Governor General of Canada



Governor General of Canada

November 13, 2012 13:56 ET

Media Advisory: Governor General to Present 45 Military Decorations at Rideau Hall

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 13, 2012) - His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, announces the presentation of Military Valour Decorations and Meritorious Service Decorations (Military Division) to members of the Canadian and allied forces. The presentation ceremony will take place on Thursday, November 15, 2012, at 10:30 a.m., at Rideau Hall.

The Governor General will present one Star of Military Valour and one Medal of Military Valour to members of the Canadian Forces and of allied forces who have displayed gallantry and devotion to duty in combat. His Excellency will also present three Meritorious Service Crosses (Military Division) and 40 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 presentation ceremony, a list of recipients and their citations, and additional information on Military Valour Decorations and Meritorious Service Decorations (Military Division) are attached.

Media wishing to cover the ceremony are asked to contact the Rideau Hall Press Office and must arrive at the Princess Anne Entrance no later than 10:15 a.m., on the day of the ceremony.

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CEREMONY SCHEDULE

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

10:30 a.m.: Ceremony begins
The Governor General speaks
The Governor General presents the military decorations
The Chief of the Defence Staff speaks
11:45 a.m.: Ceremony ends
12:00 p.m.: Media interviews with recipients

RECIPIENTS

MILITARY VALOUR DECORATIONS

Star of Military Valour

Private Taumy St-Hilaire, S.M.V. Montréal, Que.

Medal of Military Valour

Specialist David Fletcher Graves, M.M.V. (United States Army) Wolfe City, Texas, U.S.A.

MERITORIOUS SERVICE DECORATIONS

Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

Brigadier-General Joseph Marcel Marquis Hainse, M.S.C., C.D. Saint-Joseph-de-Coleraine, Que.
Colonel Dean James Milner, O.M.M., M.S.C., C.D. Winnipeg, Man.
Brigadier-General David Gordon Neasmith, O.M.M., M.S.C., C.D. Ottawa, Ont.

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Chief Warrant Officer Joseph Mario Claude Belcourt, M.M.M., M.S.M., C.D. Sherbrooke, Que.
Colonel Gérard Joseph Blais, O.M.M., M.S.M., C.D. Ottawa, Ont.
Colonel Michael Pearson Cessford, O.M.M., M.S.M., C.D. Sudbury, Ont.
Master Warrant Officer Joseph Yvon Prudent Claude Dallaire, M.S.M., C.D. Loretteville, Que.
Major Raymond Jean François Dufault, M.S.M., C.D. Montréal, Que.
Lieutenant-Colonel John William Errington, M.S.M., C.D. Weyburn, Sask. and Courtenay, B.C.
Major Étienne Joseph Robert Claude Gauthier, M.S.M., C.D. Valleyfield, Que.
Colonel Richard Giguère, M.S.M., C.D. Québec, Que.
Corporal Hope Gingrich, M.S.M. Winnipeg, Man.
Colonel Hercule Gosselin, M.S.M., C.D. Québec, Que.
Chief Warrant Officer Joseph Lucien Éric Gravel, M.M.M., M.S.M., C.D. Chicoutimi, Que.
Chief Warrant Officer Joseph Ligouri Alain Grenier, M.M.M., M.S.M., C.D. Boisbriand, Que.
Lieutenant-Commander Aaron Gyorkos, M.S.M., C.D Medicine Hat, Alta.
Major Joseph Antonio Marcel Louis Hamel, M.S.M., C.D. Montréal, Que.
Commander Simon Rupert Hughes, M.S.M., C.D. Ottawa, Ont.
Lieutenant-Commander Stewart Thomas Hughes, M.S.M., C.D. Corner Brook, N.L.
Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Edward Kearney, M.S.M., C.D. Kingston, Ont.
Colonel Patrick Kelly, M.S.M., C.D. Montréal, Que.
Major Éric Landry, M.S.M., C.D. Montréal, Que.
Colonel Frederick A. Lewis, M.S.M., C.D. Westport, Ont.
Warrant Officer Daniel Pius Mansfield, M.S.M., C.D. North Sydney, N.S.
Lieutenant-Colonel Timothy David Marcella, M.S.M., C.D. Sarnia, Ont.
Major Jean-Christian Marquis, M.S.M., C.D. Rimouski, Que.
Major Christopher Alan McKenna, M.S.M., C.D. Montréal, Que.
Sergeant Kevin Mendioroz, M.S.M., C.D. Montréal, Que.
Major-General Christopher D. Miller, M.S.M.
(United States Air Force)
Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S.A.
Warrant Officer David Elwell Milligan, M.S.M., C.D. Summerside, P.E.I.
Captain Joseph Guy Noury, M.S.M., C.D. Joliette, Que.
Master Corporal Martin Joseph André Pelletier, M.S.M. Greenfield, Que.
Colonel Jacques Paul Robert Prévost, M.S.M., C.D. Montréal, Que.
Captain(N) Alexander Franz Georg Rueben, M.S.M., C.D. North Vancouver, B.C.
Corporal Scott Scholten, M.S.M. Prince George, B.C.
Lieutenant-Colonel Érick David Simoneau, M.S.M., C.D. Peterborough, Ont.
Lieutenant-Colonel Mason James Stalker, M.S.M., C.D. Revelstoke, B.C.
Lieutenant-Colonel Michel-Henri St-Louis, M.S.M., C.D. Longueuil, Que.
Major Richard Cimon Turner, M.S.M., C.D. Edmonton, Alta.
Colonel Siegfried Usal, M.S.M. (French Air Force) Saint-Denis, France
Captain(N) Craig Walkington, M.S.M., C.D. Halifax, N.S.
Chief Warrant Officer Kevin Charles West, M.S.M., C.D. Québec, Que.
Lieutenant-Colonel Christopher John Zimmer, M.S.M., C.D. Esterhazy, Sask.

