Media Advisory - Governor General to Honour Military Personnel at Rideau Hall

OTTAWA, April 27, 2016 /CNW/ - His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, will present Meritorious Service Decorations (Military Division) and Bravery Decorations to members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and allied forces at a ceremony at Rideau Hall, on Friday, April 29, 2016, at 10:30 a.m.

On this occasion, the Governor General will present 5 Meritorious Service Crosses (Military Division) and 18 Meritorious Service Medals (Military Division) to individuals whose specific achievements have brought honour to the CAF and to Canada. He will also present 1 Medal of Bravery to a CAF member who has performed an act of bravery in hazardous circumstances.

A media schedule for the presentation ceremony, a list of recipients and their citations, and additional information on the Meritorious Service Decorations and the Bravery Decorations are attached.

Media interested in covering the ceremony are asked to confirm their attendance with the
Rideau Hall Press Office and are asked to arrive at the Princess Anne Entrance no later than 10 a.m. on the day of the ceremony.

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 decorations
The Vice Chief of the Defence Staff speaks

11:30 a.m.:

Ceremony ends

11:45 a.m.:

Media interviews with recipients

 

RECIPIENTS

MERITORIOUS SERVICE DECORATIONS

Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Michel Steve Boivin, O.M.M., M.S.C., M.S.M., C.D.

Repentigny, Que.

Brigadier-General Charles Adrien Lamarre, O.M.M., M.S.C., C.D.

Calgary, Alta.

Lieutenant-Colonel Dwayne Michael Lemon, M.S.C., C.D.

Ottawa, Ont.

Lieutenant-Colonel Gary O'Neil, M.S.C., C.D.

Bathurst, N.B.

Lieutenant-Colonel Walter AndrewTaylor, M.S.C., C.D.

Ottawa, Ont.

 

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Colonel Pierre Joseph Albert PaulSt-Cyr, M.S.M., C.D. (Ret'd)

Verdun, Que.

Chief Warrant Officer Stephen Goward Jeans, M.S.M., C.D.

Cape Ray, N.L.

Captain(N) Christophe Antoine MarieBalducchi, M.S.M. (French Navy)

Oran, France and Ottawa, Ont.

Lieutenant-Colonel AbderrahimBellahnid, M.S.M., C.D.

Gatineau, Que.

Vice-Admiral Paul J. Bushong, M.S.M. (United States Navy) (Ret'd)

Havre de Grace, Maryland, U.S.A.

Sergeant Aaron DavidBygrove, M.S.M., C.D.

Sarnia, Ont.

Major William Michael Church, M.S.M., C.D.

Corner Brook, N.L.

Major Allan Ferriss, M.S.M., C.D.

Belle River, Ont.

Major Jason Matthew Feyko, M.S.M., C.D.

Windsor, Ont.

Lieutenant-Colonel Luc Joseph Girouard, O.M.M., M.S.M., C.D.

Sainte-Marie-de-Kent, N.B.

Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Luc Lavoie, M.S.M.

Montréal, Que.

Colonel Mario Leblanc, M.S.M., C.D.

Paspébiac, Que.

Master Warrant Officer Paul Alexander Lucas, M.S.M., C.D.

Esterhazy, Sask.

Colonel Russell BarryMann, O.M.M., M.S.M., C.D. (Ret'd)

Ottawa, Ont.

Major Richard Patrick Mansour, M.S.M., C.D.

Toronto, Ont.

Honorary Colonel John BuckinghamNewman, M.S.M., C.D. (Ret'd)

Toronto, Ont.

Captain(N) James Douglas O'Reilly, M.S.M., C.D. (Ret'd)

Halifax, N.S.

Master-Corporal BrunoRobitaille, M.S.M.

Buckingham, Que.

 

BRAVERY DECORATIONS

Medal of Bravery

Lieutenant DavidGauvin, M.B., C.D.

Deschambault, Que.

 

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

Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Michel Steve Boivin, O.M.M., M.S.C., M.S.M., C.D.
Repentigny, Quebec

Lieutenant-Colonel Boivin led the first deployment and integration of the special operations task forces from September 2014 to February 2015. His experience proved crucial to forging specific partnerships and establishing operational methods on the ground in Kurdistan. Lieutenant-Colonel Boivin's exceptional skills and leadership helped support the Kurdish forces in their efforts to halt the advancement of the Islamic State, further strengthening security in Iraq.

