Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

April 21, 2011 16:09 ET

Presentation of a Meritorious Service Decoration (Military Division)

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 21, 2011) - His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, announces the awarding of a posthumous Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division) to the late General Franciszek Gągor of the Polish Armed Forces. General Walter Natynczyk, Chief of the Defence Staff, presented the insignia to the widow of the late General Gągor. The ceremony took place in Warsaw, Poland on April 13, 2011.

General Franciszek Gągor, M.S.C. (Posthumous)
Koniuszowa, Poland
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

General Gągor demonstrated great leadership as chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces, from February 2006 until his tragic death in May 2010. His dedication to the collective defence of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) made him a highly respected member of the NATO Military Committee. He was a supporter of Canada's military model and promoted enhanced military co-operation between Canada and Poland, to the benefit of the armed forces of both nations. In particular, his support of bilateral co-operation between Polish and Canadian forces in Afghanistan contributed to the success of the Canadian mission there, to the benefit of Canada and the Canadian Forces.

For additional information on the Meritorious Service Decorations, please see the attached backgrounder.


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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