Please note that the information in this media advisory reflects the rank of the recipient at the time of the event for which they are being recognized.

CITATIONS

MILITARY VALOUR DECORATIONS

Star of Military Valour

Private Taumy St-Hilaire, S.M.V.

Montréal, Quebec

On April 19, 2011, Private St-Hilaire demonstrated exceptional courage during a battle in Afghanistan. While engaging the enemy from his rooftop position, he noticed an Afghan father and son pinned down under enemy fire. On his own initiative, and despite enemy aggression from three separate positions, he requested covering fire before going down to the exposed victims to lead them to shelter. Private St-Hilaire's bravery and selflessness enabled him to save both lives and to quell the attack.

Medal of Military Valour

Specialist David Fletcher Graves, M.M.V. (United States Army)

Wolfe City, Texas, United States of America

Staff Sergeant Adam Hever, M.M.V. (United States Army)

Peabody, Massachusetts, United States of America

On August 3, 2010, Specialist Graves and Staff Sergeant Hever, both of the 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army, and part of the Canadian-led Task Force Kandahar, were conducting a training exercise within Kandahar Airfield when insurgents tried to force their way inside the compound. Unarmed and under fire, Specialist Graves and Staff Sergeant Hever secured weapons and moved to a position of cover in order to engage the enemy. Despite intense enemy action, they maintained their position and delivered accurate return fire. Their courage, decisiveness and soldiering ability neutralized the attack and enabled friendly forces to find safety.

Staff Sergeant Hever received his insignia at an earlier ceremony.

MERITORIOUS SERVICE DECORATIONS (MILITARY DIVISION)

Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

Brigadier-General Joseph Marcel Marquis Hainse, M.S.C., C.D.

Saint-Joseph-de-Coleraine, Quebec

As deputy commander, Regional Command South, in Southern Afghanistan from April 2007 to January 2008, Brigadier-General Hainse demonstrated leadership and drew upon his experience to assist international efforts in Afghanistan. An inspiration to everyone under his command and a first-rate ambassador for Canada, he quickly earned the trust of Afghan partners and of the coalition. Brigadier-General Hainse's generous contributions proved indispensable to the success of the mission, earning international praise for Canada.

Colonel Dean James Milner, O.M.M., M.S.C., C.D.

Winnipeg, Manitoba

While deployed as commander of Joint Task Force Afghanistan from September 2010 to July 2011, Colonel Milner demonstrated exceptional leadership that was critical to the success of Task Force Kandahar. Working in close partnership with Afghan National Security Forces and allies, he enabled the disruption of insurgent networks, the successful completion of infrastructure improvements and enhanced the overall level of security for the Afghan population. Colonel Milner's performance and leadership secured Canada's legacy in Afghanistan and positioned the Canadian Forces for a successful transition to its training mission.

Brigadier-General David Gordon Neasmith, O.M.M., M.S.C., C.D.

Ottawa, Ontario

Brigadier-General Neasmith was deployed as assistant commanding general for Afghan National Army development, within the NATO Training Mission in Kabul, Afghanistan, from March 2010 to March 2011. His work yielded a significant contribution to the ongoing expansion and professionalization of the Afghan National Army, which was critical to revamping the country's governmental systems and set the conditions for the transfer of security responsibilities to the Afghan people. Brigadier-General Neasmith's leadership and performance brought great honour to Canada.

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Chief Warrant Officer Joseph Mario Claude Belcourt, M.M.M., M.S.M., C.D.

Sherbrooke, Quebec

As the Canadian Forces Support Unit chief warrant officer in Ottawa from 2009 through 2012, Chief Warrant Officer Belcourt demonstrated leadership, initiative and professionalism. Historic commemorative events such as the Canadian Forces' farewell to the Commander-in-Chief and the Operation Mobile end-of-mission parade largely benefited from his attention to detail and his ability to work with a number of partners and organizations. Developing and mentoring non-commissioned members during his tenure was his hallmark, a contribution that will have a profound, lasting impact on the future of the Canadian Forces.

Colonel Gérard Joseph Blais, O.M.M., M.S.M., C.D.

Ottawa, Ontario

As director of Casualty Support Management, beginning in November 2008, Colonel Blais was responsible for setting up integrated personnel support centres and operational stress injury support programs in Canada. He demonstrated the highest degree of leadership, initiative, determination and vision, ensuring the provision of ongoing and high-quality support to the members of the Canadian Forces and their families. Colonel Blais' extraordinary commitment and dedication helped to achieve the success of these projects. 

Colonel Michael Pearson Cessford, O.M.M., M.S.M., C.D.

Sudbury, Ontario

As commander of the Staff and Language Training Centre from January to October 2010, Colonel Cessford made a significant contribution to developing junior leadership in the Afghan National Army and police force. He called upon his extensive network of battle-hardened Afghan commanders and his own personal experience to develop a program for teaching combat leadership as it relates to Afghanistan's unique counter-insurgency environment. Colonel Cessford's efforts laid the foundation for the professionalization of Afghanistan's security institutions, furthering stability and safety for the local population.

Master Warrant Officer Joseph Yvon Prudent Claude Dallaire, M.S.M., C.D.

Loretteville, Quebec

As sergeant major of the Canadian Helicopter Force Afghanistan maintenance squadron from July 2010 to April 2011, Master Warrant Officer Dallaire distinguished himself by his professionalism and insight. Through his strong leadership, and with the cohesive team of aircraft technicians that he trained, he kept the fleet accessible and available for all task force missions. Master Warrant Officer Dallaire's dedication and discipline ensured ongoing air support for Canadian soldiers, thereby helping to bring about the operational success of the Canadian Forces.

Major Raymond Jean François Dufault, M.S.M., C.D.

Montréal, Quebec

As deputy commanding officer of the battle group deployed to Afghanistan from November 2010 to July 2011, Major Dufault played a key role in the group's effectiveness. A seasoned leader and tireless worker, he supported the commanding officer during his tours and updated the liaison in the chain of command, thereby facilitating the battalion's actions on the complex battlefields of the Panjwayi District. Major Dufault's tactical skills and perseverance greatly contributed to the success of the group's mission.

Lieutenant-Colonel John William Errington, M.S.M., C.D.

Weyburn, Saskatchewan and Courtenay, British Columbia

As commander of a special operations task force in Afghanistan from October 2010 to March 2011, Lieutenant-Colonel Errington distinguished himself as a combat leader and special operations advisor. His unit's participation was critical to the achievement of campaign objectives pursued by Regional Command (South) and Task Force Kandahar, and contributed directly to enhancing the capabilities of the Afghan police. Lieutenant-Colonel Errington's efforts were critical to the success of the Canadian mission and enabled his unit to operate effectively within a dynamic multinational environment.

Major Étienne Joseph Robert Claude Gauthier, M.S.M., C.D.

Valleyfield, Quebec

As operations officer for the National Support Element in Afghanistan from November 2010 to July 2011, Major Gauthier demonstrated remarkable leadership and strong presence of mind. His dedication and exemplary service resulted in a support plan to secure the Horn of Panjwayi, by increasing the effectiveness of logistical combat patrols and by diligently meeting the logistical needs of battlespace commanders. Major Gauthier's worthy contributions to support operations greatly enhanced the success of the Canadian Forces.

Colonel Richard Giguère, M.S.M., C.D.

Québec, Quebec

As deputy commander of Joint Task Force Afghanistan from September 2010 to July 2011, Colonel Giguère distinguished himself by his loyalty and dedication. With extraordinary strategic and analytical acumen, he developed a superior operational approach that allowed soldiers and their equipment to be efficiently deployed in the field and redeployed to Kandahar Airfield to consolidate the task force's combat element. Colonel Giguère's dynamic leadership and sound advice contributed greatly to the success of the mission.

Corporal Hope Gingrich, M.S.M.

Winnipeg, Manitoba

From July 2010 to January 2011, Corporal Gingrich performed outstandingly as a signaller within the Joint Defence Operations Centre at Kandahar Airfield. Most notably, in response to indirect fire attacks on the airfield, she led her section to cordon the impact sites until they could be cleared by counter-explosive personnel. Taking on new roles as required and providing excellent mentorship to inexperienced NATO personnel, Corporal Gingrich displayed exceptional leadership and was a key member of the operations centre.

Colonel Hercule Gosselin, M.S.M., C.D.

Québec, Quebec

As commander of the Operational Mentor and Liaison Team from November 2010 to July 2011, Colonel Gosselin increased the confidence and effectiveness of the Afghan National Army by personally supporting the commander of 1 Brigade, 205 Corps. He distinguished himself by his honesty in conveying the reality of the terrain to the Afghan commanders and in conceptualizing the principles of training with Afghan National Security Forces. A seasoned mentor and experienced leader, Colonel Gosselin enhanced the reputation of the Canadian Forces.

Chief Warrant Officer Joseph Lucien Éric Gravel, M.M.M., M.S.M., C.D.

Chicoutimi, Quebec

From November 2010 to July 2011, Chief Warrant Officer Gravel, regimental sergeant major of the battle group deployed to Afghanistan, was a workhorse who distinguished himself by his dedication and his knowledge of the terrain. His ability to understand the intentions of commanders and to relay them to the various sub-units was vital to decentralizing operations. Chief Warrant Officer Gravel's leadership and involvement in the command and control of the unit made him an essential component of the battle group's success.

Chief Warrant Officer Joseph Ligouri Alain Grenier, M.M.M., M.S.M., C.D.

Boisbriand, Quebec

As regimental sergeant major of the Operational Mentor and Liaison Team from November 2010 to July 2011, Chief Warrant Officer Grenier distinguished himself by his dedication and leadership in supporting his Afghan counterpart in 1 Brigade, 205 Corps of the Afghan National Army. With his excellent tactical knowledge and sense of duty, he gave greater responsibility to the role of Afghan non-commissioned officers, thereby increasing the brigade's operational capability. An extraordinary mentor, Chief Warrant Officer Grenier significantly increased the effectiveness of the Afghan National Army.

