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News

Governor General Announces the Awarding of Military Decorations

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October 28, 2010

Governor General Announces the Awarding
of 21 Meritorious Service Decorations (Military Division)

OTTAWA—His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, announced today the awarding of 21 Meritorious Service Decorations (Military Division), namely one Cross and 20 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 announced in a separate news release.

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

-30-

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)

Brigadier-General Joseph René Marcel Guy Laroche, O.M.M., M.S.C., C.D.

Québec, Que.


Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Master Corporal Joseph Léonard Arsenault, M.S.M., C.D.

Antigonish, N. S.

Colonel Tony Battista, M.S.M., C.D.

Montréal, Que.

Corporal Joseph Rudolf Éric Beauclair, M.S.M., C.D.

Trenton, Ont.

Major Jonathan Claude Yvon Bouchard, M.S.M., C.D.

Montréal, Que.

Lieutenant-Colonel Scott Norman Clancy, M.S.M., C.D.

Ottawa, Ont.

Captain Wayne Craig Desjardins, M.B., M.S.M., C.D.

North Bay, Ont.

Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Jocelyn Joseph René Fréchette, M.S.M., C.D.

Sainte-Foy, Que.

Commodore Richard Weston Greenwood, O.M.M., M.S.M., C.D.

Powell River, B.C.

Lieutenant-Colonel James Andrew Irvine, M.S.M., C.D.

Belleville, Ont.

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

Québec, Que.

Captain(N) Arthur Gerard McDonald, M.S.M., C.D.

New Waterford, N.S.

Lieutenant-Colonel Christopher Kenneth Penny, M.S.M.

Ottawa, Ont.

Corporal Emelie Pilon, M.S.M.

Mississauga, Ont.

Captain Jeffrey Middleton Powell, M.S.M.

Clinton, Ont.

Master Corporal Jeffrey Gordon Spence, M.S.M., C.D.

Kamloops, B.C.

Captain(N) Thomas Charles Tulloch, M.S.M., C.D.

Peterborough, Ont.

Captain Connie Noreen Watson, M.S.M., C.D.

Winnipeg, Man.

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


MERITORIOUS SERVICE DECORATIONS

Brigadier-General Joseph René Marcel Guy Laroche, O.M.M., M.S.C., C.D.
Québec, Quebec
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

Following the earthquake in Haiti, Brigadier-General Laroche modelled and developed an operation plan within a multinational and inter-agency framework, which quickly distinguished itself from those of the other military forces. Brigadier-General Laroche’s altruism and his capacity to analyze operational issues, combined with his close collaboration with the Canadian Ambassador, the Prime Minister of Haiti, and the forces in place, enabled Canada to be one of the first countries to contribute humanitarian assistance to the Haitian people, from January to March 2010.

This is the second Meritorious Service Cross for Brigadier-General Laroche.

Master Corporal Joseph Léonard Arsenault, M.S.M., C.D.
Antigonish, Nova Scotia
Major Jonathan Claude Yvon Bouchard, M.S.M., C.D.
Montréal, Quebec
Captain Jeffrey Middleton Powell, M.S.M.
Clinton, Ontario
Master Corporal Jeffrey Gordon Spence, M.S.M., C.D.
Kamloops, British Columbia
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

On November 19, 2008, the aircrew of Rescue 903, a Cormorant Search and Rescue helicopter, rescued three stranded sailors from their rapidly sinking dredging barge off the coast of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. The aircrew consisted of aircraft commander Captain Powell; first officer Major Bouchard; flight engineer Master Corporal Arsenault; and Master Corporal Spence, a search and rescue technician under training. Flying through hazardous, icy conditions, with winds of up to 40 knots and six-metre seas, the aircraft arrived on scene with minimal fuel to spare. Over the next hour, the crew proceeded to hoist the three sailors onboard the aircraft, one by one, as darkness approached. Shortly after the successful rescue, while the aircraft was proceeding to shore, the barge was reported sunk. Tremendous effort, focus on the mission and the utmost in aircrew coordination resulted in three lives being saved that day.

Colonel Tony Battista, M.S.M., C.D.
Montréal, Quebec
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

From 2006 through 2010, Colonel Battista, as the Canadian defence attaché to Germany, greatly contributed to Canada’s relationship with that country. He was instrumental in preparing Canadian Forces troops for service in Afghanistan. He advanced Canadian initiatives such as research into, and the acquisition of, new German equipment and its associated training, most notably for the Leopard 2 tank. He also successfully promoted German participation in the International Security Assistance Force and partnership with the Canadian Forces Staff Officer School in Kabul. Furthermore, his compassionate oversight of wounded Canadian soldiers convalescing in Germany was exemplary. Throughout his tenure, Colonel Battista was an outstanding envoy and brought great credit to the Canadian Forces and to Canada.

Corporal Joseph Rudolf Éric Beauclair, M.S.M., C.D.
Trenton, Ontario
Captain Wayne Craig Desjardins, M.B., M.S.M., C.D.
North Bay, Ontario
Corporal Emelie Pilon, M.S.M.
Mississauga, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

In response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Captain Desjardins, Corporal Beauclair and Corporal Pilon were sent as part of the inaugural deployment of the Canadian Forces Urban Search and Rescue team, from January to March 2010. Tasked with locating, extracting and recovering Canadian and foreign human remains, these three individuals helped to ease the suffering of many families through their unrelenting and compassionate efforts, and were an inspiration to their team and international partners. Despite the mental and physical demands of this horrific and complex operation, they maintained an unwavering dedication that brought great credit to the Canadian Forces and to Canada.

