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Esquimalt sailor chosen as sentry for national Remembrance Day ceremony

Sailor 3rd Class William Black of HMCS Calgary is one of seven to stand vigil on Nov. 11
Sailor 3rd Class William Black of CFB Esquimalt has been chosen as one of the seven sentries for this year’s Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa. (Courtesy Canadian Armed Forces)

A sailor based in Esquimalt will be among the Canadian Armed Forces members standing vigil at the National War Memorial in Ottawa this Remembrance Day.

Sailor 3rd Class William Ryan Black has been chosen as one of the sentries for the ceremony – comprised of six armed forces members and one RCMP member. Selection is based on a nation-wide nomination process which considered criteria including deployment experience, community involvement, physical fitness, and record of conduct.

“I feel exceptionally privileged and honoured to have been chosen as a sentry to represent the Royal Canadian Navy and HMCS Calgary at this year’s Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa,” said Black in a news release. “My family has a long history of military service to Canada, so it is a great privilege to be able to represent and honour them, as well as all the sailors who came before me.”

Both of Black’s parents, as well as other family members, have served in the forces continuously since 1974. Joining himself in 2009, he became the fifth generation of his family to serve.

Born in Belleville, Ont., and growing up in Ottawa, Black initially joined the Department of National Defence as a civilian working in procurement and logistics before joining the Army Reserves as an artilleryman and eventually joining the Royal Canadian Navy in 2020. He is assigned to HMCS Calgary as the victualler, responsible for managing food rations and local purchases.

Throughout his career, Black has been able to participate in international exercises on multiple occasions, and a personal career highlight of his was his selection as an escort for Prince William and his family when they toured Ottawa in 2011.

READ MORE: Armed forces culture and conduct chief talks ‘fundamental shift’ at CFB Esquimalt

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