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News

Meritorious Service Decorations (Military Division) Announcement

December 7, 2011

Governor General Announces the Awarding of
44 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 44 Meritorious Service Decorations (Military Division), namely seven Crosses and 37 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)

Colonel Christian Drouin, M.S.C., C.D.

Montréal, Que.

Colonel Simon Charles Hetherington, M.S.C., C.D.            

Oakville, Ont.

Admiral Michael Glenn Mullen, M.S.C. (United States Navy)

Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Chief Warrant Officer Shawn Douglas Stevens, M.S.C., M.S.M., C.D.

Port Arthur, Ont.

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

Tweed, Ont.

Chief Warrant Officer Joseph Simon Armand Vinet, M.M.M., M.S.C., C.D.

Longueuil, Que.

Lieutenant-Colonel Jerome Francis Walsh, M.S.C., C.D.                

Ottawa, Ont.


Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)*

Master Warrant Officer Raymond Joseph Brodeur, M.S.M., C.D.

Lafleche, Sask.

Lieutenant-Colonel Marie Annabelle Jennie Carignan, M.S.M., C.D.

Asbestos, Que.

Captain Breen Carson, M.S.M.        

Toronto, Ont.

Lieutenant-Colonel David Bruce Cochrane, M.S.M., C.D. 

Weston, Ont.

Corporal Eric Daniel Dionne, M.S.M.

Boucherville, Que.

Warrant Officer Joseph Jacques Friolet, M.S.M., C.D.

Bathurst, N.B.

Colonel Raymond Marc Gagné, M.S.M., C.D.

St-Gilles de Lotbinière, Que.

Colonel Jeffrey Holachek, M.S.M. (United States Army)

Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.

Major Jay Lyman Indewey, M.S.M., C.D.

Georgetown, P.E.I.

Major Michael Kaiser, M.S.M., C.D.

Windsor, Ont.

Captain Enno Alexander Kerckhoff, M.S.M., C.D.

Huntsville, Ont.

Master Warrant Officer Rene Kiens, M.S.M., C.D.

Oakville, Ont.

Lieutenant-Colonel David William Lowthian, M.S.M., C.D.

Ottawa, Ont.

Major Steven Kelly MacBeth, M.S.M., C.D.

Whitby, Ont.

Major Joshua James Major, M.S.M., C.D.

North Bay, Ont.

Master Warrant Officer Kevin James Mathers, M.S.M., C.D.

Barrie, Ont.

Captain James Hugh McKay, M.S.M.

Brantford, Ont.

Major Lee James Mossop, M.S.M., C.D.

Saskatoon, Sask.

Lieutenant-Colonel David Christopher Murphy, M.S.M., C.D.

Vancouver, B.C.

Major Wayne Kenneth Niven, M.S.M., C.D.

New Westminster, B.C.

Lieutenant Andrew Richard Nuttall, M.S.M.

Victoria, B.C.

Captain James Alan O'Neill, M.S.M., C.D.

Hamilton, Ont.

Warrant Officer Steeve Ouellet, M.S.M., C.D.

Rivière-du-Loup, Que.

Warrant Officer George Nelson Parrott, M.S.M., C.D.

Duncan, B.C.

Master Warrant Officer Dean Edward Poffley, M.S.M., C.D.

Kingston, Ont.

Major Derek D. Prohar, M.M.V., M.S.M.

Avonlea, Sask.

Chief Warrant Officer Joseph Camille Robichaud, M.S.M., C.D.   

Rexton, N.B.

Major Liam Wade Rutland, M.S.M., C.D.

Pembroke, Ont.

Corporal John Tommy Salois, M.S.M.

Greenfield Park, Que.

Captain Robert Scott, M.S.M.

Prince Albert, Sask.

Lieutenant-Colonel Jeffrey Douglas Smyth, M.S.M., C.D.

Chatham, Ont.

Honorary Colonel Gary Chris Solar, M.S.M., C.D.

Winnipeg, Man.

Captain Kristian Udesen, M.S.M.

Kamloops, B.C.

Commander Steven Michael Waddell, M.S.M., C.D.

Temagami, Ont.

Sergeant Austin Kane Williams, M.S.M.

Lillooet, B.C.

Brigadier-General Paul Francis Wynnyk, O.M.M., M.S.M., C.D.

Sherwood Park and Breton, Alta.

* 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

Colonel Christian Drouin, M.S.C., C.D.
Montréal, Quebec
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

As commander of the Air Wing in Afghanistan from November 2009 to September 2010, Colonel Drouin was instrumental in developing the squadron’s capability so that it could fully support operations. While promoting the strength of combat aviation to an unprecedented degree, he ensured Canada’s leadership within several multinational operations, including one of the largest airmobile operations in the history of Canada’s efforts in Afghanistan. Colonel Drouin is a first-rate leader and innovator, and his outstanding command was pivotal to operational success.

Colonel Simon Charles Hetherington, M.S.C., C.D.
Oakville, Ontario
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

Colonel Hetherington served as deputy commander of Joint Task Force Afghanistan from November 2009 to September 2010. His dedication and integrity helped to maintain campaign momentum despite an increasingly demanding operational tempo. With exceptional leadership abilities, he assumed command of the task force at a critical juncture in the mission, which strenghthened Canada’s credibility with our allies and kept the task force focused. Colonel Hetherington’s professionalism was critical to the success of the mission, and brought great credit to the Canadian Forces.

This is the second Meritorious Service Cross for Colonel Hetherington.

Admiral Michael Glenn Mullen, M.S.C. (United States Navy)
Los Angeles, California, United States of America.
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

As chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff from October 2007 to September 2011, Admiral Mullen was an outstanding pillar of support to the Canadian Forces. Operating at the highest strategic and political levels, he remained continually responsive to Canadian concerns around the world. A catalyst for co-operation among multiple government agencies in Canada and the United States, he promoted a collaborative and collective approach to continental security. He also proved to be a strong supporter of the Canadian Forces’ mission in Afghanistan. Admiral Mullen’s unparalleled service, vision and leadership were of exceptional benefit to the Canadian Forces.

Chief Warrant Officer Shawn Douglas Stevens, M.S.C., M.S.M., C.D.
Port Arthur, Ontario
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

Chief Warrant Officer Stevens was the regimental sergeant-major of the battle group in Afghanistan from October 2009 to May 2010. His exacting standards and attention to detail enabled every soldier in the unit to succeed during intense operations. Whether providing sage advice to senior leaders or sharing the risk with ground troops, he enabled the battle group to work as a unified fighting force. His outstanding leadership and professionalism ensured operational success and brought great credit to the Canadian Forces and to Canada.

Brigadier-General Jonathan H. 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. From June to September 2010, Brigadier-General Vance demonstrated exemplary leadership in his second tour as commander of Joint Task Force Afghanistan. Under extremely challenging conditions, he distinguished himself as a master of counter-insurgency warfare. Demonstrating outstanding dedication and professionalism, Brigadier-General Vance provided leadership to coalition and Afghan soldiers, which significantly advanced NATO efforts in Afghanistan and enhanced Canada’s international reputation.

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

Chief Warrant Officer Joseph Simon Armand Vinet, M.M.M., M.S.C., C.D.
Longueuil, Quebec
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

As regimental sergeant-major of Joint Task Force Afghanistan from November 2009 to September 2010, Chief Warrant Officer Vinet was committed to each and every soldier in his group, which was critical to maintaining a cohesive fighting force during intense combat operations. He regularly lived and patrolled with his soldiers and established solid links with American troops under Canadian command, ensuring that fallen Americans received the same honours and memorialization as their Canadian comrades-in-arms. Chief Warrant Officer Vinet’s leadership and outstanding professionalism were pivotal to operational success and brought great credit to Canada.

Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Jerome Walsh, M.S.C., C.D.
Ottawa, Ontario
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

As commanding officer of the battle group in Afghanistan from October 2009 to May 2010, Lieutenant-Colonel Walsh marshalled significant gains on the battlefield. An innovative commander who led from the front, he inspired his multinational battle group. His unit overcame many complex challenges as he led soldiers in operations, which enhanced security and stability in the volatile Panjwayi district, a former insurgent stronghold. Lieutenant-Colonel Walsh’s exemplary leadership was critical to the success of the mission in Afghanistan. He brought great credit to the Canadian Forces and to Canada.

