Monthly Archives: November 2016

128 Field Company VRSM Medal and Clasps Awards Ceremony


Staff Sergeant John O’Callaghan, 44, has been an army reservist for eleven years and is based with 128 Field Company in Hilsea, Portsmouth, part of 103 Battalion REME.   He was awarded his Volunteer Reserve Service Medal for ten years of committed service at a special ceremony presided over by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Mr David Fuller.    David is a Tech storeman by trade and deployed to Iraq on OP TELIC in 2010 and on OP OLYMPIC in 2012.  David works full time at the Army Reserve Centre as the Tech Quartermaster


WO2 Albert Johnson, 55, has been an Army Reservist for 37 years and lives in Clanfield.  He serves in Portsmouth with 128 Field Company part of 103 Battalion REME, and is a Class 1 Vehicle Mechanic by trade.  Albert works for Pall Life Sciences as a manufacturing engineer for bioreactors and chromatography machines for making medicines and juggles this with his reserve commitment.  Albert was awarded the 3rd Clasp to his Volunteer Reserve Service Medal by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Mr David Fuller, acknowledging his incredible service and commitment.  He said “Having joined at a very young age, the service has shaped my life both as a soldier and as a civilian.  The benefits are that I’ve always had something to look forward to in my calendar year.  My confidence grew quickly as a reservist and it has given me ambition to better myself in my civilian career, as well as giving me experiences that I would never have had”.


Sergeant Alan Greatbatch, 52, has been a member of the Army Reserve for 25 years.  He serves in Portsmouth with 128 Field Company part of 103 Battalion REME and is a Class 1 Metalsmith by trade.  Alan was awarded the 2nd Clasp to his Volunteer Reserve Service Medal by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Mr David Fuller, acknowledging his incredible service and commitment.  Alan works at the Ministry of Defence in Abbey Wood in Bristol n the Armoured Vehicle Programmes Office as a Logistics specialist.  He said “The Army Reserve has made good use of my skills and knowledge gained as an apprentice and has given me many opportunities.  It has helped me develop my man-management skills, to become a better problem solver and to become more delivery focused”.


Sergeant John Baverstock, 46, has been a member of the Army Reserve for 19 years and was presented with the 1st Clasp to his Volunteer Reserve Service Medal by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Mr David Fuller, acknowledging his service and commitment.  John, who also works full time for the Army Reserve, is a Class 1 Vehicle Mechanic by trade and has spent the past three years, both in the Portsmouth Careers Office and now in the Army Reserve Centre, dealing with new recruits.  Prior to that John deployed to Iraq on OP TELIC in 2004.  He said “Being a Reservist has helped with my fitness.  I’ve gained confidence and have a great social life and life-long friends”.


Staff Sergeant Ian Parker, 46, has been an Army Reservist since 1995.  Originally a regular army infantry soldier having served in both Northern Ireland and Cyprus, Ian joined the Army Reserve’s Royal Logistics Corps as a petroleum operative and transferred to the REME as a Tech Support Specialist and now fulfils the role of Company Quartermaster Sergeant (CQMS) at the Peronne Road Army Reserve Centre.  A self-employed electrician, Ian was awarded the 2nd Clasp to his Volunteer Reserve Service Medal by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Mr David Fuller, for his 21 years of service to the Army Reserve.


Sergeant Andrew Baxter, 52, has served with the Army Reserve for 29 years. In his civilian life he is an HGV Driver with MTS Cleansing Services.  Andrew who is a recovery mechanic by trade has deployed to Iraq on OP TELIC in 2003/04 and serves with 150 Recovery Company who are now based in Croydon.  Andrew was awarded the 3rd Clasp to his Volunteer Reserve Service Medal by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Mr David Fuller, for his long and committed service to the Army Reserve.


Lance Corporal David Madgwick, 47, is a recovery mechanic by trade and serves with 150 Recovery Company in Croydon.  He has been a member of the Army Reserve for 15 years.  David is an HGV Driver and Crane Operator in his civilan life and deployed on two operational tours to Afghanistan in both 2008/9 and 2011/12.  He said “My experience as a Reservist has given me a more confident outlook as an individual and has given me more understanding of the world, plus more varied employment options.  I got my HGV licence and crane operator certificate through the Reserves.”  David was awarded the Volunteer Reserve Service Medal by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Mr David Fuller, to honour his commitment and service to the Army Reserve.


