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Admiral Blount and Captain Stembridge

Top Aviator Rewards Top Achievements

Published: 25 Jul 2017

Yesterday at RNAS Culdrose outstanding service and achievement was recognised by the Royal Navy’s most senior aviator. Rear Admiral K Blount OBE visited Culdrose to present Navy Warrant Officers with their Parchments and other personnel with their Long Service and Good Conduct Medals. Both of these awards show outstanding performance and commitment.


To reach the rank of Warrant Officer requires a Naval Rating to be outstanding in all aspects of their service life. This is the highest rank that a Rating can reach. Personnel promoted to this rank are true experts in their professional specialisation. They also have to show exceptional commitment, courage, leadership and judgement in their general service life. In short, they are the best of the best. Today, five of the finest from Culdrose received their Queen’s Parchments, the document signed by the Secretary of State for Defence, which documents their promotion to Warrant Officer


The Long Service and Good Conduct medal is awarded to personnel who have served in the Royal Navy for 15 years and maintained good conduct. A clasp is awarded for an additional 10 years of exceptional service. This medal has only been presented to Officers of the Royal Navy since October 2016, prior to that only non-commissioned ratings were eligible. Yesterday was the first time that Officers at RNAS Culdrose have been awarded this medal. Among those receiving the medal was the Commanding Officer of RNAS Culdrose, Captain Danny Stembridge. In all 60 personnel will receive the honour.


At today’s ceremony, Rear Admiral Blount praised all the personnel. He said that all recipients should feel proud and that it is important that such achievements should be marked in a formal way. He stressed the importance of Warrant Officers, how they are the very top of their trades and that they are viewed very differently now by all those around them. He also thanked the friends and families of the recipients. He stressed that such achievements do not come without sacrifice; many years away on long deployments separated from families and he recognised the frictions that this can cause.


Among the recipients of the Warrant Officer’s Parchment was Scott Barnett from 824 Naval Air Squadron. His wife Nicole and daughter Paige were there to witness the ceremony. Nicole said, ‘I am so very proud with Scott’s Achievements. It is the result of many years of hard work and separation. It is lovely that we are here to share in his success.’ Paige was also delighted, ‘I am so happy that Dad has achieved this in his career. I miss him when he is away, but love seeing him at his work.’


Commander Sarah Birchett received her Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. She was accompanied by her husband Matthew and their 6 month old son Henry. Sarah has only just returned to Culdrose following maternity leave with Matthew choosing to leave the Royal Navy and stay at home to look after Henry. Matthew said that he is very proud of Sarah and her achievements. He was also delighted to hear that the support of the families was also recognised by the Admiral.  


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