Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

October 21, 2009 14:53 ET

Governor General Announces the Awarding of 13 Military Valour Decorations and 35 Meritorious Service Decorations (Military Division)

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 21, 2009) - Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, announced today the awarding of 13 Military Valour Decorations- one Star and twelve Medals-to members of the Canadian Forces who displayed gallantry and devotion to duty in combat. She also announced the awarding of 35 Meritorious Service Decorations (Military Division), namely seven Crosses and 28 Medals, to individuals whose specific achievements have brought honour to the Canadian Forces and to Canada.

The recipients will be invited to receive their decorations at a presentation ceremony at a later date.

The recipients' list and citations are attached. For additional information on the Military Valour Decorations, see Annex A, and for the Meritorious Service Decorations, see Annex B.

A list of the RECIPIENTS is available at the following address: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/Medals_ENG_1021.pdf


CITATIONS

MILITARY VALOUR DECORATIONS

Warrant Officer David George Shultz, S.M.V., C.D.

Edmonton and St. Albert, Alberta

Star of Military Valour

On May 6, 2008, a Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team patrol was ambushed in the Zhari district of Afghanistan. At the first sign of contact, Warrant Officer Shultz formulated and executed a flanking manoeuvre to neutralize the insurgent position. After securing the area and providing a situational report, the patrol was attacked again. Regardless of the risks, Warrant Officer Shultz plunged into intense enemy fire to assess the situation, direct his soldiers and engage the enemy. He repeatedly re-entered the danger zone to extract casualties and execute the patrol's fighting withdrawal. His leadership and courage inspired his soldiers and prevented further casualties.

Master Corporal Michael C. J. Bursey, M.M.V.

Shilo and Brandon, Manitoba; Conception Bay South, Newfoundland and Labrador

Medal of Military Valour

On September 3, 2008, during an insurgent ambush in the Zharey district of Afghanistan, an anti-tank round destroyed a light armoured vehicle, resulting in numerous serious casualties. While exposed to sustained enemy fire, Master Corporal Bursey repeatedly returned to the vehicle, in which ammunition was exploding in the ongoing fire, to help extract and tend to the casualties. Master Corporal Bursey's composure and decisive actions ensured critical care for the casualties until their evacuation.

Sergeant Martin Joseph Jean Cote, M.M.V., C.D.

Edmonton and Lancaster Park, Alberta; Quebec, Quebec

Medal of Military Valour

On June 2, 2008, insurgents ambushed a joint Canadian-Afghan patrol in the Zhari district of Afghanistan. As the patrol moved to seek cover, they triggered an improvised explosive device that seriously injured four members. Shaking off the effects of a severe concussion and oblivious to the ongoing attack, Sergeant Cote triaged the casualties, passed vital information to headquarters and began life-saving treatment. With the patrol unable to effectively break contact, he continued to expose himself to intense enemy fire, to treat injuries and encourage wounded personnel during the prolonged fighting withdrawal.

Warrant Officer Robin John Crane, M.M.V., C.D.

Edmonton and Morinville, Alberta; Bay Bulls, Newfoundland and Labrador

Corporal Tyler Brian Myroniuk, M.M.V.

Edmonton, Alberta

Medals of Military Valour

On August 4, 2008, insurgent forces surrounded an Afghan National Army company in a complex ambush in the Panjwayi district of Afghanistan. Warrant Officer Crane and Corporal Myroniuk selflessly remained in the danger zone to extract an Afghan casualty and support another Canadian soldier who was caught in the open. Together, they stood against over 30 insurgents using small arms fire and, when their ammunition was depleted, resorted to hand grenades to hold off the enemy. The courage of Warrant Officer Crane and Corporal Myroniuk saved Canadian and Afghan lives and prevented the company from being outflanked.

Corporal Mark C. W. Ejdrygiewicz, M.M.V.

Shilo, Manitoba and Lethbridge, Alberta

Medal of Military Valour

On September 3, 2008, during an insurgent ambush in the Zharey district of Afghanistan, an anti-tank round destroyed a light armoured vehicle, resulting in numerous serious casualties. While under constant fire from the enemy, Corporal Ejdrygiewicz worked to extract the injured from the vehicle, in which ammunition began exploding, while alternately providing suppressive fire against the insurgents. Corporal Ejdrygiewicz's selfless courage under fire was pivotal to the protection and treatment of casualties.

