UK

Armed Forces Personnel Named In Latest Operational Honours List

Serving personnel have won an array of awards, which show their outstanding courage and dedication to their work while on operation.

A number of Armed Forces Personnel have been named in the latest Operational Honours and Awards list.

The list recognises the bravery, commitment and commendable service of service personnel within the military.

Lieutenant Colonel Craig Palmer
(Picture: MOD).

Lieutenant Colonel Craig Palmer

Lt Col Palmer has been awarded the Queens Commendation for Bravery.

The Army Officer, who is part of the Royal Regiment of Artillery, helped bring a terrorist to justice by walking towards a smoking bomb just seconds after it had detonated on a train.

The incident that happened in September 2017.

That day during people's rush hour commute a device blew up on a packed training pulling into Parsons Green station.

Lt Col Palmer's military training kicked in and in the midst of all the chaos and confusion, he headed straight towards the carriage.

Straight away he took three pictures of the Lidl bag which had the device inside and took the evidence straight to the police.

This then led to them being able to arrest the perpetrator the following day at the port of Dover.

Lt Col's subsequent evidence to a trial held at the Old Bailey helped secure the conviction and jailing of 18-year-old Ahmed Hassan, an Iraqi Asylum seeker, for life.

Speaking about the day Lt Col Palmer said: "At first I didn't know whether it was a terrorist attack or not, but I knew I had to do something so I went forward.

"Everyone was trying to get away while I was going forward. As soon as I smelt burning explosives I knew it was serious and that I wasn't going to turn my back on it.

"It was still venting fumes and could have gone off at any moment.

"It was a calculated risk - Army officers are in the business of taking such risks, and I thought there's a 50/50 chance that if it goes off I die."

The Lieutenant Colonel was also shortlisted in the individual "Hero at Home" category of the Millies Awards, which honours members of the Royal Navy, Army, and Royal Air Force, for his actions on the day.

Lance Corporal Lewis Staton
(Picture: MOD).

Lance Corporal Lewis Staton

LCpl Lewis Staton has been made a Member of The British Empire.

LCpl Staton has been recognised for his military service in Somalia.

Currently a member of the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, he was deployed to Somalia as part of a 46-man-team to offer and deliver training to the Ethiopian National Defence Force and other soldiers from the African United Mission in Somalia.

This involved overcoming languages obstacles, maintenance and supply issues relating to the ENDF’s three main battle tanks.

Their vehicles are constantly being blown up by IEDs and then they are dumped into a vehicle graveyard.

However, Lewis devised a training package consisting of lessons and practical courses, resulting in the tanks being brought back into service to provide the ENDF with enhanced force protection.

The Lance Corporal said he was totally stunned when he found out he has been awarded an MBE: 

"I really didn’t know what to say and it still hasn’t sunk in. I will probably need a while."

He also said that he would encourage others to join the military: "I have no regrets about joining up and would encourage others to do so but you need to give it 100%.

"I am now looking forward to my next posting to the UK this summer and spending quality time with my family."

Outside of the UK, the largest number of UK Armed Forces are currently training or on operations in Africa.

This personnel ensures several states across Africa can respond appropriately and proportionally to the security threats they face, including terrorism, the illegal wildlife trade, violations of human rights and emerging humanitarian crises. 

Staff Sergeant Patrick Robert Jean Lia
(Picture: MOD).

Staff Sergeant Patrick Robert Jean Lia

Staff Sergeant Lia has been awarded the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service.

Staff Sergeant Lia established a multinational military diving capability with American and Estonian forces.

Lia identified this opportunity solely by himself, acting on his own initiative and engaging at a level far beyond that expected of someone of his rank and experience.

His contribution has been nothing short of exceptional, demonstrating immense capacity, commitment, and authority.

Acting Lance Corporal Jacob Francis Campbell Fisher

Acting Lance Corporal Fisher has been awarded the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service.

On 25 February 2018, Somali soldiers were returning to their barracks after a day of training in an open-backed truck when it rolled twice after entering a sharp bend. The UK training team was alerted by one of the Somali soldiers involved and within minutes, eight arrived at the scene.

Jacob was the only member of the Royal Army Medical Corps member at the scene, quickly assessed the situation and began triaging the casualties, some of whom had life-threatening and life-changing injuries.

The Acting Lance Corporal remained utterly calm and took ownership of the situation while performing emergency first aid to an exceptionally high standard.

Acting LCpl Fisher assisted the UK training team commander in evacuating the casualties, before engaging with the medical staff to explain the extent of injuries.

As a result, there was no loss of life.

Colonel Sion Duncan Walker

Colonel Walker has been awarded the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service.

Colonel Walker is a Reservist who has made an outstanding contribution, conducting two back-to-back tours, totalling nearly two years of continuous deployment.

Under his leadership, the operation delivered a transformational effect to the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU).

Over 3,000 AFU have been trained by high-frequency Short Term Training Team and Walker has been pivotal in the delivery and training cycle.

The Ukrainian senior leadership has attested to this by crediting UK training as having genuinely saved lives.

Military Army Anonymous Boots

The full of military personnel awarded below:

Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

Acting Captain (now Captain) Donald James MacKinnon, Royal Navy

Lieutenant Colonel James Maccoll Christie, The Royal Regiment of Scotland

Wing Commander Matthew John Bressani, Royal Air Force

Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

Squadron Leader Benjamin David Durham, Royal Air Force

Distinguished Flying Cross

Flight Lieutenant (now Squadron Leader) Alex Fraser Vaughan, Royal Air Force

Mentioned in Dispatches

Flight Lieutenant Jonathan Blakelock Meadows, Royal Air Force

Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service

Commander Elaine Marie Boyd, Royal Navy

Captain Frances Marie Byrne, Intelligence Corps

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Sholto James Hedderwick, The Royal Regiment of Scotland

Lieutenant Colonel Samuel David Hughes, Corps of Royal Engineers

Brigadier Mark Peter Kenyon OBE

Major Lucy Diana Kirkpatrick MBE, Intelligence Corps

Lieutenant Colonel Owain David Luke MBE, The Royal Welsh

Colonel Richard Thomas Maundrell MVO

Acting Lieutenant Colonel (now Major) Francis Simon Parke-Robinson, Intelligence Corps

Acting Major Frazer Murray Stark, The Royal Regiment of Scotland

Acting Air Commodore (now Air Commodore) Roderick John Dennis OBE, Royal Air Force

Dr Gregory Benjamin Fremont-Barnes, Ministry of Defence civil servant

Non-operational gallantry

Queen’s Gallantry Medal

Sergeant Stuart Michael Griffiths, Royal Tank Regiment

Corporal Saimone Matasarasara Qasenivalu, Royal Tank Regiment