Carleton’s David Sterritt receives highest military civilian honour

David Sterritt, centre, received Department of National Defence’s Medallion for Distinguished Service – the military’s highest civilian honour. He was presented the medallion by Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Tom Lawson (left) on July 25. Sterritt’s wife Elizabeth and son Joe were both on hand. (DND Photo)

David Sterritt, director of Housing and Residence Life Services at Carleton, has been awarded the Canadian Forces Medallion for Distinguished Service, the highest military honour bestowed on a civilian.

“To be honoured for work that I really enjoy doing is incredible,” said Sterritt. “I am humbled by this honour.”

Sterritt was presented the medallion by Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Tom Lawson at a reception held on July 26, 2014 on Parliament Hill. It’s in recognition of the instrumental role Sterritt has played in Carleton’s 20-year relationship with the Ceremonial Guard. For two decades, the Ceremonial Guard has used Carleton’s residences as its home base during the summer months.

On the Department of National Defence’s website it states that the medallion is: “Awarded for service of a rare and exceptionally high standard, which accrues great benefit to the (Canadian Forces) as a whole. Only non-military service … is eligible for consideration for this award.”

The silver-coloured medallion is 12-sided and bears the symbols of the three services: the anchor, the crossed swords and the flying eagle, topped by the Royal Crown, as well as four maple leaves and the inscriptions “DISTINGUISHED SERVICE” and “SERVICE DISTINGUÉ”.

At the end of August, Sterritt retires after 43 years of service at Carleton. A Carleton history grad, Sterritt began his professional career at the university in 1971 as a conference co-ordinator and rose through the ranks to become director of housing in 1983. He met his wife Elizabeth in residence and his two sons are also Carleton grads.

A retirement celebration for Sterritt was held on July 31. Among the attendees were members of the Ceremonial Guard.



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