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Commendations and Coins

The Canadian Forces have developed a number of methods of recognition for both units and individuals. 


Unit Recognition

Commander in Chief's Unit Citation

The C-i-C Unit Citation was created in July 2002 by the Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces, Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, to recognize "an extraordinary deed or activity of a rare high standard in extremely hazardous circumstances" performed during a time of "war or war-like conditions in an active theatre of operations." To date the award has been bestowed seven times, including one retroactive award for the events at Medak Pocket in the former Yugoslavia in 1993. Individual Calgary Highlanders serving with Regular Force units as augmentees have been bestowed the award for their service.

Canadian Forces Unit Commendation

Service that is considered beyond the demands of normal duty that does not qualify for a CinC Unit Commendation may be considered for the CF Unit Commendation. The CF Unit Commendation is awarded to any formation, unit or sub-unit of the CF that has performed a deed or activity considered beyond the demand of normal duty. The commendation was created by the Chief of the Defence staff in November 1980. Recipient units receive a scroll, medallion and pennant which is flown for one year and then retained as a historical artefact. Some of the most recent recipients include:

  • Royal Canadian Air Force Academy in July 2014

  • Aeromedical Evacuation (8 Wing, Trenton) in September 2012

  • 1 Canadian Ranger Patrol Group in November 2011

  • 19 Wing in June 2011

  • 1 Canadian Field Hospital in July 2010

  • 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron in September 2009

  • Aerospace and Telecommunications Engineering Support Squadron (ATESS) in April 2009

On 9 January 2015 The Calgary Highlanders was presented the Canadian Forces Unit Commendation by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Tom Lawson, CMM, CD. The award is a first for a reserve force infantry regiment and recognizes the unequalled contribution of The Calgary Highlanders in the War in Afghanistan. During the submission for Battle Honours, which required the unit to have contributed 20% of its strength to overseas missions to qualify for the Theatre Honour "Afghanistan", the regiment was found to have contributed more reservists for overseas missions than any other reserve unit in the Canadian Forces. A total of 126 overseas tours were completed by 105 Calgary Highlanders. The citation for the CF Unit Commendation also recognized the unique relationship the unit maintained with civilian employers, permitting so many soldiers to perform military duty and return to their full-time vocations in the community.

From 2001 to 2011, the Calgary Highlanders demonstrated outstanding dedication and sustained commitment towards the war in Afghanistan. The leadership and deployment culture within the unit, along with a unique outreach effort with civilian employers, contributed to their success. The exceptional collective effort of the Regiment is a direct reflection of its operational focus and has contributed to the Army commitment to Afghanistan. In so doing, the Calgary Highlanders has brought much credit to itself and the Canadian Armed Forces.

 


Group photo of the Regimental Family taken 10 January 2015 following a unit parade to commemorate the presentation of the CF Unit Commendation to The Calgary Highlanders by the CDS. Present are the Premier of Alberta, Jim Prentice, PC, QC, Honorary Colonel Michael Shaw,  and retired Honorary Colonel Fred Mannix, OC, AOE, CD. (Photo by Chris Schwarz, Government of Alberta)
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Individual Recognition

Commander-in-Chief's Certificate for Good Service

During the Second World War, the General Officer Commander-in-Chief of 21st Army Group, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, issued certificates to soldiers whose service was brought to his attention. The 21st Army Group was the formation which commanded all Commonwealth soldiers in Northwest Europe from D-Day on June 6, 1944 to the end of the war. The Calgary Highlanders landed in France in July 1944 and served to the end of the war on 8 May 1945.

No distinctive uniform insignia was presented in conjunction with the award. According to correspondence from Library and Archives Canada held by the regimental museum, "awards were normally submitted without citations at the time periodical awards were forwarded for approval, and when approved the certificate was issued countersigned by the Army (Group) Commander." 

Recipients:

  • Major Mark Tennant, "Support" Company

  • M11154 Private Harry Brown

  • Private N. Brudy, "C" Company

  • M31028 Private Ferdinand Kublick

CDS Commendation

The Chief of the Defence Staff Commendation is awarded by the CDS to recognize deeds or activities beyond the demand of normal duty. An individual recognized by receiving a Command Commendation is permitted to wear the insignia shown above on their Distinctive Environment Uniform (DEU). The recipient also receives a signed and framed scroll.

Command Commendation

The Command Commendation is awarded to recognize deeds or activities beyond the demand of normal duty. The commendation is made on the authority of the commander of a Canadian Forces command. An individual recognized by receiving a Command Commendation is permitted to wear the insignia shown above on their Distinctive Environment Uniform (DEU). The recipient also receives a signed scroll. Calgary Highlanders serving as augmentees to Regular Force units in Afghanistan have been recognized in this manner.

  • Lieutenant-Colonel Mike Vernon (Canadian Army)

  • Captain Peter J. Boyle (Canadian Army)

  • Sergeant S. Klein (CEFCOM)

  • Master Corporal C. Martin (CEFCOM)


Lieutenant-Colonel Mike Vernon receives the Canadian Army Command Commendation from  (at left) CWO Michael Hornbrook (Canadian Army Sergeant Major) and (far right) General Peter Devlin (Commander of the Canadian Army) at Canadian Forces Base Edmonton on 23 April 2013.


Captain Peter J. Boyle receives the Canadian Army Command Commendation from  (at left) CWO Michael Hornbrook (Canadian Army Sergeant Major) and (far right) General Peter Devlin (Commander of the Canadian Army) at Canadian Forces Base Edmonton on 23 April 2013.


MCpl C. Martin receives the command commendation while serving in Afghanistan. Making the presentation is Lieutenant-General Gauthier (Canadian Expeditionary Forces Command), General W.J. Natynczyk (Chief of Defence Staff) and Brigadier-General Thompson (Task Force Kandahar).

Formation and Unit Commander Commendations

Similar to Command Commendations, these are presented by the commanders of formations/units, but do not entitle the recipient to a distinguishing mark or insignia on the uniform.

  • Corporal R.W. Malone (Task Force Kandahar). The citation read: On 22 March 2008, the Afghan National Police brought two critically wounded local nationals to one of the gates at Kandahar airfield in Afghanistan in an attempt to get medical attention. Corporal Malone provided the initial on-scene assessment and clear direction to all personnel involved. Cognizant of the significant security threat during this vulnerable period, he maintained vigilant security that enabled the provision of effective first aid outside the gate. Corporal Malone's immediate and decisive actions helped save the life of one of the locals, thereby enhancing Canada's reputation in the region.


Presentation of Task Force Commander's Commendation. From left to right, the RSM of Task Force Afghanistan; Calgary Highlanders Corporal Malone, Brigadier General Thompson (Task Force Commander), General Natynczyk (Chief of Defence Staff), and Lieutenant General Gauthier (Commander of Canadian Expeditionary Force Command).

Commander's Coins

A less formal means of recognition that has evolved is the development of "commander's coins" as an additional method of recognition for exemplary service.


The information on this website is intended for a specific audience within a defined geographic area and therefore all content appears in English only.