Medal of Bravery

The Medal of Bravery was created in 1972 and recognizes acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances.

Major Joseph Bernard Alain Couture
Awarded on: January 12, 1987 Invested on: March 06, 1987
While conducting a mobile patrol with his partner near the village of Al Alman in South Lebanon on October 1, 1985, Maj. Couture, then serving as a United Nations Military Observer, was challenged at a checkpoint by members of a South Lebanon Militia group. Unexpectedly, the South Lebanese soldiers opened fire on UN military personnel, which included a French Logistics Company convoy, and civilians alike. After treating a wounded civilian, Maj. Couture and his partner were informed that a French officer was severely injured and lying in an area raked by continuous gunfire. While his partner called an ambulance, Maj. Couture and two French military personnel immediately ran to aid the stricken officer who had been wounded in the arm, chest and legs and who was losing a great deal of blood. Exposing himself to the hostile fire, Maj. Couture applied his belt as a tourniquet to the injured man’s arm, then constructed a stone wall to shield him from further harm. Shortly after, an ambulance arrived and transported the wounded officer to a hospital where, thanks to Maj. Couture’s quick action, he recovered

Master Corporal Joseph James Goetz MB CD
Awarded on: July 3, 1981 Invested on: September 18, 1981
On 27 October 1980, in an act of conspicuous bravery, MCpl. Joseph James Goetz of the Canadian Armed Forces, saved military personnel from serious injuries at Shilo Base, Manitoba. During an artillery exercise, a self propelled Howitzer loaded with propellant and high explosive ammunition caught fire. The crew rushed out and assisted one soldier who was on fire. MCpl. Goetz hurried to the scene, jumped up on the driver’s side of the vehicle, crawled through the hatch and turned off the master electrical switch to reduce the danger of a major explosion. He then ran to the rear of the Howitzer, entered the cab with a fire extinguisher and fought the blaze, after which he unfastened and removed the cartridge canisters stored in the gun. The presence of mind and quick action of MCpl. Goetz prevented an explosion and serious injury to nearby military personnel.

Master Bombardier M.J. Hackbart MB
Awarded on: April 25, 1983 Invested on: June 24, 1983
On 3 March 1981, at considerable risk to his own life, Pte. Michael John Hackbart, of Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, rescued an injured member of the Forces from an area of exploding artillery ammunition. During an airborne battery exercise in marginal wind conditions, heavy equipment was dropped, immediately followed by personnel. A parachute malfunction caused a jeep trailer containing twenty-eight rounds of 105 Millimetre high-explosive Howitzer ammunition to free fall to the ground. On impact the trailer burst into flames and troops were ordered to clear the drop zone. Pte. Hackbart, who had landed very close to the trailer, saw a fellow soldier closer to the fire, injured and unable to move. Realizing that the man was facing further injury, he went to assist. While ammunition was exploding, spreading debris everywhere, Pte. Hackbart dragged his comrade to safety.

Major Ryan Denis Smid MMM MB CD
Awarded on: September 15, 2011 Invested on: February 24, 2012
On October 12, 2007, a minivan swerved off the road and plunged into the Rideau Canal, in Ottawa, Ontario. Witnesses to the accident, Lorraine and Tony Fequet jumped into the water to reach the driver, without any thought for their own safety. Through the partially opened window, Mrs. Fequet held the driver’s head up out of the water just as Messrs. Akehurst, Fortin and Smid jumped in the canal to assist. While Messrs. Fortin and Smid tried repeatedly to break the vehicle’s window, Mr. Akehurst reached in and unbuckled the man’s seat belt. Constables Desaulniers, Flanagan and Percival then arrived on the scene, grabbed the seat cushion from their cruiser, and swam out to the van. With the help from the other rescuers, they brought the driver to shore using the cruiser seat as a flotation device. Sadly, the driver did not survive.

Master Corporal Stephen Louis Thomas MB CD
On October 3, 2006, in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Corporal Piotr Burcew, Captain Jason Demaine, then Lieutenant, Corporal Adrian Markowski and Master Corporal Stephen Thomas, then corporal, saved the lives of their fellow soldiers and local Afghan civilians by unloading ammunition from a disabled burning vehicle during a suicide bomber attack. Despite having to cross through flames, they repeatedly returned to the vehicle to retrieve mission-essential cargo and high-explosive ammunition that posed a deadly threat to those nearby. They moved away from the scene just moments before the fire raged out of control, detonating the remaining rounds.
Master Corporal Thomas is a former member of 7th Toronto Regiment, RCA.