Brigadier-General Charles Adrien Lamarre, O.M.M., M.S.C., C.D.
Calgary, Alberta

Brigadier-General Lamarre deployed to Afghanistan from July to December 2011, as commander of the Mission Transition Task Force. With inspired leadership and strategic acumen, he successfully accomplished the daunting task of closing out the Canadian combat mission and repatriating massive stockpiles of materiel and equipment, all while ensuring there was no disruption of support to personnel at Regional Command South and Kandahar Airfield. Brigadier-General Lamarre's efforts, diplomacy and outstanding professional knowledge ensured the flawless execution of this important mission.

Lieutenant-Colonel Dwayne Michael Lemon, M.S.C., C.D.
Ottawa, Ontario

From January 2010 to February 2015, Lieutenant-Colonel Lemon founded and led the Canadian Armed Forces Forensic Odontology Response Team (FORT), the first North American forensic capability to integrate mental resilience training. With innovative professionalism, he generated personnel for three response undertakings: the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the First Air crash near Resolute Bay in 2011, and following an oilfield attack in Algeria in 2013. By improving the performance and well-being of FORT members while promoting and advancing enhanced disaster victim identification, Lieutenant-Colonel Lemon brought world-class benefits, recognition and honour to the Canadian Armed Forces.

Lieutenant-Colonel Gary O'Neil, M.S.C., C.D.
Bathurst, New Brunswick

From December 2014 to April 2015, Lieutenant-Colonel O'Neil displayed exemplary leadership as the Canadian contingent commander in the combined Canadian and British military-led fight against Ebola in Sierra Leone. He ensured his team was trained to the highest levels of clinical governance and that they maintained strict care protocols, resulting in a 100 per cent grading by the World Health Organization Inspection Team. Lieutenant-Colonel O'Neil's extraordinary level of professionalism during a challenging deployment inspired his personnel and brought great honour to Canada.

Lieutenant-Colonel Walter Andrew Taylor, M.S.C., C.D.
Ottawa, Ontario

From November 13 to December 19, 2013, Lieutenant-Colonel Taylor deployed to the Philippines as the commanding officer of the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) that provided humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan. Notwithstanding the enormity of the situation and immense time pressures for deployment, his team's response time was remarkable. Moreover, Lieutenant-Colonel Taylor was integral in the establishment of the civil-military co-operation model, which resulted in organized exchanges of expertise between Canada and the Philippines. Lieutenant-Colonel Taylor's leadership contributed greatly to a successful mission.

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Colonel Pierre Joseph Albert Paul St-Cyr, M.S.M., C.D. (Ret'd)
Verdun, Quebec

As Canadian defence attaché to Kyiv from March 2014 to September 2015, Colonel St-Cyr played a key role in distributing significant donations of military equipment from Canada and in developing a whole-of-government military training assistance program for Ukraine. His extensive knowledge was critical to developing a program to provide tangible tactical training to the appropriate elements of Ukraine's armed forces. Colonel St-Cyr's outstanding contribution brought great credit to the Canadian Armed Forces and strengthened Canada's international reputation.

This is the third Meritorious Service Medal awarded to Colonel St-Cyr.

Chief Warrant Officer Stephen Goward Jeans, M.S.M., C.D.
Cape Ray, Newfoundland and Labrador

Chief Warrant Officer Jeans deployed to Afghanistan from July to December 2011, as sergeant major of the 1600-member-strong Mission Transition Task Force. Drawing on vast operational experience, he provided pertinent advice to his commander and exceptional leadership to a diverse team drawn from over 270 different Canadian Armed Forces units. Chief Warrant Officer Jeans' outstanding soldiering ability was critical to the success of this extremely complex operation.

This is the second Meritorious Service Medal awarded to Chief Warrant Officer Jeans.

Captain(N) Christophe Antoine Marie Balducchi, M.S.M. (French Navy)
Oran, France and Ottawa, Ontario

Captain(N) Balducchi demonstrated outstanding dedication and professionalism while serving as defence attaché at the French Embassy in Ottawa, from 2013 to 2015. He played a significant role in recognizing the service and sacrifice of past and present Canadian soldiers by organizing a wide range of commemorative activities that strengthened the ties of friendship between France and Canada. Captain(N) Balducchi's contribution to recognizing our military personnel has brought great honour to Canada.

