Archie Cairn Receives 4th Clasp for CD 

- Sentinel Feb/March 1994

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It's nothing special really - a fourth clasp on your CD. Heck, everyone gets one after 52 years of continuous service. So if you joined the CF today you'd get one in, say, the year 2046! Maj Archie Cairns, Cadet Instructor List, was presented with his fourth clasp last fall by LGen James Quinn, former associate deputy minister (personnel). The career that spans more than half a century began June 23, 1941, when Cairns joined the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders of Canada as a boy piper. Twelve years later, he joined the Regular Force until 1981. when he retired as a chief warrant officer. But he didn't leave the military - just changed the pace a bit by joining the CIL. Finally. on Sept. 15. Cairns retired after a career during which he played the bagpipes at Queen Elizabeth II's coronation ball, dined at Buckingham Palace and won countless piping trophies. 

Each year there is a good number of second clasps, recognizing 32 years of service, for what might be considered a typical career—enrollment at age 18 and retirement at 55. But the third clasp is much more uncommon, with only 14 such bars presented last year. The fourth clasp—for 52 years of service—is genuinely rare. There have only ever been two recipients of the fifth clasp, the Queen Mother and Honourary Colonel Birchall.

by 2Lt Wendy Weise. training as a public affairs officer at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa.