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Canada needs own medal to honour citizens' service in Far North

George Wallace

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You know darn well, the next cry for a medal for hardship is going to come from those posted to isolated places that are over an hour from a major metropolitan area.  You will be able to get a medal for being posted to Petawawa.  I would imagine that criteria would have to include some sort of timeframe, say like you were posted to Pet for ten years or more, and make it accumulative, so that if you were posted there more than once, you would still qualify.  Of course places like Wainwright would have to have "With Bar" stipulations also.  Gagetown wouldn't qualify, as Fredericton, being the Capital of the Province, would qualify as a major metropolitan area.  Gander, Goose Bay, Cold Lake and Bagotville would ensure that most Air Element personnel would earn a medal, other than a CD.

The CF is a hard job, but someone has to do it, so let's get the recognition that we deserve.    ::)




Could someone figure out a way to issue me a larger chest onto which to put all these new medals?

 

geo

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Umm Georege,
WRT Gagetown & Valcartier... can we accumulate all the time stuck in traffic jams... once you have accumulated the equivalent of 180 days in time (hours) you get your "with BAR" >:D
 

Edward Campbell

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HFXCrow said:
OP HURRICANE deserves some formal recognition!


You’re right. Everyone associated with Hurricane – those who conceived and designed it in the 1970s, those who installed it in the 1980s and those who have sustained it, year after year, ever since, and who continue to do so – deserve an “attaboy.”

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Oh, wait a sec, we all got ours, month after month, year after year - grateful Canadians deposited our pay cheques into our accounts.

Rest assured, HFXCrow, your hard work – and yes, I know it was hard – was and still is valued.

Maybe those working hard, doing Op Hurricane or a whole hockey sock full of tough but little known and largely unrecognized tasks, do not get enough recognition, but another medal, this one for working hard in interesting places? I don’t think so.

I recall the debates surrounding the Special Service Medal; I especially recall the intense ‘lobbying’ to get the ALERT bar. I can tell you that it was not an easy ‘sell’ – not even in the SIGINT community. If “service performed under exceptional circumstances” applied to the “beer and bratwurst brigade,” it was agued, then, certainly, isolation, long shifts, honey bucket duty and excruciating boredom ought to qualify. And, for a goodly time, Alert was (still is?) a high value, high priority target.

I never objected to the Special Service Medal for NATO service: it, like Pakistan, was classical, Pearsonian peacekeeping of the first order but, because there was no baby-blue beret there was no recognition’ either, even though it was ‘guns loaded’ operational service. I came on board for ALERT because it IS an operational ‘tour’ – even if seven out of eight people are there to support the tiny handful of people needed for the ‘operational’ task a hand.

And George Wallace is right. What’s next: a medal (in arrears) for service in CFS Armstrong? That was operational duty, too.

It has to stop somewhere. We all have to recognize that, now and again, we you serving members will have to do some bloody hard work in some pretty austere places and you will not, should not get medals or ribbons or other geegaws for it – you may not even get the “attaboy” that ought to be awarded for a job well done.

Perhaps there should be a way, other than another ‘special service’ medal, to recognize ‘work’ done under arduous conditions. I don't know what it is.
 

George Wallace

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geo said:
Umm Georege,
WRT Gagetown & Valcartier... can we accumulate all the time stuck in traffic jams... once you have accumulated the equivalent of 180 days in time (hours) you get your "with BAR" >:D

No.  However, we can then start a Petition for pers posted to major metropolitan areas who have to endure such hardships.  Think of all the people in Ottawa, with only a CD on their chests, who would qualify for a medal for all the hours that they have to spend riding on OC Transpo.   ;D
 

NCRCrow

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Thanks for the “attaboy.”

and yes Vern, I can read

Hope you and GW aren't wearing your Canada 125's
 

George Wallace

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HFXCrow said:
Hope you and GW aren't wearing your Canada 125's

Can we still get those?  I don't have one.

And what else don't I have and can ask for......Let's see....Ah!....... the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal   :-\ 


Guess I'll have to wait a bit for the Canada 150 medal.    >:D        2007 has passed and no mention or thought of that one.
 

Blackadder1916

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The piece quoted in the opening post refers to the Polar Medal (and was mentioned in other posts).  While at one time the Polar Medal was available to Canadians for "Canadian" ventures, this changed when we adopted a distinct Canadian honours sytem.  Probably the most famous of these Canadian ventures was the voyage of the St. Roch, for which all the crew received the Polar Medal.  Another Canadian recipient (but on a British expedition) of the Polar Medal (and the George Cross for actions in Antarctica) is Col Dick Butson (Hooray RCAMC/CFMS). 

But even the Polar Medal was/is not given to everyone who simply spends time in the frozen north/south.  Most recepients of the Polar Medal were/are not in military or naval service.  While it is worn in an order of precedence following campaign medals (it is not given as for a "campaign" , i.e. 'being there') and before long service and good conduct medals (it is not given for a period of "service"), it falls into neither category but is a separate category since there are/were more than one Polar Medal.  The Polar Medal is not awarded just for showing up and staying there, the expectation is that the recipient makes a significant contribution. It would seem that there now are sufficient honours in the Canadian system to recognize anyone who makes a significant contribution to the exploration of our North (true, strong and free).  All it takes is for someone to nominate those who they feel are worthy.  This is often the stumbling block, most people seem to think that those who receive honours have their names pulled from a hat and that nominations originate from the government.  While living and working in the high arctic is difficult, the situation has changed considerably from the days of the first Polar Medals when those who set off in search of Franklin (or later the crew of the St. Roch) faced the same threat of never returning.  Nowadays, you can be a tourist and take a luxury cruise to the North Pole.

This description of the (British) Polar Medal is from the website of a recipient of the medal.  (I was unable to find a link on any official British crown or government site.)
http://www.gm0hcq.com/polar_medal.htm
Presented by the reigning monarch, the polar medal was instituted in 1904 for members of Captain Scott's first expedition to the Antarctic. It was struck in both bronze and silver until 1939, when the award of the bronze medal was discontinued.

Initially a minimum period of service in the Antarctic of at least 12 months was required and emphasis was placed on service in support of the team effort in the harsh weather and dangerous conditions encountered, as well as on individual effort. The award was made on the recommendation of the Admiralty, or in the case of Commonwealth countries, by the appropriate Minister of State.

In 1954 the regulations governing the award of the medal were revised. It was made clear the medal was to be conferred on those who took an active part in an expedition which made notable advances in the exploration of the polar regions and underwent the hazards and rigours of the region, whether on land, sea, or in the air, and was only open to those serving an expedition organised or recognised by UK or Commonwealth governments, and that in extraordinary circumstances those supporting polar exploration, rather than directly taking part in it, could be given the medal.

Further Royal Warrants in 1970 and 1998 updated the conditions of award. Since 1998 the 'service in support of the acquisition of knowledge of Polar regions shall normally be at least ten years' such service in order to be considered for the medal' and a greater emphasis is now placed on individual service.

The 1998 revision of Regulations added to the geographical area in which service was required by including a number of islands, and for the first time made reference to the United Kingdom Polar Medal Assessment Committee , made up of distinguished individuals with a wide knowledge of polar affairs who are responsible for examining recommendations received for the award of the medal.

 

daftandbarmy

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Good information.

So, let's say that a guy was the first Canadian to walk to the South Pole as part of the first ever 'unsupported' expedition e.g., they took all their own supplies with them in sleds vs. relying on a system of 'depots' and aircraft to resupply them.

What kind of Canadain award would that be worth do you think?
 
A

aesop081

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George Wallace said:
would ensure that most Air Element personnel would earn a medal, other than a CD.

::)

You are well behind the times George. Take a walk around an AF unit on parade these days. You see lots of GCS/GCMs , UN tour medals, Bosnia medal of various incarnations, Kosovo medals, etc, etc........
 

Blackadder1916

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daftandbarmy said:
Good information.

So, let's say that a guy was the first Canadian to walk to the South Pole as part of the first ever 'unsupported' expedition e.g., they took all their own supplies with them in sleds vs. relying on a system of 'depots' and aircraft to resupply them.

What kind of Canadain award would that be worth do you think?

http://www.gg.ca/honours/decorations/msd/index_e.asp
Meritorious Service Cross  Civil Division
Post-nominal: M.S.C.

Recognizes: a deed or an activity that has been performed in an outstandingly professional manner, or with uncommonly high standards; the activity is often innovative, sets an example for others to follow, improves the quality of life of a community and brings considerable benefit or honour to Canada

Meritorious Service Medal  Civil Division
Post-nominal: M.S.M.

Recognizes: a deed or an activity that has been performed in a highly professional manner, or according to a very high standard: often innovative, this deed or activity sets an example for others to follow, improves the quality of life of a community and brings benefit or honour to Canada.

There could be discussion whether such an adventure by a Canadian on an expedition (sponsored?) by another nation would meet the criteria of "improves the quality of life of a community" but there is precedent.  I would equate such Antarctic adventures to climbing Mount Everest (should there also be a separate medal for that specific adventure).

http://www.gg.ca/honours/search-recherche/honours-desc.asp?lang=e&TypeID=msd&id=8544
May 25, 1998

Sharon Wood, M.S.M., Canmore, Alta.
Meritorious Service Medal (civil division)​

An unassuming individual, Sharon Wood has excelled in the male-dominated world of mountain climbing. She is the first North American woman to reach the 8,848-meter summit of Mount Everest and the first woman to become a Canadian Climbing Guide. Her achievements have gained her admiration in the elite International Association of Mountain Guides. Ms. Wood continues to share her experience through public speaking, encouraging Canadians to strive for their own personal "Mount Everest".





 

R933ex

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Ya good point T.I.M They dont call it death by twin otter for nothing!
 

daftandbarmy

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R933ex said:
Ya good point T.I.M They dont call it death by twin otter for nothing!

I dunno, this looks pretty safe (if you're Mad Max)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qF9Xzdp6zVc&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFYGGP8WquM&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZaW9Cs4LgE&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4HCxM2hhzg&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PS0-5WVIHMM&feature=related









 

armyvern

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Nothing wrong with travelling by Twin Otter; I enjoyed every trip to and fro between Alert & Eureka.

Grab some caffeine, bundle up, sit back (if you can push the Boxtop/Hurricane crap far enough away from your head) and simply think of warmer places to be. Disembark plane, thank pilot for getting you there so that he's in a good mood to get you back after you've tossed all the goodies at the suppie getting shafted to stay in Eureka during Hurricane. Then simply ... run away, lest they find you for the next trip too.
 

WrenchBender

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R933ex said:
They dont call it death by twin otter for nothing!
Quit picking on TWA (teenie weenie airlines). They may be slow and noisy and cold and uncomfortable but they do get you there in the end.
I had some good times on the Twotter and went to some awesome places. I still think it's the most versatile A/C in our current inventory. Anyone on hurricane will remember the daily grocery run from downtown (alert).

WrenchBender
 

geo

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Twins & single Otters & the great Beaver... all great aircraft that opened up the great white north.
Pert much all communities get reliable daily or bi weekly air service.... The aircraft designers deserved a medal of excellence.

But, going back to the original topic, traveling up north has become a relatively commonplace event & I do not believe there is a need for any Honours & Awards to be associated with the act.
 

R933ex

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I kid because I care. Actually I would say that the Twin is probably the most effective tool in the airforce armoury for operating in the North. And I would never dis any of the crew..However I am scared by 100 hrs of flight time in 13 days as a spotter in one of the beasts back in 2000 so there you go.

And again as per the medal its a different time now. You know the challenges, the adventure and the inherit dangers that warranted a medal back in the days don't exist any more. Yes working a Boxtop or Alert Tour or Hurricane or even a Nanook offer a tough working environment but to compare it to the great explorers or even the silly people who ski unsupported to the pole because they can....

my 2 cents
cheers
 

daftandbarmy

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Viking Air, in Sidney, has secured world wide rights to build the Twin Otter again. They're in 'boom' mode and are desperate for staff. Might be a good option for any manufacturers out of work right now back east.

http://www.vikingair.com/
 

jranrose

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There you go!!
Governor General Announces the Creation of the Polar Medal.
https://www.gg.ca/document.aspx?id=16121&lan=eng
 
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