Cpl. Jennifer Black

LIMOGES – With their scarlets and their bearskins headdress the Ceremonial Guard, the band of the Ceremonial Guard and the pipes and drums of the Ceremonial Guard are the most recognizable military unit 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 also proudly provide sentries at Rideau Hall the official residence of her Excellency Gov. Gen. Julie Payette.

This year an area resident has the opportunity to spend her summer as part of this tradition. Cpl. Jennifer Black lives in Limoges and is an army reservist who is taking advantage of the Canadian Army’s commitment to provide guaranteed full-time summer employment to successful applicants to the primary reserves. The Ceremonial Guard is one of the many opportunities that reservists like Black can be employed in over a four month period during the summer. Having just graduated from university Black is always up for a challenge: “I am always looking for new and challenging experiences,” says Black. “I am proud that the Ceremonial Guard represents the Canadian Armed Forces to the public and I am able to support this organization.”

Her summer will begin supporting the soldiers who will participate in three weeks of intensive drill training during which they will master the precision movements, attain a high standard of dress and deportment, undergo extensive physical fitness training and be fitted and tailored in the scarlet uniform. During the summer Black will also participate in Ceremonial Guard appearances on Canada Day, around eastern Ontario, as well as the culmination event known as Fortissimo. Fortissmo is a musical spectacular event that takes place on the lawns of Parliament Hill and features massed military bands, pipes and drums, guest performers and the soldiers of the Ceremonial Guard. It will take place July 19 to 21.

So when the scarlet tunics march through the nation’s capital, the band playing, banners flying, and the crowds applauding, remember there is a local connection.