WO2 Howard Watson, 45, has been a member of the Army Reserve for twenty years.  He joined initially to learn the trade of vehicle mechanic because he was tired of garages telling him his vehicles needed extensive work and didn’t know what they were talking about.  He has since become a Class 1 Vehicle Mechanic and serves with 128 Field Company, part of 103 Battalion REME as the Company Sergeant Major.  In his civilian life, Howard is the National Sales Manager for the UK’s leading provider of occupational health software, Warwick International Computing Systems Ltd.  He said “My company is very supportive of my Reserve Service and I do not think that I would have gained the job I have with them today if it had not been for my army training and discipline.  They pay me for my annual camp commitment, and have signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant.”  Howard has deployed to Iraq on OP TELIC 2 where he ended up running the Light Aid Detachment at the “stadium” in Al Amarah.   In my time with 128 Field Company I have travelled the world and have learnt many life skills”.  He added “I am so much more confident now and am far more time efficient and with the Reserves you are part of a group of diverse individuals with a wide variety of skills”.  Howard was awarded the 2nd Clasp to his Volunteer Reserve Service Medal by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Mr David Fuller, to honour his service and commitment to the Army Reserve.


International Uniformed Show Jumping Competition

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On Saturday 19 November a representative of the South East Reserve Forces and Cadets Association attended the Uniformed Show Jumping Competition.


Cadet Forces team being awarded 4th Place in the team event


Presentation of the Catton Salver to Cadet Millie Hockenhull, Wellington College CCF. The award was sponsored by SERFCA.

Oxfordshire Lord Lieutenant’s Award Ceremony 2016 – Part 2

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The 2016 new Oxfordshire Lord-Lieutenant Cadets.

Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet Award marks the achievement of outstanding service by an individual to their Cadet movement and the achievement is recognised by their appointment as a Lord Lieutenant Cadet. Each year the Lord Lieutenant appoints a cadet from each of the community cadet forces and the Combined Cadet Force to support them on official engagements.  In their role they will have the opportunity to escort the Lord Lieutenant on his duties and also meet members of the Royal Family who visit Oxfordshire.

With the Lord-Lieutenant L-R
Cadet Flight Sergeant Sebastian Berger from Radley College Combined Cadet Force
Cadet Corporal Abigail Collier from Calais Company Oxfordshire Army Cadet Force
Cadet Warrant Officer Johnny Roberts from 2210 Squadron Air Training Corps and
Cadet Under Officer Otto Bodycombe also from Radley College Combined Cadet Force Royal Naval Section.

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Cadet Warrant Officer Matthew Soar from 2507 Squadron Air Training Corps, Bicester.  Last year’s outgoing Lord-Lieutenant Cadet gave a brief presentation on his year as a Lord-Lieutenant Cadet.

Matthew said, “This year is one I will never forget, and to the newly appointed Cadets the memories and experiences of your time will stay with you for ever.”

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Cadet Flight Sergeant Sebastian Berger from Radley College Combined Cadet Force (CCF)

Sebastian Berger who lives in Thame in Oxfordshire was appointed one of this year’s Lord-Lieutenant Cadets. Sebastian said, “It was a great surprise, I didn’t think I could achieve such an honour, it was really exciting especially when I realised how many new experiences and opportunities the appointment will give me.”

Sebastian is a student at Radley College and has been in the CCF since 2013.  He added, “The leadership skills gained as a cadet has allowed me to become a prefect in my house at school, as well as build my confidence.”  When asked what motivates him to be a Cadet he said, “Making the most of the opportunities around me as well as being able to pass on some of my knowledge to younger Cadets.”

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Cadet Under Officer Otto Bodycombe from the Royal Naval Section of Radley College Combined Cadet Force (CCF)

Otto Bodycombe enlisted into the CCF in 2013, he joined the Naval section of the Combined Cadet Force as he had always had an interest in the Military especially as there had been a family connection with the Royal Navy.  The highlight of his Cadet career was a week spent on HMS Bulwark one of the Royal Navy’s Ships, which gave him an amazing experience and an eye opener into the work of the Regular Royal Navy.

On his appointment Otto said, “This is a huge privilege and I am honoured to be chosen.”

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Cadet Corporal Abigail Collier from Oxfordshire Army Cadet Force

Corporal Abigail Collier who lives in Banbury joined the Army Cadet Force, Banbury Detachment in 2014.  Abigail is a 6th Form student at The Warriner School , Bloxham, studying for her A Levels.  Abigail said, “Being nominated for this award is both a privilege and honour.  I feel immensely proud that I have been recognised and I believe it has motivated me to continue working hard.”

