France decorated four Canadian soldiers [fr]
At a 3 pm ceremony on November 10 at the Beechwood Cemetery, in honour of French soldiers who died in battle this year, French officials paid tribute to all of our soldiers and allies in military operations around the world.
On this occasion and due to France’s close relationship with Canada, French Minister of the Armed Forces Ms. Florence PARLY wished to express her gratitude to four Canadian soldiers who have distinguished themselves during the joint operations INHERENT RESOLVE and CHAMMAL for the maintenance of peace in Iraq.
Brigadier General Stephen KELSEY received the gold National Defense Medal for his participation in the Iraq coalition of November 2016 to August 2017 as the CJFLCC Chief of Staff, the organization responsible for joint operations in Iraq.
Commanding Officer Francis LAVOIE, Captain Brendan ALEXANDER and Master Warrant Officer Louis THIVIERGE each received the bronze National Defense Medal for their role, in their respective areas of expertise, in making the coalition in Iraq a success.
With this tribute, France would like to reinforce the particularly close ties which exist between France and Canada, and to celebrate our joint commitment to this much-needed coalition.
For this ceremony, the Military Medal for services rendered to France was awarded in the name of French President Emmanuel MACRON to Sergeant André Louis DUQUENNE, former French soldier currently residing in Montreal, who served in the French Army Light Aviation in 1958.
The National Defense Medal is a French military decoration.
Created in 1982, the Medal rewards soldiers (active and reserve) for their honourable services rendered while participating in military operations or in preparing for military operations and interventions which benefit populations.
A gold, silver or bronze medal can be awarded.
The Medal is awarded in the name of the Minister of the Armed Forces. In exceptional cases, it can be awarded to foreign military or civilian personnel for honourable service rendered to France.
It is for this reason that the four Canadian soldiers are being decorated today.
About the Military Medal
Established on January 22, 1852, the medal rewards non-officer soldiers. In exceptional cases, it may be awarded to generals who have fought the enemy. Since there are no ranks, the Military Medal is the only honorary award which does not differentiate between those to whom it is awarded, from the most humble to the most prestigious. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as Médaille des braves or Bijou de la nation. Approximately fifty Canadian soldiers received this honour for the First World War, some of them posthumously.