Governor General invests 46 recipients into the Order of Military Merit

News Article / March 7, 2017

From Rideau Hall

Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada David Johnston presided over an Order of Military Merit investiture ceremony at Rideau Hall on March 6, 2017. The Governor General bestowed the honour on two commanders, 12 officers and 32 members, including several Royal Canadian Air Force personnel.

“The Order of Military Merit exists to say thank you, to recognize your achievements and to highlight your conduct for all to see,” he said to the 46 recipients during the event. “Never underestimate the impact that your example has on your fellow soldiers. You inspire others to do better – and in turn, so, too, will they lead by example.”

Created in 1972, the Order of Military Merit recognizes distinctive merit, exceptional service, and devotion to duty displayed by the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces, both Regular and Reserve. Many have demonstrated dedication and devotion beyond the call of duty, and the Order honours them for their commitment to Canada, according to the following three levels:

  • The level of Commander (post-nominal: CMM) recognizes outstanding meritorious service and demonstrated leadership in duties of great responsibility.
  • The level of Officer (post-nominal: OMM) recognizes outstanding meritorious service in duties of responsibility.
  • The level of Member (post-nominal: MMM) recognizes exceptional service or performance of duty.

March 2016 Order of Military Merit recipients

Commanders

Rear-Admiral Joseph Gilles Pierre Couturier, CMM, CD, from the Office of the Commander, Royal Canadian Navy, Ottawa, Ontario.

Major-General Charles Adrien Lamarre, CMM, MSC, CD, from the Strategic Joint Staff, Ottawa, Ontario.

Officers 

Brigadier-General Frances Jennifer Allen, OMM, CD, from the Office of the Chief of Force Development, Ottawa, Ontario.

Lieutenant-Colonel Bryan Philip Baker, OMM, CD, from 1 Engineer Support Unit, Kingston, Ontario.

Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph François Martin Barrette, OMM, CD, from 4 Health Services Group Headquarters, Montreal, Québec.

Colonel Jean André Simon Bernard, OMM, CDRoyal Military College Saint-Jean, Richelain, Quebec

Colonel Sébastien Bouchard, OMM, MSM, CD2 Canadian Division Support Group, Montreal, Québec

Lieutenant-Colonel Jeannot Emmanuel Boucher, OMM, MSM, CDOffice of the Chief of the Air Force Staff, Ottawa, Ontario

Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Jean Marc Délisle, OMM, CD, from 21 Aerospace Control and Warning Squadron, Hornell Heights, Ontario.

Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Kaiser, OMM, MSM, CD, from 1 Dental Unit, Ottawa, Ontario.

Captain(N) Josée Kurtz, OMM, CD, from the Office of the Director Naval Personnel and Training, Ottawa, Ontario.

Major Joseph Fernand Phillippe Leclerc, OMM, MSM, CD, from Joint Task Force X, Kingston, Ontario.

Lieutenant-Colonel Shawn Blair Luckhurst, OMM, CD, from Canadian Forces Warfare Centre, Ottawa, Ontario.

Captain(N) Ronald Gerald Pumphrey, OMM, MSM, CD, from Canadian Forces Intelligence Group Headquarters, Ottawa, Ontario.

Members

Petty Officer 1st Class Gordon James Abthorpe, MMM, CD, from Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Kingston, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Sergeant Stephen Claude Joseph Bates, MMM, CD, from 413 Transport and Rescue Squadron, Greenwood, Nova Scotia

Chief Warrant Officer Necole Elizabeth Belanger, MMM, CD, from the Office of the Director General, Strategic Response Team on Sexual Misconduct, Ottawa, Ontario.

Lieutenant-Commander Jeffrey Biddiscombe, MMM, CD, from 31 Canadian Forces Health Services Centre, Borden, Ontario.

Warrant Officer Shaun Gary Burdeyny, MMM, MSM, CD, from Canadian Special Operations Regiment, Petawawa, Ontario.

Chief Warrant Officer Marc André Corriveau, MMM, CD, from North American Aerospace Defense Command Headquarters, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA.

Warrant Officer Joseph Émile Armand Denis Cournoyer, MMM, CD, from the Canadian Forces Military Police Academy, Borden, Ontario.

Warrant Officer Marie Hélène Manon Desharnais, MMM, CD, from the Office of the Director General, Compensation and Benefits, Ottawa, Ontario.

Warrant Officer Winston Wade Dominie, MMM, CD, from 8 Air Communications and Control Squadron, Astra, Ontario.

Chief Warrant Officer David Ellyatt, MMM, CD, from 4th Canadian Division Headquarters, Toronto, Ontario.

Chief Warrant Officer Luc Emond, MMM, MSM, CD, from 14 Wing Headquarters, Greenwood, Nova Scotia.

Captain Gregory Charles Forsyth, MMM, CD, from Canadian Special Operations Forces Command Headquarters, Ottawa, Ontario.

Master Warrant Officer Vincent Ronald Gagnon, MMM, CD, from Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School, Richelain, Quebec.

Sergeant Kim Marie Marguerite Gélinas, MMM, CD, from 2 Canadian Division Support Group Personnel Services, Courcelette, Quebec.

Master Warrant Officer Mathieu Giard, MMM, CD, from The Sherbrooke Hussars, Sherbrooke, Quebec.

