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On 12 October 2007, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, presented two Stars of Military Valour (SMV) and ten Medals of Military Valour (MMV) to members of the Canadian Forces who have displayed gallantry and devotion to duty in combat. This marked the second occasion when these decorations have been presented. At the October ceremony in Rideau Hall, Madame Jean lauded the brave men being decorated.

You, the men we are honouring today, have put your lives in peril in order to pursue peace and foster stability in the world. In order to defend freedom and justice. In order to save the lives of others. The lives of your team members, and the lives of women, children and men whose most basic rights are being abused.

It has been said that whomever you see in distress is a fellow man or woman. You have put this fundamental principle into practice and demonstrated that you never leave someone behind, no matter what happens. You have put the interests of others before your own.

Those of you here today understand the meaning of responsibility and devotion to duty. You have agreed to make sacrifices, including the greatest one of all: risking your lives to save others. And you have consented to make those sacrifices with valour and extraordinary courage.

I have stood with grieving families at CFB Trenton on many occasions – too many occasions. As a mother, wife and sister, I can only imagine the anguish of the families and friends who have lost a loved one in Afghanistan. But every time I hear that one of you has saved the lives of members of your company, I think about all the parents and spouses, children and friends, who were spared the pain of a tragic loss. I can think of no greater honour than to know in your hearts that your actions have had such an incredible impact on the lives of so many people...

On behalf of all your fellow Canadians, I want to tell you how proud I am of you and how pleased I am to present these decorations today. I also want to say “thank you” for all that you do to make our world a better place. History will remember the vital role you played in bringing security, justice and freedom to the world.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Victoria Cross

Victoria Cross

Star of Military Valour

Star of Military Valour

Medal of Military Valour

Medal of Military Valour

Canada’s three military valour decorations, namely, the Victoria Cross, the Star of Military Valour, and the Medal of Military Valour, were created by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, on 1 January 1993. All the decorations may be awarded posthumously.

The Victoria Cross is awarded for the most conspicuous bravery, a daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy.

The Star of Military Valour is awarded for distinguished or valiant service in the presence of the enemy.

The Medal of Military Valour is awarded for an act of valour or devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy.

The Mention in Dispatches was created to recognize members of the Canadian Forces on active service and other individuals working with or in conjunction with the Canadian Forces for valiant conduct, devotion to duty, or other distinguished service. Recipients are entitled to wear a bronze oak leaf on the appropriate campaign or service medal ribbon. Like the military valour decorations, the Mention in Dispatches may be awarded posthumously.

Readers should note that the ranks used in the following column reflect the substantive ranks held by the recipients at the time of the respective combat incidents.

The 12 most recently honoured soldiers are:

  • Private Jess Randall Larochelle – The Star of Military Valour,

  • Corporal Sean Teal – The Star of Military Valour,

  • Corporal Chad Gerald Chevrefils – The Medal of Military Valour,

  • Sergeant Derek John Scott Fawcett – The Medal of Military Valour,

  • Corporal Jason Funnell – The Medal of Military Valour,

  • Corporal John David Makela – The Medal of Military Valour,

  • Master Corporal Sean Hubert Niefer – The Medal of Military Valour,

  • Private Michael Patrick O’Rourke – The Medal of Military Valour,

  • Corporal Clinton John Orr – The Medal of Military Valour,

  • Captain Michael John Reekie – The Medal of Military Valour,

  • Corporal Joseph Jason Lee Ruffolo – The Medal of Military Valour,

  • Major Michael Charles Wright – The Medal of Military Valour.

The citations for all the award recipients have been published previously in the Canadian Military Journal, with the exception of the Medal of Military Valour awarded to Sergeant Derek John Scott Fawcett, whose citation follows:

Sergeant Derek John Scott Fawcett, MMV, CD
Meaford and Ottawa, Ontario
Medal of Military Valour

On 3 September 2006, while serving with Charles Company, 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, in Afghanistan, Sergeant Fawcett demonstrated great valour during an intense firefight in which one Canadian soldier was killed and others were wounded. Continuously exposed to intense enemy fire, Sergeant Fawcett repeatedly crossed open terrain to lead the evacuation of casualties back to the designated collection point. Realizing that much of the company’s senior leaders had been wounded, he took charge of a subsequent mass casualty evacuation. His actions and professionalism in combat saved the lives of fellow soldiers and inspired those around him.

