Governor General presents honours at Rideau Hall

News Article / March 12, 2018

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From Rideau Hall

Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada Julie Payette presented honours to 48 recipients during a ceremony on February 28, 2018, at Rideau Hall. She also presented honours in Toronto on February 20, 2018.

Recognized for their excellence, courage and exceptional service to the Canadian Armed Forces and to various military organizations, the recipients were presented with one of the following honours: Meritorious Service Decorations, Decorations for Bravery, or the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers.

Among the recipients were a number of serving members and former of the Royal Canadian Air Force; their citations are below. To view a full list of recipients, visit the Governor General’s website.

Please note that the information in this news release reflects the rank of the recipients at the time of the event for which they were recognized.

Recipients and citations

Meritorious Service Decorations

Colonel Sean Thomas Boyle, O.M.M., M.S.C., M.S.M., C.D.
Edmonton, Alberta
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

Colonel Boyle was deployed to Joint Task Force-Iraq from April to October 2015 as Air Task Force commander. He quickly established relationships with coalition counterparts that enabled the sharing of operation tactics, techniques and procedures and, in turn, led to the successful conduct of more than 500 combat sorties against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. A combat-experienced, charismatic and visionary leader, Colonel Boyle selflessly dedicated himself to the flawless execution of air operations, which significantly raised Canada’s international reputation.

Colonel Daniel Stewart Constable, M.S.C., C.D.
Belleville, Ontario
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)

From October 2014 to May 2015, Colonel Constable excelled as commander of the inaugural Joint Task Force-Iraq in Kuwait. He skilfully managed a high volume of critical issues while maintaining unwavering personal dedication to the mission. His exceptional leadership and professionalism, while overseeing the strategic integration of Canada into the United States-led coalition, enabled the task force to commence direct combat air operations in record time. Colonel Constable’s distinctive accomplishments have brought great honour to the Canadian Armed Forces and to Canada.

Colonel James Andrew Irvine, M.S.M., C.D.
Belleville, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Colonel Irvine was deployed to Kuwait from November 2015 to June 2016 as part of Canada’s contribution to the Middle East Stabilization Force. As commander of Joint Task Force–Iraq, he was instrumental in overseeing its transition from a primarily air-based mandate to a holistic one with new capabilities. Moreover, he personally led an initial visit to Jordan to develop options for a Canadian capacity building mission. Colonel Irvine’s outstanding performance solidified Canada’s reputation within the multinational coalition.

This is the second Meritorious Service Medal awarded to Colonel Irvine.

Captain Charles M. S. Bailey, M.S.M., C.D.
Victoria, British Columbia
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

From January to October 2015, Captain Bailey was deployed to Kuwait as the Joint Task Force intelligence targeting officer as part of the Canadian Armed Forces’ contribution to the Middle East Stabilization Force. His superb work ethic and attention to detail proved invaluable to coalition and Canadian joint targeting efforts. Moreover, his expert advice and thorough analysis of intelligence products were well received and trusted by all within headquarters. Captain Bailey’s outstanding performance helped set the conditions for operational success.

Colonel Angela Marie Banville, M.S.M., C.D.
Summerside, Prince Edward Island
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

From July 2016 to July 2017, Colonel Banville was deployed to Jerusalem as the deputy commander of Task Force Jerusalem and the director of Operational Support for the United States Security Coordinator. She led a multinational team that bolstered the capacity of the Palestinian Authority Security Force, enabling it to police the West Bank more effectively and safely. With steadfast leadership and professionalism, Colonel Banville cemented critical strategic alliances and advanced Canada’s interests in the Middle East.

Master Corporal John Trevor Chaisson, M.S.M.
Ottawa, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Master Corporal Chaisson was deployed to Qatar from December 2015 to March 2016 as part of Canada’s contribution to the Middle East Stabilization Force. In addition to his primary job as detachment collator, he performed exceptionally well as the target engagement authority intelligence advisor. Master Corporal Chaisson provided outstanding support and enabled the effective prosecution of targets in accordance with Canadian policy.

Colonel Joseph Robert François Malo, M.S.M., C.D.
Repentigny, Quebec
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As the director general of the Canadian Forces Grievances Authority from May 2012 to February 2017, Colonel Malo demonstrated great leadership, outstanding professionalism and personal commitment. During a period of unprecedented transformation and renewal, he gave a voice to Canadian Armed Forces members during grievance processes.

Brigadier-General Mark Alan Matheson, M.S.M., C.D.
Chatham, New Brunswick
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

From August 2013 to July 2016, Brigadier-General Matheson displayed hands-on leadership and unparalleled astuteness as director general of Compensation and Benefits in Ottawa. His exemplary contributions to pension delivery modernization, benefit enhancements, relocations and the efficient release of members have greatly improved the quality of life of the entire defence team. The impressive professional abilities of Brigadier-General Matheson, along with his manifestly selfless dedication to duty, have brought great credit to himself and to the Canadian Armed Forces.

Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan James Nelles, M.S.M., C.D.
Brampton, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

As Air Expeditionary Wing commander from April to June 2014, Lieutenant-Colonel Nelles was instrumental in the development of the first Air Expeditionary Wing of the Royal Canadian Air Force Managed Readiness Plan. As a result of his outstanding leadership, the newly created deployable force has enhanced delivery of air power at the operational level for domestic and international operations. Maintaining his professional acumen while under enormous pressure, Lieutenant-Colonel Nelles has brought great credit to the Canadian Armed Forces.

Lieutenant-Colonel David James Pletz, M.S.M., C.D.
North Vancouver, British Columbia
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

Lieutenant-Colonel Pletz was deployed to Romania and Lithuania from May 2014 to January 2015 in response to the escalating crisis in Ukraine. The excellence with which he handled his assigned diplomatic, mentoring and training duties ensured increased operational capability with a key NATO partner. In particular, Lieutenant-Colonel Pletz’s remarkable leadership, dedication and operational performance during the Baltic Air Policing mission in Lithuania resulted in significant operational successes for Canada in support of NATO operations, thereby solidifying military co-operation within Eastern Europe.

Sergeant Nicolaas Soulis, M.S.M., C.D.
Kingston, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

From August 2012 to July 2016, Sergeant Soulis demonstrated outstanding dedication to the Royal Canadian Air Force deployable High Readiness Tactical Data Link capability. With exceptional leadership skills and an inspirational work ethic, he played a crucial role in the development and implementation of the expeditionary Tactical Data Link and Full Motion Video capabilities in support of domestic and international missions.

Lieutenant-Colonel Tammy Tremblay, M.S.M., C.D.
Ottawa, Ontario
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

From May to September 2016, Lieutenant-Colonel Tremblay served as the first military expert to the United Nations Under-Secretary-General responsible for improving the UN response to sexual exploitation and abuse. She excelled at generating necessary decisions from her international partners in this complex and sensitive environment. Her efforts led directly to the development of world-class tools to address and prevent sexual misconduct by members of United Nations forces.

Decorations for Bravery

Master Corporal Alisha Dawn St. George, M.B.
Cold Lake, Alberta
Medal of Bravery

On March 11, 2015, Master Corporal Alisha St. George, then-Corporal Fisher, saved a colleague from drowning in the ocean at Torrey Pines State Beach Park, near San Diego, California. The victim had been caught in a rip tide and was struggling to reach the shore. Seeing his predicament, Master Corporal St. George rushed into the water and, after reaching his side, held the distressed man afloat for several minutes. A lifeguard finally reached them and brought the victim to safety, while Master Corporal St. George made it back to shore on her own.

Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers

Captain Brenna Lavigne
Kingston, Ontario

Since 2007, Brenna Lavigne has been an exemplary and compassionate volunteer with the Military Family Resource Centre. From enhancing daycare facilities to instituting a dog- therapy program for seniors, she has vastly improved the quality of life of those around her.

Captain Herman Li (presented on February 20, 2018)
Markham, Ontario

Captain Herman Li has been a volunteer pilot instructor with the Royal Canadian Air Cadet Program since 2008, and has taught more than 260 would-be pilots. He has given many students their first experience in small-craft flying and mentored 10 youth who subsequently received competitive national scholarships to pursue their careers in aviation.

Captain René Proulx (presented on February 20, 2018)
Lachine, Quebec

Since 1996, René Proulx has volunteered with several organizations, including the Royal Canadian Legion and the Cadet Corps. He has helped young and old alike work together to achieve their goals, and is always available to assist those in need.

Captain Paul W. Yu
Richmond Hill, Ontario

Since 2009, Paul Yu has volunteered with a number of organizations including the Royal Canadian Cadet Corps, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Youth Leadership Program and multiple church group ministries. He is passionate about improving his community, and mentors youth and adults on how to achieve their goals.

About the Meritorious Service Decorations

The Meritorious Service Decorations celebrate Canadians who have performed an exceptional deed or activity that brings honour to Canada. The decorations are separated into military and civil divisions, with two levels each: a cross and a medal.

The Military Division recognizes a military deed or activity that has been performed in a highly professional manner or of a very high standard that brings benefit or honour to the Canadian Armed Forces and to Canada.

The Civil Division recognizes remarkable contributions in many different fields of endeavour, from advocacy initiatives and health care services, to research and humanitarian efforts. The contributions can be innovative, set an example for others to follow, or improve the quality of life of a community. For more information or to nominate a deserving Canadian, visit

About the Decorations for Bravery

Created in 1972, Decorations for Bravery recognize people who risk their lives and choose to defy their own instinct of survival to try to save a loved one or a perfect stranger whose life is in immediate danger. The three levels of the Decorations for Bravery reflect the degree to which the recipients put themselves at risk: the Cross of Valour recognizes acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril; the Star of Courage recognizes acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril; and the Medal of Bravery recognizes acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances.

Canadians from across the country in a wide range of fields. As an official Canadian honour, the Medal pays tribute to the dedication and exemplary commitment of volunteers.

About the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers

The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers recognizes the remarkable volunteer achievements of Canadians from across the country in a wide range of fields. As an official Canadian honour, the Medal pays tribute to the dedication and exemplary commitment of volunteers

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