A military honour dating back 700 years and only awarded to nine serving officers at a time has been bestowed on three soldiers for going above and beyond their duties.
The prestigious appointment of Conductor dates back to the reign of King Edward III in the 1300s, an era when the role of the post was to rally an army in times of conflict, before standing armies existed.
Now the Honourable and Ancient Appointment of Conductor, one of the highest non-commissioned positions in the British Army, is presented to selected soldiers in the Royal Logistics Corp (RLC) who each take charge of one of the logistics trades and who hold the rank of Warrant Officer Class One (WO1).
WO1 Daniel Winkfield RLC, Logistic Specialist Supply, WO1 Paul Franks RLC, Petroleum Operator, and WO1 Andrew Bannister RLC, Ammunition Technician, have been promoted to the rank at a RLC Conductor Parchment Ceremony in the Sergeants Mess in Deepcut, Surrey.
To cement the links to the ancient status of the post, the Conductors received their warrant of appointment on a parchment scroll at the event, which was also attended by the soldiers’ family and friends.
Lieutenant-General Sir Mark William Poffley, Commander Force Development and Capability and RLC’s Master General of Logistics, presented the soldiers with their Conductor Parchments at the ceremony.
They follow in a long line of soldiers to hold the post over hundreds of years, during which time the appointment evolved, later becoming the rank of Conductor of Ordnance, in which the role was to ensure the supply of armaments and weaponry to the battlefield and sustain those supplies.
Over the years, this role developed into what we now label as logistics – the vital role of making sure the British Army is always operationally ready across a range of skills, specialisms and trades.
Today this includes everything from transport specialists to ammunition technicians to catering and other trades vital to the smooth running of any military operation.
Modern-day Conductors in the role are bestowed the honour for demonstrating their professional technical skill and expertise over and above the expected standards and for excelling in their commitment to going the extra mile, for the benefit of other soldiers, while upholding the highest military standards and values.
To be considered for a Conductor appointment, a soldier must meet a strict set of criteria. They must have been a Royal Logistic Corps Warrant Officer Class One (WO1) Head of Trade for at least a year but have no more than four years left in service and have been awarded a long service and good conduct medal.
Other criteria includes high grades in their 12-month report with recommendations from their chain of command and passing tough interviews during a shortlist process.
The Conductors join a list of others to receive the honour.
During the ceremony, nine other soldiers were awarded a Conductors' Coin, an award presented to Royal Logistic Corps soldiers up to the rank of Warrant Officer Class 2 in recognition of excellence above and beyond their expected work.