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Apr 17 2023

Britain's King Charles awards honours to soldiers for meritorious service with NATO's enhanced Forward Presence

SZCZECIN, Poland – A group of exceptional British Army soldiers and officers were recognised by King Charles III in the latest Operational Honours and Awards List. Many of those awarded have been cited for their outstanding leadership while in high-risk situations, including with the UK-led NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup Estonia in the early days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Lieutenant Colonel Simon Worth, Commanding Officer Royal Tank Regiment (RTR), is a recipient of the Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for commanding the RTR during its extended deployment on Op CABRIT* in Estonia, during a period of unprecedented tension and tempo as Russia invaded Ukraine. 

LTC Worth’s citation stated: “His exemplary leadership through his Battlegroup’s extension, tactical excellence and engagement at all levels, were key to reassuring Estonia of the UK’s commitment to NATO in a time of extreme crisis. His inspirational leadership and ability were central to the UK’s reassurance and military credibility."

While referring to the received honour, LTC Worth said: "Although I am enormously humbled and honoured to receive this award, it really reflects the collective achievement of the 1300 troops of the RTR Battlegroup and their families during the nine months we were deployed on Op CABRIT."

It was their phenomenal professionalism, resilience and humour that enabled the Battlegroup to navigate an extremely challenging set of circumstances. I could not be more grateful or more proud of them.
LTC Worth, left, during a Hand Over, Take Over ceremony from the 1st Battalion, Mercian Regiment to The Royal Tank Regiment, September 16, 2021, Tapa, Estonia © Olivier Turp 

As Deputy Chief of Staff on Op CABRIT in Estonia, Major Mark Player, Royal Logistic Corps, was the staff lead for building a camp for more than 1,000 personnel and storage for more than 100 tracked vehicles in less than seven weeks. He is to receive the honour of the Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE). On learning of the award, he said: “I am genuinely humbled to have been recognised in this way, especially in a year when so many have contributed so much at this pivotal time for NATO."

MAJ Player © Ian Biddiscombe

"I was lucky and privileged to be part of an excellent team at an exceptional time and am hugely grateful to our Allies and my colleagues in Estonia, Poland, Finland and in the UK to whom much of the credit for any success is due."

That our small team was able to deliver at pace says much about the quality and teamwork of our military and civil service personnel.

"I am thankful to have played a small part in supporting the Royal Tank Regiment, Royal Welsh and 2 Rifles Battlegroups, the squadrons in Poland, and other force elements during their deployments."

Amongst other awarded are Captain Darren Johnson, Commanding Officer of National Support Element in Poland, who has been appointed an MBE, and Major Stephanie Manning-Degobertiere, Battery Commander of 19 Battery Multiple Launch Rocket System in Estonia, who received the King's Commendation for Valuable Service.

*Established in 2017, Operation CABRIT is the name of the UK operational deployment to Poland and the Baltic states as part of NATO's eFP. 

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Waleriana Łukasińskiego 33
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