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Archived - Governor General Announces the Awarding of 31 Meritorious Service Decorations (Military Division)

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July 27, 2011

OTTAWA—His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, announced today the awarding of 31 Meritorious Service Decorations (Military Division), namely seven Crosses and 24 Medals, to individuals whose specific achievements have brought honour to the Canadian Forces and to Canada.

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

A list of recipients and their citations, as well as additional information on the Meritorious Service Decorations (Military Division), are attached.

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Media information

Marie-Pierre Bélanger
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-998-9166
marie-pierre.belanger@gg.ca
www.gg.ca

Department of National Defence
Media Liaison Office
1-866-377-0811
613-996-2353
www.forces.gc.ca

RECIPIENTS

MERITORIOUS SERVICE DECORATIONS

Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

Chief Warrant Officer Jules Joseph Moreau, M.M.M., M.S.C., C.D.
Saint-Pamphile, Que.

Lieutenant-Colonel Jocelyn. J.M.J. Paul, M.S.C., C.D.
Wendake, Que.

General David H. Petraeus, M.S.C. (United States Army)
Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY, U.S.A.

Sergeant Michael Adam Smith, M.S.C., C.D.
Ste-Thérèse, Que.

Lieutenant-Colonel Gilbert Clement Thibault, M.S.C., C.D.
Gaspé, Que.

Lieutenant-Colonel Carl Jean Turenne, M.S.C., C.D.
Kingston, Ont.

Brigadier-General Jonathan Holbert Vance, O.M.M., M.S.C., C.D.
Tweed, Ont.

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)*

Colonel Gregory C. Bilton, M.S.M. (Australian Army)
Wanniassa, Australia

Major Emanuel Jeannot Boucher, M.S.M., C.D.
Granby, Que.

Major General Mart C. de Kruif, M.S.M. (Royal Netherlands Army)
Apeldoorn, Netherlands

Major Jean-François Duval, M.S.M., C.D.
Québec, Que.

Corporal François-Jonathan Gilles Michel Hébert, M.S.M.
Montréal, Que.

Sergeant William Joseph Kelland, M.S.M., C.D.
St. John’s, N.L.

Sergeant Charles Andrew McLean, M.M.M., M.S.M., C.D.
Ottawa, Ont.

Captain Andrew John Mercer, M.S.M., C.D.
Toronto, Ont.

Warrant Officer Keith Paul Mitchell, C.V., M.S.M., C.D.
Lasalle, Que.

Major Joseph Serge Raynald Morin, M.S.M., C.D.
Lac Mégantic, Que.

Sergeant David Michael Pawulski, S.C., M.S.M., C.D.
Calgary, Alta.

Major Yannick Pépin, M.S.M., C.D. (posthumous)
Arthabaska, Que.

Sergeant Joseph François Colin Piché, M.S.M., C.D.
St-Basile-de-Portneuf, Que.

Colonel John Bruce Ploughman, M.S.M., C.D.
St. John’s, N.L.

Chief Warrant Officer Joseph Gerard Gilbert Poirier, M.M.M., M.S.M., C.D.
Verdun, Que.

Chief Warrant Officer Ernest Gérard Joseph Poitras, M.S.M., C.D.
Tracadie, N.B.

Colonel Marie Céline Danielle Savard, M.S.M., C.D.
Chicoutimi, Que.

Major Paul Scannell, M.S.M. (British Army)
Ruislip, United Kingdom

Chief Warrant Officer Andrew Peter Stapleford, M.S.M., C.D.
Halifax, N.S.

Lieutenant-Colonel Ann-Marie Brigitte Tardif, M.S.M., C.D.
Plessisville, Que.

Lieutenant-Colonel John Tringali, M.S.M. (United States Air Force)
Charleston, SC, U.S.A.

Major Joseph Richard Marc Verret, M.S.M., C.D.
Ottawa, Ont.

Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Whited, M.S.M. (United States Army)
Colorado Springs, CO, U.S.A.

* For security and operational reasons, the name and citation of one recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division) is not being released.

