Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth presented a Royal Banner to the Canadian Armed Forces Legal Branch



It was a banner day for members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Legal Branch as they virtually engaged with Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, Colonel-in-Chief of the CAF Legal Branch on June 22 for a formal presentation of a Royal Banner by the Queen.

“It was my honour and pleasure to have received this Royal Banner from Her Majesty on behalf of all members of the Legal Branch, past and present, who, for more than one hundred years, have served Canada with professionalism, expertise and honour,” said Rear-Admiral Geneviève Bernatchez, the Judge Advocate General, after the event.

Royal banners are unique flags presented as special marks of Royal favour to commemorate specific services. The Queen hosted the virtual audience from Windsor Castle. Rear-Admiral Bernatchez attended from Ottawa, with her Chief of Staff and CAF Legal Branch Advisor, Colonel Robin Holman. Lieutenant-Colonel Noor Ahmed, Assistant Judge Advocate General for the Prairie Region, joined them from Winnipeg and Major Angela Orme, Legal Advisor to the Commander, Combined Maritime Forces Combined Task Force 150, connected from Bahrain.

Following the formalities, the Queen spoke with each participant about their service to country, commitment to justice, and to family.

Col Holman discussed his responsibilities as both Chief of Staff and Branch Advisor to manage effective recruiting, professional development, assignment, and career progression of legal officers.

LCol Ahmed had the opportunity to mention that he first met the Queen while serving as a Boy Scout during the Royal Visit to Stratford, ON, in 1973, which Her Majesty appreciated. He also discussed his official duties focusing on domestic operations, particularly his legal support to requests for assistance during the pandemic in long-term care homes in the Prairie region and to remote northern First Nations communities. He also spoke about his role advising on air security issues under the NORAD agreement.

Maj Orme provided background information about her deployment in Manama, Bahrain, headquarters of the 34-nation coalition Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). Canada took command of CMF’s Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150) in January 2021. As the legal advisor to Commander CTF 150, Maj Orme supports every boarding operation to ensure they are proceeding with the proper legal basis and in accordance with the law of the sea. The Queen was interested in how Maj Orme managed her deployments with her young family at home and both agreed technology makes separation somewhat easier.

Her Majesty has graciously served as the Colonel-in-Chief of the CAF Legal Branch since 2013.


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