Student reservists receive Jubilee medals

- Mitch Wright

Two University of Victoria students were recently recognized with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for their community contributions. Ryan Flagg and Nicholas Hargrove are both members at HMCS Malahat, the Royal Canadian Navy’s reserve division in Victoria, as well as undergraduate students at UVic. They received their medals Sept. 15.

Flagg, a master seaman with the Naval Reserve, is in his final year of study for a Bachelor of Engineering degree, while Hargrove, a petty officer second class with the reserves, is in his fourth year working toward a combined biology and psychology degree.

Flagg earned the recognition primarily for his military reservist role at HMCS Malahat, which he joined in 2002, and work with the UVic Aeronautical Engineering Research Organization (AERO). As AERO president from 2009–11, he led a student team in designing and building unmanned aircraft for national competitions.

“It is extremely nice to know that my co-workers and superiors are attentive and grateful for the effort I put in to both my military career and my civilian life,” Flagg says. “There are a lot of outstanding and hard-working people at HMCS Malahat, so it means a lot to me that they have put my name forward for this honour.”

Flagg also works with the NEPTUNE Canada ocean network, part of the University of Victoria Ocean Networks Canada Observatory, and two days after receiving his medal flew to Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, to spend two weeks installing a small underwater observatory. He and another engineering student previously designed, built and installed a similar project as a prototype in Mill Bay, off the Brentwood College School dock.

Hargrove was recognized for his dedication to the reserves and volunteer involvement with Cridge Brain Injury Services, where he works with a group of men to help them access recreation and social activities in their community. As a research assistant at UVic, he studies the effects of stress on learning and memory.

He joined HMCS Malahat in 2002, sailed for three years aboard HMCS Edmonton, and also held staff and instructor positions at CFB Esquimalt.

While honoured to be among the 60,000 Canadians receiving the Queen’s Jubilee medal, Hargrove downplays his community efforts.
“I don’t consider my contributions to be exceptional. Like many students at UVic, I have a part-time job and volunteer regularly with a charitable organization,” Hargrove says. “I find the time I spend with these remarkable gentlemen to be intensely rewarding, and I am constantly humbled by their resilience, optimism and determination to live whole and meaningful lives, despite the bad luck that has befallen them.”

The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal was created to mark the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne, with 11,000 medals recognizing members of the Canadian Forces. HMCS Malahat is one of 24 Royal Canadian Navy Divisions, with approximately 130 men and women training there.


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Keywords: student life, award

People: Ryan Flagg, Nicholas Hargrove

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