Lieutenant-Colonel Abderrahim Bellahnid, M.S.M., C.D.
Gatineau, Quebec

From 2008 to 2014, Lieutenant-Colonel Bellahnid demonstrated outstanding leadership and technical knowledge as director of Project MERCURY GLOBAL, which aims to improve wideband satellite communication capacity. He successfully led a team of specialists during negotiations with the United States Air Force, under tight deadlines, to allow Canada's participation in initiatives related to the wideband global satellite communications system. Lieutenant-Colonel Bellahnid's professionalism brought great honour to the Canadian Armed Forces and to Canada.

Vice-Admiral Paul J. Bushong, M.S.M. (United States Navy) (Ret'd)
Havre de Grace, Maryland, U.S.A.

As the United States security coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority from October 2012 to October 2014, Vice-Admiral Bushong was the leader of a military-civilian team that included Canadian personnel. Under his direction, the group achieved its goals, despite the relatively small size of the unit and the numerous regional challenges it faced. With leadership and a singular operational vision, Vice-Admiral Bushong helped to advance Canada's strategic initiatives, interests and credibility in the region.

Sergeant Aaron David Bygrove, M.S.M., C.D.
Sarnia, Ontario

Master-Corporal Bruno Robitaille, M.S.M.
Buckingham, Quebec

On January 9, 2013, Sergeant Bygrove and Master Corporal Robitaille rescued two Inuit hunters and a civilian pilot whose aircraft had crashed through the ice on Hudson Bay, near Arviat, Nunavut. Working in bitterly cold weather conditions, they performed a perilous parachute jump onto an extremely thin ice floe. Displaying skill and professionalism, Sergeant Bygrove and Master Corporal Robitaille successfully rescued both the hunters and the pilot.

Major William Michael Church, M.S.M., C.D.
Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador

From January to April 2013, Major Church deployed to Istres, France, as tactical commander of Air Task Force Mali. Demonstrating flexibility and ingenuity, he overcame a variety of operational challenges to ensure the successful airlift of over three million pounds of cargo and almost 800 troops in support of France's operations in Mali. Major Church's leadership, unwavering professionalism and capacity for improvisation were praised by the French authorities and brought significant recognition to the Canadian Armed Forces.

Major Allan Ferriss, M.S.M., C.D.
Belle River, Ontario

As commanding officer of 8 Air Communications and Control Squadron from July 2014 to July 2015, Major Ferriss demonstrated superior vision and professionalism. He orchestrated the transfer of command to 2 Wing, which aligned Royal Canadian Air Force expeditionary capabilities. During a year-long transition period, he enabled the rapid projection of air power by way of his unit's involvement in 12 exercises and operations. Major Ferriss' efforts contributed to the Canadian Armed Forces' international reputation for excellence.

Major Jason Matthew Feyko, M.S.M., C.D.
Windsor, Ontario

Since 2012, Major Feyko's dedication to and leadership of the Soldier On program have been exceptional. The support he provides to participants inspires them to exceed expectations in their recovery and to focus on innovative ways to achieve new goals. Major Feyko's contributions and his desire to improve the program have made a significant and lasting difference in the lives of injured Canadian Armed Forces members and their families.

Lieutenant-Colonel Luc Joseph Girouard, O.M.M., M.S.M., C.D.
Sainte-Marie-de-Kent, New Brunswick

From February 2013 to November 2014, Lieutenant-Colonel Girouard played an instrumental role as commanding officer of 2 Air Expeditionary Squadron, increasing the expeditionary capabilities of the Royal Canadian Air Force. His unit's performance and contributions were vital to developing support elements used during exercises and air operations. Lieutenant-Colonel Girouard's efforts helped advance a new air expeditionary squadron for Canada and benefitted the Canadian Armed Forces as a whole.

Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Luc Lavoie, M.S.M.
Montréal, Quebec

From January 2013 to October 2014, Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel Lavoie was actively involved in planning and orchestrating the media campaign and commemorative events marking the Royal 22e Régiment's centennial. He demonstrated outstanding leadership in creating the winning conditions in which to showcase the Canadian Armed Forces provincially, nationally and internationally as never before.

Colonel Mario Leblanc, M.S.M., C.D.
Paspébiac, Quebec

Colonel Leblanc demonstrated outstanding leadership while serving in Haiti as chief of staff from June 2014 to July 2015. His empathy for the Haitian people and his dedication to the mission instilled a sense of pride and unity within the multinational environment. His effective management of the peacekeeping forces and his knowledge of the security context maintained stability during the broad-based reduction in activities and military forces. Colonel Leblanc's actions brought great credit to the Canadian Armed Forces and to Canada.

