Presentation of a Meritorious Service Decoration (Military Division)

OTTAWA, May 13, 2016 /CNW/ - His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, announces the presentation of a Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division) to United States Navy Admiral William E. Gortney. On behalf of the Governor General, General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff, presented the insignia during a ceremony at the Peterson Air Force Base, in Colorado Springs, on May 13, 2016.

Admiral William E. Gortney, M.S.C. (United States Navy)
Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, U.S.A.
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

As commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command from 2014 to 2016, Admiral Gortney demonstrated devotion to duty and selfless service to both Canada and the United States, contributing immeasurably to a strong, integrated, bi-national defence of North America. He refined the defensive plans for North America by eliminating gaps and seams, re-aligning command and control structures, and advocating for a combined continental defence, which ultimately strengthened North American defence and security.

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


The Meritorious Service Decorations include a military division and a civil division, with two levels each: a medal and a cross. The military division recognizes individuals for their outstanding professionalism and for bringing honour to the Canadian 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.

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SOURCE Governor General of Canada

For further information: Media information: Josephine Laframboise, Rideau Hall Press Office, 613-990-9324,; Department of National Defence, Media Liaison Office, 1-866-377-0811, 613-996-2353

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