Lieutenant-Commander Aaron Gyorkos, M.S.M., C.D.

Medicine Hat, Alberta

From July 2011 to January 2012, Lieutenant-Commander Gyorkos demonstrated exceptional leadership as commandant of Canadian Forces Fleet School Esquimalt. Through his problem-solving abilities, he effectively advanced numerous projects considered critical to the success of the naval training system. He led the On-the-Job Performance Requirements implementation program; a classroom modernization project; the development of a pan-naval training performance management framework; and the detailed analysis of the quality control and assurance model. His efforts brought great credit to the Royal Canadian Navy.

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

Montréal, Quebec

From September 2010 to March 2011, Major Hamel was the operations officer for the Air Wing in Afghanistan, where he demonstrated extraordinary dedication and professionalism. An experienced planner, he proposed and implemented several initiatives to improve task force effectiveness and to ensure its security. Major Hamel's leadership and commitment ensured the operational success of the mission and enhanced the reputation of the Canadian Forces.

This is the second Meritorious Service Medal for Major Hamel.

Commander Simon Rupert Hughes, M.S.M., C.D.

Ottawa, Ontario

Between August 2010 and January 2012, Commander Hughes contributed strategic benefit to the Royal Canadian Navy. He was instrumental in conceiving and developing innovative approaches, which made sure of the readiness of naval personnel for the introduction of the internationally successful REGULUS program and the adoption of the Single Fleet Scheme of Manoeuvre. Commander Hughes' leadership, strategic wisdom and groundbreaking work helped ensure the future success of the Navy, the Canadian Forces and Canada.

Lieutenant-Commander Stewart Thomas Hughes, M.S.M., C.D.

Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador

Lieutenant-Commander Hughes demonstrated dedication, initiative and leadership throughout his tenure as the Canadian Forces Naval Engineering School Detachment commander in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, from 2009 to 2012. He forged close relations with public and private enterprises, as well as with many levels of government, by organizing a number of community-based activities involving the CF and naval students attending the Marine Institute. Through his leadership and mentorship, Lieutenant-Commander Hughes inspired his organization in its role to support the Canadian Forces.

Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Edward Kearney, M.S.M., C.D.

Kingston, Ontario

While deployed to Afghanistan from October 2010 to May 2011, Lieutenant-Colonel Kearney made a critical contribution to the fight against corruption as chief of staff of Combined Joint Interagency Task Force Shafafiyat. He displayed the ability to simultaneously track a broad range of issues while collaborating with high-level military and civilian stakeholders from numerous countries. Lieutenant-Colonel Kearney's leadership and in-depth understanding of Afghanistan's complex political dynamic was essential to the operational success of the mission.

Colonel Patrick Kelly, M.S.M., C.D.

Montréal, Quebec

As senior advisor to the Afghan Vice-Chief of the General Staff from October 2010 to July 2011, Colonel Kelly made exemplary contributions to the development of the Afghan National Army and the Ministry of Defence. His guidance allowed the Vice-Chief to champion improvements within the Army and to take a more active role in its command and control. Colonel Kelly's leadership and diplomacy contributed directly to building a stable command structure within the Afghan National Army and brought great credit to the Canadian Forces.

Major Éric Landry, M.S.M., C.D.

Montréal, Quebec

As commander of the C Squadron Combat Team from November 2010 to June 2011, Major Landry was given responsibility for building a vital road in Afghanistan. Overcoming complex challenges in this dangerous environment, he skilfully coordinated the squadron's various security, construction and logistical elements, and effectively supported Headquarters' other logistical operations. Major Landry's leadership, so often demonstrated while under enemy fire and in the presence of improvised explosive devices, ensured the success of this mission.

