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Leading Voyce in Navy engineering receives Royal honour

21 October 2021
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ONE of the Royal Navy’s most senior and dedicated engineers has been decorated by The Prince of Wales for commitment to the Service and UK industry.

The Commanding Officer of HMS Sultan in Gosport, Captain John Voyce, has devoted more than 30 years of his life to military engineering – currently ensuring more than 1,000 freshly-trained young technicians and mechanics are delivered to the front-line Royal Navy and Fleet Air Arm every year.

Made an Officer of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in the 2020 New Year’s Honours in recognition of his work on the Type 45 programme between 2014 and 2019, he attended an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle this week.

Captain Voyce was chief engineer and then team leader for the Type 45 programme and, through personal resilience and engineering professionalism, he instilled pride and passion across the Type 45 flotilla. He was known for his ability to inspire and motivate his colleagues, and under his leadership the team achieved a dramatic turnaround in Type 45 availability. 

Captain Voyce grew up in St Agnes and Truro in Cornwall, attending St Boniface College and Plymouth College before joining the RN in 1990 as a marine engineer.

Since then he’s served on a variety of ships, from small fishery protection patrol vessels to aircraft carriers: serving on HM Ships Ariadne, Anglesey, Broadsword and Liverpool in training roles, Northumberland as Deputy Marine Engineering Officer, Invincible as Senior Engineer and Illustrious as Commander Marine Engineer.

I am hugely proud, deeply honoured and utterly humbled to be appointed as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty the Queen.

Captain Voyce

Over his career, he has visited four out of the five main continents in the process, with just Australia to go. He describes his time providing disaster relief to the Philippines in 2013 after Typhoon Yolanda while onboard HMS Illustrious as his most rewarding deployment.

Ashore, he has read for an MSc in electrical engineering at University College London and then supported the Fleet by providing electrical propulsion advice whilst working in the MoD’s Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) Organisation. He was the Military Assistant to the Director of Precision Attack, Rear Admiral Hussain, and also spent time working in Naval Human Resources before his five years providing engineering support to the Type 45s at DE&S before becoming the Commanding Officer of HMS Sultan in 2019, taking on the responsibility of ensuring over 1200 Royal Navy Air and Marine Engineers are trained ready for the Fleet.

Captain Voyce said: “I am hugely proud, deeply honoured and utterly humbled to be appointed as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty the Queen. 

“I was lucky enough to work with some amazing people from the UK’s engineering industries and the MoD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation and the Royal Navy, who together achieved a range of engineering improvements across the class of Type 45 destroyers. 

“I had the privilege to lead a team that delivered positive change that supported those serving on the front line in these world class warships. I am overwhelmed to receive this national recognition for our engineering achievements, implemented by such a dedicated and expert team of UK engineers.” 

Capt Voyce was joined at Windsor Castle by his mother Margret-Ann and two grown up daughters Charlotte and Suzanne.

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