Westmount, Quebec – 28 January 2016: Petty Officer 2nd class Matthew Chabassol received the 34 Groupe-Brigade commander’s commendation in October 2015 for his “outstanding work, exemplary ethics, and devotion towards his unit and the Canadian Armed Forces”.
He was posted into the RMR in June 2013 and is currently serving as the Regiment’s Chief Clerk. A well experienced sailor, PO2 Chabassol has deployed on operations three different times: September 2005 OP UNISON on board HMCS ATHABASKAN, Hurricane Katrina relief in Biloxi Mississippi, January – July 2006 TF SNMG1 “OP SEXTANT” on board HMCS ATHABASKAN, where he patrolled off the Coast of Africa, the Mediterranean, the Baltic Sea and the North Atlantic , and finally in Afghanistan as part of Roto 4 with the Provincial Reconstruction Team at Camp Nathan Smith from July 2007 – March 2008. His military qualifications include many, many Clerk and shipboard qualifications – and perhaps one in particular that explains why he fits in so well at the RMR: Naval Boarding Party.
He says that his favourite memory of serving with the Regiment was during the RMR’s Centennial, reflecting that “The Gala really jumps out as something that will stay with me for a long time. The event itself was great but it was also something to see the unit come together to make it happen. My wife and I also had the opportunity to spend time with an old friend from Yellowknife who just happened to be a former RMR Sgt (Al Davidson). It’s always great to reconnect with friends from the other side of the country.”
The thing that he has learned to like the most about serving in an Infantry unit like the RMR might not be a surprise to any of our readers: “Rubber duck and Regimental Rum shots”, but he admits that the only thing that he dislikes about the serving in the RMR is “Day 2 of Rubber duck and Regimental shots”…!
Being the good sailor that he is, he thinks that one of the coolest things he has ever done with the military thus far in his career was while at sea: “In the fall of 2005 our ship responded to a distress call off the coast of Maine. A schooner got stuck in a hurricane, was taking on water and was in immediate threat of sinking. We sailed from where we were doing training to the location of the ship. It took about a day of sailing at full speed into a hurricane. Due to sickness and injury we had a very depleted crew by the end of it, to the point where many people were double hatted and doing tasks out of trade. Being a half blind cross eyed clerk even I took time on the bridge as look out and eventually bridge communications when it came time to launch our RHIB (Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boat) to rescue the crew. We saved the whole crew and the ship is somewhere on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean now. The RHIB Coxn and diver were honoured in Ottawa for the effort the put in that day. It’s amazing to see your instincts kick in during a situation like that, your training takes over and the job gets done. Like it or not that’s why we train.”
Born and raised in A little village in Pictou County, Nova Scotia called Plymouth, PO2 Chabassol now lives in St Jean-sur-Richelieu where he is raising a family: “I’m a husband, new father and wicked good fisherman. I’d be glad to tell you about the one that got away.” He commented humbly on being awarded the 34 Groupe-Brigade Commander’s Commendation: “It was an honour, my family isn’t overly familiar with the way of the military but they were all very proud which is always a nice feeling. Although my name was on the award I would like to think that the whole day staff were the recipients, I can’t do anything without their support and vice versa. We have a great team here (past and present).”
His advice to other soldiers who might want to earn the same commendation in the future is that “I feel that if you put forth the same effort into your work for the unit and others that you would expect others to do for you than you can never go wrong.” He closed off the interview by saying that “I would just like to thank The RMR for making a sailor feel like he is at home here at the Regiment.”
Congratulations to PO2 Chabassol, he deserves his commendation – way to set the standard for the rest of us!
Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.