Abigail joined the Cadets as she had always aspired to have a career in the Army, and she knew that it would give her some good experience.

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Cadet Warrant Officer Johnny Roberts from 2210 Squadron Air Training Corps

Warrant Officer Roberts who lives in Blackbird Leys in Oxford, is currently studying for his A Levels at the City of Oxford College.  His ambition is to join the RAF to become a Pilot, Johnny said,  “I am honoured to be nominated for this role and looking forward to some great events.”

Johnny has recently been accepted by the RAF to be sponsored through University and will join the University Air Squadron at Kingston University.


Oxfordshire Lord Lieutenant’s Award Ceremony 2016 – Part 1

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Lieutenant Colonel Vernow from 202 Field Hospital said, “I was delighted to have been nominated for this award and feel honoured that my Service has been recognised.”

Colonel Vernow’s has been an Officer with the Reserves since 1980, a span of 36 years.  She has served in Iraq at Deputy Matron of the Field Hospital. Colonel Vernow said, “My deployment to Iraq in 2003 on Operation Telic was the highlight of my Reserve career, and being able carry our operational service was the reason I had joined.”

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Corporal Nevins joined the RAF Reserve in 2008 and is currently carrying out full time reserve service for the Squadron, Karajo said, “I feel so honoured, to receive this award.”

A Medic by trade, Corporal Nevins has served on operations in Afghanistan as a flight medic in 2010, and is proud to be part of the largest RAF Reserve Aeromedical Evacuations Squadron, she added, “Serving on operations gave me the challenge of doing the job I had been trained to do.”

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Army Cadet Force Adult Volunteer Instructor Michael Quigley who lives in Reading has been with the Oxfordshire Army Cadet Force since 2001 and works a House Keeper at a private Nursery School in Reading.

Michael said, “I am somewhat shocked, but very proud to accept the award, it is great to know my Battalion has such faith in me.”

Michael joined the Army Cadet Force to do something different with his free time, and he now runs his own thriving Cadet Detachment in Henley on Thames.  He added, “Being an adult instructor with the Cadets gives me a great sense of self worth.

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Flight Lieutenant Christlieb, works at Oxford University in the Department of Oncology, helping the raise public understanding and interest in cancer research.  Martin is a member of The Thames Valley Wing Air Training Corps and enlisted in 2006 as an adult instructor, and adventure training officer with the Wing, he said, “I feel pleased and honoured, and the award means that the work that I and the adventure training team have done is understood, noticed, and valued.” The Highlight of his volunteer career has been passing his mountain leadership course, and when asked what motivates him to be an instructor he said, “The occasions when Cadets confront their fears and finish the day glowing with pride.”

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Lieutenant Murray was awarded the Oxfordshire Reservist of the year award at this year’s Oxfordshire Lord -Lieutenant Ceremony held at Pembroke College.

The award The Fuller, Smith and Turner Best Reservist Award is sponsored by Fuller Smith and Turner plc.  It is open to any reservist from all three Services, of any rank and any length of service.  Raquel who was presented with a certificate, a cheque and two cases of beer was considered by the selection board to have achieved the most and made the greatest contribution to the Reserve Service during the year.  Lieutenant Murray who works as a consultant in Robotic Process Automation for Symphony Ventures Ltd based in London, enlisted into the Reserve in 2012, she then completed her Officer Commissioning course at RMA Sandhurst to become an Officer.  Currently working with Oxford University Officer Training Corps, Raquel said, “Being a Reservist allows me to be challenged in environments that aren’t available anywhere else.  You stretch and grow and develop your work ethic, discipline, decision making, leadership skills and much more.”  On receiving her award she added, “I am humbled to be given this award, it will serve as a reminder of how rewarding it is to be a Reservist, my time so far has granted me many opportunities, experiences, and life-long friends, for that I am truly grateful.”


Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Fiona Gordon from Oxford University Officer Training Corps
Officer Cadet Alfie Shaw
Officer Cadet Isabele Godfrey and
Lance Corporal Joseph Holt

Members of the team accepted the award on behalf of Captain Tania Nokes who successfully organised an extremely ambitions and successful adventurous training skiing expedition.

