Commanding Officer – Michael McConkey

Captain McConkey was born on August 30th, 1982 in Newmarket, Ontario.

Captain McConkey began his cadet career with 2799 Queen’s York Rangers Army Cadet Corps in Aurora, Ontario on September 15, 1995. He progressed through the ranks to Warrant Officer and held the position of Troop Warrant Officer when he aged out in June 2001. In September of that year, he took the next step in his cadet career by becoming a Civilian Instructor with 329 Private Richard Roland Thompson Army Cadet Medical Corps.

On April 15, 2002, Captain McConkey was sworn in to the Canadian Forces as an Officer Cadet in the Cadet Instructors Cadre, and had the opportunity to serve as a Platoon Commander at Blackdown Cadet Training Center during the summers of 2003 and 2004.

Captain McConkey rose through the ranks to Lieutenant and has held various positions such as Supply Officer, Administration Officer and Training Officer. In January 2009, Captain McConkey transferred over to 676 Lorne Scots Army Cadet Corps in Georgetown, Ontario. In the summer of 2013, he transferred to 21 Army, where he was awarded his Canadian Forces Decoration in June 2015 and was promoted to his current rank of Captain in September 2016. Captain McConkey assumed the position of Commanding Officer on November 6, 2017.

During Captain McConkey’s career as an officer, he has coached Drill team, Marksmanship team, and Orienteering team.

In his civilian life, Captain McConkey is a truck driver for Gerdau Ameristeel in Guelph. He resides in Cambridge with his wife Captain Anita McConkey, DCO of 1596 RHFC and their 3 boys, Nikolas, Alexander, and Jackson. During his off time, Captain McConkey enjoys spending time with his family, playing video games, and working on vehicles.

Training Officer – Richard Shand

Captain Richard Shand was born in Petrolia, Ontario and attended Queen Elizabeth Public school and Lambton Central Collegiate Vocational Institute. Captain Shand’s cadet career started when he joined 2563 Petrolia First Hussars RCACC in 1995. There, he joined 2563's newly formed Pipes and Drum Band. Captain Shand later transferred to 2097 Forest First Hussars RCACC in Forest Ontario. During his time as a cadet, Captain Shand received multiple designations and appointments, including distinguished marksman, RSM, Pipe major, and Level 5 piper.  He also attended many courses during the summers including: Basic, CL, CLI and advanced Pipes and Drums.  In addition, Captain Shand completed two years of staff, one with the Pipes and Drums of Blackdown and one with the Bravo Company Adventure course.

Upon completion of his cadet service, Captain Shand stayed on with 2097 as a Civilian Instructor teaching all levels, started the band program, and decided to become a Cadet Instructors Cadre officer.  As an officer, Captain Shand has worked with different cadet units including 2923 Middlesex Huron RCACC in Exeter, and #11 Strathroy RCACC in Strathroy. Captain Shand joined 21 RHFC ACC in the fall 2009 as a silver star instructor.  In 2013 he was appointed training officer, and in 2018, he received his Canadian Forces Decoration.

Supply Officer – David Taggart

Lt. David Taggart grew up in Scarborough and moved to Cambridge in 2001.  The father of 3, David first got involved with the Cadet Movement when his oldest child joined 21 Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada Army Cadet Corps.  He started as a member of the Support Committee and then switched sides to become a Civilian Volunteer. He decided to make the leap and joined the Canadian Forces as an Officer in the Cadet Instructors Cadre and was attested June 2015.

An active member of the Cambridge Army Cadets family, David is eager to learn and is looking forward to a long career in the CIC. In his civilian career David works in the printing industry and enjoys camping, dragging his kids on long road trips and sleeping in.

Band Officer – Mike MacDonald

Civilian Volunteer Mike MacDonald was born in Hamilton, and grew up in Binbrook, just south of Hamilton. Mr. MacDonald attended the University of Windsor, and returned to school in 2015 at the prestigious Conestoga Woodworking Technologist program.

Mr. MacDonald became a civilian volunteer with 21 Army Cadets when the corps needed a favour for a few weeks to supervise the band program in the fall of 2015. He has been the coach of the program ever since. Under his guidance, the band’s hard work has paid off, with a second-place finish at the regional band competition in London in Spring 2018.

