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Navy’s Covid efforts recognised in New Year’s Honours

The magnificent sight of HMS Queen Elizabeth lit up at night at the refurbished Glenmallan Jetty on Loch Long
31 December 2021
The outstanding response by sailors and Royal Marines to Covid – both medical teams and those whose front-line operations were affected by the pandemic – is recognised in the New Year’s Honours.

Of the 22 personnel singled out for decorations, ten are honoured for the way they have dealt with the coronavirus and its impact on everyday life inside and outside the Service.

 

Chief Petty Officer Naval Nurses Kelly Brechany and Carrie Smith are made Ordinary Associates (2nd Class) of the Royal Red Cross (ARRC) for their work at two of the largest hospitals in southern England.

 

At Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital, Kelly worked tirelessly and selflessly to ensure all NHS staff were trained in the use of PPE – constantly updating the training and procedures as the virus evolved and reducing the risks facing patients and staff alike.

 

Carrie is described as a “lynchpin” in the emergency department at University Hospitals Plymouth, delivering “exemplary care and inspirational leadership at the height of the pandemic”.

 

Surgeon Commander Lisa Stevens receives the OBE for a double effort as the Principal Medical Officer of HMS Raleigh in Torpoint.

 

The base, which turns civilians into sailors and is vital to feeding the Navy with fresh blood, continued to deliver training almost uninterrupted during the crucial early stages of the pandemic thanks to “her courage, resilience and decisive actions”. She also stepped in to support doctors in the local community.

 

In addition, to help the Navy expand she overhauled the way the Torpoint base discharges injured recruits, leading to a significant reduction of the drop-out rate.

 

“An OBE is an amazing surprise and I feel truly honoured,” she said. “I was helped by two great commanding officers whose support really ensured success.

“And the 30 staff in the sick bay at Raleigh are a tight-knit team who work together superbly and who go above and beyond. So this award is for all of them – it truly was a team effort.”

What you think is just doing your job, for someone else to think it’s more than that – I have not really got to grips with that thought.

Petty Officer Jessica Metcalfe

And medical assistant Petty Officer Jessica Metcalfe – currently serving in the Health Physics Group at HM Naval Base Clyde – is made an MBE, not least for stepping in to serve at sea on three occasions to cover fellow medics who were supporting the Covid effort ashore.

Jessica said: “I was absolutely gobsmacked when I got told. I never saw it coming. It was such a heart-warming feeling to be recognised.

“What you think is just doing your job, for someone else to think it’s more than that – I have not really got to grips with that thought.”

While at sea she arranged for personnel to get mental health training, offered to give advice if they were struggling and ensured morale on board was kept high.

“Being away is very difficult and can be very challenging,” she said. “Especially during Covid people were struggling. We didn’t have that down time so for me it was very important to ensure the crew had the support they needed.”

 

Away from honours related to Covid, the Royal Navy’s inaugural Chief Technical Officer Brigadier Dan Cheesman RM is made a CBE for transforming the way the Service has embraced the white heat of technology and innovation in an age of exponential changes.

“Being the inaugural Royal Navy Chief Technical Officer has been one of the greatest privileges and challenges of my career,” the brigadier said.

“My fantastic team and I have helped drive tech change across our £8bn, global, no-fail, always-on organisation that delivers operational success for the nation, day after day, in the most extreme of environments.

“I am most proud of our efforts in bringing digital and uncrewed systems technologies into the hands of the warfighter at unprecedented pace, and in the Royal Navy’s transformation to becoming more modern, more agile – Defence really can be faster, cheaper and better.”

The full list of awards is

KNIGHT COMMANDER OF THE MOST EXCELLENT ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE (KBE)

Vice Admiral Christopher Gardner

COMPANION OF THE MOST HONOURABLE ORDER OF THE BATH (CB)

Rear Admiral Hugh Beard

COMMANDER OF THE MOST EXCELLENT ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE (CBE)

Captain Mark Anderson

Brigadier Dan Cheesman RM MBE

Surgeon Commodore Stuart Collett

OFFICER OF THE MOST EXCELLENT ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE (OBE)

Colonel Rich Morris RM MBE

Commander Kate Muir

Colonel Simon Rogers

Surgeon Commander Lisa Stevens

Commander Mark Walker

MEMBER OF THE MOST EXCELLENT ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE (MBE)

Lance Corporal Alex Cassabois RM

Lieutenant Carlo Contaldi RMR

Chief Petty Officer Naval Nurse C N Green

Leading Logistician (Writer) R A Harrington

Warrant Officer 1 R M Henderson RM MVO

Lieutenant Commander Ed Higgins

Warrant Officer 1st Class J McWilliams RMR

Petty Officer Medical Assistant J Metcalfe

Lieutenant Commander Gordon Smith RNR

Chief Petty Officer Logistician (Catering Services) R Thompson

ORDINARY ASSOCIATE SECOND CLASS ROYAL RED CROSS (ARRC)

Chief Petty Officer Naval Nurse Kelly Brechany QARNNS

Chief Petty Officer Naval Nurse Carrie Stuart QARNNS

MERITORIOUS SERVICE MEDALS

Warrant Officer 1 Air Engineering Technician D T Ashhurst

Warrant Officer 1 Engineering Technician (Weapons Engineering) A Brown

Warrant Officer 1 C R Brown

Warrant Officer 1 Engineering Technician (Weapons Engineering (Submarines)) A H Buckley

Warrant Officer 1 P G Cooney

Warrant Officer 1 Air Engineering Technician A Driver

Warrant Officer 1 Engineering Technician (Communications and Information Systems) J P Edgar

Chief Petty Officer (Aircrewman) D A Griffith

Band Colour Sergeant K Harvey

Warrant Officer 1 Engineering Technician (Weapons Engineering) S P Lynch

Lieutenant J Maaskant

Warrant Officer 1 Logistics (Supply Chain) C D Morait

Warrant Officer 1 Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering) S P Mugford

Warrant Officer 2 S J Nicholson

Chief Petty Officer Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering (Submarines)) D H P O’Neill

Warrant Officer 1Air Engineering Technician S C Proctor

Warrant Officer 2 M I Ramsey

Warrant Officer 1 Air Engineering Technician P W Ronaldson

Warrant Officer 1 Warfare Specialist (Above Water Warfare) J T Starkey

Warrant Officer 1 S C Tripp

Warrant Officer Air Engineering Technician S M Walling

CPO Air Engineering Technician R Webb

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