Exemplary service recognized at Honours & Awards Ceremony
By Ryan Melanson,
Lt(N) Victoria Barrie spent nearly three years in the difficult and demanding role of Flag Lieutenant to the Commander of Canadian Fleet Atlantic, working under then Cmdre Craig Baines. She moved on from that job in summer 2017, but recently found herself in front of her old boss, now a Rear-Admiral, once again.
Barrie was awarded the Commander Royal Canadian Navy Commendation on October 25 for her exceptional professionalism, dedication and work ethic during her time with the Commodore, ensuring he was always prepared for the events of the day. When asked by RAdm Baines what the hardest part of working for him was, Lt(N) Barrie answered carefully.
“The hardest part was dealing with all the stress the job brings,” she said.
Lt(N) Barrie was just one of 30 individuals who were recognized during the Commander MARLANT/JTFA Honours & Awards Ceremony held October 25 inside Juno Tower. The ceremonies are held multiple times a year in order to recognize CAF members, as well as civilian members of the defence team, who have gone above and beyond their regular duties and provided exceptional service to the CAF and to Canada.
The highest honour awarded on the day was one NATO Meritorious Service Medal, the personal award of the NATO Secretary General, which was received Cdr Sheldon Gillis, former Commanding Officer of HMCS St. John’s. Cdr Gillis and his ship deployed to Op REASSURANCE during the first half of 2017, and he was awarded for his outstanding leadership and contribution to NATO during that time.
The Commander Royal Canadian Navy Commendation, recognizing deeds or activities in support of the RCN that go beyond the scope of normal duty, was awarded to 10 individuals, including:
- LS Charles Burridge, for successfully performing CPR on a civilian casualty in April of 2016 while in Victoria, British Columbia.
- CPO1 Douglas Currie, for his work as Engineering Chief of the Maritime Component during Op NUNAKPUT 2017 in Canada’s North.
- Lt(N) Barrie, for her work as Flag Lieutenant to the Commander, Canadian Fleet Atlantic.
- CPO2 Jason Greene, for his positive attitude and mentorship of junior personnel as the Chief Bosn’s Mate in HMCS St. John’s during Op REASSURANCE in 2017.
- LS Nathan Ling, for selflessly jeopardizing his own life to prevent a suicide attempt by a shipmate, while sailing in HMCS Athabaskan in February 2016.
- PO1 Jess Malaidack, for his quick action responding to a fire in the Four Mess Flats on board HMCS Toronto in June of 2017.
- PO1 Patrick Monk, for supporting the implementation of the new Marine Technician trade while deployed with HMCS Fredericton from January – March 2017.
- LCdr Jennifer Price, for her work since 2014 as Personnel Selection Officer during the development and standing up of the RCN’s Naval Tactical Operations Group.
- CPO2 Vincent Prosper, for his ingenuity in modifying the Black and Grey Water System in HMCS Toronto during the Great Lakes Deployment in 2017.
- MS Stewart Riggs, for his extraordinary work as a Marine Technician in HMCS Charlottetown, along with a number of non-departmental initiatives, that led to his selection as the Atlantic Fleet’s 2017 Sailor of the Year.
A single Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) Commendation was also awarded during the ceremony, with LS Johnathan Nervais being recognized for his work as a Marine Engineer in HMCS Kingston during Op CARIBBE in 2016, where he spent countless hours repairing and overhauling the ship’s reverse osmosis desalinator.
The remainder of the ceremony saw individuals receive the Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic and Commander Joint Task Force Atlantic Certificates of Achievement. Those awarded include:
- Capt Christopher Quillan, for his work as the lead planner for Exercise Sable Island Surveyor from September 2015 to May 2016, supporting Parks Canada in demolishing derelict structures on the island.
- WO Rachel Boucher, for outstanding support to NDWCC as a member of the CFB Halifax BIS team from 2016 to 2018.
- PO2 Eric Caron, for the strong example he set for others aboard HMCS Fredericton in adapting to the new Marine Technician occupation in early 2017, quickly earning new qualifications needed to keep up with the trade’s demands.
– Jonathan Clark, for his work with BIS in the development of both the Operational Readiness Measurement Tool and the One-Fleet Schedule.
- Ian Johnston, also for his work with BIS on Operational Readiness Measurement Tool and One-Fleet Schedule, particularly his creativity in finding solutions and organizing activities of the programming team.
- Lt(N) James Ross, who also organized the development of the Operational Readiness Measurement Tool and the One-Fleet Schedule, implementing new solutions to operationalize readiness reporting.
- MS Anthony Francis, for his work reestablishing fresh water to an emergency shelter in South Caicos during a humanitarian mission with HMCS St.John’s following Hurricane Irma in September 2017.
- Lt(N) Michael Gooderham, for his support in the authoring, organizing and development of new decision-making products for the Commander RCN Quarterly Reports.
- Lt(N) Michel Vezina, also for his work developing new decision making Command Analytics products for the Commander RCN Quarterly Reports.
- LS Sebastien Hamel, for assisting a civilian exhibiting signs of a stroke while off duty at a local car dealership in May of this year.
- LS Brandon Humphrey, for safely transporting numerous work parties shore in debris-filled waters during HMCS St. John’s humanitarian mission in September 2017 following Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
- LS Russell Kennedy, who also transported work parties, showing strong navigation and seamanship skills, during during St. John’s humanitarian relief efforts.
- PO2 William Koshowski, also for his humanitarian relief work with HMCS St. John’s, where he helped in the fabrication of several structures meant to enable water delivery by air via helicopter.
- MS Peter Pope, whose hard work helped ensure St. John’s retained fresh water production ability while providing relief to the islands of South Caicos and Dominica.
- Sgt Andrew Shain, who conducted helicopter reconnaissance missions during the disaster relief operations with HMCS St. John’s, supporting the extraction of multiple casualties from mountainous terrain.
- Lt(N) Thomas Vincer, for his work as the MARLANT Staff Officer, Ship System Readiness, coordinating the diesel generator replacement in HMCS Charlottetown while alongside in Croatia in fall 2017.
- SLt Kyle Williams, for his outstanding support to the logistics department of HMCS St. John’s prior to the ship’s deployment to Op REASSURANCE in late 2017, working many evenings and weekends to ensure the ship was logistically prepared.
- Lt(N) Jason Pike, who showed selfless courage in responding to the fire in HMCS Toronto’s Four Mess Flats in June 2017, despite heavy smoke and lack of proper equipment when first responding.
RAdm Baines congratulated all the award recipients, and said the ceremonies are an important way to have individuals honoured for their hard, often dangerous work. among colleagues, family and friends.
The group of award recipients at the latest Commander MARLANT/JTFA Honours & Awards Ceremony, which took place October 25 inside Juno Tower. Seated front row, centre are RAdm Craig Baines, Commander MARLANT and JTFA, and Formation Chief CPO1 Derek Kitching.
CPL DAVID VELDMAN, FIS