Major honour bestowed on sailor

Lt(N) Bob Cookson

Lt(N) Bob Cookson is receiving the Order of Military Merit for his distinguished service. This elite award is presented to about one in a thousand military members.

Lt(N) Bob Cookson was both shocked and humbled when he received a call from Hawaii in mid-December from RAdm Bill Truelove advising him that he will be appointed a Member of the Order of Military Merit (MMM).

About one in a thousand Canadian Forces members receive this honour.

“I was shocked,” said Lt(N) Cookson, Base Accommodation Officer. “Being on the committee as the Formation Chief for three years I understand the process, and quite frankly, I thought it was too far along in my career to receive such an honour.”

Appointment to the level of member is made for exceptional service or performance of duty.

“This is the Stanley Cup of merit awards as far as Canadian Forces members go,” said Cdr Tim Allan, Base Administration Officer. “Our Base Administration branch nominated him this time last year, but it takes a year to run its course.”

The Order of Military Merit is not based on a single instance, but instead looks at the span of a military career. Appointments are made once each year and all appointees are published in the Canada Gazette.

As of June 1, 2012, there have been 2,527 appointments at the member level of the Order since its institution in 1972. The MMM cannot be appointed posthumously.

“Lt(N) Cookson’s career showcases exceptional service, visionary leadership and selfless devotion both as an NCM and an officer,” said Cdr Allan. “Lt (N) Cookson rapidly progressed through the ranks and achieved the rank of CPO1 in only 17 years. He was sighted for achievements at every level through his career.”

When he was the Steward career manager, he shepherded the occupation from Logistics to the Naval Operations Branch and set the standard for current Steward employment.

As director of good working relations, he took more than 400 formal conflict issues and reduced them to a few formal complaints.

His drug education program was a significant initiative in deterring drug use on base when he served as Assistant Judge Advocated General (AJAG) Chief Petty Officer.

More recently, as Formation Chief, he introduced Non-Commissioned Member’s (NCM) succession planning that enabled and prepared NCM’s for moving through the ranks without professional delays.

“He’s excelled in every way possible,” said Cdr Allan.

Lt(N) Cookson will receive the award from the Governor General of Canada at Rideau Hall in Ottawa in March 2013.

“My wife Darlene will accompany me. We were both very surprised and honoured,” he said.

With only three years left in his Canadian Forces career, he can’t think of a better way to finish his service.

Shelley Lipke, Staff Writer

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  1. Eric says:

    Great job Bob! Well deserved!

  2. Robert Boucher says:

    LT(N)Cookson was my first Coxswain when I remustered to the Navy. He was an excellent example of leadership which I will always remember. Would go to war with him any day.
    Thank you, Sir.

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