By U.S. Defense Attaché Colonel William Rowell –
On July 17, 2018, I was honored to present 13 outstanding Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members with awards for their exemplary service to our nations’ collective defense and security. From Baghdad to Colorado, these CAF members worked side by side with their U.S. military counterparts, while posted to a U.S. military unit or while serving in an operation under U.S. command.
For the award ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, the Office of Defense Cooperation was very fortunate to secure the participation of the United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, who honored the occasion by performing historic melodies reminiscent of the American Revolution. As the official representatives of the U.S. Army and the only unit of its kind in the armed forces, the Corps, in addition to hundreds of performances annually, supports the President of the United States of America with performances at all armed forces arrival ceremonies for visiting dignitaries and heads of state at the White House, and has participated in every Presidential Inaugural Parade since 1961.
The United States and Canada have one of the closest military relationships in the world. Today, more than 700 CAF members live and work in the United States. Canadian and U.S. military members work as partners in the defense of North America in the unique binational North American Aerospace Defense Command, and they cooperate every day in overseas operations, multinational coalitions, and in military exercises around the world.
Our close relationship is evident in the individual achievements and contributions of each CAF member recognized in the ceremony. We thank them for their service to the United States and for their daily contributions to the Canadian Armed Forces in the defense of North America, and multinational operations across the globe. The ceremony recognized the following CAF members:
- Brigadier-General Stephen Kelsey – Legion of Merit (Degree of Officer)
- Colonel (ret’d) Kevin Bryski – Legion of Merit (Degree of Officer)
- Colonel Helen Wright – Defense Meritorious Service Medal
- Colonel John Vass – Defense Meritorious Service Medal
- Colonel Orest Babij – Defense Meritorious Service Medal
- Colonel Jean Bernier – Defense Meritorious Service Medal
- Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Lytle – Defense Meritorious Service Medal
- Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Dunn – Defense Meritorious Service Medal
- Major Christopher Miller – Defense Meritorious Service Medal
- Major (ret’d) Dennis Sansom – Meritorious Service Medal
- Captain Marek Serocki – Joint Service Commendation Medal
- Warrant Officer Ryan Zwicker – Joint Service Commendation Medal
- Major Amir Mahmood – U.S. Army Achievement
Photo: U.S. EMBASSY OTTAWA’S PRESS OFFICE/Mariah MacKeigan
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