Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

October 09, 2007 12:15 ET

Governor General to Present 12 Military Valour Decorations and 35 Meritorious Service Decorations (Military Division)

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 9, 2007) - Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, will present two Stars of Military Valour and 10 Medals of Military Valour to members of the Canadian Forces who have displayed gallantry and devotion to duty in combat. The ceremony will be held at Rideau Hall on October 12, 2007, at 10:30 a.m. This will be the second time that these decorations, which were created in 1993, will be presented.

During the same ceremony, the Governor General will also present nine Meritorious Service Crosses and 26 Meritorious Service Medals (Military Division) to individuals whose specific achievements have brought honour to the Canadian Forces and to Canada.

A media schedule for the investiture ceremony (Annex A), a complete list of recipients (Annex B) and a backgrounder (Annex C) are attached. Media interested in covering this event and in interviewing recipients are asked to contact the Rideau Hall Press Office before the day of the ceremony.



Annex A- SCHEDULE

Members of the media are asked to observe the following schedule:

9:30 a.m. Arrival of media through the Princess Anne entrance
9:55 a.m. Sound and light checks
10:30 a.m. The Governor General enters the Ballroom
The Governor General speaks
The Governor General presents recipients with their decorations
The Chief of Defence Staff speaks
12:00 p.m. National anthem and end of ceremony
12:05 p.m. Media interviews with recipients

Annex B-RECIPIENTS

MILITARY VALOUR DECORATIONS


Star of Military Valour (S.M.V.)

Private Jess Randall Larochelle, S.M.V.
Petawawa and North Bay, Ont.

Corporal Sean Teal, S.M.V.
Petawawa and Chalk River, Ont. and Cole Harbour, N.S.


Medal of Military Valour (M.M.V.)

Corporal Chad Gerald Chevrefils, M.M.V.
Shilo and Pine Falls, Man.

Sergeant Derek John Scott Fawcett, M.M.V., C.D.
Meaford and Ottawa, Ont.

Corporal Jason Funnell, M.M.V.
Petawawa and Kingston, Ont.

Corporal John David Makela, M.M.V.
Ottawa, Ont.

Master Corporal Sean Hubert Niefer, M.M.V.
Petawawa, Ottawa and Carleton Place, Ont.

Private Michael Patrick O'Rourke, M.M.V.
Petawawa, Ont.

Corporal Clinton John Orr, M.M.V.
Petawawa and Chalk River, Ont. and Chilliwack, B.C.

Captain Michael John Reekie, M.M.V.
Shilo and Brandon, Man. and Abbotsford, B.C.

Corporal Joseph Jason Lee Ruffolo, M.M.V.
Petawawa, Ont. and Montreal, Que.

Major Michael Charles Wright, M.M.V., M.S.M., C.D.
Shilo and Brandon, Man. and Oakville, Ont.


MERITORIOUS SERVICE DECORATIONS


Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division) (M.S.C.)


Chief Warrant Officer Robert Michel Joseph Girouard, M.S.C., C.D.
(posthumous) Petawawa, Ont.

Lieutenant-Colonel J. M. C. Stephane Grenier, M.S.C. C.D.
Ottawa, Ont. and Cantley, Que.

Major Paeta Derek Hess-von Kruedener, M.S.C., C.D. (posthumous)
Kingston, Burlington and Kitchener, Ont.

Lieutenant-Colonel Simon Charles Hetherington, M.S.C., C.D.
Ottawa, Petawawa and Oakville, Ont.

Lieutenant-Colonel Ian Hope, M.S.C., C.D.
Annapolis Royal, N.S.

Lieutenant-Colonel Jean-Marc Lanthier, M.S.C., C.D.
Ottawa, Ont. and Gatineau, Que.

Lieutenant-Colonel Omer Henry Lavoie, M.S.C., C.D.
Petawawa, Stittsville and Marathon, Ont.

Brigadier-General Gary James Patrick O'Brien, M.S.C., C.D.
Ottawa and London, Ont.

Brigadier-General Donald Joseph Quenneville, M.S.C.
Plymouth, Massachussets, U.S.A.


Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division) (M.S.M.)


Major Cary Arthur Baker, M.S.M., C.D.
Belleville, Ont. and Summerside, P.E.I.

Master Warrant Officer John Gerard Barnes, M.S.M., C.D.
Petawawa and Pembroke, Ont., and St. John's, N.L.

Chief Warrant Officer Stephen Stanley Bartlett, M.S.M., C.D.
Oromocto, Nasonworth and St. Stephen, N.B.

Major J.M. Francois Bisaillon, M.S.M., C.D.
Kingston, Ont. and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.

Lieutenant-Colonel Shane Anthony Brennan, M.S.M., C.D.
Ottawa, Ont.

Chief Warrant Officer Claude Caron, M.M.M., M.S.M., C.D.
Toronto and Courtice, Ont., and Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, Que.

Lieutenant-Colonel John David Conrad, M.S.M., C.D.
Toronto, Orono and Listowel, Ont.

Master Warrant Officer Darcy Shawn Elder, M.S.M., C.D.
Ottawa and Embrun, Ont. and Moose Jaw, Sask.

Major Mark Anthony Gasparotto, M.S.M.
Oromocto and Fredericton, N.B. and London, Ont.

Commander Darren Carl Hawco, M.S.M., C.D.
Ottawa, Ont. and Pierrefonds, Que.

Master Corporal Lance Thomas Hooper, M.S.M., C.D.
Petawawa, Beachburg and Lindsay, Ont.

Major Gregory Wayne Ivey, M.S.M., C.D.
Petawawa, Ont.

Lieutenant-Colonel Colin Roy Keiver, M.S.M., C.D.
Winnipeg, Man. and Three Hills, Alta.

Colonel Frederick A. Lewis, M.S.M., C.D.
Kingston, Ont.

Major Andrew John Lussier, M.S.M., C.D.
Petawawa, Ont. and Montreal, Que.

Captain Steven Kelly MacBeth, M.S.M., C.D.
Wainwright, Alta. and Whitby, Ont.

Master Warrant Officer Bradley William John Montgomery, M.S.M., C.D.
Denwood and Wainwright, Alta. and Chatham, Ont.

Lieutenant-Colonel David Anthony Patterson, M.S.M., C.D.
Kingston and Wolfe Island, Ont.

Captain Anthony Peter Robb, M.S.M.
Toronto, Ont. and Surrey and White Rock, B.C.

Warrant Officer Michael Bradley Smith, M.S.M., C.D.
Calgary, Alta.

Corporal Jean-Paul Somerset, M.S.M.
Petawawa, Ont. and Middleton, N.S.

Lieutenant-Colonel Barry Marshall Southern, M.S.M., C.D.
Ottawa, Ont. and Calgary, Alta.

Major Matthew Bruce Sprague, M.S.M., C.D.
Kingston and Kenora, Ont.

Honorary Colonel Bernardus Antonius (Ben) Van Ruiten, M.S.M., C.D.
Winnipeg, Man.

Major Michael Charles Wright, M.M.V., M.S.M., C.D.
Shilo and Brandon, Man., and Oakville, Ont.

Major Glen Talis Zilkalns, M.S.M., C.D.
Edmonton, Alta. and Dryden, Ont.


MILITARY VALOUR DECORATIONS

Private Jess Randall Larochelle, S.M.V.

Petawawa and North Bay, Ontario

Star of Military Valour

On October 14, 2006, Private Larochelle of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, was manning an observation post when it was destroyed by an enemy rocket in Pashmul, Afghanistan. Although he was alone, severely injured, and under sustained enemy fire in his exposed position at the ruined observation post, he aggressively provided covering fire over the otherwise undefended flank of his company's position. While two members of the personnel were killed and three others were wounded in the initial attack, Private Larochelle's heroic actions permitted the remainder of the company to defend their battle positions and to successfully fend off the sustained attack of more than 20 insurgents. His valiant conduct saved the lives of many members of his company.

Corporal Sean Teal, S.M.V.

Petawawa and Chalk River, Ontario and Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia

Star of Military Valour

On September 3, 2006, during Operation MEDUSA, the light utility vehicle driven by Corporal Teal, a member of 7 Platoon, Charles Company, was hit and destroyed by enemy rocket-propelled grenade fire. Despite being wounded, Corporal Teal assessed the situation, and under heavy enemy fire, moved to report the situation and bring assistance. He then returned twice to the vehicle to provide treatment to his severely wounded comrades, including the platoon medic, and to evacuate all personnel injured or killed. His brave and professional actions saved lives and allowed the orderly withdrawal of his platoon under heavy fire.



Corporal Chad Gerald Chevrefils, M.M.V.

Shilo and Pine Falls, Manitoba

Medal of Military Valour

On August 19, 2006, Corporal Chevrefils, a member of Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, was the driver of a light armoured vehicle during an engagement with numerically superior Taliban forces in Ma'sum Ghar. During the three-hour firefight, he successfully manoeuvred the vehicle through difficult terrain with consummate skill, enabling it to remain unscathed by enemy fire. He subsequently dismounted his vehicle under enemy fire to assist in the recovery of another light armoured vehicle. Corporal Chevrefils' courageous and skillful actions helped to prevent the Taliban forces from outflanking the remainder of the company and undoubtedly saved numerous lives.

Sergeant Derek John Scott Fawcett, M.M.V., C.D.

Meaford and Ottawa, Ontario

Medal of Military Valour

On September 3, 2006, while serving with Charles Company, 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, in Afghanistan, Sergeant Fawcett demonstrated great valour during an intense firefight in which one Canadian soldier was killed and others were wounded. Continuously exposed to intense enemy fire, Sergeant Fawcett repeatedly crossed open terrain to lead the evacuation of casualties back to the designated collection point. Realizing that much of the company's senior leaders had been wounded, he took charge of a subsequent mass casualty evacuation. His actions and professionalism in combat saved the lives of his fellow soldiers and inspired those around him.

Corporal Jason Funnell, M.M.V.

Petawawa and Kingston, Ontario

Medal of Military Valour

On September 3, 2006, during Operation MEDUSA in Afghanistan, Corporal Funnell of 7 Platoon, Charles Company, braved intense enemy fire to come to the assistance of his comrades trapped in a disabled vehicle in an enemy kill zone. Ignoring his personal safety by twice crossing ground covered by effective enemy fire, Corporal Funnell successfully assisted in the treatment and evacuation of his injured and killed comrades while returning effective fire. His brave and professional actions saved lives and allowed the orderly withdrawal of his platoon under heavy fire.

Corporal John David Makela, M.M.V.

Ottawa, Ontario

Medal of Military Valour

On October 16, 2006, Corporal Makela prevented a fatal attack on his combat logistics patrol by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan. As the turret gunner providing overwatch for the convoy, he accurately identified the approaching suspicious vehicle as a suicide bomber car. Despite the likely potential of an explosion, he maintained his exposed position and applied fire, resulting in the premature detonation of the bomber car. The explosion engulfed Corporal Makela's vehicle and seriously burned him. His valiant and courageous actions inevitably prevented the bomber from reaching his intended target and saved the lives of the other soldiers in the convoy.


Master Corporal Sean Hubert Niefer, M.M.V.

Petawawa, Ottawa and Carleton Place, Ontario

Medal of Military Valour

Master Corporal Niefer was a member of Charles Company, 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, in Rotation 2 of Operation ARCHER, in Afghanistan. On September 3, 2006, while engaged in combat operations in support of Operation MEDUSA, he selflessly ordered his vehicle into the enemy kill zone to support extraction of wounded comrades trapped by an enemy ambush. He subsequently provided covering fire from a highly exposed position to facilitate their evacuation, and by doing so, saved the lives of numerous fellow soldiers. His outstanding leadership, courage and valiant action brought great credit to the Canadian Forces and to Canada.

Private Michael Patrick O'Rourke, M.M.V.

Petawawa, Ontario

Medal of Military Valour

On September 3, 2006, Private O'Rourke, a member of 7 Platoon, Charles Company, participating in Operation MEDUSA, selflessly ignored his personal safety by braving intense enemy fire to assist in the treatment and evacuation of his comrades trapped in a disabled vehicle. Twice crossing through sustained enemy fire, Private O'Rourke returned effective fire and successfully assisted in the evacuation of injured or killed personnel. His brave and professional actions saved lives and allowed the orderly withdrawal of his platoon under heavy fire.

Corporal Clinton John Orr, M.M.V.

Petawawa and Chalk River, Ontario and Chilliwack, British Columbia

Medal of Military Valour

Corporal Orr was a member of 23 Field Squadron, 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, in Rotation 2 of Operation ARCHER, in Afghanistan. On September 3, 2006, he was operating an armoured vehicle attached to 2 Troop during an assault in Pashmul. Amidst intense combat action and under direct enemy fire, he placed himself at great risk by manoeuvering to recover one light armoured vehicle and only ceased his relentless attempts to extract a second one when informed that the vehicle's crew had withdrawn to safety. His focus on the mission and his courage in the face of danger have brought great credit to the Canadian Forces and to Canada.

Captain Michael John Reekie, M.M.V.

Shilo and Brandon, Manitoba and Abbotsford, British Columbia

Medal of Military Valour

On August 19, 2006, while deployed with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, in Ma'sum Ghar in Afghanistan, Captain Reekie carried out valiant actions during an intense firefight with Taliban insurgents. Displaying superb judgement, he assessed the changing tactical situation and repositioned his vehicle to maximum advantage, enabling the successful interception and defeat of a numerically superior enemy force during the ensuing three-hour firefight. His outstanding initiative prevented the enemy from outflanking the position. Captain Reekie's selfless courage and exceptional leadership undoubtedly saved the lives of numerous Alpha Company soldiers.


Corporal Joseph Jason Lee Ruffolo, M.M.V.

Petawawa, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec

Medal of Military Valour

Corporal Ruffolo was deployed with Charles Company of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, in Afghanistan. On September 3, 2006, while engaged in combat operations in the opening phase of Operation MEDUSA, a bulldozer vainly attempted to extract his light armoured vehicle and came under heavy enemy fire. Without regard for his own safety, Corporal Ruffolo placed himself in a very vulnerable position to unhook his vehicle. In a subsequent attack, he again exposed himself to enemy fire to render first aid to a casualty. His courage and professionalism under extreme duress brought great credit to the Armed Forces and to Canada.

Major Michael Charles Wright, M.M.V., M.S.M., C.D.

Shilo and Brandon, Manitoba and Oakville, Ontario

Medal of Military Valour

On the night of August 19, 2006, Major Wright of Alpha Company, Task Force Afghanistan, demonstrated outstanding courage and exceptional leadership in combat. Directed to move to the Panjwayi District Centre to enhance security, his troops were rapidly engaged and encircled by a significantly larger enemy force. Under intense fire from small arms and rocket-propelled grenades coming from all directions, he refused reinforcements for safety reasons and led his embattled force to outmanoeuvre the enemy, inflicting serious enemy casualties. His courage and his leadership led to the defeat of a much larger enemy force without a single Canadian Forces casualty.

MERITORIOUS SERVICE DECORATIONS (MILITARY DIVISION)

Chief Warrant Officer Robert Michel Joseph Girouard, M.S.C., C.D. (posthumous)

Petawawa, Ontario

Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

Chief Warrant Officer Girouard was deployed in August 2006 as the Regimental Sergeant Major of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, Joint Task Force Afghanistan. Throughout his tour of duty, up to the moment he was killed in action on November 27, 2006, he led from the front, sharing the dangers and hardships associated with combat operations. He contributed greatly to the battle group's fighting spirit, which led to the defeat of the enemy during Operation MEDUSA. Chief Warrant Officer Girouard's outstanding leadership, professionalism and courage brought singular credit to the Canadian Forces and to Canada.

Lieutenant-Colonel J. M. C. Stephane Grenier, M.S.C. C.D.

Ottawa, Ontario and Cantley, Quebec

Meritorious Service Cross (military division)

Lieutenant-Colonel Grenier was the driving force behind the development and implementation of the Operational Stress Injury Social Support Program. This program has had a remarkable effect on the lives of Canadian Forces members and veterans, as well as on their families. Since its inception in 2001, the program's Peer Support Network has assisted more than 1 500 people in reintegrating into the workforce and society. Lieutenant-Colonel Grenier's initiative has not only provided support service, it has also helped to eradicate many of the barriers to compassionate and humane treatment of those suffering from occupational stress injuries. Lieutenant-Colonel Grenier's endeavour has brought him great personal pride and has been of great benefit to the Canadian Forces and to Canada.


Major Paeta Derek Hess-von Kruedener, M.S.C., C.D. (posthumous)

Kingston, Burlington and Kitchener, Ontario

Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

Major Hess-von Kruedener is awarded the Meritorious Service Cross posthumously for his outstanding performance and dedication to duty while serving at a United Nations observation post in the Khiam area of southern Lebanon. When the conflict erupted, Major Hess-von Kruedener knew he could not be evacuated, yet he steadfastly maintained his position while reporting the situation as it presented itself, until his untimely death on July 25, 2006. A Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry officer, Major Hess-von Kruedener brought great honour to the Canadian Forces and to the military profession.

Lieutenant-Colonel Simon Charles Hetherington, M.S.C., C.D.

Ottawa, Petawawa and Oakville, Ontario

Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

Lieutenant-Colonel Hetherington was deployed as commanding officer of the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team (KPRT), Joint Task Force Afghanistan, from June 2006 to January 2007. His exceptional leadership of the entire government team, as well as his tactical acumen, generated outstanding results in development, reconstruction and governance operations. His dynamic character and expert knowledge earned unstinting respect from Afghan and Coalition leaders and projected a strong, positive image of Canada's role in Afghanistan. Lieutenant-Colonel Hetherington's achievements during his assignment with the KPRT provided an extraordinary contribution to the International Security Assistance Force mission and played a vital role in helping the Afghan people rebuild their nation.

Lieutenant-Colonel Ian Hope, M.S.C., C.D.

Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

In 2006, Lieutenant-Colonel Hope served as the commanding officer of Task Force Orion, the Canadian battle group that experienced the first major land combat operations since the Korean War. Leading from the front, Lieutenant-Colonel Hope worked tirelessly under difficult conditions to achieve Canada's strategic aims in Afghanistan. A dynamic leader, he assembled an effective combat team that was instrumental in expanding the Canadian presence throughout the region and in achieving considerable success in suppressing enemy activities. His exceptional knowledge and understanding of Afghan culture strengthened the bond between local Afghan authorities and the Canadian contingent.

Lieutenant-Colonel Jean-Marc Lanthier, M.S.C., C.D.

Ottawa, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec

Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

Lieutenant-Colonel Lanthier assumed command of the first Canadian operational mentor liaison team from August 2006 to March 2007. During that time, he demonstrated exceptional professionalism. He and his teammates delivered work of such high quality that they became models for similar NATO units. Under his command, the unit greatly contributed to the success of the development of the Afghan National Army, as evidenced by the impressive achievements of the battalion with which he was associated. Lieutenant-Colonel Lanthier's remarkable leadership and organizational skills have brought tremendous honour to Canada's mission in Afghanistan.


Lieutenant-Colonel Omer Henry Lavoie, M.S.C., C.D.

Petawawa, Stittsville and Marathon, Ontario

Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

From August 2006 to February 2007, Lieutenant-Colonel Lavoie commanded the 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, in southern Afghanistan. He played a leading role in two complex brigade operations, including Operation MEDUSA, the most significant ground combat operation in NATO's history. His battle group's actions throughout their operational tour set the conditions for thousands of Afghans to return to their homes. During this period of sustained intense combat, Lieutenant-Colonel Lavoie led from the front, sharing the dangers and harsh living conditions of his troops. His exceptional professionalism and leadership in combat brought great credit to the Canadian Forces, to Canada and to NATO.

Brigadier-General Gary James Patrick O'Brien, M.S.C., C.D.

Ottawa and London, Ontario

Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

Brigadier-General O'Brien is recognized for his outstanding leadership and commitment while deployed as the deputy commanding general for political military integration in the Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan, from March to December 2006. Through his frequent interactions with the President of Afghanistan and the Minister of the Interior, he greatly facilitated the establishment of legitimate and capable Afghan policing forces. This was essential to ensuring the rule of law, extending the government of Afghanistan's legitimacy and enhancing the transition of the nation to a viable democracy. His exceptionally high level of performance brought great honour to the Canadian Forces and to Canada.

Brigadier-General Donald Joseph Quenneville, M.S.C.

Plymouth, Massachussets, United States of America

Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

As deputy commander of the Canadian North American Aerospace Defence Command Region from August 2004 to June 2007, Brigadier-General Quenneville of the United States Air Force provided outstanding assistance to Canada. His vision and expert knowledge contributed significantly to the advancement of defence programs critical to Canada. His leadership and initiative were the driving force behind the creation of the first Space Operations cell within the Canadian Forces and the establishment of the first National Air Planning Process. Brigadier-General Quenneville's dedication and efforts have contributed to continental security and constitute unique and unparalleled service to Canada.


Major Cary Arthur Baker, M.S.M., C.D.

Belleville, Ontario and Summerside, Prince Edward Island

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Major Baker's performance in planning and executing NATO Exercise Steadfast Jaguar from July 2005 to July 2006 was exemplary. His commitment to duty was pivotal to the development and implementation of the demanding operational capability of the NATO Response Force (NRF) Special Operations Component Command for NRF 7 and 8 and the Cape Verde Coast Guard Marines. A high achiever, he committed himself to 'mission first' and focused on the delivery of a training exercise of the highest standard. His inspirational and untiring efforts in the NATO multinational environment brought great credit to the Canadian Special Operations Forces, to the Canadian Forces and to Canada.

Master Warrant Officer John Gerard Barnes, M.S.M., C.D.

Petawawa and Pembroke, Ontario, and St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Master Warrant Officer Barnes was deployed as company sergeant major of Charles Company, 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, in Afghanistan, from August 2006 to February 2007. His exceptional leadership and composure under enemy fire directly contributed to his company's success under the extreme adversity of intense combat operations and significant casualties. Severely injured during Operation MEDUSA, he insisted on returning to the front lines. Master Warrant Officer Barnes' unwavering sense of duty was instrumental to his company's cohesion and effectiveness during the mission.

Chief Warrant Officer Stephen Stanley Bartlett, M.S.M., C.D.

Oromocto, Nasonworth and St. Stephen, New Brunswick

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Chief Warrant Officer Bartlett demonstrated outstanding professionalism while serving as the regimental sergeant major of Task Force Afghanistan Rotation 0, from August 2005 to March 2006. His excellent soldier skills, sound advice to his commander and impressive ability to address the soldiers' needs were instrumental to the task force's success throughout the main tactical effort in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Chief Warrant Officer Bartlett's service was of the highest calibre, directly contributing to the successful accomplishment of this mission and to the exceptional reputation of the Canadian Forces.

Major J.M. Francois Bisaillon, M.S.M., C.D.

Kingston, Ontario and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Major Bisaillon demonstrated exemplary initiative and expertise as deputy commanding officer of the first Canadian operational mentor liaison team in Afghanistan, from August 2006 to February 2007. With recent experience as a light infantry commander, he led an experienced team that helped the Afghan National Army become fit for combat. His tactical insight and exceptional leadership skills helped them form a cohesive unit with the Afghan soldiers, which was then able to fight in a number of battles. Major Bisaillon's influence on the development of the Afghan National Army has greatly contributed to the International Security Assistance Force mission.


Lieutenant-Colonel Shane Anthony Brennan, M.S.M., C.D.

Ottawa, Ontario

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Lieutenant-Colonel Brennan commanded Joint Task Force Lebanon, the military assistance mission for the facilitated departure of some 15 000 Canadians from Lebanon during the conflict of July 2006. This mission represented the largest international evacuation of Canadians from conflict in Canadian history. Moulding a disparate group of individuals and sub-units into one cohesive and effective team, Lieutenant-Colonel Brennan quickly brought order to a monumental task. His exceptional ability to balance urgency and compassion with due diligence for safety and security resulted in the successful evacuation of Canadians from active conflict regions such as Tyre and Sidon.

Chief Warrant Officer Claude Caron, M.M.M., M.S.M., C.D.

Toronto and Courtice, Ontario, and Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, Quebec

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Chief Warrant Officer Caron's performance, while serving in Allied Joint Force Command Naples from 2003 to 2007, brought great honour to the Canadian Forces and significantly enhanced Canada's reputation amongst our Allies. Whether he was assisting the community, supporting colleagues or briefing senior officers, Chief Warrant Officer Caron, then Master Warrant Officer, engaged in every assignment with the highest level of professionalism and dedication. In addition to his regular duties, he voluntarily served in Iraq, was the chief instructor for the Mobile Training Team and was the senior Canadian advisor for non-commissioned members. Chief Warrant Officer Caron's work with the Joint Force Command Naples has had a positive and lasting impact.

Lieutenant-Colonel John David Conrad, M.S.M., C.D.

Toronto, Orono and Listowel, Ontario

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Lieutenant-Colonel Conrad served as the commanding officer of the National Support Element in Kandahar, Afghanistan, from February 8 to August 15, 2006. His tireless work ensured effective and flexible combat service support to all elements of the Canadian contingent and to numerous multinational partners throughout intense combat operations. Leading by example and sharing the risks of ambushes and improvised explosive device attacks, Lieutenant-Colonel Conrad frequently accompanied soldiers on combat logistic patrol and missions to evacuate the wounded. His exceptional leadership, professionalism and dedication were the driving force behind the great success of the National Support Element and of Task Force Afghanistan.

Master Warrant Officer Darcy Shawn Elder, M.S.M., C.D.

Ottawa and Embrun, Ontario and Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

The Meritorious Service Medal is awarded to Master Warrant Officer Elder for his courage, professionalism and impressive leadership abilities while serving with the Military Security Guard Unit Detachment, in Kabul, from July 2004 to July 2005. He demonstrated leadership of the highest level as he took on a stressful situation and inspired his personnel to conduct their duties in the most proficient manner under extremely hazardous conditions and in a hostile environment. His leadership skills were paramount in guiding his team in the protection of Canadian Embassy staff, bringing credit and honour to the Canadian Forces and to Canada.


Major Mark Anthony Gasparotto, M.S.M.

Oromocto and Fredericton, New Brunswick and London, Ontario

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Major Gasparotto was deployed as officer commanding 23 Field Squadron, 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, in Afghanistan, from August 1, 2006, to February 15, 2007. With force protection as his priority, he effectively transformed forward operating bases and battle positions into highly defendable locations that enabled effective enemy engagement. Under continuous contact with the enemy, he led his squadron through the construction of Route Summit, a critical enabler for battle group operations. Major Gasparotto's innovative thinking, dedicated efforts and exceptional leadership under enemy fire made a strategic impact on the battlefield of Afghanistan that enhanced battle group operations and saved the lives of Canadian soldiers.

Commander Darren Carl Hawco, M.S.M., C.D.

Ottawa, Ontario and Pierrefonds, Quebec

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Commander Hawco, commanding officer of HMCS Ottawa, was deployed as part of Task Force Arabian Sea from September 10, 2006, to March 17, 2007. His sound judgment and leadership set the tone for the entire ship's company during this intense period of operations. His exceptional professionalism resulted in his repeated selection as flagship and as pulse group commander responsible for the employment of other coalition ships in security and intelligence operations on the Red Sea. Commander Hawco's operational focus set the stage for coalition success in the Persian Gulf.

Master Corporal Lance Thomas Hooper, M.S.M., C.D.

Petawawa, Beachburg and Lindsay, Ontario

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

From August 1, 2006, to February 15, 2007, Master Corporal Hooper, a combat engineer with 23 Field Squadron, 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, in Afghanistan, demonstrated exceptional dedication to duty. During three separate incidents, either enemy fire or explosive devices destroyed the engineering vehicle he was operating. On two of these occasions he was wounded and required medical evacuation. In spite of being hit, he eagerly returned to duty each time. Master Corporal Hooper's remarkable dedication and professionalism in combat set an inspiring example for all ranks of the battle group.

Major Gregory Wayne Ivey, M.S.M., C.D.

Petawawa, Ontario

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Major Ivey was deployed as commanding officer of E-Battery, 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, in Afghanistan, from August 1, 2006, to March 1, 2007. Operating under the most demanding combat conditions, Major Ivey quickly established himself as an integral member of the forward mobile tactical command team. His exceptional ability to assimilate intelligence information allowed him to effectively plan and coordinate artillery, close-air support, attack aviation and unmanned aerial surveillance in support of Canadian and coalition combat operations. Major Ivey's tactical acumen and effectiveness enabled the battle group to engage and defeat the enemy.


Lieutenant-Colonel Colin Roy Keiver, M.S.M., C.D.

Winnipeg, Manitoba and Three Hills, Alberta

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Lieutenant-Colonel Keiver, then Major, was the air operations advisor for Task Force Addis Ababa, in Khartoum, Sudan, from November 28, 2005, to May 25, 2006. Undaunted by cultural differences and organizational challenges, he instituted and maintained rigorous air safety standards and operating procedures. His steadfastness, tenacity and organizational skills helped to avoid critical logistical issues within the task force without compromising safety or operational standards. Lieutenant-Colonel Keiver's tireless efforts were instrumental in improving and maintaining the only viable means of allied transport in Sudan, and directly contributed to the success of the mission.

Colonel Frederick A. Lewis, M.S.M., C.D.

Kingston, Ontario

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

From March 2006 to February 2007, Colonel Lewis served as the deputy commander of Joint Task Force Afghanistan. He led and shaped the development of a cohesive, confident and well-prepared task force that excelled at both intense close combat and humanitarian efforts. With vision and insight of a rare high standard, he transformed the construct of national command, setting the conditions for the coherent delivery of Canadian efforts across Kandahar province. His exceptional leadership and complete dedication to the success of the overall mission of Joint Task Force Afghanistan reflects the highest standards of professionalism in the Canadian Forces.

Major Andrew John Lussier, M.S.M., C.D.

Petawawa, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Major Lussier was deployed to Afghanistan with The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group as commanding officer of the Intelligence Surveillance Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) Squadron, from August 1, 2006, to February 15, 2007. His tactical acumen and expert planning skills enabled him to implement and validate the incorporation of non-traditional forces into the ISTAR squadron. He single-handedly transformed the unit into an effective and cohesive manoeuvre force that successfully projected additional combat power into intense and sustained combat operations. As the Army's most combat-experienced Reconnaissance Squadron commander, Major Lussier proved to be a dynamic and effective leader whose flexibility and vision resulted in dozens of coalition victories.

Captain Steven Kelly MacBeth, M.S.M., C.D.

Wainwright, Alberta and Whitby, Ontario

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Captain MacBeth was deployed as a member of the Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance Squadron, 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, in Afghanistan, from August 2006 to February 2007. He expertly planned and executed highly effective combat reconnaissance patrols, and on numerous occasions, he selflessly led his platoon through enemy territory to assist other units that had come under attack. Captain MacBeth's exceptional tactical acumen and combat leadership enabled the successful execution of numerous high-risk reconnaissance patrols that resulted in the discovery of information of significant value to the battle group.


Master Warrant Officer Bradley William John Montgomery, M.S.M., C.D.

Denwood and Wainwright, Alberta and Chatham, Ontario

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Master Warrant Officer Montgomery was deployed as the sergeant major of 23 Field Squadron, 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, in Afghanistan, from August 1, 2006, to February 15, 2007. His professionalism, leadership and experience were critical to the development of roads and forward operating bases during intense combat situations. The selfless commitment he demonstrated to his fellow troops was an inspiration. During four separate incidents, he readily placed himself in harm's way to aid soldiers who had been targeted by enemy attacks. Respected by many, Master Warrant Officer Montgomery is the embodiment of a soldier: professional, selfless, loyal, relentless and dedicated.

Lieutenant-Colonel David Anthony Patterson, M.S.M., C.D.

Kingston and Wolfe Island, Ontario

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Lieutenant-Colonel Patterson was deployed to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 2006, as the strategic plans advisor to the Darfur Integrated Task Force. During a period of volatile activity and uncertainty, he was instrumental in creating a multinational transition planning team charged with the creation of contingency plans for the African Union Forces. His expertise, his supervisory skills and his vision were key to enabling the creation of the United Nations' phased support packages, which have since formed the cornerstone for all transition planning within the Integrated Task Force. Lieutenant-Colonel Patterson's outstanding leadership and dedication brought great honour to the Canadian Forces and to Canada.

Captain Anthony Peter Robb, M.S.M.

Toronto, Ontario and Surrey and White Rock, British Columbia

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Captain Robb, then Lieutenant, was deployed as a troop commander with 23 Field Squadron, 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, in Afghanistan, during Operation ATHENA, from August 1, 2006, to February 15, 2007. He courageously led his troop of field engineers through extremely challenging conditions to develop forward operating bases and transportation routes in support of the advancing battle group. He remained calm and focused under enemy fire, providing encouragement and inspiration for his troops. Captain Robb's professionalism and exceptional dedication greatly contributed to the success of operations in the Pashmul region.

Warrant Officer Michael Bradley Smith, M.S.M., C.D.

Calgary, Alberta

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

From May to November 2006, Warrant Officer Smith served as the senior tactics and weapons maintenance instructor for the Armoured Vehicle General Purpose and Machine Gun course, two critical components of operations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. His outstanding leadership and technical expertise contributed to a significant improvement in the operational effectiveness of UN patrols conducted in some of the world's most unforgiving environmental conditions. In a diverse and complex mission, Warrant Officer Smith's dogged determination, technical expertise and strength of character enhanced the operational effectiveness of over 200 African Union soldiers.


Corporal Jean-Paul Somerset, M.S.M.

Petawawa, Ontario and Middleton, Nova Scotia

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Corporal Somerset, then Master-Corporal, served as a medic with 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, during the intense battles of Operation MEDUSA in Afghanistan. On September 3, 2006, he worked selflessly, ignoring personal danger, to provide life-saving medical care to his wounded comrades. During an attack against the company's position the following day, he was one of 30 casualties. Despite his wounds, he provided first aid to the remainder of the casualties. Corporal Somerset has distinguished himself as a dedicated medic and member of the Canadian Forces whose courage and devotion under fire saved the lives of many soldiers.

Lieutenant-Colonel Barry Marshall Southern, M.S.M., C.D.

Ottawa, Ontario and Calgary, Alberta

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Lieutenant-Colonel Southern served as the first commander of Task Force Jerusalem from May 16, 2005, to August 11, 2006. His confidence, knowledge, and exceptional ability to translate strategic intent into operational effects were essential to advising the United States Security Coordinator (USSC) and senior Palestinian authorities on security sector reform. He managed complex and sensitive Middle East Peace Process issues with senior Palestinians, the Egyptian envoy for security sector concerns, and members of the international community, on behalf of the USSC. Lieutenant-Colonel Southern's success in quickly establishing a functioning and extremely effective advisory team has reinforced Canada's credibility within the international community.

Major Matthew Bruce Sprague, M.S.M., C.D.

Kingston and Kenora, Ontario

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Major Sprague was deployed as officer commanding Charles Company, 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, in Afghanistan, from August 1, 2006, to February 15, 2007. His outstanding leadership from the front and his courageous and calm demeanour were instrumental in keeping his company effective and mission-focused throughout numerous hard-fought battles with the enemy. Severely wounded early in his tour and repatriated to Canada, Major Sprague insisted on returning to lead Charles Company and continued as their leader until the completion of the rotation. His devotion to duty and expertise in combat operations has left a lasting legacy in Kandahar province.

Honorary Colonel Bernardus Antonius (Ben) Van Ruiten, M.S.M., C.D.

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

During his 13-year term, Honorary Colonel Van Ruiten has provided outstanding service to the Canadian Forces and to the 17 Wing community. A gentleman of impeccable integrity and boundless energy, he has dedicated himself to countless events and initiatives supporting members of the Canadian Forces who serve at home and abroad, as well as veterans, cadets, the thousands of men and women in the 17 Wing, the province of Manitoba and the city of Winnipeg. Known and respected by every member of this community, Honorary Colonel Van Ruiten is an outstanding example of professionalism, civic responsibility and leadership. He has brought great credit to himself, to 17 Wing and to the Canadian Forces.


Major Michael Charles Wright, M.M.V., M.S.M., C.D.

Shilo and Brandon, Manitoba, and Oakville, Ontario

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)


Major Wright was deployed as officer commanding Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, in Afghanistan from August 2006 to February 2007. He responded to the leadership challenge of being in constant contact with the enemy, and successfully planned and executed many company and combat team-level operations. Extremely adaptable, he effortlessly changed his warrior role to that of a humanitarian when working with senior Afghan politicians and the Afghan National Army. Major Wright's professionalism and devotion to duty has significantly contributed to the success of the mission and has left a lasting legacy in Kandahar province.

Major Glen Talis Zilkalns, M.S.M., C.D.

Edmonton, Alberta and Dryden, Ontario

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

From May 2005 to February 2006, Major Zilkalns was the operations officer of the provincial reconstruction team deployed to Kandahar in support of Operation ARCHER. In Canada's first deployment of a provincial reconstruction team, he was an exceptional planner and coordinator as well as a tireless leader. His outstanding professionalism, demonstrated in a dangerous and hostile environment, brought great credit to the Canadian Forces and to Canada.

Annex C-BACKGROUNDER

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 the Canadian Forces meets the criteria, 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, a recipient 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.

Shortly after the beginning of Canadian involvement in Afghanistan, it was established that the basic conditions for the awarding of the Decorations were met. The gallant actions of Canadian Forces members in the face of increased hostilities in recent months have provided the occasion to award them.

THE 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.

Contact Information

  • Rideau Hall Press Office
    Marie-Paule Thorn
    613-993-2569
    www.gg.ca
    www.citizenvoices.gg.ca
    or
    Media Liaison Office:
    Department of National Defence
    613-996-2353 or 613-996-2354