20 November 1985
LCol William John McCullough and Sgt Larry Douglas Abbott are presented the Meritorious Service Cross by the Governor General for their actions while serving in Beirut, Lebanon from 1982-1984. They were the first MP to ever be awarded this decoration.
Their citations read as follows:
"During the period 4 July 1982 to 5 August 1984, Lieutenant-Colonel W.J. McCullough was the Canadian Forces Attaché at the Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. The period was marked by the complete collapse of law and order, and assaults on diplomats and diplomatic premises. Throughout his tour Lieutenant-Colonel McCullough undertook a number of significant military and diplomatic tasks. Notwithstanding considerable personal risk, including frequent exposure to both small arms and artillery fire, he travelled extensively to maintain essential contacts with Lebanese agencies. During the times when the Chancery was under threat of fire, his exceptional professionalism and calm competence were a constant source of reassurance to all members of the Embassy staff. Throughout his tour, Lieutenant-Colonel McCullough performed both military and related duties in an outstandingly professional manner, of such a rare high standard as to reflect great credit on himself and the Canadian Forces."
"During the period 7 November 1983 to 11 August 1984, Sergeant L.D. Abbott was the non-commissioned officer in charge of military police security guards at the Canadian Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. The period was marked by the complete collapse of law and order, and assaults on diplomats and diplomatic premises. In the performance of protective and other duties, Sergeant Abbott frequently risked his life over an extended period to ensure the safety of both Canadian and locally employed staff members. When a drastic reduction in staff taxed resources to their fullest, he assumed the additional duties associated with two officer positions, performing them with a rare high standard of both flexibility and adaptability. His leadership, professional expertise and qualities of character made a deep impression on all members of the Embassy staff. Sergeant Abbott's outstandingly professional performance of military duties, tailored to the priority needs of the Canadian Government in Lebanon and frequently beyond those normal for his rank, have brought great credit to both himself and the Canadian Forces."