FORWARD OPERATING BASE MA'SUM GHAR, Afghanistan - The General Campaign Star Medal was awarded to Canadian soldiers of the 1st and 2nd Battalions, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, Oct. 7 during a medals parade ceremony.

The GCS is awarded to members of the Canadian Forces and members of allied forces working together to take part in operations in the presence of an armed enemy.

Honorary Colonel of the Regiment, retired Maj. Gen. Walter Holmes, and Regimental Sergeant Major Chief Warrant Officer Mike Hornbrook were invited to the forward operating base to present the medals. Holmes and Hornbrook are both former members of the regiment.

Canadian Army Capt. Garrett Hallman, 1RCR BG, a Fredericton, New Brunswick, native said every regiment or Canada Army unit has an honorary colonel who is used for events like the medal ceremony.

Canadian Sgt. Kevin Renaud, 1RCR BG, a native of Burton, New Brunswick, is on his first tour in Afghanistan.

This was Renaud's first time receiving the GCS. He said the GCS means different things to the Canadian soldiers.

"The medal is a milestone for some [soldiers], for being that far away from family and friends," he said.

Canadian Army Pvt. Mathew Campbell, 2RCR BG, a Winter Junction, Nova Scotia, native is also on his first tour in Afghanistan.

For the most part of his tour, Campbell said the Canadian forces were well-received by the local Afghan population.

"We got a pretty good reception from the locals; most of the people here are pretty nice," said Campbell.

He was proud to represent his country in Afghanistan.

"It's been a pleasure," Campbell said. "Canada is well-liked around the world, and I think that we are pretty much well-liked in Afghanistan too."