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

CITATIONS

MERITORIOUS SERVICE DECORATIONS

Chief Warrant Officer Jules Joseph Moreau, M.M.M., M.S.C., C.D.
Saint-Pamphile, Quebec
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

As regimental sergeant-major of 2nd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment Battle Group, from April to October 2009, Chief Warrant Officer Moreau demonstrated leadership and selfless dedication, which set the standards for the unit’s success. His fighting spirit and judicious guidance helped soldiers deal with the physical and psychological toll of combat, particularly in wounded soldiers recovering before their return to Canada. Whether mentoring ground troops or providing strategic advice to the commander, he distinguished himself as a first-rate soldier who was critical to the unit’s integrity and success.

Lieutenant-Colonel Jocelyn. J.M.J. Paul, M.S.C., C.D.
Wendake, Quebec
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

As commanding officer of 2nd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment Battle Group, from April to October 2009, Lieutenant-Colonel Paul displayed outstanding leadership and tactical brilliance as he planned and conducted highly successful counter-insurgency operations that significantly degraded the enemy’s combat capability. Through his innovative, bold and focused approach, he disrupted the insurgency’s ability to gain tactical initiative during the traditional fighting season, and strengthened the Afghan government’s authority within Kandahar province. His superb command of his unit ensured its success, advanced international efforts in Afghanistan, and brought great credit to Canada and to the Canadian Forces.

General David H. Petraeus, M.S.C. (United States Army)
Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, U.S.A.
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

As commander of the United States Central Command from October 2008 to June 2010, General Petraeus demonstrated outstanding co-operation with and support of Canadian Forces members engaged in combat operations in Afghanistan. He displayed great appreciation for the Canadian Forces, placing under Canadian command the highest number of United States military forces assigned to any foreign nation in decades. This demonstration of faith enhanced Canada’s role in the development of the American-led campaign plan in Afghanistan, while General Petraeus’ extraordinary leadership strengthened the relationship between our two countries.

Sergeant Michael Adam Smith, M.S.C., C.D.
Ste-Thérèse, Quebec
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

As an explosive ordnance disposal operator in Afghanistan from April to October 2009, Sergeant Smith made a significant contribution to the elimination of improvised explosive devices (IED) concealed by the enemy. Successfully dealing with over 90 devices, including nine in one day, he helped to ensure the safety of ground forces. He also used his extensive knowledge to implement a training program that improved IED awareness among Canadian, coalition and Afghan personnel. Called to task almost daily, Sergeant Smith’s selfless dedication to duty undoubtedly saved numerous lives and brought great credit to the Canadian Forces.

Lieutenant-Colonel Gilbert Clement Thibault, M.S.C., C.D.
Gaspé, Quebec
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

Sergeant William Joseph Kelland, M.S.M., C.D.
St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador 
Captain Andrew John Mercer, M.S.M., C.D.
Toronto, Ontario
Warrant Officer Keith Paul Mitchell, C.V., M.S.M., C.D.
Lasalle, Quebec
Sergeant David Michael Pawulski, S.C., M.S.M., C.D.
Calgary, Alberta
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

On the morning of June 9, 2008, the aircrew of Cormorant Helicopter Rescue 913 successfully evacuated a critically injured sailor from the MV Maersk Dunedin, near Halifax. Aircraft Commander Lieutenant-Colonel Thibault made critical command decisions as he piloted the aircraft under exceptionally demanding circumstances. He was assisted by First Officer Captain Mercer, who helped fly the aircraft for nearly 10 hours, twice landing on Sable Island for fuel as the aircraft’s endurance was pushed to its limits. In conditions where visibility was so poor that they could not even see the vesselin distress, flight engineer Sergeant Pawulski was instrumental in providing advice to help guide the aircraft into position over the deck in order to facilitate the hoist operation. Search and rescue technicians Warrant Officer Mitchell and Sergeant Kelland were then lowered onto the heaving deck, where they rendered life-saving medical aid to the injured sailor and coordinated his removal to the rescue helicopter. The team’s conduct, dedication and professionalism in the planning and execution of this daring rescue brought great credit to the Canadian Forces.

