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Outstanding Naval role models and exemplary sailors and marines recognised in New Year’s Honours

Royal Marines marching in the Coronation procession in May
29 December 2023
Sailors and Royal Marines who organised the King’s Coronation and revolutionised the way the Service uses tech have been singled out in the New Year’s Honours.

Twenty-three full-time and Reservist personnel face a trip to the Palace for investitures from knighthood to the King’s Volunteer Reserve Medal.

Described as the “principal driving force” behind the Royal Navy’s contribution to the May’s Coronation of His Majesty The King, Commander Trefor Fox – based at HMS Excellent in Portsmouth – is made an OBE.

Some 900 personnel from across the Naval Service were mustered either to take part directly in ceremonial events or support the huge security effort shielding the largest State Ceremonial Event since 1953.

Cdr Fox, who is based at the Navy’s headquarters in Portsmouth, was “at the epicentre of every aspect of planning” of the Navy’s involvement from arranging transport plans and training to supporting rehearsals – balancing the requirements to support the Coronation with the need to maintain training and front-line operations.

“The spectacular success of the Royal Navy in this historical event was in no small part through his tireless endeavours,” says his citation.

Reservist Warrant Officer 2 Mike Rudall has been “an outstanding role model” to his fellow commandos for more than three decades… alongside an equally-demanding job with South Wales Police (he retired just a couple of months ago as an inspector).

As Sergeant Major of the Cardiff detachment of Royal Marine Reserves Bristol, he’s regarded as the “cornerstone” of the unit, known for his efforts to maintain the highest standards among comrades as well as looking to raise the unit’s profile and numbers.

He’s served on the front line in Iraq, Afghanistan and East Africa, was called upon to support the security effort ensuring the 2012 Olympics in London ran safely and smoothly, and has skills and experience frequently in demand.

All in all, says his citation for the King’s Volunteer Reserve Medal, Mike has been “an exemplary representative” of the reserve forces.

“It’s been a wonderful surprise,” said the 53-year-old.

“It’s lovely to have my commitment and hard work recognised. It’s so nice to feel appreciated after three decades of service.

“But I would really like the unit to be recognised. This isn’t just about me – it’s about my Reserve unit and how supportive it’s been to me, to enable me to achieve everything I’ve wanted to do across defence.”

It’s lovely to have my commitment and hard work recognised. It’s so nice to feel appreciated after three decades of service.

Reservist Warrant Officer 2 Mike Rudall

Two officers at the forefront of the Navy’s growing use of autonomous systems both receive the MBE: Commander Martin Howard commands the Navy’s sole aerial drone unit, 700X Naval Air Squadron, based at Culdrose in Cornwall, while Lieutenant Commander Ross Balfour is paving the way for the Service’s switch from traditional forms of minehunting to crewless systems.

Based at Faslane in Scotland, Lt Cdr Balfour is described as the “trailblazer of autonomous Mine Countermeasures systems”, taking something which was being trialled and turning it into a brand-new capability which is revolutionising the way the threat of mines is dealt with – both in home waters and around the world.

Similarly, Cdr Howard’s small unit provides drone flights for ships deployed around the world, trains hundreds of pilots from across the Forces; trials cutting-edge technology, modifying commercial drones for military use; and the team have even developed their own drone.

Also awarded the MBE is Leading Diver Rory Cartwright-Taylor from the Diving and Threat Exploitation Group, which deploys worldwide to support Royal Navy operations – from dealing with mines and underwater explosives to carrying out challenging engineering tasks on submarines. The Faslane-based diver’s personal contribution have directly impacted on front-line operations.

The impact of veteran marine engineer Chief Petty Officer Michael Stephens have also directly impacted the front-line Fleet.

The senior rating from Merseyside, who retired from the Navy in October, played a key role in the installation, integration and testing of new engines in destroyer HMS Dauntless – the first ship in the Type 45 class to undergo the vital Power Improvement Programme (PIP). His contributions were decisive in the success of PIP (Dauntless returned home just before Christmas after her first deployment with the new engines) as well as inspiring junior engineers to continue their naval careers. He’s made an MBE for his efforts.