Master Corporal Brent W. L. Gallant, M.M.V.

Borden and Angus, Ontario; Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia

Medal of Military Valour

On June 2, 2008, a Canadian soldier was wounded during an insurgent ambush in the Zharey district of Afghanistan. Surrounded on three sides, Master Corporal Gallant made his way through heavy enemy machine-gun fire to the casualty's location and began treatment while using his body to shield the soldier from ricochets. Master Corporal Gallant's unwavering devotion, courage and decisive actions were critical in the treatment and evacuation of the casualty, and were an inspiration to fellow soldiers of his platoon.

Sergeant Russell J. R. Gregoire, M.M.V., C.D.

Shilo, Manitoba; Fort Frances and Timmins, Ontario

Medal of Military Valour

On June 14, 2008, Sergeant Gregoire's section was ambushed in the Zhari district of Afghanistan. What was initially considered light contact quickly became a concentrated amount of small arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire, splitting the section in two. With the lead element taking a serious casualty and in danger of being overrun, Sergeant Gregoire formulated an extraction plan. Regardless of the risks, he led the remainder of the section into heavier fire to provide cover for the beleaguered soldiers' evacuation. Sergeant Gregoire's selfless devotion and courage inspired his platoon throughout the three-hour engagement.

Sergeant Jayson William Kapitaniuk, M.M.V.

Edmonton, Alberta

Medal of Military Valour

On June 14, 2008, during a major battle group operation in the Zharey district of Afghanistan, elements of C Company were ambushed by insurgent forces. In an attempt to support a platoon that was pinned down under heavy fire, Sergeant Kapitaniuk repeatedly exposed himself to intense enemy fire to regroup his own troops and to relay counter-attack directives. His leadership, determination, and courage were vital to the effectiveness of his unit throughout the engagement and fighting withdrawal.

Corporal Jordan E. Kochan, M.M.V.

Shilo, Manitoba and Cochrane, Alberta

Medal of Military Valour

On September 3, 2008, during an insurgent ambush in the Zharey district of Afghanistan, an anti-tank round destroyed a light armoured vehicle, creating a deadly mass-casualty situation. Exposed to sustained enemy fire and the exploding ammunition from the burning vehicle, Corporal Kochan, then private, assisted and treated one of the wounded soldiers who had been ejected from the vehicle by the blast. With insurgents targeting the casualty collection points, Corporal Kochan's actions were vital to the treatment and evacuation of casualties.

Master Corporal Paul D. Rachynski, M.M.V.

Edmonton and Bonnyville, Alberta

Medal of Military Valour

On May 6, 2008, a Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team patrol was ambushed in the Zharey district of Afghanistan. After neutralizing the initial threat, Master Corporal Rachynski selflessly led both Canadian and Afghan soldiers through heavy insurgent fire to rejoin his besieged patrol. Master Corporal Rachynski's determination and calm under fire allowed his patrol to evacuate the wounded and execute a fighting withdrawal with no further casualties.

Corporal Anthony J. R. Rotondi, M.M.V.

Edmonton, Alberta and Hamilton, Ontario

Medal of Military Valour

On May 6, 2008, a Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team patrol was ambushed in the Zharey district of Afghanistan. While exposed to intense enemy fire, Corporal Rotondi assisted two seriously injured fellow soldiers and relentlessly returned fire to allow first aid and casualty evacuation. Corporal Rotondi's bravery and perseverance in the face of a determined enemy were inspirational to those around him and helped save the lives of fellow soldiers.

Warrant Officer Dale Milton Verge, M.M.V., C.D.

Stephenville and Beachside, Newfoundland and Labrador

Medal of Military Valour

On March 30, 2008, insurgents initiated a fierce and persistent attack on an Afghan police sub-station in Spin Pir, Afghanistan. Early in the action, Warrant Officer Verge sustained significant injuries. Oblivious to his wounds, he re-engaged with suppressive fire and directed effective point defence, neutralizing the enemy and repelling the attack. Warrant Officer Verge's selfless courage, tactical acumen and leadership set an example of resolve and prevented the sub-station from being overrun.


MERITORIOUS SERVICE DECORATIONS

Master Warrant Officer Rodney Albert Dearing, M.S.C., C.D.

