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Governor General announces three Meritorious Service Decorations

July 30, 2007

OTTAWA—Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, announced today the awarding of three Meritorious Service Decorations (Military Division) to individuals whose specific achievements have brought honour to the Canadian Forces and to Canada. The presentation ceremony will be held at a later date.

The Meritorious Service Decorations include a military division and a civil division, with two levels each: a medal and a cross. The military division recognizes individuals for their outstanding professionalism and for bringing honour to the Canadian Forces. The civil division recognizes individuals who have performed an exceptional deed or an activity that brought honour to the community or to Canada.

Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

Major Paeta Derek  Hess-von Kruedener, M.S.C., C.D. (posthumous)

Kingston, Burlington and Kitchener, Ont.

Lieutenant-Colonel Omer Henry Lavoie, M.S.C., C.D.

Petawawa, Stittsville and Marathon, Ont.

Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Warrant Officer Michael Bradley Smith, M.S.M., C.D.

Calgary, Alta.

Additional information on the Meritorious Service Decorations (Annex A) as well as the citations for the recipients (Annex B) are attached.

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Media information
Marie-Paule Thorn
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-993-2569 

Annex A - MERITORIOUS SERVICE DECORATIONS

These decorations are an important part of the Canadian Honours System, which recognizes excellence. Meritorious Service Decorations honour either a single achievement or an activity over a specified period. The Meritorious Service Decorations are open to both Canadians and non-Canadians. Anyone may nominate an individual for the civil division of the Meritorious Service Decorations, while military candidates are recommended by the Chief of the Defence Staff. Nominations and awards may be made posthumously, but nominations for activities that occurred prior to June 1984, the year in which the honour was first created, are not accepted.

Annex B – CITATIONS

Major Paeta Derek Hess-von Kruedener, M.S.C., C.D. (posthumous)
Kingston, Burlington and Kitchener, Ontario
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

Major Hess-von Kruedener is awarded the Meritorious Service Cross posthumously for his outstanding performance and dedication to duty while serving at a United Nations observation post in the Khiam area of southern Lebanon. When the conflict erupted, Major Hess-von Kruedener knew he could not be evacuated, yet he steadfastly maintained his position while reporting the situation as it presented itself, until his untimely death on July 25, 2006. A Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry officer, Major Hess-Von Kruedener brought great honour to the Canadian Forces and to the military profession.

Lieutenant-Colonel Omer Henry Lavoie, M.S.C., C.D.
Petawawa, Stittsville and Marathon, Ontario
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

From August 2006 to February 2007, Lieutenant-Colonel Lavoie commanded the 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, in southern Afghanistan. He played a leading role in two complex brigade operations, including Operation MEDUSA, the most significant ground combat operation in NATO’s history. His battle group’s actions throughout their operational tour set the conditions for thousands of Afghans to return to their homes. During this period of sustained intense combat, Lieutenant-Colonel Lavoie led from the front, sharing the dangers and harsh living conditions of his troops. His exceptional professionalism and leadership in combat brought great credit to the Canadian Forces, to Canada and to NATO. 

Warrant Officer Michael Bradley Smith, M.S.M., C.D.
Calgary, Alberta
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

From May 4 to November 2006, Warrant Officer Smith served as the senior tactics and weapons maintenance instructor for the Armoured Vehicle General Purpose and Machine Gun course, two critical components of operations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. His outstanding leadership and technical expertise contributed to a significant improvement in the operational effectiveness of UN patrols conducted in some of the world’s most unforgiving environmental conditions. In a diverse and complex mission, Warrant Officer Smith’s dogged determination, technical expertise and strength of character enhanced the operational effectiveness of over 200 African Union soldiers

Updated: 2007-07-30
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