Lieutenant-Colonel Scott Norman Clancy, M.S.M., C.D.
Ottawa, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

In response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Lieutenant-Colonel Clancy was deployed as the air component commander of Joint Task Force Haiti, from January to March 2010. Optimizing the employment of all capabilities under his command, he ensured the uninterrupted aerial delivery of personnel and supplies critical to the success of the disaster relief operations. His outstanding leadership and unrelenting drive enabled Canada and its international partners to help ease the suffering of the Haitian people, and enhanced Canada’s reputation on the world stage.

Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Jocelyn Joseph René Fréchette, M.S.M., C.D.
Sainte-Foy, Quebec
Meritorious Service Medal (military division)

From January to March 2010, the firm guidance provided by Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Fréchette enabled the crew of HMCS Athabaskan to provide exceptional support following the devastating earthquake in Haiti. The relations Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Fréchette maintained with non-governmental organizations, community leaders and military units also made it possible to deliver assistance in the areas hardest hit. His efforts helped to optimize the use of the ship’s resources and to undertake humanitarian assistance projects that had a lasting impact on the region.

Commodore Richard Weston Greenwood, O.M.M., M.S.M., C.D.
Powell River, British Columbia
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Commodore Greenwood, Director General of Maritime Equipment Program Management from 2006 through 2010, showed exemplary leadership, hard work and visionary focus during his tenure. The implementation of the Halifax-Class Modernization project, the Victoria-Class weapons handling and discharge system, and the Orca-Class project to replace the navy’s fleet of training vessels, illustrate Commodore Greenwood’s tremendous contributions to Canada’s maritime capability. His efforts will help the fleet in its continuing ability to respond effectively to the challenges to come.    

Lieutenant-Colonel James Andrew Irvine, M.S.M., C.D.
Belleville, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

From May to June 2009, Lieutenant-Colonel Irvine led the deployment of a long-range patrol aircraft on aerial mapping missions in support of Canadian operations in Afghanistan. His exemplary leadership in the face of significant technical and logistical challenges ensured that the mission achieved a measure of success beyond that originally envisioned. The resulting imagery and mapping products gave Canadian and allied ground forces a tactical advantage over the enemy and provided government agencies with powerful tools to assess infrastructure and other critical elements on the ground.

Colonel Jean-Marc Lanthier, M.S.C., M.S.M., C.D.
Québec, Quebec
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Following the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Colonel Lanthier was deployed as the deputy commander of Joint Task Force Haiti, in Port-au-Prince, from January to March 2010. In that capacity, he coordinated all of the JTF’s tactical and operational efforts. His experience, personal commitment and obvious capacity to work in a challenging environment greatly contributed to the enviable reputation enjoyed by the Canadian Forces and by Canada.

Captain(N) Arthur Gerard McDonald, M.S.M., C.D.
New Waterford, Nova Scotia
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Captain(N) McDonald was deployed as the maritime component commander of Joint Task Force Haiti, from January to March 2010. His detailed understanding of the conduct of joint land operations, in the context of humanitarian assistance and recovery, was at the source of the very successful land and sea operations led by Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships Halifax and Athabaskan. This, combined with his dynamic leadership, enabled the delivery of necessary supplies, labour and security to a ravaged landscape. His decisive actions had an immediate and enduring positive effect on the disaster zone, greatly contributing to Canada’s international reputation.

Lieutenant-Colonel Christopher Kenneth Penny, M.S.M.
Ottawa, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Starting in 2007, Lieutenant-Colonel Penny was a member of and military legal advisor to the Canadian delegation that negotiated the Convention on Cluster Munitions. He played a principal and critical role in the development and inclusion of a provision in the Convention protecting the interoperability between States Parties and non-States Parties. His leadership has greatly contributed to Canada’s ability to conduct and command future combined military operations with non-States Parties that are also key allies.

Captain(N) Thomas Charles Tulloch, M.S.M., C.D.
Peterborough, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

While deployed at sea on February 5, 2010, Captain(N) Tulloch was acting commander of NATO’s Standing Naval Maritime Group 1 in the absence of its commodore. At mid-morning, he was alerted that Antigua and Barbuda-flagged Motor Vessel Ariella had been boarded by pirates. Hampered by communications problems and unable to contact his commander, he took immediate action and led the multinational coalition of ships and helicopters to the rescue. Under Captain(N) Tulloch’s leadership, Standing Naval Maritime Group 1 was able to combat and apprehend the pirate vessel without injury or loss of life, bringing great credit to NATO and to Canada.

Captain Connie Noreen Watson, M.S.M., C.D.
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

In response to the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010, Captain Watson was deployed as a nursing officer, from January to March of that year. Her coordination with the Canadian Embassy, with medical professionals and with other key stakeholders ensured that as many earthquake victims as possible received thorough medical treatment, despite having only basic medical equipment at her disposal and lacking normal shelter facilities. Her unwavering determination, medical expertise, leadership and professionalism were critical to the successful and expeditious evacuation of over 4 000 Canadians, including those with life-threatening illnesses and injuries. Her efforts brought great credit to the Canadian Forces and to Canada.


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.