Nova Scotia

Soldier who wore medals he didn't earn loses Order of Military Merit

A retired soldier who was court-martialled for wearing medals he didn't earn at a Remembrance Day ceremony has lost his membership in the Order of Military Merit.

Judge says case shows 'a lack of integrity and respect for the profound meaning of medals'

Richard Fancy lost his membership in the Order of Military Merit for wearing medals he did not earn. (Frédéric Pepin/Radio-Canada)

The Governor General's office says a retired soldier who was court-martialled for wearing Afghanistan and Somalia medals and parachute wings he wasn't entitled to at a Remembrance Day ceremony has lost his membership in the Order of Military Merit.

Richard Fancy was a member of the regular forces between 1984 and 2010 and then joined the reserves with the Halifax Rifles until 2015. He became a master warrant officer in the regiment and received the Order of Military Merit in October 2014, a month before the Remembrance Day incident in Halifax.

In May 2016, Fancy pleaded guilty at a court martial to three counts of conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline and was reduced in rank to warrant officer and fined $300.

'A lack of integrity'

The decorations he wore improperly credited him with service in Somalia and Afghanistan and with being a paratrooper.

Membership in the Order of Military Merit recognizes exceptional service or performance of duty, but can be stripped from a recipient by an order of the Governor General.

At the court martial, military judge Col. Mario Dutil wrote that the circumstances of the case demonstrated "a lack of integrity and respect for the profound meaning of medals and decorations for the Canadian Armed Forces and for those who have gained the right to wear them."

He said the fact that Fancy held a senior leadership position at the time was an aggravating factor. However, the judge added that Fancy admitted guilt and had an otherwise clean record.