Chief Warrant Officer Gabor Joseph Kato, MMM, CD, from 1 Canadian Air Division Headquarters, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Jezella Kleininger, MMM, CD, from Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Halifax, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Master Warrant Officer Joseph Guy Benoit Laliberté, MMM, CD, from the Office of the Director General Aerospace Equipment Program Management, Ottawa, Ontario.

Master Warrant Officer James MacKenzie, MMM, CD, from The Princess of Wales’ Own Regiment, Kingston, Ontario.

Master Warrant Officer Mark Douglas McLennan, MMM, CD, from Canadian Forces Health Services Training Centre, Borden, Ontario.

Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Mercier, MMM, CD, from Sea Training (Atlantic), Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Major Marc-André Meunier, MMM, CD, from 2 Canadian Division Headquarters, Montréal, Quebec.

Chief Petty Officer 1st Class David Jordan Wilfred Morse, MMM, CD, from Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Calgary, Victoria, British Columbia.

Chief Warrant Officer Jeffrey Wayne Munn, MMM, CD, from Canadian Forces Joint Signal Regiment, Kingston, Ontario.

Petty Officer 1st Class Scott James Osborne, MMM, CD, from Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Toronto, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Chief Warrant Officer Shawn Leonard Patterson, MMM, CD, from the Office of the Director General, Morale and Welfare Services, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

Sergeant Monique Ryan, MMM, CD, from 412 Transport Squadron, Ottawa, Ontario.

Warrant Officer Karen Saunders, MMM, CD, from Canadian Forces Base Kingston, Kingston, Ontario.

Chief Warrant Officer George Wayne Snider, MMM, CD, from 426 Transport Training Squadron, Astra, Ontario.

Master Warrant Officer Thomas Scott Thompson, MMM, CD, from 51 Aerospace Control and Warning Operational Training Squadron, Hornell Heights, Ontario.

Warrant Officer Pamela Diane Tochor, MMM, CD, from 5th Canadian Division Support Base, Gagetown Detachment Aldershot, Aldershot, Nova Scotia.

Warrant Officer Kirby Graham Vincent, MMM, CD, from 4 Wing Logistics and Engineering, Cold Lake, Alberta.

Please note that the above information reflects the rank and posting of the recipients at the time of their nomination.

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The Governor General addressed the recipients and attendees, saying,

“What a pleasure to welcome so many fine men and women in uniform to Rideau Hall in this, Canada’s 150th birthday year.

“One of the great honours of my life has been to serve as commander-in-chief of Canada. I always learn something when I speak to members of the Canadian Armed Forces. And this comes as no surprise, because the Canadian Armed Forces is a learning organization.

“I would like to highlight your commitment to learning for a moment.

“As you well know, members of the Forces conduct what is known as an after-action review following any exercise or operation. What’s an after-action review? It’s simply a quick debrief held immediately following an activity involving its participants.

“I know because I participated in several during training exercises in Petawawa. So did my wife, Sharon, and a number of Rideau Hall staff, who spent the day with troops to learn more about what you do every day.

“Key questions are asked during an after-action review, including, ‘What happened?’ ‘Why did it happen?’ and ‘How can it be done better next time?’

“These are simple but very important questions. Asking them and acting upon the answers is essential to a world-class military – in fact, they’re the mark of any organization that lives by the creed of constant, relentless improvement. That asks: how do we do things better even when others tell us we’re already pretty good?

“I’m sure that each of our investees into the Order of Military Merit today regularly conducts their own versions of the after-action review. That’s why they set the standard for us all.

“You are where you are today because you learn the lessons and, crucially, you apply them. In this, you set an example to those with whom you serve, and to all Canadians.

“The Order of Military Merit exists to say thank you, to recognize your achievements, and to highlight your conduct for all to see. Never underestimate the impact that your example has on your fellow soldiers. You inspire others to do better – and in turn, so too will they lead by example.“I also know that while there are many wonderful aspects to life in the military, it’s not always easy for you and your loved ones. You are called upon to make real sacrifices. Indeed, the motto of the Order—OFFICIUM ANTE COMMODUM, or “Service Before Self”—speaks to the sacrifices you make. Along with continuous improvement, this is the second of the key elements of our military. It too sets the standard for the rest of us.

“We are very grateful for your sense of duty, your professionalism and your dedication to excellence. To your families and loved ones, we are also grateful.

“Canada would not be the country it is without the dedication and excellence of our armed forces, past and present. Thank you for your outstanding service, and congratulations on this well-deserved honour.”

Eligibility and nominations

A commanding officer or a military advisory committee (for ranks of colonel and above) recommends to the chief of the Defence Staff the names of those serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces, both Regular and Reserve, they consider eligible. The chief of the Defence Staff then submits the names to the governor general for approval.

The number of appointments per year is limited to one-tenth of one per cent of the average number of persons who were members of the Canadian Armed Forces during the previous year. In 2014, for instance, 108 appointments were made. There are no posthumous appointments.

Recipients may be promoted within the Order. They must exchange their insignia for that which corresponds to the new level, since no member may hold more than one appointment at any time.

The Order’s constitution permits members of the armed forces of another country to be appointed as honorary Commanders, Officers and Members. Appointments are made for outstanding meritorious service to Canada or to the Canadian Armed Forces in the performance of military duties.

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