In his civilian life, Mr. MacDonald works at Krug as a Product Engineering Technician. He lives in Cambridge with his wife and son. He spends as many hours on the golf course as he can from early spring until the clubhouse is boarded up for winter in the late fall. He’s trying to get the cadet musical instructors to teach him the bagpipe, but so far, no luck.

Admin Officer and Marksmanship Coach – Sean Docherty

2Lt. Sean Docherty began his involvement with the cadet program in the early 80’s, as a cadet with the 48th Highlanders out of Moss Park in Toronto.

2Lt. Docherty became reacquainted with the cadet program when his kids joined the 2824 COPS program in Mississauga. It is with 2824 COPS that 2Lt. Docherty was attested as an officer in the Canadian Forces.

In 2016, 2Lt. Docherty decided to join 21 RHFC and has never looked back since!

Public Affairs Officer – Tara Shand

Tara was born in Mississauga, and moved to Cambridge soon after. She attended Christ the King elementary school and Galt Collegiate Institute.  Tara joined 21 RHFC ACC in the fall of 1997 where she participated/joined various teams including: Skill-at-arms, First Aide Team, Highland/Irish dancing, and became a member of the pipes and drums program.  During her time at 21 RHFC-ACC as a cadet, Tara won the Airborne Association Award and the Junior Bandsman Award.

During her time at the corps, Tara joined the Hespeler Pipes and Drums Band and played with the Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada.  During her summers Tara attended various courses at Blackdown CTC and she was invited to play in the Hamilton Cadet Tattoo. Tara also was given the opportunity to be a staff cadet for Headquarters company in CTC Blackdown.  Tara achieved the rank of Master Warrant Officer(MWO) and was given the appointment of Regimental Sergeant Major(RSM) of the cadet corps in her final year. Tara transferred to 121 Red Arrows to complete her final year of training.

Tara returned to 21 RHFC ACC in 2013 as a volunteer.  Upon completing her high school equivalency Tara became a Civilian Instructor and spent 2 years  in charge of the newly formed joint band program.  Tara looks forward to continuing with the unit and is proud to have become a Cadet Instructors Cadre member(CIC) in November, 2018 .

In her civilian life, Tara is happily married to Captain Richard Shand and is the proud mother of three children Spencer, Keiran, and Mackenzie.  Tara runs her own business, Tara Shand Photography, and she shares her skills as a photographer to capture the cadets’ experiences as they grow in the program.


Regimental Sergeant Major – Connor MacDonald

CWO MacDonald was born in Hamilton, Ontario, and spent the first 11 years of his life in a small town in the Ottawa Valley. When he was 11, CWO MacDonald moved to Cambridge, and a few months later when he turned 12, he joined 21 Army Cadets. CWO MacDonald received his 6-year service medal and he is returning for his 7th year with 21 RHFC-ACC.

In his time with 21 Army, CWO MacDonald has achieved every rank from Cadet to Chief Warrant Officer. He has held the position of Drum Major and Company Sergeant Major, and will be serving this training year as the Regimental Sergeant Major. CWO MacDonald spent 2 years as chairperson of Cadet Council, and he has been on (or helped coach) the orienteering team for 5 years. He's been in the LHQ and competitive band for 5 years as both a tenor drummer and the bass drummer, and will continue to be in the band this year for his final competition. He attended summer training courses for General Training, basic drill, basic expedition, and Expedition Instructor, and was given the opportunity to attend the Madawaska regional expedition.

CWO MacDonald has won several awards during his time at 21 Army, including Best Recruit, Best Bandsman, Exemplo Duplemis (Leadership by Example), Most Contributing to 21 Army, Best Dress and Deportment, and the Royal Canadian Legion Medal of Excellence. Through the Youth Program with Royal Canadian Legion Branch 121, CWO MacDonald entered the Royal Canadian Legion Remembrance Essay contest and won first place for the branch and zone, and third place for the district. He was also able to complete the Bronze and Silver standard for the Duke of Edinburgh Prize.

A highlight of CWO MacDonald’s cadet career occurred in 2017, along with a few other cadets from 21 Army, CWO MacDonald visited France for the 100-year anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge. During that trip, CWO MacDonald and two other students laid a wreath at the Menin gate on behalf of Cadets and Students of Waterloo Region.

CWO MacDonald is an Ontario Scholar graduate of St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School. In his not-cadet time, CWO MacDonald plays bass drum with the Paris Port Dover Pipes and Drums Grade 4 band, works at MacDonald’s, and is trying to get a Dungeons and Dragons group off the ground.