OCdts. On Parade

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, announced the awarding of Meritorious Service Decorations (Military Division), 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.

Ex cadets we noticed on the list were:

18787 Major Geoffrey Abthorpe M.S.M., C.D. (RMC 1993) was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division). While deployed to Afghanistan from August 2006 to February 2007, Major Abthorpe was instrumental to the success of counter-insurgency operations in Kandahar province. As a company commander during intense combat, his sound tactical acumen and courage under fire enabled his company to seize and hold key terrain despite being isolated from the larger Canadian battle group and being in constant contact with the enemy. These daring independent advances helped secure the battle group’s flanks and enabled a full-scale attack that defeated the enemy in the region.

18084 LCol Timothy Charles Byers, M.S.M., C.D. (CMR RMC 1992) was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division). From May 2008 through March 2009, Major Byers exhibited professionalism, foresight and leadership in his capacity as commander 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group during the planning and execution of Exercise WESTERN SPIRIT. The exercise included an arduous 37-day snowmobile trek, during which he led the patrol through severe arctic conditions, highlighting the capabilities of Canadian Rangers in over 25 northern communities. The success of this Exercise and its connection with Canadians in the North brought great credit to the Canadian Forces.

15318 Colonel Martin Girard M.S.M., C.D. (CMR RMC 1986) was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division). Colonel Girard was deployed to Haiti as the commander of Task Force Port-au-Prince from July 2008 to August 2009. Occupying a senior leadership role as the chief of staff to the United Nations force commander, he established relationships with key stakeholders that facilitated the operations of the international stabilization mission. His outstanding coordination of 7000 multinational soldiers and interaction with international aid agencies enabled an organized relief effort during Haiti’s hurricane crisis, played a prominent role in supporting senatorial elections and led to the implementation of a quick-reaction force that quickly quelled rioting in the country.

17030 Lieutenant-Colonel Duart Paul Townsend, M.S.M., C.D. (RRMC 1989) was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division). As project director, Lieutenant-Colonel Townsend led the team responsible for fielding the interim medium lift capability for operations in Afghanistan, the goal of which was to reduce reliance upon ground movements and their inherent risk from ambush. A proactive leader with unequalled mission focus, he overcame many obstacles and unexpected challenges, enabling the successful and timely delivery of Chinook helicopters to the Canadian Forces.


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