Asia-Pacific expert earns Vimy Award

Dr. James Boutilier,  Special Advisor on Asia and the Pacific, MARPAC, has been named the 26th recipient of the Vimy Award.

Dr. James Boutilier,
Special Advisor on Asia and the Pacific, MARPAC, has been named the 26th recipient of the Vimy Award.

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

Dr. James Boutilier, Maritime Forces Pacific’s (MARPAC) Special Advisor on Asia and the Pacific, has been named the 26th recipient of the Vimy Award for 2016.

The annual award presented by the Conference of Defence Associations Institute in Ottawa recognizes one prominent Canadian who has made outstanding contributions toward the security and defence of Canada, and the preservation of democratic values.

The award was presented to Dr. Boutilier at a gala reception dinner at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa on Nov. 4.

“I was stunned, humbled and flattered to hear the news that it would be me,” said Dr. Boutilier.

“The previous recipients were, and are, an illustrious band of brothers, and I hope I can live up to their high standards.”

Former Prime Minister of Canada Joe Clark received the inaugural Vimy Ridge Award in 1991 and other winners have included former Governor General of Canada Adrienne Clarkson (2010), Major-General Jonathan Vance (2011), General Rick Hillier (2008), and Honorary Colonel Blake Goldring (2014), who dedicated the award to the memory of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo.

A congratulatory letter from RAdm Art McDonald, Commander of MARPAC, spoke glowingly about Dr. Boutilier’s worthiness for the award, noting he was the “driving force behind the Canadian Armed Forces/Royal Canadian Navy’s (CAF/RCN’s) Pacific awareness” and “the incredibly appropriate [person] to be recognized and celebrated.”

Captain(N) Steve Jorgensen, MARPAC Chief of Staff for Operations and Planning, noted Dr. Boutilier’s expertise in the Asia Pacific region has been sought after for over a half a century. He describes him as an expert advisor for MARPAC, and the entire Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), and Canadian Armed Forces as a whole.

“He has been a constant voice about our attention in the Pacific,” says Capt(N) Jorgensen. “If someone in Ottawa at the policy level has a question on Asia Pacific they will call him.”

Dr. Boutilier is more than just an advisor. He spent 24 years at the Royal Roads Military College, first as head of the History Department and then later as Dean of Arts. He has taught several members of the RCN’s command team including Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, Commander RCN, who earned his Bachelor of Arts in Military and Strategic Studies in 1985.

His intricate understanding of British Imperial history in the Pacific developed from his studies at Dalhousie University (BA History 1960), McMaster University (MA History 1962), an MA on the Royal Navy, and a PHD at the University of London (PHD History 1969), along with teaching at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji from 1969 to 1971.

“Even though most of my work today is contemporary, having a grounding in history is extraordinarily valuable,” he says.

His academic accomplishments are also combined with the practical naval experience he gained while serving in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve from 1956 to 1964, and as a navigating officer in the same capacity for the Royal Navy Reserve from 1964 to 1969.

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  1. Yvonne Evans says:

    Do you have a picture of him receiving his award and possibly one with his family?

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