“Guard” defined in the dictionary states: 1: PROTECT, DEFEND 2: to watch over 3: to be on guard.
The guard is a division of cadets of different ages and ranks. It is the only division in the Corps that is taught to do drill with mock rifles and ceremonial cutlass (for the Guard Divisional Petty Officer). The name of the division is Protecteur and since the division consists of cadets between the ages of nine and twelve years of age we may not do everything the definition states. However, we do many interesting things that help build the cadets’ confidence and foster leadership. There needs to be a strong time, mental and physical commitment from all members of the Guard and a strong time commitment from their parents. We parade on Thursday nights with the rest of Ships Company. We also meet on Friday nights from 1830 – 2030 hrs (6:30PM to 8:30PM) for our practice. There is also commitment needed on some weekends and in the summers.
The Guard does many drill movements with and without the rifle. We do standing drill to marching drill and many complex movements. The cadets also do movements called monkey drill. This is form of movement where the cadets get to have fun with their rifles, by tossing the rifles around their bodies, in the air and banging them on the deck in a controlled and ordered fashion. Monkey drill seems to be what the cadets look forward to and is always a big part of our display for the Annual Inspection in May.
At the Annual Inspection cadets get to really shine and show off what they have learned throughout the training year. Annual (end of the training year) is also a chance for the cadets to show family and friends what they have achieved. It also shows the parents the commitment that their cadets have put into the guard and the corps.
As a member of the Guard, there are high expectations to be met. The cadets must try-out. In order to make the Guard, they must show good attendance, behaviour, drill, deportment, and uniforms. Once they have been accepted in Guard, these expectations do not go away. Their uniforms must always be cleaned and pressed, boots polished, caps cleaned, and clean gaiters and lanyards. Behavior must stay at an acceptable level, attendance to be near perfect and their drill to be smart and sharp. They also have to learn to be team players with fellow cadets.
The Guard is a very proud member of Captain Jackson and they show it well in everything they do. With all the hard work that they do, they also have loads of fun. That’s what being a cadet is all about.