The Ulysses Trust was formed in 1992 when Price Charles became the Patron of the Territorial Army’s expedition to attempt the first ever winter ascent of Everest. The Trust provided encouragement, advice and financial support for challenging expeditions and adventurous activities planned and undertaken by the Reserves and Cadet Forces. Over a period of 22 years the Trust has provided over £2.4 Million to help over 29,210 young people from all backgrounds to participate in over 1.900 expeditions around the world and the UK.


Honours for leadership and recognition for Sussex Universities’ URNU and UOTC students


Recipients of Leadership and Recognition Awards from Universities of Brighton, Chichester and Sussex Royal Naval and Army Officer Training Units with the Deputy Lieutenant of Sussex Major General John Moore-Bick CBE DL and distinguished military and local Brighton communities. 

Last night Her Majesty’s Deputy Lieutenant for East Sussex, Major General John Moore-Bick CBE DL and Mr Keith Richardson from The Chartered Management Institute (CMi) presented leadership and recognition honours and awards to young officer cadets from the Universities of Brighton, Chichester and Sussex Royal Navy and Army Officer Training Units. The ceremony of celebration took place in the Huxley Building’s Lecture Theatre at Brighton University in front of officer cadets from the University Royal Naval Unit (URNU) and the University Officer Training Corps (UOTC) and distinguished guests from the military, university and the local Brighton and Newhaven communities.  The Chartered Management Institute (CMi) sponsored the combined awards evening, which is now an annual event, having been established three years ago.

Awards were presented to cadets from both the UOTC and URNU for Overall Leadership, Excellence at Sport, Contribution to the Unit, Best Improved and Best Endeavour, as well as Navigation and Seamanship specifically to an URNU cadet.


From L-R: Officer Cadet Grace Anderson, Officer Cadet Nicola Flynn, Officer Cadet Alexandra Rothwell and Officer Cadet Guy Whittaker. 


Overall Leadership:                            Officer Cadet Alexandra Rothwell

Contribution to Sports:                     Officer Cadet Guy Whittaker

Charity and Activism:                        Officer Cadet Grace Anderson

Best Endeavour:                                  Officer Cadet Nicola Flynn



Overall Leadership:                             Midshipman Alex Watts

Excellence at Sport:                            Officer Cadet Brendan Murphy-Mitchell

Officer Cadet Jordan Hardwidge

Overall Contribution to the Unit:  Midshipman Kate Surplice

Most Improved Officer Cadet:         Officer Cadet Murray Brown

Navigation and Seamanship:           Midshipman Alex Watts



From L-R: Midshipman Alex Watts, Officer Cadet Brendan Murphy-Mitchell, Midshipman Kate Surplice, Officer Cadet Murray Brown and Officer Jordan Hardwidge. 

Membership of the Sussex Universities’ Officer Training Corps and Royal Naval Units (OTC and URNU) detachments provide undergraduate students from Sussex, Brighton and Chichester Universities and partner colleges, an opportunity to develop their leadership potential, while at the same time developing skills in field craft, orienteering, map reading, skill at arms, navigation and seamanship, abseiling, developing social skills, fitness, sport, rock climbing, night exercises, parachuting, canoeing and many more activities.

Royal Surrey County Hospital shows its support to the armed forces

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Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has joined an ever growing list of leading companies and organisations in signing up to the Armed Forces Covenant, a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly.

The signing took place at the hospital on Monday, 7th November 2016, with the Chief Executive, Paula Head, signing on behalf of the Royal Surrey and Major Zoe Dawson-Cooper, Regimental Nursing Officer, 256 (City of London) Field Hospital, signing on behalf of the Armed Forces.

Royal Surrey is a leading general hospital and specialist centre for cancer services and treatment. The Trust currently employs 10 members of staff who are either reservists or former servicemen and women.

By signing the Covenant, which has been in existence since 2013, the Trust has also been awarded a Bronze Award in the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme in recognition of its commitment to the Armed Forces.

Jonathan Darrington-Slegg who represented the South East Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association for the South East of England said: “Signing the Armed Forces Covenant has provided an opportunity to establish a solid relationship between the Royal Surrey County Hospital and the Armed Forces Community. Co-signing the Covenant with 256 (City of London) Field Hospital has provided an opportunity to create local links with a regionally based Army Reserve Unit.”

Paula Head said; “Royal Surrey is proud to demonstrate its continued commitment to supporting servicemen and women, their families and veterans. Signing the Covenant is extremely important to the Trust, especially during this time of remembrance, honouring those making a unique pledge to their country.  As well as being a forces friendly employer, Royal Surrey also recognises the specific needs that patients who have served in the Armed Forces may have.”

