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Old 1st Jan 2019, 13:01
  #19 (permalink)  
Easy Street
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Wherever it is this month
Posts: 1,099
DSO vs OBE? The DSO is only available on the operational honours lists as it is a gallantry award relating to leadership in a specific operation (and is available to all ranks, in theory anyway). Awards on the Birthday and New Year lists are for non-operational matters, or the accumulation over time of meritorious achievements on operations; gallantry is specifically excluded, which is why peacetime bravery awards like AFCs and QCBAs only ever appear as addenda to the operational lists. An OBE can be awarded on either list and relates to meritorious rather than gallant service. So Gp Capt Thomas’s award is most likely for achievement over a span of time rather than a narrowly bounded set of operational activity. If you were referring to the rank criteria, CBE is ‘par’ for meritorious service by gp capts but as the list records her as “wg cdr, now gp capt” it’s evident that the award was earned in the lower rank where OBE is the going rate. There is flex to go up or down a level though, as you can see with Sqn Ldr Montenegro getting an OBE and a wg cdr getting a MBE.

The official view seems to be that excellence in primary duties is rewarded with a good annual report, not awards. To get something ‘just’ for doing your job there needs to be something that makes it ‘special’: acting in higher rank, coping with extremely adverse circumstances, etc etc. And of course your boss a) needs to care and b) needs to be able to write well! Those are probably the blockers for many deserving candidates.

The relative dearth of knighthoods for senior RAF officers in recent years is proof that “doing your job” is not sufficient for these awards any more. I agree that it’s a shame... we should be encouraging excellence in our primary duties instead of the extra flummery.

Last edited by Easy Street; 1st Jan 2019 at 13:20.
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