It's unlikely this is how Cpl. Matthew Wilcox imagined celebrating his 24th birthday, listening to his former section commander give nearly five hours of testimony on Day 14 of his manslaughter trial into the shooting death of fellow soldier Cpl. Kevin Megeney.
Sgt. Brad Joyce served as Section 3 commander for 1 Platoon during workup exercises and deployment to Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan in December 2006.
He had eight soldiers under his command who worked for force protection company at one of the main checkpoints into the NATO military base.
Known as Entry Control Point 3, Canadian Forces personnel had been told shortly after arriving at Kandahar Airfield that weapons were to be unloaded once soldiers left their post.
Joyce testified he couldn't remember where and when the order came down forbidding Canadian soldiers who held force exemption cards from carrying around loaded weapons on base.
Joyce also said he couldn't be "100 per cent certain" Wilcox was aware of the Canadian Forces policy on weapons.
Beside manslaughter, Wilcox, a Glace Bay reservist, faces charges of criminal negligence causing death and negligent performance of duty in the death of Megeney, a resident of Stellarton.