Lieutenant-Colonel Carl Jean Turenne, M.S.C., C.D.
Kingston, Ontario
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

As commanding officer of the Provincial Reconstruction Team from January 2009 to January 2010, Lieutenant-Colonel Turenne contributed to the success of all allied operations in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. Working in close co-operation with the Canadian battle group, allied nations and Afghan officials, he led an organization of more than 400 personnel to maintain the initiative against insurgents, while advancing the mandate of the International Security Assistance Force. His leadership ensured the operational success of his unit and furthered international efforts in Afghanistan, bringing great credit to the Canadian Forces and to Canada.

Brigadier-General Jonathan Holbert Vance, O.M.M., M.S.C., C.D.
Tweed, Ontario
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

Demonstrating outstanding leadership as commander of Joint Task Force Afghanistan from February to November 2009, Brigadier-General Vance enabled the Canadian Forces to maintain the initiative and advance the mandate of the International Security Assistance Force. His strategic and tactical skills and astute political insight allowed for the disruption of the Taliban’s operational objectives and strengthened the Afghan government’s authority within Kandahar province. Brigadier-General Vance’s forward-thinking diplomacy greatly advanced Canadian and international efforts in the region, and brought credit to the Canadian Forces and to Canada.

Colonel Gregory C. Bilton, M.S.M. (Australian Army)
Wanniassa, Australian Capital Territory
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Colonel Bilton, of the Australian Army, was deployed to Afghanistan as deputy chief of staff for Security Sector Reform in Regional Command (South), from April to November 2008. His tact and statesmanship helped overcome inter-organizational mistrust and promoted harmony in the relationship between the Afghan National Army and police. His engagement and mentorship of Afghan leaders established exceptional synergy between coalition, Afghan and ISAF forces. Colonel Bilton’s outstanding leadership and commitment greatly enhanced the capability of Afghan National Security Forces in southern Afghanistan.

Major Emanuel Jeannot Boucher, M.S.M., C.D.
Granby, Quebec
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As deputy commanding officer of Canadian Helicopter Force (Afghanistan) from April to November 2009, Major Boucher demonstrated leadership, foresight and initiative, ensuring the successful deployment of Canada’s first fully-trained aviation battalion in Afghanistan. In addition to forging a cohesive team from a diverse group of individuals and successfully implementing new equipment in a combat zone, he worked with coalition partners to improve their night-flying capabilities. Major Boucher’s remarkable achievements were instrumental to the operational success of coalition forces in Afghanistan, and brought great credit to the Canadian Forces.

Major General Mart C. de Kruif, M.S.M. (Royal Netherlands Army)
Apeldoorn, Netherlands
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As commander of Regional Command (South) from November 2008 to November 2009, Major General de Kruif consistently acknowledged and promoted Canada’s contribution to allied military efforts in Afghanistan. With compassion and respect for Canadian soldiers, he ensured their welfare and security, and provided outstanding support to the command teams of two Canadian task forces. Demonstrating world-class leadership, unwavering dedication and keen operational understanding, Major General de Kruif’s command of Canadian soldiers was exemplary and provided great benefit to Canada.

Major Jean-François Duval, M.S.M., C.D.
Québec, Quebec
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As battery commander of the Royal 22e Régiment Battle Group from April to October 2009, Major Duval showed impressive tactical acumen that resulted in outstanding artillery support during numerous combat operations in Afghanistan. He provided his commander with detailed, yet concise reports on the battery’s capabilities, allowing for the optimal employment of artillery. As a result, his battery detachments were able to operate with surgical precision, thereby minimizing collateral damage. Major Duval’s leadership and dedicated efforts were vital to the battle group’s success and brought great credit to the Canadian Forces.

Corporal François-Jonathan Gilles Michel Hébert, M.S.M.
Montréal, Quebec
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As a mentor to numerous senior members of the Afghan National Army from April to October 2009, Corporal Hébert worked well above his rank to improve their operational capacity. His leadership was vital to the planning and execution of numerous joint combat operations, and greatly influenced the level of professionalism in the soldiers he mentored. Corporal Hébert’s exemplary performance, tactical acumen and fighting abilities enabled the Afghan National Army to maximize its disruption of insurgent activities.

