commanding Officer of 379 RCACS, MWO (Ret’d) Pat DiRico, a volunteer with 379 RCACS and Major Sandy McDonald, Area Elemental Advisor-Air and Commanding officer of 253 RCACS.
DRILLS: WO2 Shawn Oertle (379 RCACS) reports to the Chief Judge, Major Chris Sloan, completing the compulsory sequence with members of the Glengarry Drill Team behind him. Above right: Cpl. Jack Wilson (253 RCACS), left, and FSgt Audrey Vander Byl (379 RCACS) perform a remove headdress movement. Photo right: Sgt Rudy Vander Byl (centre) and AC Brianna Prieur perform the right dress.