On 24 August 2012 Chief Warrant Officer Marvin Johnston, CD (Ret’d) was presented the Queen’s Jubilee Anniversary Medal by Senator Y. Martin for his work with the Korean Vets Association. This is the fourth of the Queen’s Anniversary medals that Marvin has received – an honour that the Governor General’s Office describes as ‘quite rare.’ He was previously also honoured by the award of the Queen's 50th Anniversary medal by the Korea Veterans Association. And these two awards followed his being awarded the Queen's Coronation Medal June 1953 and the Queen's 25th anniversary medal 1977.
Marvin Johnston enlisted in the Canadian Army in Kingston, ON in February 1949 and then proceeded to the Royal Canadian School of Military Engineering at Camp Chilliwack for his Sapper training. Six months later he was posted to 23 Field Squadron, RCE – the single Active Force field unit remaining in the immediate post-war period. One year later Sapper Johnston was posted to 57th Independent Field Squadron - the Field Engineer component of the 25th Canadian Infantry Brigade Group of the Canadian Army Special Force that had been authorized for employment in the Korean Conflict. Training was initially conducted at Camp Chilliwack but the unit soon moved to Ft Lewis, in Washington, USA, to undertake their collective training. In February 1951, 25th CIBG was ordered to Korea and departed directly from Ft Lewis in April 1951.
Marvin served in Korea until in May 1952 when his unit was replaced by 23 Field Squadron. He returned to Chilliwack with 57th Field Squadron and was transferred to the Apprentice Training Squadron at RCSME to instruct recruits of the newly-instituted Sapper Apprentice Training Program. Two years later he was posted to 1 Field Squadron that was then located in Camp Chilliwack and moved with the squadron to Germany. He returned to Canada in 1958 to the unit’s new location in Camp Petawawa.
Back in Canada, Marvin had a career ‘change of pace’ as he served the next five years with the Alberta Area “I Staff” in Lethbridge, AB - assisting with the training and support of the Militia. After this tour he returned to CFSME for an extended sixyear instructional tour in Field Defences, Water Supply, and Mine Warfare and Demolitions. Marvin then returned to 1 Field Squadron, Petawawa, where he held the Squadron Sergeant Major appointment for two years. He served his final year in Petawawa with 3 Engineer Stores Depot before returning to training duties – first for two years with Canadian Forces School of Instructional Techniques at CFB Borden and then returning to CFSME for the next three years in Training Standards.
Remaining in Vedder Crossing after his CFSME tour, Marvin was posted ‘across the road’ in 1976 to 3 Field Squadron as Squadron Sergeant Major and stayed with the unit as Regimental Sergeant Major as it transitioned to 1 Combat Engineer Regiment. Marvin retired with the rank of Chief Warrant Officer in October 1977 after 28 years 9 months service with the Canadian Military Engineers.
After retirement Marvin continued to be a contributing member of the Canadian Military Engineer Family through the Retired Sappers Association and he was also very active with Korea Veterans Association Fraser Valley Unit 24 that he had joined some 28 years previous. With the KVA he has served as Pacific Region Membership Chairman, Unit Membership Chairman, Unit Sgt-at Arms and unit President 1992 and 2000.