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Valour

Governor General and award recipients

Cpl Jean-François Néron, Canadian Forces Combat Camera

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, delivers a speech on the occasion of the presentation of Military Valour Decorations on 26 March 2008 at Rideau Hall.

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On 26 March 2008, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, presented one Star of Military Valour (SMV) and four Medals of Military Valour (MMV) to members of the Canadian Forces who have displayed gallantry and devotion to duty in combat. At the ceremony in Rideau Hall, Madame Jean had the following words of praise and tribute for the brave soldiers being honoured.

It is always a pleasure and an honour, as Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces, to find myself in the company of men and women who are fulfilling a noble commitment – out of a sense of duty, out of a desire to make a contribution, out of an unwavering conviction.

You know, this is only the third time that we have presented military valour decorations since they were created in 1993. For thirteen years, neither the Victoria Cross, nor the Star nor Medal of Military Valour has been awarded.

In fact, for the first time in many years, Canada is having to face the difficult and painful reality of armed conflict. Alongside NATO’s allied forces, you work tirelessly in an effort to restore peace and stability to a country that has been ravaged by decades of insecurity and violence. Canada’s military involvement in Afghanistan has thrust you into the deadliest combat situations since the Korean War.

And no matter what the circumstances, you must draw upon your courage, calm, initiative and ingenuity, but also on your compassion. Because you are there to help men, women, children and communities.

This is what will determine the success of this mission.

It is often in the most difficult situations that we show our true worth.

You are absolute proof of this.

You have shown the world what you are made of.

You were wounded and continued to lead your troops without the loss of a single life. You were under heavy enemy fire and administered first aid to a seriously wounded crewmate. You saved the life of a crewmember trapped in a vehicle that had struck an explosive device, despite the risk of fire, explosion and enemy attack. During an ambush that split up your platoon, you found a way to lead your troops so that they could defend themselves and engage the enemy.

Those of you receiving a military valour decoration today embody one aspect of the Canadian Forces tradition: the willingness to risk your own lives to protect others... These are tremendous sacrifices that they agree to make. We can never overstate their contribution to the success of the Forces and its missions on behalf of Canada and a democratic ideal. I have no doubt that history will remember the vital role you have played in making a difference and in bringing peace, justice and stability to our world.

Thank you, so very much.

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.

Victoria Cross

Victoria Cross

Star of Military Valour

Star of Military Valour

Medal of Military Valour

Medal of Military Valour

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 five most recently honoured soldiers are:

  • Major David Nelson Quick – The Star of Military Valour,
  • Private Shane Aaron Bradley Dolmovic – The Medal of Military Valour,
  • Corporal Dave Gionet – The Medal of Military Valour,
  • Sergeant Gerald Alexander Killam – The Medal of Military Valour,
  • Private Jay James Renaud – The Medal of Military Valour.

Major David Nelson Quick, SMV, CD
Ottawa, Burnstown and Trenton, Ontario
Star of Military Valour

Major Quick displayed exceptional courage while commanding India Company, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, Joint Task Force Afghanistan, from January to August 2007. He led his troops from the front during numerous intense combat operations throughout the Zharey District. On April 22, 2007, despite injuries incurred by the explosion of a bomb, Major Quick kept on going, using his tactical skills. His prowess and selfless dedication, fundamental in defeating a determined enemy, inspired the Battle Group to victory.

Major Quick and Governor General

Cpl Jean-François Néron, Canadian Forces Combat Camera

Major David Nelson Quick receiving the Star of Military Valour from Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean.

Private Shane Aaron Bradley Dolmovic, MMV
Petawawa, Ontario, and Cottlesville, Newfoundland
Medal of Military Valour

and

Corporal Dave Gionet, MMV
Petawawa, Ontario, and Pigeon-Hill, New Brunswick
Medal of Military Valour

On April 11, 2007, Private Dolmovic and Corporal Gionet saved the life of a fellow crewmember after his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device in Nalgham, Afghanistan. After freeing the trapped driver, Private Dolmovic and Corporal Gionet performed life-saving first aid, despite imminent risks of fire, explosions and enemy attack.

