2 YORKS Receive Medals For Afghanistan Deployment

Op Toral is the UK's contribution to the NATO mission in Afghanistan - providing force protection to advisors and training Afghan forces.

Soldiers from 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment have received service medals for their tour of Afghanistan earlier this year. 

Due to operational commitments and restrictions on parade size due to COVID-19, medals for Operation Toral have been presented across several events.

The Brigade Commander was at the event in Catterick Garrison to present the last few medals.

Private Kieran Gabel, one of the soldiers to receive a medal for his efforts in the region, said he loved the experience.

"The medal, it’s really important to me because, like I say, I've always wanted to be in the Army," he told Forces News.

"I’ve always wanted to go on tours and nowadays within the Army not everyone gets to go on tours."

Other awards were handed out during the ceremony.

Combat Medical Technician, Lance Corporal Claire Martin, received a Queen's Commendation for her work in Mali – teaching life-saving skills to the Malian armed forces. 

"It was nice to know that my efforts to make their lives easier had gone noticed because I did work really hard to try and make everything better for them, because it’s important. They’re not as lucky as we are," she said.

Combat Medical Technician, Lance Corporal Claire Martin, receiving a Queen's Commendation for her work in Mali.

"My parents are obviously very proud. They think I’m some sort of hero.

"I’m proud of myself, that I went there, I did it and I achieved it and I’m glad that everybody came home safe because that’s the most important thing."

The battalion has had a busy 2020 - finishing up in Afghanistan and then helping to run coronavirus testing facilities in the north east of England.

Now the soldiers are preparing to deploy to Cyprus as part of a United Nations mission where they will be held at high-readiness for any activity across the Middle East and North Africa.