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

Westport, Ontario

As commander of Task Force Jerusalem from July 2009 to July 2010, Colonel Lewis provided leadership to Canada's contribution to the United States Security Coordinator's mission to support Palestinian Authority security sector reform. Both a diplomat and soldier, he forged strong relationships with American, Israeli and Palestinian stakeholders, and played a key role in ensuring the long-term viability of growing Palestinian security forces. Colonel Lewis' efforts enhanced relations with key allies and highlighted Canada's role in the Middle East peace process.

This is the second Meritorious Service Medal for Colonel Lewis.

Warrant Officer Daniel Pius Mansfield, M.S.M., C.D.

North Sydney, Nova Scotia

Warrant Officer Mansfield was deployed as the Task Force Kandahar Engineer Regiment Operations warrant officer from August 2010 to July 2011. As the engineer advisor to the Tactical Operations Centre, he ensured the optimal allocation of engineering resources and coordinated explosive ordnance disposal activities. He also contributed to the provision of accurate information regarding threat levels and enabled the acquisition of equipment that would have otherwise been inaccessible to the task force. Warrant Officer Mansfield's efforts and leadership were critical to the operational success of the engineer regiment.

Lieutenant-Colonel Timothy David Marcella, M.S.M., C.D.

Sarnia, Ontario

As commanding officer of the National Support Element in Afghanistan from April to November 2010, Lieutenant-Colonel Marcella demonstrated leadership and professionalism while providing logistics support to Canadian and coalition forces. Working in Afghanistan's complex counter-insurgency environment, he ensured effective support throughout the vast area of operations. Lieutenant-Colonel Marcella's endeavours helped to advance international efforts in the country and brought great credit to the Canadian Forces and to Canada.

Major Jean-Christian Marquis, M.S.M., C.D.

Rimouski, Quebec

As commander of the C Company Combat Team deployed to Afghanistan from November 2010 to June 2011, Major Marquis distinguished himself by his tactical agility. In his battlespace, he prevailed over numerous incidents caused by, among other things, improvised explosive devices; he faced the enemy on several occasions; and he became involved with the local population. Even when faced with the loss of soldiers and the complex challenges of combat, Major Marquis contributed greatly to the team's success and to improved stability in his area of operations.

Major Christopher Alan McKenna, M.S.M., C.D.

Montréal, Quebec

As the officer commanding Chinook Flight within the Canadian Helicopter Force (Afghanistan) from July 2010 to April 2011, Major McKenna was vital to the execution of helicopter operations, which provided critical support to Canadian and coalition ground forces. A proven airman and an officer of the highest standard, he forged a professional and cohesive team that guaranteed operational success. Whether in the air or in the planning room, Major McKenna demonstrated a level of performance and leadership that reinforced Canada's reputation for excellence in aviation.

Sergeant Kevin Mendioroz, M.S.M., C.D.

Montréal, Quebec

From 2010 to 2011, Sergeant Mendioroz was the Canadian Defence attaché assistant and, at one point, the sole Canadian Forces member present at the sensitive and strategically important attaché office in Cuba. Sergeant Mendioroz demonstrated professionalism and confidence, despite being faced with the complex situation of operating independently. His efforts led to the vast expansion of Canadian co-operation with the Cuban military and ensured a constant flow of information and analysis, bringing great credit to Canada.

Major-General Christopher D. Miller, M.S.M. (United States Air Force)

Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States of America

From 2007 to 2009, Major-General Miller, of Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, distinguished himself by developing enduring staff relationships and identifying operational improvements within the North American Aerospace Defence Command, the United States Northern Command and Canada Command. His outstanding leadership and integrity ensured effective intergovernmental and military co-operation, ultimately strengthening the defence and security of Canada and the United States.

Warrant Officer David Elwell Milligan, M.S.M., C.D.

Summerside, Prince Edward Island

As the operations warrant officer of Brigade Troops Stability A Company from April to November 2010, Warrant Officer Milligan facilitated the success of military and civilian units operating out of Camp Nathan Smith. In addition to leading his team in providing force protection throughout Kandahar City when called upon, he excelled in the roles of both company and camp sergeants-major. Warrant Officer Milligan's efforts contributed directly to operational success and enhanced the profile of the Canadian Forces.

