06 March 2009

Operational Honours List

Warrant Officer Class 2 Gary O'Donnell GM*,
11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment RLC

ZUI this article from the MOD Defence News:
The first Bar to the George Medal to be awarded in 26 years is among a catalogue of prestigious honours given to brave British Armed Forces personnel.

The posthumous award to Warrant Office Class 2 Gary O'Donnell, who died in September last year whilst attempting to disarm an improvised explosive device (IED), was announced in the presence of his widow, Mrs Toni O'Donnell.

The first Bar to the George Medal means it has been awarded to the same person twice and WO2 O'Donnell, who at the time of his death already held the George Medal for his work defusing bombs in Iraq, was recommended for the further honour in recognition of his remarkable actions in two separate incidents in May and July 2008.


Another historic moment was the award of the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross to three members of the same regiment - the first time this has happened. Acting Sergeant Alwyn Stevens, Corporal Robert McClurg and Lance Corporal Jon Toge, all members of The Royal Irish Regiment, demonstrated great personal courage whilst mentoring colleagues from the Afghan National Army in Helmand.

These recipients are amongst more than 100 brave Service personnel to be included in Armed Forces Operational Awards List No 32, for the period April to September 2008. Those honoured include members of the British Army's 16 Air Assault Brigade and 4 Mechanised Brigade, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force, as well as civilians. Acts of bravery in the operational theatres of Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as in the UK, are recognised.

Lance Corporal Jone Toge CGC,
The Royal Irish Regiment

Amongst the medals awarded were these (quoted from the article linked to above):
Conspicuous Gallantry Cross

Lance Corporal Jone Bruce Toge R IRISH

After his commander was incapacitated Toge took command of the Operational Mentoring Liaison Team which was supporting the Afghan National Army to the south of Musa QaIeh. He gallantly led his men and personally extracted four injured soldiers from a killing area as well as the lead Afghan National Army sergeant following a RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) strike.

Military Cross

Major Nicholas George Calder SCOTS

Calder led D Company 5 SCOTS through the most intense dismounted combat experienced in the battle group in the north west area of operations [in Afghanistan]. He provided an example of unflinching physical and moral courage and ensured the security of Musa Qaleh.

Major John Stuart McDonald PARA
Whilst covering the absence of the Company Commander at Forward Operating Base Inkerman [in Afghanistan], McDonald skilfully manoeuvred his platoons to suppress the enemy and moved decisively to defeat the insurgents. He displayed exceptional and overt gallantry in the face of the enemy and inspired the men around him.

Sergeant Christopher Paul Richards RDG
In spite of significant threats Sergeant Richards commanded a lead tank [in Iraq] with outstanding nerve, determination and exemplary gallantry in the face of the enemy.

Distinguished Flying Cross

Flight Lieutenant Alexander Marc Duncan RAF

Duncan displayed consummate professionalism and strength of character while recovering an aircraft with a VIP party onboard and pressing ahead with an air assault [in Afghanistan] in the face of intense fire to ensure the force protection of the battle group.

Queen's Gallantry Medal

Corporal William Glyndwr Owen PARA

After a patrol struck an anti-tank mine [in Afghanistan] Owen selflessly and without hesitation raced to reach casualties and administer first aid despite the obvious threat of further mines. He is awarded for his selfless dedication and devotion to duty.

The complete list of awards can be found here.

Major Stuart McDonald MC,
The Parachute Regiment

Update 1040 17 Mar: ZUI this article from the MOD Defence News:
A father and son have both been awarded commendations in the latest operational honours list for their actions on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Major David Wilson of the Joint Service Signal Unit (Cyprus) was awarded the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service for his work in Basra over the summer of 2008 while his son, Private Tom Wilson of 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, was Mentioned in Dispatches for his actions in Helmand province, Afghanistan, over the same period.

Major Wilson was the Quartermaster of the Contingency Operating Base (COB) in Basra between February and August 2008. He was responsible for feeding, watering, clothing and housing the entire population of the base for this period.


Private Wilson had only recently joined the Army in January 2006, and acted as a machine gunner and team medic in 4 Platoon, B Company, 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment.

On what was to be a testing first operational tour, he was based in Forward Operating Base Inkerman in the Upper Sangin Valley. One of 250 soldiers in the austere and remote base, his company was the first to occupy the location for a full six-month tour during the summer months when the Taliban have traditionally been at their most aggressive.

MOD photographs © Crown Copyright/MOD 2009

No comments: