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RAF New Years Honours 2019

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RAF New Years Honours 2019

Old 1st Jan 2019, 14:54
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks Easy Street for your summary.

My point, however, was that Thomas had effectively reformed a squadron and taken it to war and for her leadership etc a DSO was more appropriate than an OBE. We need not lose any sleep over it and suffice to say the officer has well earned her state award and her promotion to gp capt.

I had a smile however when I saw that the 'RAF 100 Torch' group had received recognition. During the ATC 75, the air training corps wing, where I help, produced a Torch which was designed and built within the Wg. It is a superb specimen and we have it still. The 'official' ATC75 torch by comparison was a complete load of ?><^&%$. Very much the same might be said about the RAF100 torch, which I was involved with at Alrewas. Simply, it did not reflect the best design and delivery of which the RAF is capable.

Sorry if that seems like 'sour grapes' - it's not meant to be.

O-D
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 15:58
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Melchie,

Next up from CBE is a knighthood and as I mentioned they’re being increasingly tight with those, so CBE has to cover everything from gp capt upwards unless a K is warranted. However an AVM has to do a lot more than a gp capt for it to be considered ‘exceptional’ for their rank!

O-D,

My point is that a DSO recommendation specifically *has* to include acts of gallantry, so unless Gp Capt Thomas had undertaken airborne actions of the sort that might have earned a DFC or a Mention in Despatches, no amount of inspired leadership on her part could possibly have earned a DSO. Judging the by low number of DFCs and MiDs that have been awarded to fast jet crews on Op SHADER, it has to be inferred that most of their sorties do not include such activity. I happen to agree with you that that under-sells the achievements of the Tornado and Typhoon fleets but that’s how the system works today I’m afraid.

There is also the point that the award might not have been for operational leadership so much as leadership in general, hence why it isn’t on an operational list... and it’s often the time at home base that presents the most difficult leadership challenges!

Last edited by Easy Street; 1st Jan 2019 at 16:20.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 16:45
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Easy Street View Post
Melchie,

Next up from CBE is a knighthood and as I mentioned they’re being increasingly tight with those, so CBE has to cover everything from gp capt upwards unless a K is warranted. However an AVM has to do a lot more than a gp capt for it to be considered ‘exceptional’ for their rank!
Easy Street,

Thanks for the clarification. I have often wondered whether being at those elevated ranks makes it easier to carry out such K-earning duties, in the same way that the nature of recent operations made it ‘easier’ for RW crews to win DFCs etc (I use the term easy advisedly and in context - nothing easy about it at all in absolute terms). But if CBEs and Ks are for making a difference at a higher or national level, surely it is easier to argue such a case by virtue of the posts in the higher echelons of Defence and within Govt such ranks tend to occupy?

As it stands, I do happen to know the AVM in question. If I were to say that in spring 2015 when I last worked for him he was a plain old Gp Capt, to have hit second year AVM plus a CBE well inside 4 years does rather suggest an upward trajectory!
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 18:06
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Melchett,
I completely agree that the nature of recent campaigns have provided significantly more peril and, therefore, opportunities to be recognised for gallantry, for RW crews. What I would add, however, is that given the number of DFCs, AFCs and MiDs awarded to RW crews from all the services on HERRICK it continues to amaze me that I can't recall a single award of a DSO to a Cdr JHF(A). Several of them flew combat sorties whilst in the chair, as well as being under the same threat of IDF attack as anyone else (not really the case for crews in Cyprus…), so, arguably, there should have been a handful awarded? There were certainly plenty being awarded to Lt Cols and above in the army. Almost astonishingly, I recall one being awarded to a Harrier Sqn Boss…….clearly a different command chain…..
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 18:25
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Different command chain = bingo! The number of operational awards at each level is capped (the number adjusted for each list depending on what level of activity there has been) and awarding a DSO to a JHF(A) Cdr would have meant one less regimental CO getting one. Given that the sifting between those 2 alternatives would have been under the Land chain, you’ve answered your own question. The stray Harrier nomination would have arrived at the Joint board via the Air chain of command and would probably have been horse-traded into the final list in exchange for the Air commanders’ full support for all the other awards. It is that kind of process, sadly...
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 19:34
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Easy Street View Post
Different command chain = bingo! The number of operational awards at each level is capped (the number adjusted for each list depending on what level of activity there has been) and awarding a DSO to a JHF(A) Cdr would have meant one less regimental CO getting one. Given that the sifting between those 2 alternatives would have been under the Land chain, you’ve answered your own question. The stray Harrier nomination would have arrived at the Joint board via the Air chain of command and would probably have been horse-traded into the final list in exchange for the Air commanders’ full support for all the other awards. It is that kind of process, sadly...
it is a slippery slope... capping/quotas of awards leading to all sorts of nonsense, politicising the process, ultimately devaluing it.

Whatever happened to examining a submission on its merits...
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 20:34
  #27 (permalink)  

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Next up from CBE is a knighthood
Not quite Easy Street.

Within the Order yes, but a CB "outranks" a CBE; you will note that one AVM and one AM (both - ahem - rotary mates) got CBs to add to their CBEs in todays list.

Last edited by teeteringhead; 1st Jan 2019 at 20:45. Reason: Correcting error in rank (sorry Sean)
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 20:47
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
Commendations not worth the paper they are printed on in the real world, OBE etc simply for getting promoted and pointless, often earned by others, the rest well done.



..
Other Buggers Efforts......Well named
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 00:12
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Melchett01 View Post
Having had another look at the list I must say I’m slightly surprised that the RAF100 Parade Commander got nothing given the massively high profile nature of the event and the general opinion that it was a rather good parade. Especially when the likes of the St Athan RAF 100 Team got a commendation! Does rather serve to reinforce the slightly random nature of these things.
The parade took place after the submission deadlines for that particular round of honours. It's possible that she will be recognised in the next round.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 06:08
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Twon,

I very much hope you are right. As I opined elsewhere in this Thread, the officer did a great job - not just on the parade but in other aspects of the razmataz which surrounded the event.

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Old 9th Jan 2019, 10:45
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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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)
As an aside does anyone have any info on what is the most junior rank in any service to have received a DSO in the modern era, which I define as post -1993 when the criteria were redefined? I once mounted a DSO group to a pilot officer who had pulled his wounded navigator from their sinking Beaufighter and had swum several miles to shore with him in tow. With the criteria now being 'highly successful command and leadership during active operations' I cant see anybody below field rank (or equivalent) getting this award now, let alone anyone from the non-commissioned ranks. As you say "in theory anyway"
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 11:12
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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TTN,

Capt JM Norman RM - awarded the DSO in 2008 for ops in Afghanistan.

MB
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 17:55
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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RM being traditionally regarded as ‘one rank above’, I assume, and thus conceptually Field rank.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 17:58
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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TTN ... not sure where to ask, but ISTR you could only have 4 WW2 Campaign Stars? Any extras were bars to the first equivalent/geographic award. My Googling was ineffectual.

My curiousity was piqued with some TV Antiques thing this pm, where 5 were (sadly) being sold as part of a rack (all ribboned, but loose) in addition to other memorabilia which made over £1k.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 18:06
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Five Stars are fine - depending upon which ones they are. This is from the Gov Medals Website.

Nine stars were issued for the campaigns of World War 2. The colours of the ribbons have symbolic significance and are believed to have been designed personally by King George VI. No more than 5 stars may be awarded to one person. Those who qualify for more are awarded a clasp with the title of one of the stars to which they qualify. The clasp is then attached to the ribbon of one of the other stars.

If you qualify for 2 or 3 of the Atlantic, Air Crew Europe and France and Germany stars, the first star earned is awarded. You will then receive a clasp with the title of the second star earned to be worn on the ribbon of the first. A third star or clasp will not be awarded in this case.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 18:10
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks ... I was half-right!

Unusual to see 5 stars, and they didn’t show them long enough for me to ID them 100%. Spotted the North Africa and Italy, in addition to the France & Germany and 39-45, and another which I needed to refer back to but seemed to be the Burma. He got about a bit ... associated with Lord Mountbatten, which may explain a lot.

Owner was RN.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 19:03
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MPN11,

RM ranks were aligned with those of the army in 1999.

MB
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 23:59
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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One very well known recipient of five WW2 campaign stars is HRH Prince Phillip (1939-45, Atlantic, Africa, Burma (bar 'Pacific') and Italy). Groups with 5 stars are quite scarce, and more commonly found to Merchant Navy recipients than RN. With the introduction of the Arctic Star in recent years I assume there are 6 star groups around, although I haven't seen one

Thanks for the info on Captain Norman DSO, Mahogany Bomber.

where 5 were (sadly) being sold ...
Why "sadly"? MPN? I had this throughout my time as a dealer in medals and militaria, with one retired Colonel Blimp type referring to "trafficking in medals"! Better that medals end up in the hands of enthusiastic collectors who appreciate what they have than they languish in the hands of relatives who often havent a clue what they represent.
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Old 10th Jan 2019, 05:26
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Going to a different 'Thread Drift', I note that Jo Salter - the first female pilot operational on the Tornado, I believe - is photographed at the RAF Club wearing the mess kit and styled as 'Honorary Gp Capt'.

I can find no reference to the reasons for her appointment but would be interested to learn the background to this (fairly unusual) promotion/appointment.

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Old 10th Jan 2019, 05:55
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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There was also a COLDM GDS Capt awarded the DSO in 2012ish.
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