A medal-winning tour

Vice-Admiral Haydn Edmundson, Commander, Military Personnel Command, with the Special Service Medal he struck during a recent tour of the Royal Canadian Mint. ***Le vice-amiral Haydn Edmundson, commandant du Commandement du personnel militaire, avec la Médaille du service spécial qu’il a frappée lors d’une récente visite à la Monnaie royale canadienne.

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Vice-Admiral (VAdm) Haydn Edmundson, Commander Military Personnel Command (CMPC), accepted an opportunity to put his own stamp on things at the Royal Canadian Mint.

After receiving some precise instructions, the newly-minted VAdm activated the hydraulic press and produced a newly-minted Special Service Medal. This “striking” performance took place during a recent visit to the historic facility at 320 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, where VAdm Edmundson was guided through the painstaking process required to produce medals at a consistent level of quality required for Canadian military honours and awards.

The tour offered a behind-the-scenes look at the many steps required to transform an intricate design into a medal. Since 2007, the Royal Canadian Mint has been manufacturing the bulk of the medals and other forms of recognition—such as bars, medallions, and Memorial Crosses—presented to members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and employees of the Department of National Defence. The vast majority of the more than 16,000 medals issued by the Directorate of Honours and Recognition in 2018 were produced by the Royal Canadian Mint and then shipped across Canada to units for locally-organized presentations.

As a gesture of thanks and appreciation, VAdm Edmundson presented the MPC Commander’s Coin to Eric Jodouin in appreciation of the Royal Canadian Mint’s steadfast support to the CAF.

“What the Mint has enabled us to do is to present medals to those who have earned it while they’re still deployed, in the field,” explained VAdm Edmundson during the presentation. “There is a lot more meaning for our CAF members when they receive recognition in the theatre alongside their sisters and brothers in arms.”

Timely presentation of honours and awards has always been considered a key element to the honours and recognition process. This is further emphasized in Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, where Initiative #7 focusses on modernizing the CAF honours and awards system to ensure military members’ service to Canada is recognized in a timelier and appropriate manner. Due in large part to production capacity at the Mint, Canada has achieved an unprecedented 98-plus percent delivery rate for medals while still in theatre.

For those interested in seeing what the Royal Canadian Mint does for Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces as it relates to medal and honours production, you are encouraged to visit their website at https://www.mint.ca or https://www.mint.ca/store/mint/visit-the-mint/ottawa-location-8900022 to learn more about their tours open to the public.

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