Master Warrant Officer Raymond Joseph Brodeur, M.S.M., C.D.
Lafleche, Saskatchewan
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As the sergeant-major of the Charlie Company Combat Team, in Afghanistan from September 2009 to April 2010, Master Warrant Officer Brodeur set high standards for his soldiers, which contributed to their success during counter-insurgency operations. His advice and tactical acumen contributed to the team’s successful conduct of operations that increased stability within the highly volatile Panjwayi district. Master Warrant Officer Brodeur distinguished himself as an experienced and exceptional leader who was critical to the success of his battle group’s operations.

Lieutenant-Colonel Marie Annabelle Jennie Carignan, M.S.M., C.D.
Asbestos, Quebec
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

From November 2009 to September 2010, Lieutenant-Colonel Carignan demonstrated outstanding command of the Task Force Kandahar Engineer Regiment, ensuring that the necessary support was provided to Canadian and coalition forces in Afghanistan. With superb leadership abilities, she oversaw the completion of infrastructure and development projects, and effectively synchronized the efforts of military and civilian agencies. In addition, she provided support to newly arrived American forces without compromising support to Canadians. Lieutenant-Colonel Carignan’s remarkable efforts were critical to operational success.

Captain Breen Carson, M.S.M.
Toronto, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

From October 2009 to February 2010, Captain Carson’s exceptional mentorship of multiple companies of the Afghan National Army enhanced their capabilities and contributed to the success of Canadian efforts in Afghanistan. In addition to providing front line leadership during multiple enemy contacts and improvised explosive device finds, Captain Carson established a comprehensive training plan that furthered the partnering concept between the Afghan National Army and the battle group. Captain Carson’s superb professionalism and unwavering dedication has brought great credit to the Canadian Forces.

Lieutenant-Colonel David Bruce Cochrane, M.S.M., C.D.
Weston, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Lieutenant-Colonel Cochrane served as commanding officer of the Joint Task Force Afghanistan Air Wing Theatre Support Element, at Camp Mirage, from June to December 2009. His leadership was critical to maintaining airlift support for operations in Afghanistan and his diplomatic skills enabled him to establish relationships with the host nation that benefitted Canadian and coalition operations, both at Camp Mirage and in Afghanistan. Lieutenant-Colonel Cochrane’s exemplary dedication, tact and operational focus contributed to the success of the Afghan mission, and enhanced Canada’s international reputation.

Corporal Eric Daniel Dionne, M.S.M.
Boucherville, Quebec
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

While deployed to Afghanistan from April to October 2009, Corporal Dionne was instrumental in successful operations and the mentorship of Afghan soldiers. During repeated engagements, his courage under fire inspired both his Canadian and Afghan comrades to persevere. He also took it upon himself to mentor his protégés in reconnaissance tactics, English-language skills and mathematics. His leadership, tactical acumen and commitment led to the success of the mission and contributed to significant improvements within the Afghan National Army, all of which reflected well on the Canadian Army and Canada.

Warrant Officer Joseph Jacques Friolet, M.S.M., C.D.
Bathurst, New Brunswick
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

While deployed to Afghanistan from November 2009 to August 2010, Warrant Officer Friolet was instrumental in the establishment and operational employment of the Task Force Freedom Maintenance Flight, in Afghanistan. Under his skilled leadership, the flight maximized its support capability, doubling the amount of aircraft available for operations. On numerous occasions, his skilful and diplomatic engagements with coalition allies ensured the successful coordination of critical support requirements. Warrant Officer Friolet’s outstanding leadership and professionalism ensured the effective employment of Canadian aviation assets.

