Truro teen drill enthusiast spending summer in parade boots

Published on August 10, 2014
Cadet Mackenzie Archibald, from Truro, practices drill performed with a ceremonial pace stick. The teenager has been participating in the Argonaut Army Cadet Summer Training Centre in Gagetown, N.B. – Photo by Tracy Williams 

TRURO – A Truro army cadet has been experiencing a challenging, but worthwhile, summer.

Mackenzie Archibald has been honing his skills in the art of “pace stick drill” on the parade square at Argonaut Army Cadet Summer Training Centre in Gagetown, N.B.

Mackenzie, 15, parades during the year with the 2928 Truro Army Cadets. This is his second summer at camp, having taken the three-week basic sports and fitness course last summer. This year he decided to tackle the often-challenging drill and ceremonial instructor course.

The drill and ceremonial instructor course not only allows the cadets to learn about a variety of traditional military ceremonies, such as the sunset ceremony and the changing of the guard, it also develops them as leaders and instructors so that they can take what they learn back to teach and mentor junior cadets at their home cadet corps.

Although it was not his first choice, he’s glad that he ended up learning more about drill, especially rifle drill.

“We’ve never had a rifle drill team at our corps, so this is our chance to get one started,” Mackenzie said. “I’ll go back this fall and know a lot more about it.”

The teenager also knows having this experience on his cadet resume should be beneficial for promotions.

“I wouldn’t mind being regimental sergeant major (the top cadet position) in my corps in a few years’ time,” he said.