H26223 His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, presented 34 Meritorious Service Decorations (Military Division) to members of Canadian and allied forces. The presentation ceremony took place last Friday.
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.
Victoria Edwards was able to identify a number of ex Cadets and other former military college students from the group. If she missed anyone let us know.
• 12902 Lieutenant-Colonel Barry Marshall Southern, M.S.C., M.S.M., C.D. – As Canadian defence attaché at the Canadian Embassy in Libya during 2011, Lieutenant-Colonel Southern played a pivotal role in the successful and safe evacuation of Canadian citizens from that country. In difficult and dangerous situations, he showed an innate cultural awareness and intrinsic leadership ability. Lieutenant-Colonel Southern also provided vital support to the Ambassador in the re-establishment of the embassy, while taking on the responsibility of chargé d’affaires-an opportunity rarely accorded to a defence attaché.
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.
• 22378 Major Pascal Blanchette, M.S.M., C.D. – As officer commanding Engineer Support Squadron in Afghanistan from November 2010 to July 2011, Major Blanchette ensured the provision of first-rate engineering support to Task Force Kandahar. Operating during a period of unprecedented expansion and transition, he contributed to the construction of over 30 tactical infrastructure installations, including Route Hyena, a critical road in the Horn of Panjwayi. Major Blanchette’s acute resource management and outstanding performance contributed directly to operational success and ensured an efficient handover to our allies.
• 21214 Lieutenant-Commander Matthew David Coates, M.S.M., C.D. – As executive officer of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Charlottetown from March to August 2011, Lieutenant-Commander Coates was vital to Canada’s notable contribution to NATO operations in Libya. His leadership and in-depth knowledge of their capabilities significantly expedited deployment preparations and kept the crew focused as the mission evolved. During several engagements involving shore weapons and attack boats, his composure instilled confidence throughout the ship’s company. Lieutenant-Commander Coates’ efforts were critical to operational success.
• 15492 Lieutenant-Colonel David Bruce Cochrane, M.S.M., C.D. – 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.
• 15492 Colonel David Bruce Cochrane, M.S.M., C.D. Colonel Cochrane demonstrated exceptional leadership and service as the 8 Wing commander between February 2010 and November 2011. He assumed command during a period of unprecedented intensity in the operations and his leadership ensured that 8 Wing was able to succeed in its critical role to support the Canadian Forces. Colonel Cochrane inspired those around him with his exemplary dedication and professionalism, and brought great credit to the Royal Canadian Air Force and to the Canadian Forces as a whole. This is the second Meritorious Service Medal for Colonel Cochrane. Colonel Cochrane will be recognized with the Meritorious Service Medal for two separate events.
• E1453 Lieutenant-Colonel Martin Andreas Frank, M.S.M., C.D – As deputy commanding officer of the Operational Mentor and Liaison Team from April to November 2010, Lieutenant-Colonel Frank was critical to the growth of Afghan National Security Forces. He established important contacts and brought together many diverse organizations during planning sessions. His leadership and diplomacy shaped the development plan for all of Kandahar Province and the Canadian area of operations. Lieutenant-Colonel Frank’s efforts strengthened the capabilities of the Afghan forces.
• 11266 Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Harrison, M.S.M., C.D – Lieutenant-Colonel Harrison’s dedication and leadership as acting 1 Wing commander, from September 2008 to May 2009, was critical to the rapid, effective and successful deployment of Tactical Aviation personnel and equipment to Afghanistan. He was the galvanizing force behind the Wing’s swift and effective introduction of Chinook and new Griffon helicopters in theatre. Lieutenant-Colonel Harrison’s initiative and planning directly enhanced the capability of Canada’s deployed aviation forces and contributed to their success, bringing credit to the Canadian Forces.
• M0092 Major Guy Charles Ingram, M.S.M., C.D. – Major Ingram demonstrated foresight, dedication and leadership with the 3 Canadian Ranger Patrol Group. He successfully expanded Ranger operational capabilities beyond their traditional surveillance and sovereignty roles, thereby enabling the Canadian Forces to provide a more immediate and effective response in Northern Ontario. As commanding officer since 2007, he has played a key role in the development, introduction and expansion of the Junior Canadian Ranger Program. Major Ingram’s vision and innovation greatly enhanced the quality and reach of this program to thousands of Aboriginal youth.
• 19171 Colonel Eric Jean Kenny, M.S.M., C.D. – While deployed on multiple NATO missions throughout 2011, Colonel Kenny was critical to the success of the Canadian Forces’ air operations. Initially deployed to Iceland, he excelled as task force commander and effectively led the mission to protect that country’s airspace. Subsequently deploying to Italy twice in support of operations in Libya, he provided leadership as CF-18 detachment commander and represented Canada as commander of the Multinational Air Coordination Element. Colonel Kenny’s efforts significantly raised the international profile of Canadian aviation.
• 16730 Commander Stéphane Joseph Dominique Lafond, M.S.M., C.D. – Commander Lafond demonstrated extraordinary strategic planning talents and distinguished leadership while serving as director of Marine Training and Education from February to July 2011. With strong problem-solving skills, he oversaw the design, analysis and implementation of the marine training system during the transformation of the Royal Canadian Navy. Commander Lafond’s accomplishments were vital in redefining the Royal Canadian Navy and renewing its fleet.
• 16888 Colonel Alexander Donald Meinzinger, M.S.M., C.D. – As commanding officer of the Joint Task Force Afghanistan Air Wing from March to August 2011, Colonel Meinzinger ensured the provision of aviation support to Canadian, coalition and Afghan forces. He forged a highly effective team focused on counter-insurgency operations, and his air crews flew maximum hours in support of the mission. Commanding a diverse array of personnel and assets, Colonel Meinzinger was critical to the ongoing development of air capabilities and contributed directly to operational success.
• 18015 Lieutenant-Colonel Mark Misener, M.S.M., C.D. – As commanding officer of the Task Force Kandahar Engineer Regiment, and as task force chief engineer from August 2010 to July 2011, Lieutenant-Colonel Misener was critical to the optimal employment of engineers. His acute understanding of Kandahar’s complex counter-insurgency environment allowed him to lead from the front, providing exceptional guidance to his widely dispersed sub-units and ensuring the allocation of assets was in line with command intent. Thanks to Lieutenant-Colonel Misener’s remarkable performance, Canadian and coalition forces received exceptional and unwavering engineer support during operations.
• E1596 Colonel Steven Joseph Russell Whelan, M.S.M., C.D. – From July 2010 to September 2011, Colonel Whelan served as commander of Task Force Jerusalem, in support of Palestinian security reform. He set conditions for major changes within the Palestinian Security Forces’ institutional and operational components, and forged a superb military-civilian team that built needed infrastructure and provided advanced training. Colonel Whelan’s performance facilitated the ongoing professionalization of Palestinian Security Forces, highlighting Canada’s role as an important contributor to the Middle East peace process.