Captain Joseph Guy Noury, M.S.M., C.D.

Joliette, Quebec

As senior mentor for 1 Brigade, 205 Corps Headquarters of the Afghan National Army from November 2010 to July 2011, Captain Noury distinguished himself by his hard work, vision and dedication. His mentorship of the brigade facilitated the joint operations of the Canadian, Afghan and American forces, illustrated by five large-scale combat interventions. Through his professionalism and leadership, Captain Noury helped to ensure the operational success of the coalition forces.

Master Corporal Martin Joseph André Pelletier, M.S.M.

Greenfield, Quebec

From December 2010 to July 2011, Master Corporal Pelletier, infantryman and tactical information operator, markedly improved the quality of combat information in numerous areas of operations in Afghanistan. He updated the list of principal insurgents active in networks manufacturing improvised explosive devices and, during reconnaissance and operations patrols, identified, questioned and detained them. Master Corporal Pelletier's dedication and astute judgment helped him to provide a safer environment for Canadian soldiers and the local population.

Colonel Jacques Paul Robert Prévost, M.S.M., C.D.

Montréal, Quebec

As commander of the Joint Task Force Afghanistan Air Wing from August 2010 to March 2011, Colonel Prévost worked to improve the air capabilities of the Canadian Forces. Working in a complex and dynamic environment, he had a positive impact on combat operations by bringing out the best in his staff while making effective use of the limited equipment available. Through his leadership and organizational talents, Colonel Prévost effectively contributed to the operational success of the coalition forces.

Captain(N) Alexander Franz Georg Rueben, M.S.M., C.D.

North Vancouver, British Columbia

As commander of the Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Breton from 2004 to 2009, Captain(N) Rueben made invaluable contributions to the future of the Royal Canadian Navy, and that of the Canadian shipbuilding and repair industry. His visionary efforts to forge strategic partnerships connecting the Canadian Forces, government and industry enabled the success of the National Shipbuilding and Procurement Strategy and the establishment of the Marine Training and Applied Research Centre. Captain(N) Rueben's personal engagement and perseverance in achieving broad co-operation brought strategic benefits to Canada.

Corporal Scott Scholten, M.S.M.

Prince George, British Columbia

Deployed as a firefighter during Operation Nanook in 2011, Corporal Scholten demonstrated the highest standards of professionalism throughout the crash response to First Air Flight 6560 on August 20, 2011. Arriving at the scene as a first responder, he hiked approximately 800 metres over adverse terrain while carrying his breathing apparatus, tools and extinguishers in order to rescue victims of the accident. His personal actions, speed and endurance led to three severely injured passengers being promptly rescued from the scene. Corporal Scholten's exceptional contribution enhanced civil-military co-operation and brought great credit to the Canadian Forces.

Lieutenant-Colonel Érick David Simoneau, M.S.M., C.D.

Peterborough, Ontario

Lieutenant-Colonel Simoneau, Commanding Officer of the Canadian Helicopter Force Afghanistan from July 2010 to April 2011, distinguished himself by his leadership and dedication. He optimized air support effectiveness by supporting a high number of deliberate operations and air assaults, transporting more passengers and cargo, and ensuring an uninterrupted combat supply. Following an aircraft crash, he developed a plan that would minimize the effects of such a loss. Lieutenant-Colonel Simoneau's leadership and initiatives greatly contributed to operational success.

Lieutenant-Colonel Mason James Stalker, M.S.M., C.D.

Revelstoke, British Columbia

Lieutenant-Colonel Stalker displayed leadership and tactical acumen as the commanding officer of the Canadian contingent at Regional Command (South) Headquarters and as executive officer to the deputy commanding general from September 2010 to October 2011. Responsible for operations in the most volatile and violent region of Afghanistan, he was instrumental to operational success and significantly contributed to defeating the insurgents. Lieutenant-Colonel Stalker's performance was of a high standard and brought honour to the Canadian Forces and to Canada.