Denwood, Alberta and Armstrong, British Columbia

Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

In 2008, Master Warrant Officer Dearing was deployed to Afghanistan with an operational mentoring and liaison team. His involvement in direct combat with insurgents and his skilful mentoring of Afghan army counterparts demonstrated leadership, commitment to the mission and loyalty to his troops. Master Warrant Officer Dearing's courage under fire and resolve significantly increased the effectiveness of Afghan forces and contributed to the success of the operation.

Commander Pierre Christophe Dickinson, M.S.C., C.D.

Ottawa, Ontario, and Sillery, Quebec

Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

From July to December 2008, Commander Dickinson commanded Her Majesty's Canadian Ship Ville de Quebec during a NATO deployment. During this mission, the VDQ was temporarily reassigned, on very short notice, to escort World Food Program vessels in pirate-threatened waters in the Arabian Sea. His foresight and leadership ensured a seamless transition to this tactically challenging role, resulting in food delivery to populations in need. Commander Dickinson's performance throughout both missions brought great credit to himself and to the Canadian Forces.

Lieutenant-General Joseph Guy Marc Lessard, C.M.M., M.S.C., C.D.

Ottawa, Ontario

Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

From February to November 2008, Lieutenant-General Lessard, then major-general, was deployed as commander of Regional Command (South). His insight into the complex nature of the battle space, coupled with his exceptional strategic vision and operational foresight, shaped the multinational counter-insurgency campaign in southern Afghanistan, and set the conditions in place for the success of multinational forces. Lieutenant-General Lessard's integrity, statesmanship and dedication ensured the coalition's operational success in Afghanistan's most violent and challenging region.

Warrant Officer John Robert McNabb, M.S.C., C.D.

Lancaster Park and Edmonton, Alberta

Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

From May to July 2008, Warrant Officer McNabb led Canadian troops partnered with Afghan army forces to defend a remote strong point in the Panjwayi district. During this period of intense combat, his judgment, steadiness under fire and skilled coordination of combat assets instilled confidence in his team of soldiers and their Afghan counterparts. His tactical acumen during prolonged engagements was critical to overcoming the enemy. Warrant Officer McNabb's extraordinary leadership ensured the defence of the strong point and the maintenance of the coalition's freedom of movement throughout the western part of the district.

Lieutenant-Colonel Darryl Albert Mills, M.S.C., C.D.

Meaford, Ontario and Oromocto, New Brunswick

Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

While serving as an exchange officer with the United States Army, Lieutenant-Colonel Mills demonstrated outstanding professionalism as deputy chief of staff, 3rd Infantry Division and Multi-National Division, in Iraq. Routinely entrusted with responsibilities far exceeding his rank, Lieutenant-Colonel Mills was recognized for his analytical and decision-making abilities under the most difficult of circumstances. He was a superb ambassador who brought honour to the Canadian Forces and to Canada.

Chief Warrant Officer Giovanni Moretti, M.M.M., M.S.C., C.D.

Petawawa and Toronto, Ontario; St-Anicet, Quebec

Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

Chief Warrant Officer Moretti was deployed to Afghanistan as the sergeant-major of Regional Command (South), from January to November 2008. Through his pertinent advice to senior staff, he significantly contributed to moulding 450 members from 12 nations into a cohesive and focussed team. A consummate professional, he inspired and mentored both his peers and subordinates. His tact and diplomatic skills enabled him to achieve consensus on many previously contentious issues, earning him praise from multiple National Contingency commanders.

Brigadier-General Denis William Thompson, O.M.M., M.S.C., C.D.

Ottawa and Stayner, Ontario

Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

Brigadier-General Thompson commanded Joint Task Force Afghanistan from May 2008 to February 2009. Through hands-on leadership and in-depth knowledge of operational realities, he achieved numerous successes in disrupting insurgent activities, enabling a secure environment for development projects, and enhancing the professionalism of the Afghan security forces. His openness and co-operative approach fostered greater coherence between military and broader government efforts, and significantly enhanced Canada's mission objectives in the eyes of Afghan and coalition partners.

Major James Edward Allen, M.S.M., C.D.

Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and Platte City, Missouri, United States of America;

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Major Allen was deployed to Afghanistan with the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team, from February to September 2008. While leading the Civil-Military Co-operation Company, he engaged key Afghan leaders and local communities on behalf of multinational aid agencies to ensure development projects were deployed where they were most needed. His mentoring of district government officials improved governance and security across 10 districts of Kandahar. Major Allen's exceptional leadership and professionalism contributed significantly to the stabilization and development of the province.