Star of Military Valour

DND photo RE2007-0076-01 by Corporal Bern Leblanc

Corporal Sean Teal receiving his Star of Military Valour from the Governor General of Canada, the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean.

Medal of Military Valour

DND photo RE2007-0076-08 by Corporal Bern Leblanc

Corporal Clinton John Orr is awarded the Medal of Military Valour by the Governor General, while Chief of the Defence Staff, General Rick Hillier, looks on.

Medal of Military Valour

DND photo RE2007-0076-09 by Corporal Bern Leblanc

Her Excellency the Governor General presents Captain Michael John Reekie with the Medal of Military Valour.

At a ceremony held at the Museum of Civilization in Hull, Quebec the previous day, the Canadian Forces Chief of the Defence Staff, General Rick Hillier, presented 27 Mentions in Dispatches to members of the Canadian Forces for gallantry and devotion to duty in combat situations. The large numbers of these esteemed combat decorations reflect the intensity of the fighting to which Canadian soldiers have been exposed in Afghanistan. The following is a list of those so honoured.

Mentions in Dispatches

  • Captain Hugh Llewellyn Atwell – Edmonton, Alberta, and Ottawa, Ontario

  • Sergeant Sean Eldon Benedict – Petawawa, Ontario, and Halifax, Nova Scotia

  • Corporal Joshua Clyde Brophy – Petawawa, Ontario and Saint John, New Brunswick

  • Warrant Officer Dominic André Joseph Chenard – Petawawa and Sudbury, Ontario

  • Warrant Officer Darcy Dean Cyr – Shilo, Manitoba, and Oshawa, Ontario

  • Master Corporal James Evans – Petawawa, Ontario

  • Master Corporal Christopher Fernandez-Ledon – Edmonton, Alberta, and Cornwall, Ontario

  • Lieutenant Nicolas Forsyth – Petawawa and Ottawa, Ontario

  • Sergeant Craig Paul Gillam (posthumous) – Petawawa, Ontario

  • Corporal Gregory Gilson – Petawawa, Ontario and Halifax, Nova Scotia

  • Sergeant Darren Daniel Hermiston – Petawawa, Ontario and William’s Lake, British Columbia

  • Private Ryan Wilson Hunt – Petawawa and Burlington, Ontario

  • Corporal Michael William Kinsey – Petawawa, Ontario and Greenfield Park, Quebec

  • Master Warrant Officer Steven Lehman – Petawawa, Ontario

  • Corporal Darren Lynch – Edmonton, Alberta

  • Master Warrant Officer Robert Joseph Montague – Petawawa and Ottawa, Ontario

  • Captain Lee James Mossop – Québec, Quebec, and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

  • Sergeant Christopher John Michael Murdy – London, Ontario

  • Private Matthew O’Meara – Petawawa and Wallaceburg, Ontario

  • Major Gregory A. Penner – Ottawa, Ontario

  • Corporal Adam Kenneth Pizio – Petawawa, Ontario and Chatham, New Brunswick

  • Master Corporal Max Robert Smith – Petawawa, Ontario and St. John’s, Newfoundland

  • Master Corporal William Tiernay – Belleville and Toronto, Ontario

  • Corporal Mark Todorovic – Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario

  • Sergeant Sergio Tomasi – Petawawa, Ontario and Thompson, Manitoba

  • Corporal Michael Trubela – Petawawa, Ontario

  • Petty Officer 1st Class Paul Joseph Walsh – Shearwater and New Glasgow, Nova Scotia

DND photo SU2007-0474-30 by Corporal Marcie Lane

The Canadian Forces Chief Warrant Officer, Chief Warrant Officer Gregoire Lacroix (left), and the Canadian Forces Chief of the Defence Staff, General Rick Hillier (right), present Corporal Mark Todorovic (centre), one of the 27 recipients so honoured, with a Mention in Dispatches award for his valiant conduct, devotion to duty, and distinguished service in combat conditions.

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