Private Dolmovic and Governor General

Cpl Jean-François Néron, Canadian Forces Combat Camera

Private Shane Aaron Bradley Dolmovic receives his Medal of Military Valour from Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, on 26 March 2008 at Rideau Hall.

Corporal Gionet and Governor General

Cpl Jean-François Néron, Canadian Forces Combat Camera

Corporal Dave Gionet receives his Medal of Military Valour from Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean.

Sergeant Gerald Alexander Killam, MMV, CD
Oromocto, New Brunswick, and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Medal of Military Valour

On May 16, 2007, Sergeant Killam, then Master Corporal, repeatedly exposed himself to lethal enemy fire during an ambush launched by insurgents in Sangsar, Afghanistan. Although separated from his platoon, he identified enemy positions and issued clear orders that enabled his section to engage the enemy. Inspired by his leadership, Sergeant Killam’s troops fought back a numerically superior enemy with no casualties to his section.

Sergeant Killam and Governor General

Cpl Jean-François Néron, Canadian Forces Combat Camera

Sergeant Gerald Alexander Killam receives his Medal of Military Valour from Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, on 26 March 2008 at Rideau Hall.

Private Jay James Renaud, MMV
Petawawa and Tilbury, Ontario
Medal of Military Valour

On April 11, 2007, despite his injuries, Private Renaud provided life-saving first aid to a seriously injured crewmate after his Coyote reconnaissance vehicle was destroyed by an improvised explosive device. At the time of the incident, Private Renaud was deployed as a surveillance operator with Reconnaissance Squadron, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, Joint Task Force Afghanistan.

Private Renault and Governor General

Cpl Jean-François Néron, Canadian Forces Combat Camera

Private Jay James Renaud with Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, after receiving his Medal of Military Valour.

On 4 June 2008, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, announced the awarding of 12 additional Military Valour Decorations to members of the Canadian Forces who displayed gallantry and devotion to duty in combat. The following recipients will be invited to receive their decorations at a presentation ceremony conducted at a later date.

  • Corporal Michel Beaulieu – Medal of Military Valour
  • Captain Joseph Maurice Jocelyn Bordeleau – Medal of Military Valour
  • Corporal Yan Dodier – Medal of Military Valour
  • Master Corporal Érik Dubois – Medal of Military Valour
  • Sergeant Stéphane Girard – Medal of Military Valour
  • Warrant Officer Joseph Yves Léon Gonneville – Medal of Military Valour
  • Warrant Officer Joseph Jacques Stéphane Grenier – Medal of Military Valour
  • Warrant Officer Joseph Mario Sylvain Isabelle – Medal of Military Valour
  • Major Michel Louis Lapointe – Medal of Military Valour
  • Corporal Edward R.G. Morley – Medal of Military Valour
  • Corporal Erik Poelzer – Medal of Military Valour
  • Captain Joseph Hugues Stéphane Tremblay – Medal of Military Valour

Corporal Michel Beaulieu, MMV
Ville de La Baie, Valcartier and Québec, Quebec
Medal of Military Valour

Corporal Beaulieu was the gunner on board a light armoured vehicle when, on October 5, 2007, during a combat logistic patrol in Afghanistan, the vehicle was severely damaged by an explosive device. Although he was injured and under sustained enemy fire, Corporal Beaulieu dismounted the vehicle and manually engaged the enemy, exposing himself to great peril. His heroic actions contributed to neutralizing the insurgents and saved the lives of many members of his platoon.

Captain Joseph Maurice Jocelyn Bordeleau, MMV, CD
Québec and Sainte-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier, Quebec
Medal of Military Valour

On September 25, 2007, while under enemy fire in Afghanistan, Captain Bordeleau expertly directed the intervention of the Quick Reaction Force while administering first aid to a critically wounded soldier. In addition to demonstrating leadership and control, Captain Bordeleau’s actions saved the life of a fellow soldier.

Corporal Yan Dodier, MMV
Québec and Magog, Quebec
Medal of Military Valour

Corporal Dodier was deployed with B Company, 3rd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment, in the volatile district of Zharey, in Afghanistan. On November 17, 2007, during an ongoing combat operation, he selflessly drew enemy fire to his position, allowing the members of his platoon to suppress the enemy, which had surrounded and trapped them for several hours.