Sergeant Charles Andrew McLean, M.M.M., M.S.M., C.D.
Ottawa, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Since 2007, Sergeant McLean’s dedication to Soldier On, a program which he co-founded, has ensured the continued success of this initiative to optimize the functional independence of Canadian Forces members or former members who have become ill or who have been injured. His passion and commitment have provided opportunities for these individuals to reach beyond their physical limitations and find a better quality of life on their road to recovery and reintegration. Over the years, he has successfully promoted and created awareness of the needs of injured and ill Canadian Forces members and their families, as well as the programs available to them.

Major Joseph Serge Raynald Morin, M.S.M., C.D.
Lac Mégantic, Quebec
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As the senior mentor to the commander of an Afghan National Army battalion from April to October 2009, Major Morin was instrumental in improving the battalion’s operational success. Applying his vast experience and knowledge, his mentorship of Afghan soldiers on vital issues, such as the occupation of a forward operating base, resulted in effective partnered combat operations with the Canadian battle group. Major Morin’s outstanding leadership and dedication allowed the Afghan National Army to greatly improve its combat capabilities and brought great credit to the Canadian Forces.

Major Yannick Pépin, M.S.M., C.D. (posthumous)
Arthabaska, Quebec
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Major Pépin deployed to Afghanistan in April 2009 as commander of a squadron of combat engineers supporting the Royal 22e Régiment Battle Group. His leadership and technical expertise enabled those under his command to successfully clear roadways that were vital to the movement of Canadian, Afghan and coalition soldiers. Tragically, he was killed in action by an improvised explosive device while commanding a mounted patrol on September 6, 2009. Major Pépin’s unwavering dedication to Canada’s mission in Afghanistan saved lives and brought great credit to the Canada.

Sergeant Joseph François Colin Piché, M.S.M., C.D.
St-Basile-de-Portneuf, Quebec
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As a mentor to an Afghan National Army infantry company from April to October 2009, Sergeant Piché demonstrated frontline leadership that led the unit to excel during numerous joint operations. Often under fire and facing fierce resistance, he inspired the Afghans to persevere and consistently defeat the enemy. His exceptional awareness and tactical acumen prevented an imminent friendly fire incident on one occasion, when his company was being attacked from multiple directions. His soldiering abilities and mentorship skills greatly improved the capacity of the company and ensured its operational success.

Colonel John Bruce Ploughman, M.S.M., C.D.
St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As commander of the Joint Task Force Afghanistan Air Wing from May to November 2009, Colonel Ploughman ensured the flawless conduct of Canadian air operations in Afghanistan. Whether transporting critical equipment and VIPs, executing air assault operations, or supporting counter-improvised explosive device efforts, his direction enabled his team to perform all tasks to perfection and provide exceptional support to ground forces. Colonel Ploughman’s leadership and tactical insight contributed to operational success in Afghanistan and brought great credit to Canada.

Chief Warrant Officer Joseph Gerard Gilbert Poirier, M.M.M., M.S.M., C.D.
Verdun, Quebec
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As regimental sergeant-major of the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan from February 2009 to February 2010, Chief Warrant Officer Poirier fulfilled his duties with the utmost professionalism. He played a pivotal role in implementing a new policy for interaction with the local population, which greatly enhanced the perception of Canadian soldiers in the community. He also worked tirelessly to reinforce a spirit of co-operation between the military and civilian elements of the unit, and sought to enhance everyone’s quality of life through the advancement of morale-building projects. His advice to senior leadership, coupled with his outstanding mentorship of all members of the unit, were critical to its operational success and brought great credit to Canada.

Chief Warrant Officer Ernest Gérard Joseph Poitras, M.S.M., C.D.
Tracadie, New Brunswick
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Chief Warrant Officer Poitras was part of the Joint Task Force Afghanistan Air Wing from May to November 2009. He was faced with a number of challenges, including the introduction of a new aircraft to the mission and limited operational experience within the air wing. Nevertheless, his leadership was instrumental in forging a cohesive and operationally focused team. His devotion and professionalism ensured his team was equipped to face the challenges associated with providing the best possible aviation support to ground forces in Afghanistan. His unwavering mission focus contributed to the operational success of the air wing and brought great credit to the Canadian Forces.