Colonel Raymond Marc Gagné, M.S.M., C.D.
St-Gilles de Lotbinière, Quebec
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As the first chief of staff to the Deputy Commander for Afghan National Police Development from March to October 2010, Colonel Gagné helped lay the foundation to strengthen the Afghan National Police. Assuming leadership of a diverse multinational staff, he was able to consistently raise the profile of police issues and was instrumental in developing effective NATO training programs. Colonel Gagné’s dedicated efforts to improving policing capabilities in Afghanistan brought great credit to Canada.

Colonel Jeffrey Holachek, M.S.M. (United States Army)
Cleveland, Ohio, United States of America
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As deputy chief of staff of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Command since July 2009, Colonel Holachek, of the United States Army, consistently demonstrated strong leadership and outstanding professionalism. He developed and employed innovative concepts, successfully led his staff through complex operational planning, and delivered useful plans for implementation. Colonel Holachek’s dedication and unwavering commitment greatly enhanced the operational effectiveness of expeditionary operations and brought great credit to Canada.

Major Jay Lyman Indewey, M.S.M., C.D.
Georgetown, Prince Edward Island
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Major Indewey demonstrated leadership and professionalism as the operations officer of the Joint Task Force National Support Element from October 2009 to May 2010. He ensured the provision of exceptional combat service support to Canadian and coalition forces in Afghanistan. In addition, he enabled the mentoring of and partnering with the combat service support kandak of the Afghan National Army. Major Indewey’s remarkable efforts improved the capabilities of the Afghan National Army and contributed directly to operational success in Afghanistan.

Major Michael Kaiser, M.S.M., C.D.
Windsor, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As deputy commanding officer of the Health Services Unit from September 2009 to April 2010, Major Kaiser ensured the implementation of numerous partnership and capacity-building projects. His efforts increased the number of coalition medical technicians available to mentor their Afghan counterparts, raised the standard of Afghan dental care, and significantly improved the Afghans’ ability to provide treatment on the battlefield. Major Kaiser’s efforts greatly improved the capabilities of Afghan medical institutions and brought great credit to the Canadian Forces.

Captain Enno Alexander Kerckhoff, M.S.M., C.D.
Huntsville, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

While deployed to Afghanistan from September 2009 to April 2010, Captain Kerckhoff was instrumental in the successful establishment of the Dand District Operational Coordination Centre. His ability to synchronize activities throughout the district contributed to building Afghan National Security Force capacity, fostering more effective Afghan governance and setting the conditions for further stabilization throughout the region. Captain Kerckhoff’s leadership and professionalism were critical to operational success and brought great credit to the Canadian Forces and to Canada.

Master Warrant Officer René Kiens, M.S.M., C.D.
Oakville, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

While deployed in Afghanistan from September 2009 to April 2010, Master Warrant Officer Kiens played a key role in the delivery of effective combat service support to Canadian ground forces. He was intimately involved in the casualty administration process, where his leadership and compassion ensured soldiers wounded or killed in action were treated with the utmost respect and dignity. Master Warrant Officer Kiens’ exceptional dedication contributed significantly to the success of operations in Afghanistan, and brought great credit to the Canadian Forces.

Lieutenant-Colonel David William Lowthian, M.S.M., C.D.
Ottawa, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Lieutenant-Colonel Lowthian was deputy commander of the Joint Task Force Afghanistan Air Wing from November to September 2010. His leadership, dedication and tact contributed to the expansion of the air wing’s operational capability. As the architect behind numerous technical advancements, he had an immediate impact on the unit’s effectiveness, and improved relations with coalition partners with skilfull diplomacy. Lieutenant-Colonel Lowthian’s efforts were critical to the operational success of the air wing and the entire task force.

Major Steven Kelly MacBeth, M.S.M., C.D.
Whitby, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As the officer commanding Kandak Mentor Team 2 in Afghanistan from September 2009 to May 2010, Major MacBeth demonstrated leadership and acute cultural awareness. His mentorship of the kandak commander enhanced his ability to plan, coordinate and execute operations. Major MacBeth’s profound influence on kandak soldiers was also exceptional and enhanced their capacity to seamlessly partner with coalition forces and conduct increasingly complicated operations independently. Major MacBeth’s exceptional efforts contributed significantly to the operational success of the Afghan National Army and brought great credit to the Canadian Army.