Warrant Officer Todd Barry Buchanan, M.S.M., C.D.

Shilo and Carberry, Manitoba; New Denver, British Columbia

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Warrant Officer Buchanan was deployed to Afghanistan with an operational mentoring and liaison team, from February to August 2008. Working from both the command post and while deployed forward, he coordinated precision tactical effects that supported Afghan and coalition combat operations. On numerous occasions, his timely application of precision fires proved successful, with devastating effects on the insurgents' ability to continue fighting, and without endangering friendly forces. Warrant Officer Buchanan's strong mission focus and professionalism enhanced operational success in the Zharey district.

Colonel Jamieson Cade, M.S.M., C.D.

Kingston, Ontario and Coquitlam, British Columbia

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Colonel Cade was deployed as the deputy commander of Joint Task Force Afghanistan, from May 2008 to February 2009. His leadership and unwavering determination greatly enabled the Task Force's success in operations and in establishing constructive relationships with Afghan authorities and coalition partners. Colonel Cade's personal commitment to significantly improving trust, respect, cohesion and understanding among government partners in pursuit of broader mission objectives, enhanced Canada's reputation within the international community.

Major Michael Roy Deutsch, M.S.M., C.D.

Dartmouth and Kingston, Nova Scotia; Edson, Alberta

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

From January to December 2008, Major Deutsch displayed great vision and a strong work ethic in overcoming challenges to bring troops together, procure equipment, and train personnel in order to implement the NOCTUA Unmanned Aerial Vehicle capability for Joint Task Force Afghanistan. Not only were these tasks completed five months after the contract was awarded, but were accomplished while Major Deutsch simultaneously carried out the demanding responsibilities of acting Wing operations officer.

Warrant Officer Michael Patrick Forest, M.S.M., C.D.

Shilo, Manitoba and Sherbrooke, Quebec

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Warrant Officer Forest was deployed with C Company, Joint Task Force Afghanistan Battle Group, from February to September 2008. He ensured his platoon's operational effectiveness by promoting team cohesion, reinforcing combat skills and immediately applying lessons learned from ongoing operations. Warrant Officer Forest's tenacity, foresight and leadership by example instilled a sense of confidence in his platoon members that enabled them to overcome fierce enemy opposition during the successful execution of highly complex combat missions.

Major Stacy Allan Grubb, M.S.M., C.D.

Shilo, Hamiota and Brandon, Manitoba

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Major Grubb was deployed to Afghanistan as the officer commanding C Company, Joint Task Force Afghanistan Battle Group, from February to September 2008. His focus on team cohesion and professional development led his subordinates to excel in a counter-insurgency environment. Despite being injured in three separate improvised explosive device incidents, he remained resolute during operations that enhanced the battle group's effectiveness. Major Grubb's leadership and dedication ensured the operational success of his rifle company.

Major Joseph Antonio Marcel Louis Hamel, M.S.M., C.D.

Alouette, La Baie and Montreal, Quebec

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Major Hamel was deployed to Afghanistan as the officer commanding the Tactical Air Control Party, from February to September 2008. Through meticulous study of terrain features and insurgent tactics, he was able to focus efforts on probable fighting positions and routes, thereby seizing the initiative from the enemy. Major Hamel's strong credibility with NATO allies in Kandahar enhanced the effectiveness of available air assets. His outstanding mission focus hindered enemy activities and saved the lives of many coalition soldiers.

Colonel Charles Mark Hazleton, O.M.M., M.S.M., C.D.

Kingston, Ontario

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Colonel Hazleton was deployed to Afghanistan as deputy chief of staff, operations, for Regional Command (South), from January to October 2008. Working diligently in Afghanistan's most demanding and volatile region, he was highly successful at synchronizing multinational planning staffs and ensuring the timely management of coalition assets in support of regional objectives. His management of divergent and competing priorities was a testament to his dedication and foresight. Colonel Hazleton's leadership ensured the success of the coalition during countless complex operations, bringing great credit to Canada.