Master Warrant Officer Paul Alexander Lucas, M.S.M., C.D.
Esterhazy, Saskatchewan

Since 2004, Master Warrant Officer Lucas has demonstrated dedication and professionalism in annually recruiting over 100 Aboriginal applicants, leading to the highest Aboriginal recruitment rate in Canada. He is commended for diligently serving the well-being of his applicants, notably by focusing on the logistics of internet access and long-distance travel, and by actively promoting the benefits and opportunities that military service offers new recruits. Master Warrant Officer Lucas brings great honour to the Canadian Armed Forces.

Colonel Russell Barry Mann, O.M.M., M.S.M., C.D. (Ret'd)
Ottawa, Ontario

From 2012 to April 2015, Colonel Mann successfully transformed Military Family Services into a vibrant entity endowed with renewed inspiration to address and respond to the challenges facing Canadian Armed Forces military families. Displaying great leadership, Colonel Mann has revolutionized the organization's services and programs. He has become the voice of military families in Canada, leaving an unmatched legacy within the Military Family Services organization.

Major Richard Patrick Mansour, M.S.M., C.D.
Toronto, Ontario

From June to November 2012, Major Mansour deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan, as a Dental Advisory Team leader. While there, he provided leadership and guidance that were directly responsible for the successful growth of the Afghanistan Dental Society and its expansion into a national dental professional body. Major Mansour's contributions have left a lasting legacy for the Afghan people.

Honorary Colonel John Buckingham Newman, M.S.M., C.D. (Ret'd)
Toronto, Ontario

Honorary Colonel Newman was an outstanding ambassador for the Canadian Armed Forces during his tenure with the 48th Highlanders of Canada, from July 2011 to December 2014. Among the many philanthropic activities he oversaw, he spearheaded the creation of nine monuments to both World Wars across the battlefields of Europe. His personal efforts have touched hundreds of serving personnel and veterans alike.

Captain(N) James Douglas O'Reilly, M.S.M., C.D. (Ret'd)
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Captain(N) O'Reilly demonstrated a high degree of leadership and professionalism while serving as the project director for the Maritime Equipment Program Management Strategic Initiative (MSI) from 2009 to 2014. He delivered a robust naval material assurance program to ensure that the fleets were fit for their purpose and that they met material safety and environmental requirements. Captain(N) O'Reilly's vision and efforts were the key to the delivery of improved material safety and operationally effective engineering support to the Royal Canadian Navy.

BRAVERY DECORATIONS

Medal of Bravery

Lieutenant David Gauvin, M.B., C.D.
Deschambault, Quebec

On June 25, 2013, Lieutenant David Gauvin and Annick Lajoie rescued a man from a burning vehicle following a collision near Saint-Augustin, Quebec. Using blankets and fire extinguishers to douse the fire, Lieutenant Gauvin slipped into the vehicle to continue fighting the flames while Ms. Lajoie entered through the trunk. Despite the heat and toxic fumes, Ms. Lajoie succeeded in partially removing the victim by the driver's side door and attempted to revive him. Sadly, the victim did not survive.

The Medal of Bravery awarded to Ms. Lajoie was presented to her at a previous ceremony.

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 Armed 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 Armed 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 Armed 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.

FACT SHEET ON BRAVERY DECORATIONS

The Bravery Decorations were created in 1972. They recognize people who risk their lives and choose to defy their own instinct of survival to try to save a loved one or stranger whose life is in immediate danger.

The three levels of the Bravery Decorations reflect the degree to which the recipients put themselves at risk:

The Cross of Valour (C.V.) recognizes acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril.
The Star of Courage (S.C.) recognizes acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril.
The Medal of Bravery (M.B.) recognizes acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances.

Eligibility and nominations

Anyone is free to propose the name of a person who has risked injury or death in an attempt to rescue another person. The incident need not have taken place in Canada, and the rescuer need not be Canadian, but Canadians or Canadian interests must be involved. The decorations may be awarded posthumously.

Nominations must be made within two years of the incident, or within two years after a public entity, including a court, a quasi-judicial tribunal or a coroner, has concluded its review of the circumstances surrounding the incident or act of bravery.

For more information on the Meritorious Service Decorations and the Bravery Decorations, please visit www.gg.ca/honours.

 

SOURCE Governor General of Canada

For further information: For information on the ceremony: Emily Keogh, Rideau Hall Press Office, 613-993-2569, emily.keogh@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; Follow GGDavidJohnston and RideauHall on Facebook and Twitter.


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