Today, it was announced that The Honourable Michael Wilson , P.C. , O.C. , the Ambassador to the United States of America , on behalf of Her Excellency The Right Honourable MichaŽlle Jean , C.C. , C.M.M. , C.O.M. , C.D. , the Governor General of Canada , will present the Meritorious Service Cross (military division) to a member of the United States Navy , Admiral Edmund Giambastiani Jr. , M.S.C. , for exemplary service of great benefit to Canada .

The award will have been in effect for Admiral Giambastiani since the end of October, of last year. The award has two divisions ó the military and civildivisions, and each division has two ranks; the medal, and the cross (the cross being the higher-ranking of the two). While it is a Canadian award, it can be awarded to non-citizens where such a non-citizen has performed some service or duty that brings honour to the Canadian Forces , Canada, or has been of great benefit to the nation.

Quote: Originally Posted by The Web site of the [color=#bb0000

Governor General of Canada[/color]]An innovative planner, Admiral Giambastiani, of the United States Navy, has provided outstanding leadership and creativity to ensure that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is ready to meet the challenges of the future. In 2004, he developed new approaches to ensure the advances in technology serve Alliance requirements well into the future. Admiral Giambastianiís personal involvement and skilful execution of his Commands' vital functions have contributed in an outstanding manner to collective security. His achievements have been of great benefit to Canada.

I applaud this decision, on the part of the military advisory committees. During a time where tensions between the Forces of Canada and our neighbour to the South can sometimes flourish due to very different policies between our two nations, I think that the awarding of a Canadian decoration to an American citizen shows that Canada is indeed greatful for the work that the United States does in the interest of our mutual defence.

1. Click here for the Web site of the Governor General of Canada .