Anonymous personnel in RAF Hercules
UK

Operational Honours: Military Personnel Named In Latest List

Personnel chosen for the awards are selected for "outstanding examples of courage and dedication" while on operations.

Anonymous personnel in RAF Hercules

Twenty-seven British military personnel have been named in the latest Operational Honours and Awards list.

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

According to the Ministry of Defence, the 27 selected have shown "outstanding examples of courage and dedication to their work while on operation".

The list is as follows:

Commander Of The Order Of The British Empire (CBE)

  • Brigadier Simon Humphrey

Officer Of The Order Of The British Empire (OBE)

  • Commander Michael Carter Quinn 

Commander Michael Carter Quinn, 42, from south Devon, will be awarded an OBE for his time as Commanding Officer of HMS Dragon.

In 2019 the ship and her crew of sailors and Royal Marines made eight successful raids on drug smugglers in the Middle East.

HMS Dragon intercepted more illicit drugs in seven months than the entire British police force in one year.

Commander Carter Quinn's astute application of international maritime laws was fundamental to the ship’s success, and in denying terrorist organisations millions of pounds of profit from the illegal narcotics which would have been traded to fund their activities.

"This honour is real recognition, for my wife especially, of all the support my family gave me during that deployment and all the months it took to prepare for it," said Commander Carter Quinn.

"HMS Dragon deployed from the UK as ready as we could be for the mission ahead, and we were on the front foot throughout. That is the reason we had such a successful time at sea on operations," he added

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Commander Carter-Quinn (Picture: MOD).
  • Colonel Giles Richard Harris

Colonel Giles Harris DSO MBE will be awarded an OBE for his time as Commander of UK Forces on Operation Cabrit in Estonia.

Colonel Harris demonstrated outstanding leadership of the UK’s contribution to NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence (EFP) in Eastern Europe during a period of significant tension.

"It is a great honour but, of course, I was extremely lucky to have had the opportunity and some great people to work with - the Battlegroups that came through were outstanding," said Colonel Harris.

"The last few decades have seen a huge amount of activity for defence across the globe and I have been lucky enough to be involved in some very rewarding work," he added.

  • Wing Commander Matthew Roberts

Member Of The Order Of The British Empire (MBE)

  • Lieutenant Colonel James Bates, The Rifles
  • Flight Lieutenant Jonathan Simcox, RAF

Queen's Commendation For Valuable Service

  • Leading Medical Assistant Gemma Brown, Royal Navy

Leading Medical Assistant Gemma Brown receives the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service for using her skills to deliver trauma and first-aid instruction in Iraq. 

  • Lieutenant Colonel Piers Ashfield, Grenadier Guards
  • Lieutenant Colonel Gordon Fletcher, Royal Logistics Corps
  • Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Forde, Royal Tank Regiment
  • Captain Marcus James Gillan, Corps of Royal Engineers

Captain Marcus Gillan is being recognised for his commitment to the peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.

Captain Gillan was responsible for the generation, preparation and deployment of a 330-strong force, as the UK Task Force Operations Manager deployed in support of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.

He was responsible for coordinating the training of more than 350 personnel, liaising with military organisations and ensuring the efficient deployment of the UK Task Force to South Sudan.

  • Major Andrew Scott Houston, Royal Regiment of Artillery
  • Lieutenant Colonel Mark Stuart Jones, Corps of Royal Engineers

Lieutenant Colonel Mark Jones led the work of the UK Task Force in South Sudan.

British Forces in South Sudan are busy building accommodation and helicopter landing sites for the UN Mission in South Sudan.

Lieutenant Colonel Jones drove innovation within the programme, such as implementing the use of 3D printing to provide components for a new hospital.

He also led work to improve a 15-mile stretch of road that allowed the World Food Programme to access rural South Sudanese communities and ultimately made the road safer for women to reach food aid.