Master Corporal Érik Dubois, MMV
Valcartier, Shannon and Pierrefonds, Quebec
Medal of Military Valour

On September 27, 2007, despite being wounded during a combat operation, Master Corporal Dubois carried, on his back, a critically wounded comrade over 150 metres of difficult terrain. In addition to assisting the soldier, his actions also enabled the safe withdrawal of his platoon from an enemy kill zone in Afghanistan.

Sergeant Stéphane Girard, MMV, CD
Valcartier, Saint-Jean-Chrysostome and Magpie, Quebec
Medal of Military Valour

On October 10, 2007, Sergeant Girard demonstrated leadership and dedication as a mentor to the Afghan National Army. He selflessly exposed himself to enemy fire to better direct the advancing Afghan soldiers, enabling them to take control of a perilous situation and complete their assigned mission.

Warrant Officer Joseph Yves Léon Gonneville, MMV, CD
Valcartier and St-Tite, Quebec
Medal of Military Valour

On October 23, 2007, during a complex combat operation in the district of Zharey, Warrant Officer Gonneville evacuated two wounded soldiers while under intense fire, and helped to successfully repel a determined enemy as a member of the Operational Mentor and Liaison team in Afghanistan.

Warrant Officer Joseph Jacques Stéphane Grenier, MMV, CD
Valcartier, Shannon and Saint-Ligouri, Quebec
Medal of Military Valour

Warrant Officer Grenier, then Sergeant, distinguished himself by his valiant conduct under intense fire, when his section was ambushed in Afghanistan on September 27, 2007. He selflessly exposed himself to great peril when he engaged the enemy to rescue and evacuate two wounded soldiers, all the while coordinating the tactical withdrawal of his troops. His immediate actions contributed to saving numerous lives.

Warrant Officer Joseph Mario Sylvain Isabelle, MMV, CD
Valcartier, Shannon and Lac-Mégantic, Quebec
Medal of Military Valour

On September 24, 2007, during a combat operation in Afghanistan, Warrant Officer Isabelle provided life-saving first aid to seriously injured crewmates after their vehicle was destroyed by an enemy strike. Despite being seriously wounded and completely exposed to enemy fire, he led the successful evacuation of his injured platoon members while directing a counterattack against the insurgents.

Major Michel Louis Lapointe, MMV, MSM, CD
Ottawa, Ontario, Valcartier and Shawinigan-Sud, Quebec
Medal of Military Valour

On September 25, 2007, Major Lapointe demonstrated remarkable leadership and courage. He inspired his troops, as well as the members of the Afghan National Police under his command, by quickly forming an ad hoc intervention force to counter a well-coordinated ambush by insurgent forces.

Corporal Edward R.G. Morley, MMV
Edmonton, Alberta and Hamilton, Ontario
Medal of Military Valour

On September 24, 2007, during a combat operation in Afghanistan, Corporal Morley left his own armoured vehicle to provide first aid to a critically wounded soldier until evacuation was possible. Under the threat of the enemy, he reacted courageously to ensure the survival of a comrade.

Corporal Erik Poelzer, MMV
Edmonton, St. Albert and Hinton, Alberta
Medal of Military Valour

On September 24, 2007, during a combat operation in Afghanistan, Corporal Poelzer demonstrated courage and exceptional technical skills by coordinating a vehicle recovery effort through hours of sustained enemy attacks. He continuously exposed himself to great risk while preventing a vital piece of equipment from falling into enemy hands.

Captain Joseph Hughes Stéphane Tremblay, MMV, CD
Valcartier, Alma and Shannon, Quebec
Medal of Military Valour

Acting as a mentor to the Afghan National Army during his deployment, Captain Tremblay, then Lieutenant, led Afghan soldiers during a combat operation on September 8, 2007, under enemy fire. His leadership and courage inspired his troops to bring the mission to its successful completion.

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Repatriation Ceremony

DND photo TN2007-0626-01

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