4 Wing Deputy Wing Commander Lieutenant-Colonel (LCol) Alain Gagnon (left) presents the Canadian Forces Decoration to 4 Wing Chaplain Major (Maj) Howard Rittenhouse, with 4 Wing Deputy Wing Command Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) Grant Lucas (right), at 4 Wing Chaplains Office, 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta, on September 08, 2021 – Avr Alex Thornton/ Submitted Photo
The Senior Wing Chaplain of 4 Wing is celebrating 12 years of service. Padre Major Howard Rittenhouse was awarded the Canadian Forces’ Decoration on September 8th.
Rittenhouse joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 2008 and was first posted to Ottawa. He also served at CFB Edmonton before making his way to 4 Wing.
“The CD represents 12 years of sacrifice and patience by my wife and family,” says Rittenhouse. “I was often away, but they understood my ministry and calling. I am grateful to them and to the CAF for the opportunity to serve.”
Padre Rittenhouse deployed to Kabul as part of Operation ATTENTION and provided disaster relief during Operation LENTUS, and he cites going to Alert for Easter in 2009 and experiencing a “full day” as well as exercises at CFB Wainwright “learning which company in the battalion has the best coffee” as some highlights of his career so far.
As for what he enjoys most in his role at 4 Wing, he says it’s meeting new people and getting to know another facet of the CAF.
“I spent 10 years in Edmonton and know the Army well, and now I’ve got the opportunity to get to know the RCAF.”
Veterans Affairs Canada says around 2,400 CD decorations are awarded annually.