Cpl. Matthew Jonathan Cedric McCully (Matt) was an inspiring soldier, a professional and a leader who enjoyed his work. His academic abilities and physical fitness were remarkable and he was dedicated and often volunteered for work beyond his responsibilities. He received the General Campaign Star for service, an accelerated promotion for outstanding performance to corporal in 2005, and more recently was recommended for master corporal. He was born in York and grew up on Orangeville, ON.

As a boy he was in Cubs, Scouts and Venturers. As a teenager he loved hiking, rock climbing and camping. He was adored by his younger siblings – Shannon, Daniel and Jeri. His patience and knack for fixing things at home followed him into his work life.

While he joined the Regular Force in 2002 as a signals operator, Matt began with the Primary Reserve in 2001 during his grade 12 year as a supply technician with the Lorne Scots Regiment. He enjoyed the army, so in 2003 he joined A Troop, 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Headquarters and Signals Squadron in Petawawa.

Matt was active and adventurous. On a trip to Australia, he tried parachuting. He also loved literature and running. His fitness level was rewarded when he completed the 2004 Nijmegen March-four days and 200 km-and again when he placed 21st in the Brigade in the 2 CMBG Ironman with little preparation.

He was a happy, easy-going and well-loved man. He was a kind man who felt it was important to help others. Many of his friends said he was their best friend. He mentored Afghan soldiers as part of the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team. He supported many fellow soldiers emotionally, noticing their struggles and making sure he talked to them regularly when they appeared to need support. He was a natural leader.

By Wendy Ogden

Portrait by Susan Abma