Private Mike Henderson says his success on the firing range was due to the solid training he received from the Nova Scotia Highlanders.
“They kept the results secret until the graduation,” said Henderson. “I knew I was doing well on the course generally but I was very happy and very surprised to learn I won the top shot award.”
Henderson says the award is highly sought after.
“It’s a big enough deal they put your name on that big plaque with a gun and a bayonet on it,” he said. “You’re in the infantry so they want you to be a good shot – when push comes to shove, you want to be accurate.”
Henderson trained on the C7, a semi-automatic automatic rifle. He says the key for him was finding the right point in the breath to pull the trigger.
“I got the top shot award not only because of my marksmanship but also because on the range I applied principles received from my training,” he said. “The course emphasized discipline and safety when it comes to weapons handling, skills that are useful even in civilian employment.”
An officer cadet from New Glasgow was named Top Candidate.
Officer Cadet Devon Greene serves with the Nova Scotia Highlanders A Company in Pictou and was chosen by training staff for the honour based on her final marks, fitness, skills and leadership qualities.
“It was really an honour when you look at the good bunch I was on course with,” said Greene. “That makes it hard to stand out for my staff. It makes me feel more confident as I go into the summer course work. The courses are just going to get challenging.”
Greene hopes to continue her officer studies so she can eventually qualify as in infantry officer like her father.
In fact her mother and father met in the Nova Scotia Highlanders and her brother is now a sergeant with the unit.
“I hope to stay with the Highlanders – I love this unit, my family has been a part of this unit.”
Eighteen students graduated from the basic military qualification in Truro on April 30.
The course is the entry course new members of the Canadian Armed Forces complete before undergoing more specific training for their occupation in the Forces.
The Nova Scotia Highlanders offer the basic training at the Truro Armoury on weekends.
The reviewing officer of the parade, Major George MacNeil, Deputy Commanding Officer of the Nova Scotia Highlanders, welcomed the candidates to the Canadian Armed Forces and commended them for their commitment.
Reservists are citizen soldiers who volunteer to defend Canada through participation in military training on a full-time and part-time basis.
Candidates in the BMQ are from various military occupations including Infantry, Musician, and Combat Service Support.
Primary Reserve BMQ candidates complete twenty-four training days spread over weekends.