Please note that the information in this media advisory reflects the rank of the recipient at the time of the event for which they are being recognized.
MERITORIOUS SERVICE DECORATIONS (MILITARY DIVISION)
Meritorious Service Cross (Military Division)
Lieutenant-Colonel Barry Marshall Southern, M.S.C., M.S.M., C.D. Ottawa, Ontario
As Canadian defence attache at the Canadian Embassy in Libya during 2011, Lieutenant-Colonel Southern played a pivotal role in the successful and safe evacuation of Canadian citizens from that country. In difficult and dangerous situations, he showed an innate cultural awareness and intrinsic leadership ability. Lieutenant-Colonel Southern also provided vital support to the Ambassador in the re-establishment of the embassy, while taking on the responsibility of charge d'affaires-an opportunity rarely accorded to a defence attache.
Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)
Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel James Maurice Ash, M.S.M., C.D. Halifax, Nova Scotia
From June 2007 to May 2011, Petty Officer 1st Class Ash was the primary military member of RANA FM, a local radio station which linked Kandahar civilians to Canadian and coalition forces operating in Afghanistan. His decisiveness and dedication while verifying radio broadcasts and developing procedures to deal with telephone calls regarding insurgent activities, directly contributed to the enhancement of in-theatre intelligence. Petty Officer 1st Class Ash's professionalism and leadership allowed RANA FM to become a vital intelligence asset for operations in Kandahar.
Major Daniel Auger, M.S.M., C.D. Verdun, Quebec
As commander of operations and chief of staff of the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team in Afghanistan, from April to October 2009, Major Auger distinguished himself through his leadership and professionalism. Faced with an increased number of units under Canadian mentorship, he ensured that the teams were properly equipped to meet the challenges of their mission and command expectations. Major Auger's coordination and tactical acumen greatly improved the operational efficiency of the Afghan units.
Sergeant Joseph Claude Patrick Auger, M.S.M., C.D. Montreal, Quebec
On December 18, 2010, during a reconnaissance operation to secure a road building project in Afghanistan, Sergeant Auger's platoon came upon a group of buildings that had been heavily booby trapped with explosive devices. Following explosions that seriously injured several of his soldiers, Sergeant Auger took charge of the situation calmly and in an exemplary manner. He regained control of his soldiers and ensured the rapid evacuation of the wounded personnel. Sergeant Auger's expertise and actions minimized the disastrous consequences of a chaotic and very dangerous situation.
Chief Warrant Officer Gerald Blais, M.S.M., C.D. Montreal, Quebec
From May to July 2011, Chief Warrant Officer Blais distinguished himself as Joint Task Force Afghanistan regimental sergeant-major when appointed to this position with little notice. In theatre since August 2010, as regimental sergeant-major of Headquarters and Signals Squadron, he demonstrated loyalty and flexibility, which eased his acceptance by troops and ensured full continuity of Task Force command. Chief Warrant Officer Blais' personal and professional attributes contributed greatly to the success of the Canadian Forces' counter-insurgency operations.
Major Pascal Blanchette, M.S.M., C.D. Chatham, Ontario