Colonel Yann John Hidiroglou, M.S.M., C.D. (Retired)

Ottawa, Ontario

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

From 2006 to 2007, Colonel Hidiroglou worked at modernizing the Canadian Forces Military Employment Structure. The development of a military succession planning process was essential to modern military personnel management and also helped to better position the Canadian Forces for today's operations while setting the conditions for success in the future.

Warrant Officer Kevin Thomas Johnson, M.S.M., C.D.

Shilo, Manitoba and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Warrant Officer Johnson was deployed to the fire support coordination centre of the Second Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Battle Group, from February to September 2008. His ability to synthesize huge volumes of information enhanced the effectiveness of both the Tactical Air Command Post and the Battery Command Post, and ensured the successful employment of rapid and synchronized fire support to ground troops during major operations. Warrant Officer Johnson's outstanding professionalism and unwavering dedication saved Canadian lives and guaranteed the success of the battle group's operations.

Colonel Vihar Govind Joshi, M.S.M., C.D.

Ottawa, Ontario

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Colonel Joshi, then lieutenant-colonel, was deployed to Afghanistan as a senior legal advisor to the Afghan Ministry of Justice, from August 2007 to August 2008. In addition to expert legal and administrative advice, he provided invaluable legal services to Afghan ministries. His exemplary and tireless efforts in helping Afghans develop a legislative drafting code were instrumental in creating conditions for the rule of law to be enshrined in the fabric of Afghan society.

Commander Kelly Brian Larkin, M.S.M., C.D.

Victoria, Vancouver and Langley, British Columbia

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Commander Larkin was deployed with Task Force Arabian Sea as the commanding officer of Her Majesty's Canadian Ship Calgary, from April to September 2008. His tactical acumen and leadership ensured success throughout a period of intense operations. He coordinated allied assets, maximizing operational effect and earning the confidence of international partners. His interactions with media outlets generated highly positive news coverage and greater awareness of the Canadian Navy's impact.

Master Corporal Tyler J. Latta, M.S.M.

Edmonton, Alberta; Rutherglen and London, Ontario

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Master Corporal Latta, then corporal, was deployed to Afghanistan with an operational mentoring and liaison team, from February to September 2008. On numerous occasions, while fighting alongside the Afghan National Army, he exhibited fearless tenacity while providing mentorship on fire control orders, tactical movement and platoon tactics. Master Corporal Latta's leadership, mission focus and tactical acumen set an outstanding example for junior Afghan leaders, enhancing the capability of Afghan soldiers and saving Canadian and Afghan lives.

Major John Robert Prudent Latulippe, M.S.M., C.D.

Astra and Ameliasburgh, Ontario; Shannon, Quebec

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

During the period of May 2007 to August 2008, Major Latulippe's leadership and expertise in air mobility operations were critical to the Air Force's capability to operate the newly acquired CC-177 Globemaster III aircraft. A proactive leader, he provided an innovative approach to tactical, operational and strategic doctrine resulting in many rapid successes that greatly enhanced the Air Force's ability to respond to Canadian Forces operations with relevance and unprecedented reach.

Corporal Marc L. S. Murray, M.S.M.

Shilo and Brandon, Manitoba; Ottawa, Ontario

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Corporal Murray, then private, was deployed with C Company, Joint Task Force Afghanistan Battle Group, from February to September 2008. During combat operations, he did not hesitate to take charge. His outstanding leadership and decisive direction of his fellow soldiers inspired their confidence and provided his section commander with additional freedom to coordinate the entire section. Corporal Murray's aggressive spirit, composure under fire and unwavering dedication enhanced the operational effectiveness of his infantry section.

Commander Steven Paget, M.S.M., C.D.

Halifax and Lucasville, Nova Scotia

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Commander Paget was deployed as the chief of staff of Task Force Arabian Sea and Combined Task Force 150 aboard Her Majesty's Canadian Ship Iroquois, from April to September 2008. His coordination skills, tireless energy and diplomatic approach ensured situational awareness and operational readiness of all coalition units, which were vital to the success of the Task Force. His initiative and dedication reinforced Canada's international reputation as an effective leader of coalition forces.

Master Corporal Jacob N. Petten, M.S.M.