Colonel Marie Céline Danielle Savard, M.S.M., C.D.
Chicoutimi, Quebec
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As commanding officer of the Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit in Afghanistan from April to October 2009, Colonel Savard’s notable leadership ensured the provision of world-class care to Canadian, coalition and Afghan personnel. In addition to ensuring her multinational team had the necessary equipment and training to treat patients under any circumstance, she helped develop mentoring programs that improved the capacity and capability of the Afghan National Army Medical Corps. Colonel Savard’s outstanding professionalism and medical skills were critical to preserving the fighting strength of coalition forces in Afghanistan and brought great credit to the Canadian Forces.

Major Paul Scannell, M.S.M. (British Army)
Ruislip, United Kingdom
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Major Scannell distinguished himself while serving as a British Army exchange officer with Canadian Operational Support Command Headquarters, in Ottawa, from July 2008 to July 2010, where he led the creation of the Movement Control Multi-National Integrated Logistics Unit. Responsible for coordinating all aspects of the unit’s development, Major Scannell planned and executed two field training exercises, followed by a successful validation exercise, which allowed the unit to be declared operational. His tenacity in seeing this project through to a successful completion has earned him praise from NATO, and his efforts have brought great credit to Canada and to the Canadian Forces.

Chief Warrant Officer Andrew Peter Stapleford, M.S.M., C.D.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As Joint Task Force Afghanistan regimental sergeant-major from February to November 2009, Chief Warrant Officer Stapleford drew on his vast experience and in-depth understanding of the mission to lead a diverse team engaged in operations across the country. The example he set encouraged all soldiers in the task force to conform to the protection measures in place, thus helping to save lives and prevent serious injury. His unwavering dedication ensured the task force’s operational success and enhanced Canada’s reputation within the international community.

Lieutenant-Colonel Ann-Marie Brigitte Tardif, M.S.M., C.D.
Plessisville, Quebec
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As commanding officer of the National Support Element from April to October 2009, Lieutenant-Colonel Tardif’s understanding of Afghanistan’s complex operational environment ensured the delivery of necessary logistical support for the success of Canadian and coalition counter-insurgency operations. Under her leadership, the unit provided the commander with the operational flexibility required to address the ever-changing battle conditions. Her professionalism greatly contributed to the Canadian Forces’ efforts in Afghanistan.

Lieutenant-Colonel John Tringali, M.S.M. (United States Air Force)
Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.A.
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Serving as a United States Air Force exchange officer with the Canadian Forces from 2007 to 2010, Lieutenant Colonel Tringali was employed as the Globemaster III aircraft subject matter expert. His efforts were pivotal to the development of continuation training of first- and second-cadre pilots. He has consistently exhibited a high standard of professionalism and initiative in his duties, and his leadership and dedication have established a solid strategic airlift capability, which brings great benefit to the Canadian Forces.

Major Joseph Richard Marc Verret, M.S.M., C.D.
Ottawa, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As commander of Stabilization Company B, in Afghanistan from March to October 2009, Major Verret led several widely dispersed teams with his flawless application of counter-insurgency doctrine, contributing to stabilization efforts in three districts of Afghanistan. After completing a survey of population centres, he instituted numerous infrastructure projects that were tailored to the specific needs of Afghan communities and which provided employment opportunities for the local population. Major Verret’s remarkable efforts contributed to the undermining of insurgents and brought great credit to Canada.

Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Whited, M.S.M. (United States Army)
Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S.A.
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

From 2007 to 2010, Lieutenant Colonel Whited distinguished himself as the United States Northern Command liaison officer to Canada Command. His professionalism, leadership and integrity in developing the foundation for improvements in continental defence, security and stability went far beyond the duties of a liaison officer. He fostered the development of Canada-United States Combined Defence and Civil Assistance Plans, and facilitated cross-border military collaboration in the build-up to the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Vancouver (Operation PODIUM). Lieutenant Colonel Whited’s contributions brought great credit to Canada and the United States.

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.

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