Sussex Lord Lieutenants’ Awards Ceremony 2016 – Meritorious Service


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Working selflessly for the Sea Cadet Corps

Mr David Shipley, 70, has been awarded the Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex’s Certificate for Meritorious Service for his outstanding loyalty and commitment to the Sea Cadet Corps. David joined Worthing Sea Cadet Unit as a Unit Trustee in 2009.  Having been a Sea Cadet from the age of 12 until 15 when he joined the Royal Navy, David wanted to be able to give something back to the Corps.   With his Royal Navy and building trade experience as a structural engineer, he became the Chairman of the Management Committee Reserve and has since helmed a very successful unit. David has overseen fundraising for the unit infrastructure and through his network of contacts has developed working partnerships which have bettered both the Unit and the local community.  He has also taken on the additional role as District Chairman.  He said “I feel very honoured to have been nominated for an award.  It reflects the development of the Unit since I joined as Chairman seven years ago.  The Unit, during this time, achieved the completion of many projects that have improved the training areas which has enhanced the cadets’ experience whilst they are with us”.

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An exceptional role model

Colonel Kevin Hearty, 55, has been awarded the Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex’s Certificate for Meritorious Service for his outstanding loyalty and commitment to the Army Cadet Force.   Appointed as Commandant Sussex Army Cadet Force in 2013 Kevin set about reviewing and restructuring the organisation making significant improvements.    He has raised the profile of Sussex ACF, championing and enthusing the cadets.  He has a principled approach and has been an inspiration to others.  He has now retired from this ACF position.  He said “I am very pleased to have been nominated for my work with Sussex ACF as a former Commandant”.  Kevin is also an Army Reservist holding the post of Assistant Commander, 101 Logistic Brigade.

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An outstanding community leader

Sergeant Major Instructor Benjamin Centa has been awarded the Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex’s Certificate for Meritorious Service for his outstanding loyalty and commitment to the Army Cadet Force.  Ben, 37, is a self-employed consultant for the leisure industry and joined Sussex ACF in 2011.  Moving quickly through the ranks, he was promoted to SMI in 2016, commanding the Worthing Detachment, and as a qualified weapons instructor also became the B Company Shooting representative.  In this role he coordinates range events to prepare cadets for competing in national competitions and is heavily involved in training the County Military Skills team.  He recently lead Sussex ACF to win Silver in the regional competition for the second year running.  Ben also trains new instructors and manages the Adult Instructor Induction Course. As Detachment Commander he also arranges local triathlons, charity events and cultural visits to London for events such as “Trooping the Colour”.  He sets a fine example to his peers and to the cadets.  On accepting his award he said “I am honoured and humbled to be nominated.  This award is for all the Cadet Force Adult Volunteers (CFAVs) that I have the pleasure of working with who all want to help the cadets”.

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One of the Company’s Unsung Heroes

Lance Corporal Stephen Ruffell, 45, has been awarded the Lord-Lieutenant of East Sussex’s Certificate for Meritorious Service for his outstanding loyalty and commitment to the Reserve Forces.  Stephen, 50, is an Army Reservist with B Company, 3rd Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, based in Brighton, and is an HGV driver in his civilian life, a qualification he has earned through his Reserve Service.  He has been a mainstay of the Battalion for more than 23 years and for ten years has attended all Annual Training events.  Currently the Company Storeman, Stephen has also been involved in UK flood relief operations, exercises in Belgium, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, Spain and Estonia and, always keen to improve, has passed the All Arms Stores course, as well as the Radiation and various driving qualifications.  He is a very able and committed soldier, setting high standards and willingly mentors his subordinates.  Very honoured to accept his award Stephen said “I have had a much wider and greater range of experiences and met many people, from being in the Reserves.  It is a lifestyle I enjoy and don’t wish to stop.”

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An inspirational instructor

Squadron Leader David Ruskin RAF VR(T) has been awarded the Lord-Lieutenant of East Sussex’s Certificate for Meritorious Service for his outstanding loyalty and commitment to the Cadet Forces.   David, 48, lives in Eastbourne and is the Assistant Headmaster (Teaching and Learning) at Eastbourne College.  He has been in the RAF Section of the CCF for 23 years, both at Epsom College and, for the past fifteen years at Eastbourne College.  Despite recently challenging times with a grounded flying fleet, David has ensured that the cadet experience has continued.  It is partly his inspiration that has encouraged several Cadets to join the RAF on leaving school, which has resulted in Eastbourne College being awarded Platinum Partner Status by the RAF.  In addition, many cadets have received RAF flying scholarships or Fleet Air Arm Special Flying Awards from his section.   Delighted to receive his award, he said, “It means a great deal to me and I view it as recognition of the great work of the fellow officers, NCOs and cadets of the RAF section of the Eastbourne College CCF.”  He added “I believe in what the CCF seeks to achieve and I enjoy seeing enthusiastic cadets benefiting from a huge range of fantastic opportunities”.

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Passionate about Sea Cadet Activities

Lieutenant (SCC) Alison Kennedy RNR has been awarded the Lord-Lieutenant of East Sussex’s Certificate for Meritorious Service for her outstanding loyalty and commitment to the Cadet Forces.   Alison, 44, lives in St Leonards on Sea, and is an emergency ambulance technician for South East Coast Ambulance Service, based in Hastings.  A former cadet, she became an adult instructor in 1990 and was appointed to command TS Hastings in 2005.  Alison has devoted herself to Sea Cadet activities and has been instrumental in growing the number of adult instructors from two to twenty since taking command.  Always ready to meet personal challenges, she ensures that the cadets get the best possible training experience from volunteers who are committed to making a difference.  Her achievements include the National Colditz Community Award, winning the Stevenson Trophy on two occasions, Best Unit in Southern Area and the Captain’s Cup for the Unit impressing the Captain of the SCC the most.  Very proud and honoured to receive her award she said “I have always been very dedicated to the Corps and to receive recognition and to feel valued in the Sea Cadet Corps is very heart-warming”.  She added “I enjoy seeing cadets who I have trained and supported go on to join the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines, fulfilling their potential dreams”.

 

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