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Lieutenant Colonel Mark Jones MBE (Picture: MOD).
  • Lance Corporal Claire Martin, Royal Army Medical Corps

Lance Corporal Claire Martin is being recognised for her work training Malian Armed Forces personnel.

She was instrumental in delivering individual medical training on behalf of the international community and the European Union.

  • Lieutenant Colonel Philip Moxey, Royal Anglian Regiment
  • Captain Guy Page, Adjutant General’s Corps
  • Corporal Nabin Roka, Royal Gurkha Rifles
  • Captain James Thomas, Royal Corps of Signals
  • Group Captain James Brayshaw, RAF
  • Group Captain Shaun Harris, RAF
  • Wing Commander Howard Parr, RAF
  • Flight Lieutenant Oliver Sargent, RAF
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Able Seaman Harvey (Picture: MOD).

Queen’s Gallantry Medal

  • Leading Seaman David Groves, Royal Navy

Queen’s Commendation for Bravery

    • Able Seaman Alex Harvey, Royal Navy

    Leading Seaman David Groves, 29, and Able Seaman Alex Harvey, 25, have been recognised for their bravery in saving a crew of 27 from a transporter ship in the Bay of Biscay as a fire raged onboard.

    The two men were on HMS Argyll on their way home to Plymouth, after a nine-month tour in the Asia-Pacific region.

    They spent over four hours rescuing every man on the damaged transporter ship MV Grande America, evacuating the crew while the fire spread across the ship and seven-metre-high waves bashed the hull. 

    Leading Seaman Groves and Able Seaman Harvey risked their own lives and those of the crew as they secured the damaged lifeboat to HMS Argyll and rescued trapped sailors.

    "One minute you could see a ship on fire, the next it was hidden by a wall of water. And the closer we got, the more engulfed we were in the smoke," said Leading Seaman Groves.

    Leading Seaman Groves has previous experience of rescues, saving migrants in the Mediterranean Sea while serving abroad HMS Enterprise and rescuing a sunken fishing boat.

    "It is always good to be recognised for the work you do, but at the end of the day, this is what we’re trained for. That all kicked in on the night," he added.

    "It was rough – very rough –  and as we got near to the ship, it turned out to be a lot worse than we’d imagined it.”

    Able Seaman Harvey, who has been in the Royal Navy for five years, said: “When the first guy jumped I had to grab him to prevent him going overboard. I thought to myself: 'This is a bit hairy.' We could have called the rescue off, given the conditions," he added. "But why would we when there are lives at stake?"

    Leading Seaman Groves 301119 CREDIT MOD.jpg
    Leading Seaman Groves (Picture: MOD).

    Air Force Cross

    • Squadron Leader Lee Brown-Ahern, RAF

    Mention In Dispatches

    • Squadron Leader Michael Jones, RAF

    Squadron Leader Michael Jones will be recognised for his skills and bravery during an operation in which he destroyed vital Daesh weapons systems.

    The weapons operator saved the lives of multiple allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) personnel while destroying the weapons system.

    He was able to successfully target and conduct a precision strike against a pick-up truck carrying the weapons responsible for a Daesh attack on a coalition aircraft, despite cloud cover and lightning.

    "The cloud cover and poor weather made the job that day particularly difficult. It had forced us to fly at a height we wouldn’t normally operate at while there is a Surface to Air threat present," said Squadron Leader Jones.

    "We knew the importance of finding and eliminating this target in support of ground forces and other friendly air assets. Fortunately, we were able to quickly locate the target once we were below the cloud and our training enabled us to prosecute a swift attack, destroying it with minimal delay," he added.

    "I feel honoured to be recognised for our actions, but anyone on the Tornado GR Force would have acted in the same manner and achieved the same result."

    Squadron Leader Michael Jones 301119 CREDIT MOD.jpg
    Squadron Leader Michael Jones (Picture: MOD).
    • Flight Lieutenant Laurence Swift, RAF

    Cover Image: Library photo of personnel in an RAF Hercules (Credit: Crown Copyright).