Proud new role as drum major for Howards' corporal

THE 1st Battalion The Green Howards has appointed Corporal Stephen Elstob as its new Drum Major.

Cpl Elstob received his symbol of authority – the Drum Major's Mace with which military music and ceremonial drills are directed in an infantry unit – from his predecessor, Sergeant Dave Portass at a ceremony at the 1st Battalion's base near Chepstow in Wales.

Cpl Elstob, who is 28, joined The Green Howards in 1993. As well as his regular duties as an infantryman – he is second-in-command of the battalion's machine-gun platoon – he also volunteered as a drummer with the Green Howards Corps of Drums, where he has recently been number two to Drum Major Portass.

Sgt Portass is 37 and joined the Green Howards in 1988. As well as being the Drum Major, he has also recently served as manager of the battalion sergeant's mess. He is now looking forward to a two-year posting to Middlesbrough, where he will be employed as an army recruiting officer.

The ceremonial role of the Drum Major involves maintaining the highest standards of musical expertise within the Corps of Drums – whose members play fifes and bugles as well as drums – and also ensuring that the soldiers' drill and appearance are consistently first-rate.

When not on parade, the drummers form the battalion's machine gun platoon, under the command of the Drum Major.

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