The full list of personnel honoured is:

 Knight Commander in the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (KCB)

Lieutenant General R A Magowan CB CBE

Companion in the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (CB)

Rear Admiral A Betton OBE

Rear Admiral J D Morley

Commander in the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE)

Commodore S D Roberts Royal Navy

Officer in the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE)

Commander T M Fox Royal Navy
Commander C R Hollingworth Royal Navy
Colonel A G D Lock Royal Marines
Commander  L J Ottley Royal Navy
Commander I H Richardson Royal Navy
Commander J D Wells Royal Navy
Captain A T Youp Royal Navy

Member of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE)

Commander S Andrews Royal Navy
Lieutenant Commander R D Balfour Royal Navy
Leading Seaman (Diver) R E Cartwright-Taylor
Warrant Officer 1 J A Cuthbert
Warrant Officer 1 Engineering Technician (Communication and Information Systems) S Gilbertson Commander M J Howard Royal Navy
Commander A R Marsh Royal Navy
Commander P O’Dooley Royal Naval Reserve
Chief Petty Officer Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering) M J Stephens
Lieutenant S D Thompson Royal Navy
Commander R S Wyness Royal Navy

King’s Volunteer Reserve Medal (KVRM)

Warrant Officer 2 M Rudall Royal Marines Reserve

Meritorious Service Medal

The Meritorious Service Medal has been awarded to the following Royal Navy personnel:

Petty Officer Logistician (Catering Services) W Champs
Warrant Officer 1 S Clark
Warrant Officer 1 B Coker
Warrant Officer 1 Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering) R Crozier
Warrant Officer 1(Mine Warfare) D Dean
Warrant Officer 2(D) M J Doherty MBE
Chief Petty Officer Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering Submarines) I Hamblin
Warrant Officer 1 Warfare Specialist (Tactical SM) N Harvey
Chief Petty Officer Engineering Technician (Weapon Engineering) A J Hunt
Warrant Officer 2 Logistician (Catering Services) D Knibbs
Warrant Officer 1 Warfare Specialist (Abovewater Warfare Tactical) D Lennon
Chief Petty Officer Aircrewman A Mayes
Warrant Officer 1 B Meldrum
Warrant Officer 1 J I Melhuish
Warrant Officer 2 S Muir
Warrant Officer 1 H B Robb
Chief Petty Officer Medal Assistant M Rodway
Warrant Officer 1 Medical Assistant D Rowley
Warrant Officer 1 S Stroud
Chief Petty Officer Warfare Specialist (Abovewater Warfare Tactical) B W V Thompson
Warrant Officer 1 Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering) M Watkins
Warrant Officer 1 Air Engineering Technician S Wilson


The following Commendations have been awarded:

First Sea Lord’s Commendations

Captain I Barnes Royal Marines
Petty Officer (Physical Training Instructor) J Best
Leading Hand (Diver) D Box
Commander M Bray Royal Navy
Colour Sergeant M Burley
Lieutenant R Cheyne Royal Navy
Lieutenant Commander N Dale Royal Navy
Lieutenant Commander T Leonard Royal Navy
Chief Petty Officer Engineering Technician (Weapon Engineering) I Masterson
Colour Sergeant B Richards
Lieutenant B Sloan Royal Navy
Ms S Spickernell
Lieutenant Commander S Taylor Royal Navy
Warrant Officer 2 S White (Royal Engineers)

Royal Navy Commendations

Colour Sergeant T Austen
Warrant Officer 1 R Bays
Colour Sergeant G Bennett
Warrant Officer 2 S Cannadine
Leading Logistician (Catering Services) N Collins
Sergeant G Court
Lieutenant A Davidson Royal Navy
Commander S Edwards Royal Navy
Corporal A Fleming (Royal Logistics Corps)
Lieutenant Commander N Gammon Royal Australian Navy
Mr Peter Hawley, Naval Families Federation
Leading Hand (Seaman) O Manning
Chief Petty Officer (Medical Assistant) D McLea
Chief Petty Officer Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering) G Newbon
Surgeon Lieutenant S Owen-Smith Royal Navy
Lieutenant Commander J Smith Royal Navy
Staff Sergeant S Tamang (Royal Logistics Corps)
Air Engineering Technician K Tipton
Lieutenant Commander S Westlake Royal Navy

Royal Navy Team Commendations

N2 Department, Commander United Kingdom Strike Force
Commando Logistics Regiment Medical Team
Fleet Operational Standards & Training (Ships) Faslane Division
HMS AUDACIOUS - Marine Engineering Forward L Department Sonar Department
HMS AUDACIOUS - Sonar Department
Marworks Team

Commander Joint Helicopter Command Commendations

Lieutenant Commander B C Brazenall Royal Navy
Lieutenant S P Bloomer Royal Navy
Lieutenant J G Wallace Royal Navy
Warrant Officer 1 (Air Engineering Technician) I Toms
Warrant Officer 1 (Air Engineering Technician) C Harvey
Chief Petty Officer (Air Engineering Technician) R L Willis
Sergeant E Mason
Petty Officer (Air Engineering Technician) D R Sanderson

Commander Joint Helicopter Command Team Commendations

845 Naval Air Squadron Engineering Support Team
Merlin Mk4 Synthetic Training Equipment Facility (MSTEF)


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