This is the second Meritorious Service Medal awarded to Major MacBeth.

Major Joshua James Major, M.S.M., C.D.
North Bay, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As chief of current operations for Joint Task Force Afghanistan from November 2009 to September 2010, Major Major successfully synchronized the efforts of Canadian, coalition and Afghan personnel in Afghanistan’s demanding counter-insurgency environment. He was a key player in the development of the Kandahar City security plan, lending his instrumental expertise during its planning sessions. As a result, a cohesive approach to enhanced public security was developed. His leadership contributed directly to operational success and brought great credit to the Canadian Forces.

Master Warrant Officer Kevin James Mathers, M.S.M., C.D.
Barrie, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As sergeant-major of the battle group reconnaissance squadron in Afghanistan from October 2009 to May 2010, Master Warrant Officer Mathers demonstrated leadership, professionalism and concern for his subordinates, which was critical to the Squadron’s success. A true combat leader, he exposed himself to the risks faced by his soldiers, leading missions to replenish forward positions throughout insurgent-laden areas. Master Warrant Officer Mathers was the heart and soul of the Squadron: his steadfast leadership inspired all ranks and brought considerable honour to the Canadian Forces.

Captain James Hugh McKay, M.S.M.
Brantford, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

While deployed as the chaplain for Canadian Helicopter Force (Afghanistan) from November 2009 to August 2010, Captain McKay voluntarily assumed the role of chaplain for the American Role 3 Health Services Unit as well. While there, he provided spiritual and emotional support to Canadian and coalition soldiers throughout their healing process. Surrounded by the chaos of a medical unit in a war zone, he also worked tirelessly to ensure the well-being of those providing care. In addition to this work, he found time to visit sick and wounded Afghans nearby. Captain McKay’s unwavering dedication to the spiritual health of soldiers from all nations, as well as the compassion he showed them, facilitated the success of the mission and brought great credit to Canada.

Major Lee James Mossop, M.S.M., C.D.
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Major Mossop served as the battle group operations officer in Afghanistan from September 2009 to May 2010. His comprehensive understanding of counter-insurgency operations and battle group capabilities led to greater stability in the Panjwayi district. His dynamic and aggressive leadership forged a proficient tactical operations centre and planning cell, empowering his subordinates to excel beyond all expectations. Major Mossop ensured that critical guidance was provided to all battle group operations, which was essential to their success.

Lieutenant-Colonel David Christopher Murphy, M.S.M., C.D.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

In February 2010, Lieutenant-Colonel Murphy rose to the challenge of leading 8 Wing Trenton through what was probably the most difficult period of its history. He successfully led his team under trying conditions, where confidence in the Wing leadership had been compromised. During a period of high operational tempo, imposed by numerous concurrent foreign and domestic operations,  Lieutenant-Colonel Murphy’s strength and leadership were instrumental in ensuring that the Wing and local communities rebuilt and maintained trust in the Canadian Forces.

Major Wayne Kenneth Niven, M.S.M., C.D.
New Westminster, British Columbia
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As officer commanding Delta Company from October 2009 to May 2010, Major Niven distinguished himself as a first-rate combat leader. Tasked with securing the volatile Nakhonay village, he worked with his Afghan counterpart to clear and hold the area. His ability to work effectively with Afghan officials influenced village elders who were initially resistant to security initiatives. An astute and skilful officer who fully embraced counter-insurgency doctrine, Major Niven and his superb leadership were critical to the battle group’s operational success.

Lieutenant Andrew Richard Nuttall, M.S.M. (Posthumous)
Victoria, British Columbia
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As a platoon commander from October 2009 until December 23, 2009, Lieutenant Nuttall moulded his soldiers into a cohesive team that excelled in Afghanistan’s demanding environment. His professionalism while working and living with his Afghan comrades created a common understanding and enabled seamless integration during counter-insurgency operations. While the loss of Lieutenant Nuttall was devastating, the culture and esprit de corps forged under his leadership were instrumental in enabling his soldiers to successfully continue their mission.

