Aviator Sarah Comeau stands guard at National War Memorial

News Article / November 21, 2017

Click on the photo under “Image Gallery” to see more photos.

Department of National Defence, with files from Sara Keddy

Six Canadian Armed Forces members and a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police  played important roles during this year’s national Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa.

The seven individuals, selected from across the country, were in Ottawa from November 5 to 12, 2017, to take part in a unique experience: the annual Remembrance Day Sentry Program.

This year’s Royal Canadian Air Force sentry was Aviator Sarah Comeau from 14 Wing Greenwood, Nova Scotia. She joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 2014 and is currently a supply technician at 14 Wing. She is active in both her military and civilian communities; her activities include being a member of the 14 Wing Guard of Honour, past president of the Kington (Nova Scotia) and District Home and School Association and photographer for the Middleton, Nova Scotia soccer organization.

Before Remembrance Day, Aviator Comeau said she was looking forward to the opportunity, especially as she is relatively new member of the RCAF.

“I’ve been at 14 Wing since March 2016 – this is my first posting,” she said. She looks after “anything with a license plate” for the wing’s Technical and Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Squadron.

Aviator Comeau is from Greenwood but from a family with no military experience in its history. She attended interior decorating school after high school, worked retail in Greenwood for 10 years and had two children before she thought about joining the military herself.

“My brother had joined by then – he’s here in Greenwood, too. I was just as surprised as anyone to join – but I absolutely loved [basic training] and was like, ‘Deploy me!’ Wherever I can go, I want to do it.”

When the opportunity arose earlier this summer to apply for national sentry duty, her keenness – and the fact she was just days over the service and training criteria – prompted her interest.

“I don’t want to turn down any opportunity – small deployments, trainings…. This is one of the things I could do. It’s an incredible honour to be selected for the RCAF.”

In addition to being sentries during the Remembrance Day ceremony at the National War Memorial on November 11, the seven members participated in activities such as visits to Parliament Hill, Rideau Hall, National Defence Headquarters, the Canadian War Museum, the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum, and the RCMP Technical and Protective Operations Facility.

The program participants are selected for this honour by their respective services, based on several factors, including deployment experience, community involvement, physical fitness and their record of conduct.

Created in 1998, the Remembrance Day Sentry Program recognizes outstanding Regular and Reserve Force sailors, soldiers, and airmen and airwomen of the Canadian Armed Forces and the RCMP for their dedication, professionalism and performance.

The other participants in this year’s program were:

Sergeant Kevin Beauchemin, sentry commander, from 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Headquarters and Signal Squadron in Edmonton, Alberta.

Leading Seaman Richard Balbuena, Royal Canadian Navy sentry, from Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Fredericton in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Corporal Michel St-Pierre, Canadian Army sentry, from 2 Service Battalion in Petawawa, Ontario.

Sergeant Mike Polegi, Royal Canadian Mounted Police sentry, from “K” Division Headquarters in Edmonton, Alberta.

Lieutenant(N) Elodie Tremblay, nursing officer, from Canadian Forces Health Services Group Headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario.

Sergeant Jimmy Lavallière, special guest of the Chief of the Defence Staff, from 3rd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment in Valcartier, Quebec.

Date modified: