Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

June 27, 2013 11:51 ET

Governor General Presents the Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division) to Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Chris Hadfield

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 27, 2013) - Today, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, presented the Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division) to Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, during a special presentation at the Canadian Space Agency, in Saint-Hubert, Quebec. With this presentation, Mr. Hadfield becomes the first Canadian to hold both the civil and military decorations of this honour.

Mr. Hadfield's citation is as follows:

Colonel Chris Austin Hadfield, O.Ont., M.S.C., C.D. (Ret'd)
Toronto, Ontario
Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division)

In March 2013, astronaut Chris Hadfield became the first Canadian to assume command of the International Space Station (ISS). During his 146 days in space, he shared his passion for the arts and science with hundreds of thousands of people around the world via social media. A true standard-bearer for education, he also gave unprecedented access to the ISS and captured the imagination of countless students across Canada by means of live video chats. Through his extraordinary achievements and the record number of experiments conducted aboard the station, Mr. Hadfield promoted the Canadian Space Agency program, bringing great honour to Canada.

About the Meritorious Service Decorations

The Meritorious Service Decorations include a military division and a civil division, with two levels each: a cross and a medal. The civil division recognizes individuals who have performed an exceptional deed or an activity, made over a limited period of time, which brought honour to the community or to Canada. The military division recognizes individuals for their outstanding professionalism and for bringing honour to the Canadian Forces and to Canada. Additional information on this honour is available online at

A fact sheet on the Meritorious Service Decorations (Civil Division) is also attached.

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The Meritorious Service Decorations (Civil Division)

Outstanding achievements are always worth celebrating. The civil division of the Meritorious Service Decorations (MSD) enables the governor general, on behalf of all Canadians, to recognize individuals for exceptional accomplishments made over a limited period of time.

The Meritorious Service Cross, which was the first Meritorious Service Decoration, was created for the military in 1984. In 1991, a Meritorious Service Medal was added to the military division. At the same time a Cross and a Medal were introduced for civilians. The Meritorious Service Decorations are part of the Canadian Honours System.

An individual is eligible to receive this honour when his or her recent and specific deed or activity demonstrates outstanding personal commitment, brings benefit or honour to Canada, and sets an exemplary standard of achievement. This honour does not recognize lifetime achievements; rather, it highlights an individual's recent contribution that has brought great honour to Canada. Non-Canadians may be honoured as long as their accomplishment relates to Canada. The Meritorious Service Decorations can be awarded posthumously.

The Meritorious Service Decorations are given for contributions in any field of endeavour. From advocacy activities to health care services or research, and from public service to humanitarian achievements, MSD recipients excel in a broad range of activities. For example, some have helped prevent suicide, reduced violence towards women and children, and raised awareness of worthwhile causes, both in Canada and abroad.

The Meritorious Service Cross (M.S.C)

The Civil Division Cross recognizes a deed or an activity that has been performed in an outstandingly professional manner, or with uncommonly high standards; the activity is often innovative, sets an example for others to follow, improves the quality of life of a community and brings considerable benefit or honour to Canada.

The Meritorious Service Medal (M.S.M.)

The Civil Division Medal recognizes a deed or an activity that has been performed in a highly professional manner, or according to a very high standard; often innovative, this deed or activity sets an example for others to follow, improves the quality of life of a community and brings benefit or honour to Canada.

Any person or group is welcome to nominate a deserving individual for the Meritorious Service Decorations (Civil Division). For more information, please visit

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