HMCS Kingston Bos’n named Sailor of the Year
By Ryan Melanson,
MS James Milbury has been a member of HMCS Kingston for less than a year, but he’s made a major impact on the ship during that time, acting above his rank and serving as a mentor and leader to his shipmates.
“He’s stepped up and become an exceptional leader for this vessel and the whole fleet, and he’s shows dedication to his crewmates and to his trade,” said Cmdre Richard Feltham, Commander CANFLTLANT, who presented MS Milbury with the Atlantic Fleet’s Sailor of the Year award on March 11. The presentation was made during a small ceremony on the bridge of HMCS Summerside, with the Commodore, along with Fleet Chief CPO1 Tom Lizotte, joining MS Milbury’s command team for the occasion.
The award is presented annually to a member of the fleet who consistently goes above and beyond their regular duties. When MS Milbury joined the crew of Kingston in June of 2019, he immediately filled the role of Chief Bos’n Mate, normally held by a PO2, and began working long hours, including weekends, to ensure the ship was ready for its deployment to Op NANOOK-TUUGAALIK 19. During that deployment, he was again credited for helping the ship through a number of challenges while working with DRDC and Environment Canada, including the launch and recovery of sensitive scientific equipment.
“We were helping those other government organizations get a better picture of what’s going on in our Arctic waters, and we were happy to do it,” MS Milbury said.
He’s also taken on the responsibility of senior ship RPO within the MCDV fleet, setting the duty watch rotation for the entire nest in addition to the usual rotation within his own unit. Most recently, he’s taken the lead on the hull transfer between Kingston and Summerside, and his organizational skills have been praised as he manages work parties carrying out the de-storing of Kingston and the storing of Summerside.
MS Milbury’s nomination form for the award states that “he represents the uniform which he has been so proud to wear by demonstrating a high level of professionalism, devotion, compassion, care and excellence in his craft.”
It was also noted that his hard work and dedication goes beyond the RCN and into his community, where he’s been a long-serving volunteer firefighter.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that we’ve chosen the right guy,” Cmdre Feltham said.
MS Milbury himself said that he was pleased to receive the award, but even more pleased that he’s been able to be an asset to his ship and his fellow sailors, specifically his fellow bos’ns who have benefited from his leadership and training as they progress through their trade.
“I’m very happy. It’s nice to be recognized for the work you do, but the big thing for me is all the people who were behind me and who supported me. They’re the ones that deserve the biggest recognition in my eyes,” he said.