Sussex Lord Lieutenants’ Awards Ceremony 2016 – Lord Lieutenants’ Cadets

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An excellent role model for younger cadets

Cadet Corporal Kurt Smith has been appointed Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex’s Cadet 2016/2017.  Kurt, 17, joined the Worthing Unit Sea Cadets in 2011 and then the Royal Marines Cadets in 2013 and was swiftly promoted to Corporal for his dedication and hard work.  Influenced by his family’s Naval background he decided to join the SCC to give himself a head start in life and to gain experiences and opportunities he wouldn’t be able to achieve outside of the organisation.  Kurt’s most notable achievement has been attending the SCC Gold Wings Aviation Course, after excelling at both Bronze and Silver levels.  He is a keen fundraiser and supports many veteran activities including the Queen Alexandra Hospital Home for elderly and disabled ex-servicemen and women.   He said “I feel extremely honoured and privileged to be appointed as the Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet, a role which I’ll do to my best ability and with immense pride”.

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A shining example to all female cadets

Cadet Colour Sergeant Olivia Walton has been appointed Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex’s Cadet 2016/2017.  Olivia, 16, who is currently studying A-Levels at Steyning Grammar Sixth Form is a cadet with No. 22 (Steyning) Detachment ACF which she joined in 2012 at the age of 13, following a recruitment assembly at school.    Since joining, her attendance, commitment and enthusiasm across all ACF activities have been exemplary.  Highly dedicated and focussed, she quickly completed the cadet military training syllabus and was promoted into a cadet non-commissioned officer post, proving that she is a very effective cadet leader.  She is particularly good at managing junior cadets and is also a very good instructor.  She said “I feel honoured that I have been recognised for this award because the ACF has had a positive impact on developing my skills as a leader over the past four years and I am proud to represent this organisation”.

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Cadets has taught me discipline and perseverance

Cadet Warrant Officer Hannah Crosby has been appointed Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex’s Cadet 2016/2017.   Hannah, 18, lives in East Grinstead and is a member of 1015 (East Grinstead) ATC.  She joined the squadron in 2011 and has become a valued and enthusiastic member, encouraging other younger cadets to become involved.  She dreamt of flying for as long as she can remember and so completing her two-week flying scholarship in Scotland and flying solo has been a real highlight of her cadet experience.  Hannah attends all annual camps and willingly supports Wing events, demonstrating excellent leadership skills in the training of the other Wing NCOs.  Hannah possesses the highest standards of dress and drill and attends all major parades, setting an exemplary example for the rest of the Squadron and Wing.  She said “I am hugely excited to be nominated for this award and honoured that my staff feel I would be deserving of it.  It is hugely rewarding as I have given a lot to cadets and this shows that my staff recognise and appreciate that commitment”.

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Dependable and Trustworthy

Leading Cadet Olivia Farmer has been appointed Lord-Lieutenant of East Sussex’s Cadet 2016/2017.  Olivia, 17, joined Brighton Unit Sea Cadet Corps in 2012 as she was told it would be an enjoyable way to spend her free time and threw herself into all the activities; sailing, kayaking, rowing, ceremonial and specialist training.  She is extremely committed to the Unit and has become a very capable and respected leader.  Dedicating a huge amount of effort to achieve promotion to Leading Cadet, she has become, the smartest and most seamanlike cadet in the Unit and is a great motivator, completing all tasks to the highest of standards.  She said “I feel honoured to have been nominated for this award.  It feels good to be recognised for the hard work I have put into Sea Cadets.  Being a cadet has made me a more confident and outgoing person and I’ve become more punctual as well as reliable”.

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A very popular and well-respected Sergeant

Cadet Sergeant Thomas Robinson has been appointed Lord-Lieutenant of East Sussex’s Cadet 2016/2017.  Thomas is a sixth form student at Lewes Old Grammar School, studying A-levels and parades at No. 24 (Burgess Hill) Detachment ACF.  He became a cadet in 2012, when he was 13, after seeing Army Cadets poppy selling and speaking to them about their cadet experiences and opportunities.   Thomas commits to all Company Training Weekends and County activities and hasn’t missed an Annual Camp since he joined.  Thomas has recently achieved the 4-star Award which he found mentally and physically challenging but an experience that he says has profoundly influenced his ability to manage a team.  He said “I am very proud to have achieved this award.  I believe that it symbolises the culmination of my progression, experiences and skills that I have attained through the ACF”.