Military musician trades trombone for snowmobile during domestic operation
By Corporal Natasha Tersigni, 38 Canadian Brigade Group Public Affairs – Western Sentinel
Regardless of the trade, every member of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is a soldier first. Trading her trombone for a snowmobile, Corporal Samantha Rohringer, a musician with the Regimental Band of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles (RWR), learned this lesson firsthand when she was deployed to the Arctic in March for Operation NUNALIVUT 2018.
When Cpl Rohringer joined the Winnipeg reserve band in March 2012, she found the adventure and employment that she was looking for as a music student. After completing her basic training and musician qualifications, Cpl Rohringer took on different opportunities offered by her unit. These included performing with the Band of the Ceremonial Guard in Ottawa, participating in the 2015 Fortissimo performance on Parliament Hill, travelling to London, England to perform with the Honourable Artillery Company Band, and starting the 2295 Royal Winnipeg Rifles Cadet Corps Band.
With a solid foundation in her trade, Cpl Rohringer started exploring other aspects of the reserves.
“Universality of service as a soldier means I must be willing to serve however I am ordered to serve. I joined the military as a musician but consider myself a soldier first. It is common to never be tasked with anything more than our primary duties as reservists, which is what makes it such an attractive part-time job for many members. However, I have been ready and thinking about a wider scope of experiences since day one,” said Cpl Rohringer.
Last fall, when Cpl Rohringer went on the Winter Warfare Basic course, she was asked if she wanted to take part in training for Operation NUNALIVUT.
After several exercises and courses, Cpl Rohringer was deployed with 350 CAF members to Resolute Bay and Intrepid Bay last March for Op NUNALIVUT 2018. While deployed as a member of 38 Canadian Brigade’s Arctic Response Company Group (ARCG), Cpl Rohringer worked alongside fellow ARCG soldiers and members of 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (2PPCLI).
For the two-week-long deployment in the Arctic, Cpl Rohringer and the rest of 3 Platoon took part in patrols, a familiarity shoot with the Lee Enfield Rifle and Remington 870 Shotgun, built an austere airstrip, learned winter survival lessons from the Canadian Rangers, and went on an ice fishing excursion.
“Op NUNALIVUT was surreal. The environment north of 60 isn’t something I could have ever imagined without experiencing it,” said Cpl Rohringer, adding that this was her first operation.
Cpl Rohringer explained that with the right training, she was able to fit into the platoon and work alongside fellow soldiers in support of a successful operation.
“Many of my coworkers from other units in 38 CBG that made up the ARCG had no idea that I was a musician, and nearly all of the 2PPCLI members assumed I was infantry until they were informed of my trade. Any soldier can be either proficient or lacking in their position; their experience and knowledge matter more than their assigned unit or trade,” said Cpl Rohringer.
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