5 Questions with Sergeant Peden, leading the Remembrance Day Sentry Command

Sergeant Ryan Pedan, Canadian Rangers

Sergeant Ryan Pedan, Canadian Rangers.

Natasha Tersigni, 

While many Canadians wear the poppy in November to remember those lost at war, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) honours fallen members over several months each year through the National Sentry Program.

The program reinforces Canada’s commitment to remembrance. CAF members stand guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa every day from June 5 until Nov. 10. On Remembrance Day, the Tomb is a central gathering place for ceremonies in the National Capital Region. An appointed CAF member leads the Sentry Command for the day.

This year, that honour goes to Sergeant (Sgt) Ryan Peden, a Canadian Ranger (CR) from Swan River, Man. His nomination to serve as Sentry Command is unique, as it marks the first time a CR has taken on the role. It is also a nod to the 75th anniversary of the CR, which the CAF has been celebrating throughout 2022.

Sgt Peden has been a member of the CR since 2019, helping the local Canadian Ranger Patrol Group prepare for rapid response to various emergencies and scenarios.

What does being asked to stand guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier mean to you?

It is very humbling. Standing in the presence of the Unknown Soldier is an experience I will never forget. The memorial reminds us that many things we take for granted are not without cost, which many Canadians fully and permanently paid. Bringing awareness of that sacrifice is the least anyone can do compared to the sacrifice of our fallen members.

What are your feelings on being asked to lead the Sentry Command?

I am still in awe and am very proud and thankful for the trust from my chain of command to handle such an important moment.

What exactly will your tasks be on November 11?

I will post the four guards who stand sentinel over the tomb. The time I spent standing guard during the fall helped me prepare. It got me in the right mindset for the required drill and allowed me to practice calling the drill in front of a large audience.

What does the CR 75th anniversary mean to you?

The biggest takeaway is a sense of comfort. It is comforting to know we have been operating for 75 years and that, through all those years, we have been getting people ready and willing to protect, serve, and give their all to their communities, the other branches of the CAF, and the nation. The fact that the CR is ready to respond with minimal notice in isolated areas all over Canada is comforting to many Canadians within those communities.

What message would you like to share with your fellow CAF members and Canadians as the lead of the Remembrance Day Sentry Command?

As a nation, we cannot afford to forget the sacrifices made by our fallen soldiers to ensure we can live in a free and safe society.

As members of the CAF, we must honour those who came before us and assume responsibility for similar moments that may lie ahead of us.

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