Canadian Military Valour Decorations Awarded For First Time

For service in Afghanistan;

OTTAWA—Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, announced today the awarding of the first four Military Valour Decorations to members of the Canadian Forces who have displayed gallantry and devotion to duty in combat.

The recipients will be invited to receive their decoration from the Governor General at a presentation ceremony to be held at a later date.

Military Valour Decorations are national honours awarded to recognize acts of valour, self-sacrifice or devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy. They consist of the Victoria Cross, the Star of Military Valour and the Medal of Military Valour. This marks the first time that these decorations, which were created in 1993, have been awarded.


Sergeant Patrick Tower, S.M.V., C.D.
Edmonton, Alberta, and Victoria, British Columbia
Star of Military Valour

Sergeant Tower is recognized for valiant actions taken on August 3, 2006, in the Pashmul region of Afghanistan. Following an enemy strike against an outlying friendly position that resulted in numerous casualties, Sergeant Tower assembled the platoon medic and a third soldier and led them across 150 metres of open terrain, under heavy enemy fire, to render assistance. On learning that the acting platoon commander had perished, Sergeant Tower assumed command and led the successful extraction of the force under continuous small arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire. Sergeant Tower’s courage and selfless devotion to duty contributed directly to the survival of the remaining platoon members.

Sergeant Michael Thomas Victor Denine, M.M.V., C.D.
Edmonton, Alberta
Medal of Military Valour

Sergeant Denine deployed with 8 Platoon, C Company, 1 PPCLI during Operation ARCHER in Afghanistan. On May 17, 2006, while sustaining concentrated rocket-propelled grenade, machine gun and small arms fire, the main cannon and the machine gun on his light armoured vehicle malfunctioned. Under intense enemy fire, he recognized the immediate need to suppress the enemy fire and exited the air sentry hatch to man the pintle-mounted machine gun. Completely exposed to enemy fire, he laid down a high volume of suppressive fire, forcing the enemy to withdraw. Sergeant Denine’s valiant action ensured mission success and likely saved the lives of his crew.

Master Corporal Collin Ryan Fitzgerald, M.M.V.
Shilo, Manitoba, and Morrisburg, Ontario
Medal of Military Valour

Master Corporal Fitzgerald deployed with 5 Platoon, B Company, 1 PPCLI Battle Group in Afghanistan. He is recognized for outstanding selfless and valiant actions carried out on May 24, 2006, during an ongoing enemy ambush involving intense, accurate enemy fire. Master Corporal Fitzgerald repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire by entering and re-entering a burning platoon vehicle and successfully driving it off the roadway, permitting the remaining vehicles trapped in the enemy zone to break free. Master Corporal Fitzgerald’s courageous and completely selfless actions were instrumental to his platoon’s successful egress and undoubtedly contributed to saving the lives of his fellow platoon members.

Private Jason Lamont, M.M.V.
Edmonton, Alberta, and Greenwood, Nova Scotia
Medal of Military Valour

Private Lamont deployed with the Health Support Services Company, 1 PPCLI Battle Group during Operation ARCHER. On July 13, 2006, an element of the reconnaissance platoon came under heavy enemy fire from a compound located in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, and was isolated from the rest of the platoon. During the firefight, another soldier was shot while attempting to withdraw back to the firing line and was unable to continue. Without regard for his personal safety, Private Lamont, under concentrated enemy fire and with no organized suppression by friendly forces, sprinted through open terrain to administer first aid. Private Lamont’s actions demonstrated tremendous courage, selflessness and devotion to duty.

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Kate McMillan
About Kate McMillan
Kate McMillan is the proprietor of small dead animals, which has won numerous awards including Best Conservative Blog and Best Canadian Blog. She contributed nearly 300 pieces to OTB between November 2004 and June 2007. Follow her on Twitter @katewerk.


  1. Triumph says:

    If these guys are so great “Let Canada take care of North Korea. They’re not busy!”

  2. Soa says:

    The Liberal Governor General was going to leave?

    She is just a CBC bureaucrat getting an office from Martin or was she really CSIS?

  3. Anderson says:

    I thought the post title was a Canada joke. But no, evidently it’s serious.

    Canada got through the two world wars without any decorations for valor? Were they awarded by the British crown back then?

  4. Kate says:

    These particular decorations were created in the 1990’s. That’s why there weren’t any awarded before now.

  5. spencer says:

    So far this year 34 Canadians have died in Afghanistan.