102 Field Squadron Hosts Renfrewshire Lord-Lieutenant’s Awards

Colonel Peter McCarthy and Sergeant Hannah Knox

On Saturday 27 August seven Army Reservists, five Cadet Force Adult Volunteers (CFAVs) and an Army Reserve civil servant were recognised by the Lord-Lieutenant for Renfrewshire for their outstanding commitment and service.

Held at Hawkhead Road Army Reserve Centre (ARC) in Paisley, members of 102 Field Squadron Royal Engineers welcomed the award recipients and their guests to their drill hall for the event. Major Andy Hart, 102 Field Squadron’s Officer Commanding, gave a very warm welcome to all in attendance before introducing the Lord-Lieutenant for Renfrewshire, Colonel Peter McCarthy. Proceedings were then handed over to Lowland RFCA Chief Executive Colonel Ted Shields, who delivered the citations for each certificate recipient.

Group photo of all the award recipients with the Lord-Lieutenant and Lowland RFCA Chairman

Among the Reservists to receive an award was 102 Squadron’s own Sergeant Hannah Knox. Joining the Army Reserves in 2008, Sergeant Knox has provided military support at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and undertaken mobilisations to Afghanistan, Cyprus and South Sudan. Speaking about her award, she said: ‘I’m very honoured to receive this award. I’ve done a lot with the Reserves over the years and it feels great to have those efforts recognised.’

Warrant Officer Sarah Taylor, a CFAV with West Scotland Wing Air Training Corps, was equally delighted to be awarded: ‘I feel immensely proud to have received this. You never go into this organisation expecting to receive these awards and get this kind of recognition for what we do, so it’s just incredible.’ With multiple qualifications covering First Aid, Fieldcraft and drill instruction, Warrant Officer Taylor is responsible for delivering and overseeing a broad range of activities to Cadets. This was highlighted in 2020 when she featured among the winners of the first Cadet Adult Recognition Awards.

As well as honouring Reservists, CFAVs and civil servants, the award ceremony also saw the appointment of two new Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets. Cadet Sergeant Major (CSM) Shaunie McGarry of West Lowland Army Cadet Force, and Cadet Petty Officer (CPO) Sophie Hearl of Greenock Sea Cadets, will both assist the Lord-Lieutenant in his official engagements, and will serve as ambassadors for their respective units.

Cadet Petty Officer Sophie Hearl and her family

‘It means a lot to me to have been appointed as a Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet,’ said Cadet Petty Officer Hearl. ‘It shows that all my efforts as a Cadet have paid off and I now have something to really show for it. I’m really looking forward to meeting other people and hearing their stories through this role.’

Being a part of Greenock Sea Cadets is something of a tradition for CPO Hearl and her family, as her father is a CFAV and her grandfather is the unit’s Commanding Officer. Little wonder, then, that the appointment to Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet is not only a proud moment for CPO Hearl herself, but for the whole family too.

Colonel McCarthy, His Majesty The King’s personal representative for Renfrewshire, signed and presented each certificate to thank the recipients for their significant contribution to Defence.

Colonel McCarthy with CFAVs from West Scotland Wing ATC

‘I am delighted to extend my warmest congratulations and thanks to this year’s recipients of the Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate of Meritorious Service,’ said Colonel McCarthy. ‘Reservists go above and beyond in their commitment not just to their units, but to their communities as well. 

 ‘The wealth of skills and experience that they develop and refine through their work in civilian industries, and in turn bring into their Defence roles, are increasingly valuable assets in a world of ever evolving changes and challenges.

‘The Cadet Force Adult Volunteers fulfil an equally valuable role. They selflessly devote their time and their wide-ranging skills to providing the best possible experience for the young people in their care. It is their unwavering dedication and passion for what they do that helps so many Cadets build up their skills and confidence. For many this is also the start of the bonds of friendship that will last a lifetime.’

Lord-Lieutenant Certificate Recipients Before the Ceremony

Also present at the Lord-Lieutenant’s Awards was Gayle Brannigan, Chief Executive of the St Mirren Football Club Charitable Foundation, who received a Bronze Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) certificate on behalf of the club.

Following the award ceremony, guests were invited to move from the drill hall to the sunlit grounds of the ARC for a medal presentation. This gave the newly appointed Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets a chance to jump straight into their new role, assisting Colonel McCarthy in the distribution of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal to members of 102 Field Squadron.

Once the formalities of the event concluded, the ARC opened up to welcome local members of the public to a Squadron Open Day, with plenty of attractions on display for families to enjoy. It also offered visitors the chance to meet with Reservists and learn more about the many exciting career opportunities available with the unit.

In the Press:

The Daily Record

Renfrewshire 24

The Renfrewshire Gazette

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