Captain James Alan O'Neill, M.S.M., C.D.
Hamilton, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As a platoon commander from October 2009 to May 2010, Captain O’Neill enhanced security in Haji Baba and Nakhonay, Afghanistan. Living within the local community and partnered with an Afghan platoon, Captain O’Neill established strong ties with local leaders, creating an atmosphere of trust within the community. He took great pride in mentoring his Afghan counterpart, providing leadership that enabled the platoons to synchronize operations and disrupt insurgent activities. Captain O’Neill’s dedication brought great credit to the Canadian Forces.

Warrant Officer Steeve Ouellet, M.S.M., C.D.
Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As second-in-command of an Operational Mentor and Liaison Team from April to October 2009, Warrant Officer Ouellet was instrumental in improving the operational success of the Afghan National Army soldiers stationed at Strongpoint Lakokhel. His skilled coordination of artillery and air support during numerous insurgent attacks greatly enhanced the strongpoint’s ability to repel insurgent actions. Warrant Officer Ouellet’s leadership and tactical acumen enabled Afghan soldiers to improve their soldiering skills and brought great credit to the Canadian Forces.

Warrant Officer George Nelson Parrott, M.S.M., C.D.
Duncan, British Columbia
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As sergeant-major of Kandak Mentor Team 3 from September 2009 to April 2010, Warrant Officer Parrott provided exceptional mentorship to his Afghan counterpart and ensured that widely dispersed mentoring teams received the operational support they required. Leading from the front during joint combat operations, he set an example emulated by Afghan soldiers and created the conditions for successful interoperability between Canadian, coalition and Afghan units. Warrant Officer Parrott’s leadership contributed to enhancing the capabilities of the Afghan National Army and brought great credit to Canada.

Master Warrant Officer Dean Edward Poffley, M.S.M., C.D.
Kingston, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As sergeant-major of Delta Company from September 2009 to May 2010, Master Warrant Officer Poffley provided steadfast leadership to all ranks during intense counter-insurgency operations in Afghanistan. With his company stationed within the local community, Master Warrant Officer Poffley maintained professional interactions with local leaders while simultaneously applying relentless pressure on insurgents to help secure key villages. He offered unwavering support and advice to the entire company, ensuring their operational success and that of the battle group.

Major Derek Prohar, M.M.V., M.S.M.
Avonlea, Saskatchewan
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As the Operational Mentor and Liaison Team operations officer and headquarters company commander in Afghanistan from September 2009 to May 2010, Major Prohar planned and influenced operations, guaranteeing the necessary support to mentor teams operating in isolated and high-threat locations. His coordination with Canadian, American and Afghan units, his detailed knowledge of unit capabilities, and his outstanding situational awareness reduced the level of risk and facilitated task force success. Major Prohar’s leadership and professionalism were critical to the success of operations and brought great credit to the Canadian Forces.

Chief Warrant Officer Joseph Camille Robichaud, M.S.M., C.D.
Rexton, New Brunswick
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As regimental sergeant-major of the National Support Element in Afghanistan from October 2009 to May 2010, Chief Warrant Officer Robichaud forged, into a single cohesive unit, soldiers and civilian contract personnel from across Canada. His focus on developing professionalism and strenghtening the combat effectiveness of his soldiers increased their confidence and their ability to excel. When the unit began training its Afghan counterparts, he rose to the occasion and effectively coordinated the task. Chief Warrant Officer Robichaud’s efforts provided exceptional support to all members of Joint Task Force Afghanistan.

Major Liam Wade Rutland, M.S.M., C.D.
Pembroke, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As the commanding officer of the Charlie Company Combat Team from October 2009 to May 2010, Major Rutland forged a first-rate combat unit through his knowledge of combat operations, his understanding of counter-insurgency warfare and his firm grasp of the battle space. From complex air assaults to supporting operations, he inspired both Canadian and Afghan soldiers. Major Rutland’s leadership and remarkable efforts led to increased stability in the Panjwayi district, where he gained the respect of the population and brought great credit to the Canadian Forces.