Edmonton, Alberta and Victoria, British Columbia

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Master Corporal Petten, then corporal, was deployed to a remote strong point in Afghanistan with an operational mentoring and liaison team, from January to August 2008. By proactively leading efforts to enhance fighting positions, he improved force protection at the strong point. He further enhanced the capacity of Afghan soldiers by mentoring them in equipment maintenance, tactical decision making and the use of Canadian support weapons. In combat, he provided life-saving treatment during mass casualty incidents. Master Corporal Petten's outstanding leadership and medical skill ensured the success of the operations at the strong point.

Warrant Officer Jason Guy Pickard, M.S.M., C.D.

Oromocto, Burton and Bathurst, New Brunswick

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Warrant Officer Pickard was deployed to Afghanistan from February to September 2008. Throughout multiple combat operations, he skilfully balanced his soldiers' emotional needs with the requirements of intense combat. His efforts were especially notable during an insurgent ambush when, immediately upon executing a fighting withdrawal, he proactively and selflessly directed his platoon to extract an operational mentoring and liaison team that had suffered multiple casualties. Warrant Officer Pickard's by-example combat leadership inspired his subordinates and ensured operational success.

Major Catherine Enid Potts, M.S.M., C.D.

Kingston, Ontario

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Major Potts was deployed to Afghanistan as the officer commanding the Air Capability Activation Team, from June 2008 to January 2009. Through tireless liaison and meticulous planning, she oversaw the introduction of unmanned aerial vehicle detachments, new civilian and military helicopter capabilities, and the establishment of the Joint Task Force Afghanistan Air Wing without compromising ongoing operations at Kandahar Airfield. Major Potts's leadership, knowledge and exemplary dedication ensured the integration of enhanced air capabilities into Task Force operations.

Corporal John Clifton Wayne Prior, M.S.M.

Edmonton, Alberta and Victoria, British Columbia

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Corporal Prior was deployed to Afghanistan with an operational mentoring and liaison team, from January to August 2008. His initiative and understanding of logistical requirements expedited the deployment of a Canadian mentoring team to an isolated Afghan National Army outpost, and ensured they were well prepared for an intense, two-month operation. Despite increasingly determined insurgent attacks, his mentoring of Afghan soldiers ensured their composure and discipline under fire. Corporal Prior's decisive leadership ensured the operational success at the strong point.

Colonel Jean-Francois Riffou, M.S.M., C.D.

Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario; Quebec, Quebec

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Colonel Riffou was deployed to Afghanistan as the commanding officer of the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team, from February to September 2008. His outstanding mentorship of the Afghan National Army's 1 Brigade, 205 Corps brought them to the top capability milestone, and empowered the unit and its leadership to independently conduct increasingly complex operations. Colonel Riffou's patience, leadership and commanding presence inspired his subordinates, enhanced Afghan National Army operational effectiveness, and brought great credit to Canada's reputation in theatre.

Major Robert Tennant Ritchie, M.S.M., C.D.

Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Major Ritchie was deployed to the Zharey district, in Afghanistan, with an operational mentoring and liaison team, from March to September 2008. His interpersonal skills and mentorship abilities culminated in the Afghan Battalion (for which he was responsible) achieving the highest level of recognized proficiency. During operations, his analytical approach, decisive actions and ability to synchronize the management of Afghan and Canadian combat assets saved Afghan lives and successfully disrupted insurgent activities. Major Ritchie's outstanding front line leadership enhanced the capability of Afghan National Army forces in the region.

Captain (N) Brendan Ryan, M.S.M., C.D.

Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Placentia, Newfoundland and Labrador

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Captain (N) Ryan was deployed as commanding officer of Her Majesty's Canadian Ship Iroquois and deputy commander of Task Force Arabian Sea, from April to October 2008. His command presence ensured the ship and the Task Force's success throughout the deployment. With his previous experience in the region, he was able to provide expert advice and guidance to our allies and ensured that the ship stood out in this rare international leadership role.

Corporal Cameron M. Smithers, M.S.M.

Edmonton, Alberta and Dundas, Ontario

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Corporal Smithers was deployed to Afghanistan with the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team's Force Protection Unit, from February to September 2008. Throughout multiple combat operations, he directly engaged the enemy and distinguished himself as a medic capable of performing under the most adverse conditions. His sound judgment and decisive actions ensured that life-saving treatment was provided to Afghan soldiers and civilians. Corporal Smithers' exceptional skill, focus and dedication saved Afghan lives and helped repel insurgent attacks.

Lieutenant-Colonel Martha-Anne Paule Stouffer, M.S.M., C.D.

