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Canadian Navy

10/18/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/19/2021 13:03

National Sentry Program: Sailor 2nd Class Nathan Westman

Sailor 2nd Class (S2) Nathan Westman is one of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) sailors selected to participate in the Canadian Armed Forces' (CAF) National Sentry Program (NSP) for 2021, which sees CAF members standing sentry at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, located in front of the National War Memorial in Ottawa.

"To be a part of the NSP is an honour. Not only does it mean you are standing guard for the fallen and unknown Canadian soldiers, but also all the fallen soldiers and soldiers working today worldwide," said S2 Westman. "To me, being a part of NSP is paying tribute and guard to my great grandfather whom served in the United States Navy during the Second World War."

S2 Westman joined the RCN five years ago because it represented a different way of life. "A way to escape the Army and Air Force influence from my parents," said S2 Westman. "And also an excuse to be near the ocean as I've always loved being on the water."

"Being a Naval Combat Information Operator and team member of the RCN means a lot to me," he said. "In a way, I feel like I'm up holding my great grandfather's legacy. Other than that, I feel the RCN brought me up to be the efficient and confident person I am today."

Naval Combat Information Operators are responsible for the operation of all shipboard surveillance radars and associated equipment of the shipboard intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems.

The biggest challenge S2 Westman has faced in the RCN was adapting to constant changes in such a short amount of time.

"Work ups, working in a ship, last minute preparations and other sudden changes. I've been the kind of person that gets easily overwhelmed before and after I've enrolled."

But he overcame those challenges by acting quickly within the first minute to focus on the tasks that need to be done, rather than just thinking about them and succumbing to being overwhelmed and stressed.

"Outside of the Navy, I tend to be the nerdy and artsy type," said S2 Westman.

"The majority of my free time consists of cosplaying along with graphic arts and designing. Whenever I can I visit comic conventions, ranging from the small London Comic Con in Ontario, to the large Katsu Con in Washington DC."

After an adjusted schedule due to COVID in 2020, on June 6, 2021, the NSP resumed its regular programming for 2021. Barring changes in health postures by the City of Ottawa or the CAF, sentries will be posted seven days a week until November 10. Each day, sentries will be guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.