Corporal John Tommy Salois, M.S.M.
Greenfield Park, Quebec
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

While deployed to Afghanistan from November 2009 to April 2010, Corporal Salois was critical to the implementation and ongoing maintenance of the Persistent Surveillance System. He provided field commanders with enhanced situational awareness, and his exceptional repair work, troubleshooting of systems and development of standard operating procedures augmented protection for all soldiers. His dedication, intellect and technical ability were essential to operational success in Afghanistan and brought great credit to the Canadian Forces.

Captain Robert Scott, M.S.M.
Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As unit chaplain of the Operational Mentor and Liaison Team, and of the Military Police Company in Afghanistan from September 2009 to April 2010, Captain Scott was a pillar of spiritual and moral strength. During the mission’s most difficult times, his compassion and sage advice helped soldiers cope with the realities of war. With a deep understanding of human nature and genuine concern for the well-being of his fellow Canadians, Captain Scott provided critical support to the units as they continued their mission.

Lieutenant-Colonel Jeffrey Douglas Smyth, M.S.M., C.D.
Chatham, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

With keen insight, Lieutenant-Colonel Smyth advanced Canadian tactical aviation as commanding officer of the Canadian Helicopter Force (Afghanistan) from September 2009 to August 2010. He was committed to taking troops off the dangerous Afghan road networks, and led the maintenance staff in their efforts to ensure aircraft serviceability was never a limiting factor. Mastering the employment of new equipment, he enhanced support being provided to ground forces. Lieutenant-Colonel Smyth’s remarkable efforts were critical to the success of operations, including the largest airmobile operation in the history of Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan.

Honorary Colonel Gary Chris Solar, M.S.M., C.D.
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Honorary Colonel Solar demonstrated exceptional dedication, professionalism and vision as the honorary colonel of the Fort Garry Horse from 2003 through 2009. His commitment to the military community and his civic leadership in a variety of public circles significantly enhanced public awareness of the Canadian Forces, particularly in Manitoba. His personal efforts in promoting public support for soldiers and their families have been of great benefit to all concerned.

Captain Kristian Udesen, M.S.M.
Kamloops, British Columbia
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

From November 20 to 23, 2009, Captain Udesen displayed courage and front line leadership in the aftermath of two improvised explosive device attacks and ensuing enemy ambushes in the Panjwayi district of Afghanistan. Remaining calm, he organized and led two successful counterattacks, winning the firefights and clearing the enemy positions. Captain Udesen’s tactical acumen, composure under fire and remarkable abilities as a soldier were critical to the defeat of the enemy and brought great credit to the Canadian Forces and to Canada.

Commander Steven Michael Waddell, M.S.M., C.D.
Temagami, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Commander Waddell served with distinction from October 2009 to May 2010, commanding officer of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Fredericton and commander of Task Force Saiph, deployed to the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea in support of international counter-piracy and counter-terror efforts. Commander Waddell demonstrated tactical awareness, leadership, operational focus and a humanitarian approach to operations, allowing him to successfully lead his team through challenging missions, which brought great credit to the Royal Canadian Navy and to Canada.

Sergeant Austin Kane Williams, M.S.M.
Lillooet, British Columbia
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

From October 2009 to May 2010, Sergeant Williams ensured the best possible surveillance coverage was provided to ground forces in Afghanistan. He forged the Tactical Operations Centre into a cohesive team and implemented new capabilities to provide uninterrupted surveillance coverage, gaining the highest confidence of senior leadership. Sergeant Williams’ personal commitment in this regard contributed directly to operational success and brought great credit to the Canadian Forces.

Brigadier-General Paul Francis Wynnyk, O.M.M., M.S.M., C.D.
Sherwood Park and Breton, Alberta
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Brigadier-General Wynnyk deployed to Afghanistan as the assistant commanding general for Afghan National Army Development within the NATO Training Mission, in Kabul, from March 2009 to March 2010. Working with and mentoring the country’s most senior leaders, he exerted strategic influence that shaped and developed the Afghan National Security Forces. Brigadier-General Wynnyk’s commanding presence and diplomacy furthered international efforts in Afghanistan and brought great credit 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.