Ottawa, Ontario

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

From 2006 to 2008, Lieutenant-Colonel Stouffer's leadership transformed strategic airlift provided to the Canadian Forces operations, greatly enhancing operational support, and the reputation of the Canadian Forces throughout the air transport community. She established a highly responsive, operationally focused logistics operation, and shaped strategic airlift contracting capability that included a full-time charter ship, resulting in major cost savings.

Corporal Rory E. Swanson, M.S.M.

Lazo, British Columbia and Thunder Bay, Ontario

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

On April 21, 2008, insurgents attacked a police substation, in Spin Pir, Afghanistan. In the absence of the detachment commander and second-in-command, Corporal Swanson was the senior Canadian at the substation. In spite of his rank and limited experience at that time, he coordinated an exceptional response to the attack. In the presence of enemy fire, he confidently directed Canadian and Afghan forces in the defence of the detachment, making effective use of all available surveillance and direct-fire assets. His leadership and devotion to duty prevented the loss of the detachment.

Commander John Aubrey Williston, M.S.M., C.D.

Ottawa, Ontario and Moncton, New Brunswick

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Commander Williston, then lieutenant-commander, was deployed to Afghanistan with the Strategic Advisory Team, from August 2007 to August 2008. While working in direct support of the Afghan government, he was single-handedly responsible for several high-profile initiatives that enhanced the Afghan government's communications capability. His leadership turned a group of untrained, ministry of education workers into the most sophisticated communications department in Afghanistan. Commander Williston's "Afghan-first" mentality endeared him to his Afghan colleagues and enhanced the credibility of the Canadian Forces.

Warrant Officer Terence Charles Wolaniuk, M.S.M., C.D.

Edmonton and Spruce Grove, Alberta

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Warrant Officer Wolaniuk was deployed with 12 Field Squadron to Patrol Base Sperwan Ghar, Afghanistan, from February to September 2008. He proactively planned and carried out infrastructure improvements that significantly enhanced force protection and soldiers' quality of life. He also improved relations with locals by seeking every opportunity to employ Afghan workers. In the troop commander's absence, he took over the leadership and successfully executed multiple complex combat operations. Warrant Officer Wolaniuk's dedication greatly contributed to operational success.


Annex A - MILITARY VALOUR DECORATIONS

The three Military Valour Decorations, namely the Victoria Cross, the Star of Military Valour and the Medal of Military Valour, were created by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, on January 1, 1993. The Decorations may be awarded posthumously.

The Victoria Cross is awarded for the most conspicuous bravery, a daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty, in the presence of the enemy.

The Star of Military Valour is awarded for distinguished and valiant service in the presence of the enemy.

The Medal of Military Valour is awarded for an act of valour or devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy.

Anyone can propose a nomination for the Military Valour Decorations. If a member of our Canadian Forces meets the criteria, a submission will be made through the member's chain of command for consideration by the Military Valour Decorations Advisory Committee, and the Governor General.

For all three Military Valour Decorations, recipients must be a member of the Canadian Forces or a member of an allied armed force that is serving with, or in conjunction with, the Canadian Forces, on or after January 1, 1993.


Annex B - MERITORIOUS SERVICE DECORATIONS

The Meritorious Service Decorations include a military division and a civil division, with two levels each: a medal and a cross. The military division recognizes individuals for their outstanding professionalism and for bringing honour to the Canadian Forces and to Canada. The civil division recognizes individuals who have performed an exceptional deed or an activity that brought honour to the community or to Canada.

The Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division) recognizes a military deed or activity that has been performed in an outstandingly professional manner, according to a rare high standard that brings considerable benefit or great honour to the Canadian Forces.

The Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division) recognizes a military deed or activity performed in a highly professional manner, according to a very high standard that brings benefit or honour to the Canadian Forces.

These decorations are an important part of the Canadian Honours System, which recognizes excellence. Meritorious Service Decorations honour either a single achievement or an activity over a specified period. The Meritorious Service Decorations are open to both Canadians and non-Canadians.

Anyone may nominate an individual for the civil division of the Meritorious Service Decorations, while military candidates are recommended by the Chief of the Defence Staff. Nominations and awards may be made posthumously, but nominations for activities that occurred prior to June 1984, the year in which the honour was first created, are not accepted.

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