Service Above Self: DND Sailors receive medals
Friday, October 5, 2012

This fall, six Royal Canadian Navy sailors from The Canadian Forces Naval Engineering School (CFNES) Detachment located at the Marine Institute (MI) were presented with Operational Service and Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medals.

Three students and three staff members were presented with medals by Commander (Cdr) David Benoit, of the Canadian Forces Naval Engineering School (CFNES) Halifax.

The ceremony was held in Hampton Hall at MI's Ridge Road campus and was organized by Lieutenant- Commander (LCdr) Alan Brown, CFNES Detachment St. John's Commander.

Students in MI's Electro-Mechanical Engineering program were awarded with their first Operational Service medals for their service and support during Operation CARIBBE, a counter narcotics operation and multi-national effort to stop drug trafficking in the waters of the Caribbean Basin and East Pacific Ocean. Recipients of this medal were Ordinary Seaman (OS) Rafer Duhme, Ordinary Seaman (OS) Philippe Trottier and Ordinary Seaman (OS) Matthew Wagner.

"These sailors were recognized for their contribution on board HMCS ST. JOHN'S during Operation CARIBBE while waiting to commence their studies at MI," said LCdr Alan Brown.  "We are pleased to be able to present them with their first medals and are hopeful that this honour will encourage them to continue working towards successful careers within the Royal Canadian Navy."

The Operational Service medal was established to recognize those who serve in or provide support to overseas operations. The medal, with its task specific ribbons, can be awarded to honour participation on a full-time basis in a theatre of operations or service under dangerous circumstances outside Canada.

Also awarded during the ceremony were recipients of the Queen Diamond Jubilee Medal.  Petty Officer 1st class (PO1) Justin Brown, Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class (CPO2) David Broom and Lieutenant-Commander Stewart Hughes (former CFNES Detachment St. John's Commander) were honoured for their significant contributions to Canada.

The Queen Diamond Jubilee Medal was created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary (February 6th, 2012) of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada. During the year of celebrations, 60,000 deserving Canadians will be recognized for their significant contributions and achievements to this country.

"The presentation of the Queen Diamond Jubilee medal by individual units within the Royal Canadian Navy is very unique. Historically, medals of this importance have been awarded by the Department of National Defence Headquarters," said Cdr Benoit. "Allowing the units to nominate individual members has been a very positive experience."

In addition to his Queen Diamond Jubilee Medal, CPO2 Broom was also commemorated with a Canadian Forces decoration for his 32 years of joint service with the Royal British Navy and Royal Canadian Navy. 

This past June, CPO2 Broom had the prestigious honour of escorting The Queen down the Thames during The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on board the HMY Britannia's Royal Barge to the Spirit of Chartwell - which also carried The Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Whales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

"I served in the Royal British Navy for eight years and have been around for the Queen's Silver, Golden and, now, Diamond Jubilees so the medal I received today is very important to me," explained CPO2 Broom. "All the other medals I've earned throughout my years of service have been for operations I served in, the Diamond Jubilee medal is the only one I have received for merit earned outside of service."