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Sgt Mackenzie Landry: Old school infantry soldier turned air force musician soon to be retired

Sgt Mackenzie Landry – RMC Pipe Major:
Took part in 18 ramp ceremonies while serving in Afghanistan during 2007.

Article by: 27476 OCdt Danielle Fielding

Sgt Mackenzie Landry, has been the RMC Pipe Major since 2016 where he has influenced and instructed many cadets. He is a modest man who rarely draws attention to himself – he is much more comfortable working behind the scenes well away from the spotlight.

The popular and well respected Sgt started his military career in 1993, joining the army reserves in the infantry. Starting out in the 2 Nova Scotia Highlanders; they later became the Cape Breton Highlanders.

In 1998, he went to the RCR Battle School at camp Meaford; moving on to 2 RCR for a nine year posting.

In 2000, a career highlight, included six weeks of temporary duties (TD) at Buckingham Palace. He was often part of the musical support team for the change of the guard ceremony. Two years later, saw him for a month, in Scotland, performing with the the Edinburgh tattoo.

During the summer of 2003, he performed more high-profile public duties in Ottawa. By the fall of that year this career minded soldier was deployed on Roto Zero.

After returning to Canada he was slotted for a Pipe Majors course in Borden in 2005. Two years later, in 2007 he was deployed with Op Athena, Canada’s contribution of peace-support and combat forces to the International Security Assistance Force, with Force Protection Company.

While in Afghanistan, the St. Peter’s Cape Breton, Nova Scotia native, performed at 18 ramp ceremonies for Canadian and coalition soldiers whose remains were being sent home. Several of these events marked the passage of more than one Armed Forces member.

All this time, he was first and foremost always an Infantryman.

This was about to change when he made a trade transfer to the Music Branch in 2008.  It involved switching uniforms to light blue and the RCAF. For a 15 year career hard core combat arms soldier this had to be quite a change…to say the least.

After making the cut for the Music Branch, he served at 17 Wing, Winnipeg for eight years with the RCAF band. All along sharpening his music skills which prepared him well as a good fit, for the pipe major position at the college.

As aforementioned, the non commissioned member, arrived at RMC in 2016. He is grateful he gets to be a pipe major for the cadets and says the best part of the job is being able to, even in a small way, aide in shaping cadets for their future careers as respective officers.

Two of his mentors had a connection with RMC with the Pipes & Drums. MWO Donnie Carrigan and MWO John Langille both of whom have left huge footprints from their time on the peninsula.

The colourful former infantryman has great military experience which has served him well; most of the cadets who have come in contact with him over these past two years appreciate his style, a great deal.

Those who didn’t usually had other issues not related to the pipe major.

28057 OCdt (II) Colin Bond had this to say. “He inspires, and teaches the leaders of tomorrow valuable lessons in military conduct and leadership.”

On that vain, Sgt Landry is well read in regards to the various styles of leadership. He preaches and practises good leadership. In short, for those of us that know him well – ‘he walks, the talk’.

The most important lessons he wishes anyone to learn is “Mission. Men (Women). Self.”

“The job is to lead men (women) into battle.”

Danielle Fielding, Highland dancer

Additionally, he appreciates how those who play the pipes and drums, as well as the dancers, use music as a medium for leadership and character development.

He will be leaving the military in a few months following an impressive 25 years career.

Sgt Mckenzie Landry, will be greatly missed by all those who know him here at RMC, as he now moves onto another chapter of his life.

One Comment

  • Tom Rozman

    June 25, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    Being a lover of the pipes and their music this is a great story. God bless the piper and may he continue to play the pipes long after his departure from active service.