Lieutenant-Colonel Michel-Henri St-Louis, M.S.M., C.D.

Longueuil, Quebec

Commanding officer of the battle group deployed to Afghanistan from November 2010 to July 2011, Lieutenant-Colonel St-Louis distinguished himself by his leadership and tactical acumen. A confident and innovative leader, he orchestrated and led numerous focused and aggressive operations in partnership with Afghan kandaks and, in so doing, halted the annual spring surge of insurgents in the Horn of Panjwayi. Lieutenant-Colonel St-Louis' dedication and infectious enthusiasm enabled the battle group to make tremendous progress in security and governance in this vast and complex battlespace.

Major Richard Cimon Turner, M.S.M., C.D.

Edmonton, Alberta

As a battle group deputy commanding officer in Afghanistan from October 2009 to May 2010, Major Turner played a critical role in executing a fundamental change in the coalition's approach to counter-insurgency operations. As additional forces and aid agencies surged into Afghanistan, he led the development and implementation of collaborative military-civilian district stabilization plans that, for the first time, fully synchronized security, governance, reconstruction and development operations. Major Turner's leadership united an array of multinational partners, which ensured the success of this critical process and brought great credit to Canada.

Colonel Siegfried Usal, M.S.M. (French Air Force)

Saint-Denis, France

The binational co-operation efforts of Colonel Usal, Defence Attaché to the embassy of France in Ottawa since 2010, were vital to the Royal Canadian Air Force's operations. They also helped to ensure stronger ties between French and Canadian armed forces during Canadian operations in Libya. Colonel Usal's expertise has been indispensable for Canada and manifestly aided in strengthening the coalition forces, of which Canada was an essential participant.

Captain(N) Craig Walkington, M.S.M., C.D.

Halifax, Nova Scotia

In the two years leading up to the Canadian Naval Centennial in 2010, Captain(N) Walkington provided commendable leadership in Atlantic Canada. This included bringing the Navy to Canadians, in order to honour its past, showcase its present and reinforce its future. Captain(N) Walkington's actions had significant impact on the eastern component of the Royal Tour to Canada in 2010, which included an international fleet review by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. His meritorious contribution brought great credit to the Navy, to the Canadian Forces and to Canada.

Chief Warrant Officer Kevin Charles West, M.S.M., C.D.

Québec, Quebec

Chief Warrant Officer West played a critical role in optimizing morale and maintaining mission focus as chief warrant officer of the Joint Task Force Afghanistan Air Wing from March to August 2011. He mentored senior personnel, provided sage advice to command, and developed robust plans to resolve identified deficiencies in force protection and personnel recognition. Chief Warrant Officer West's efforts contributed directly to the unit's effectiveness and to overall operational success in Afghanistan; his leadership and professionalism brought great credit to both the air wing and the Canadian Forces.

Lieutenant-Colonel Christopher John Zimmer, M.S.M., C.D.

Esterhazy, Saskatchewan

As headquarters commanding officer and wing chief of staff of the Joint Task Force Afghanistan Air Wing at Kandahar Airfield from March to September 2011, Lieutenant-Colonel Zimmer demonstrated the highest calibre of initiative, leadership and support. Whether streamlining processes, instituting morale and welfare programs, or establishing relationships with other headquarters, he ensured that all staff executed their tasks to a consistently high standard. In addition, his planning effectively positioned the unit for successful mission transition as the Canadian Forces left Kandahar. Lieutenant-Colonel Zimmer's efforts contributed directly to the success of the air wing and brought great credit to the Candian Forces.

FACT SHEET ON 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 force that is serving with, or in conjunction with, the Canadian Forces, on or after January 1, 1993.

FACT SHEET ON 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

  • For information on the ceremony:
    Marie-Pierre Belanger
    Rideau Hall Press Office
    613-998-9166
    marie-pierre.belanger@gg.ca

    For information on the recipients:
    Department of National Defence
    Media Liaison Office
    1-866-377-0811
    613-996-2353
    www.forces.gc.ca