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Looking Back – Notable Ex Cadets: 23577 Gabriel Chassé-Jean: Fearless conduct

Looking Back – Notable Ex Cadets: 23577 Gabriel Chassé-Jean: Fearless conduct

Inspirational leadership earned soldier the distinction of the Star of Military Valour.

His love of sports and the outdoors led Capt. Gabriel Chassé-Jean to the Royal Military College right out of high school.

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He was the eldest of four children, raised by a single mother. As a cadet, he was captivated by returning soldiers’ stories about the war in Afghanistan.

“I dreamed about going overseas and commanding a platoon. Three years later, I was doing the same things those guys were talking about,” he says from Quebec City, where he is second in command of a rifle company of the 22nd Regiment.

His combat team’s task was to keep the insurgency off balance: to find arms caches, destroy factories where they made improvised explosive devices, to keep up the pressure.

“We were to take care of the Taliban so reconstruction people could do their job.”

Then a lieutenant, his platoon was in armed conflict with the enemy 10 times. Throughout these skirmishes, Chassé-Jean kept his soldiers calm and focused on the mission. There were many victories.

The citation for the Star of Military Valour credits the young officer for his courage and inspirational leadership.

Original article By: Leslie Scrivener Feature Writer, Published on Mon Jul 25 2011 – Toronto Star