A captain in the Canadian Armed Forces who grew up on the family farm in the Conquest area received quite an impressive form of recognition from his superiors during a ceremony held this past spring.
Cory McCutcheon, the son of Neil and Carol McCutcheon, was the recipient of the Chief of the Defence Staff Commendation on May 29. The award ceremony was held at the Canadian Forces Base in Edmonton.
McCutcheon was presented with the honor by the Commander of the Canadian Army, Lieutenant-General Jean-Marc Lanthier on behalf of the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Jonathan Vance. One other Infantry Officer was also presented with the CDS Commendation during the awards ceremony for his actions during a separate event.
The commendation reads as follows:
“The Chief of the Defence Staff Commendation is hereby awarded to Captain Cory John McCutcheon.
From June 2017 to January 2018, Captain McCutcheon was deployed to Latvia as part of the enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group and the NATO deterrent in the Baltic. As the second-in-command of Administration Company, he synchronized the logistical support for the militaries of six countries and implemented a multinational support doctrine to great effect in two key exercises. Captain McCutcheon’s tireless dedication and stalwart professionalism reflected great credit upon himself and the Canadian Armed Forces.”
Asked how it felt to receive such an honor from his higher-ups, Cpt. McCutcheon says that while he’s appreciative of the proverbial thumbs-up, he maintains that it’s a team effort to ensure certain operations are carried out successfully.
“While it’s always nice to be recognized at the individual level for the hard work or actions a person does while deployed on operations, its not at the forefront of why we do what we do,” Cory wrote, in an email to this reporter. “We are all part of a big team and all have a job to do. I would like to think we all try to do our individual jobs to the best of our abilities for the betterment of everyone.”
McCutcheon finds himself in something of a transitional phase at the moment, making the move from one base to another while simultaneously continuing his education.
“I am currently in the middle of a posting where I am leaving the First Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry at CFB Edmonton and moving to the Third Canadian Division Training Centre at CFB Wainwright,” he said. “Since January 2019, I have been working towards completing my bachelor’s degree full time. One of the benefits of being in the Canadian Armed Forces is the opportunity to receive a paid education.”
In the time Cory has spent serving his country, the experience has afforded him an opportunity to not only travel the world, but also to perhaps look at it with a renewed perspective.
“I would say that I have a better appreciation and awareness of what is going on in the world,” he said. “Growing up on a farm or in a small town in Saskatchewan, it’s pretty easy to get tunnel vision and take things for granted. Fortunately, because of the CAF, I have been able to travel all over the world and experience different cultures. It’s been really eye opening and has taught me that we as Canadians should be fortunate for what we have.”
For Cory, it’s the relationships and seeing new parts of the world that have shone through in all his time spent in the Canadian Armed Forces. It has enriched his life to the point where he has established friendships with people who, over time, become almost like family.
“The opportunities to travel and meet new people,” said McCutcheon. “Through sharing hardships and risks with some of the people I have met and work with, you really develop a sense of camaraderie and can establish relationships that last a lifetime.”