Operational Honours and Awards 6 Mar 09


War Hero
Bloody good effect


From Sky News
Scores Of Honours For Afghanistan Heroes
One of the highest awards is to be made posthumously - a second George Medal goes to Warrant Officer Gary O'Donnell.

The father-of-four died defusing a roadside bomb in Helmand and is to be honoured with a Bar to the medal he won for previous bravery in Iraq.

It is the first time in 26 years that the decoration has been awarded twice to the same individual.

His widow, Toni, said: "You cannot describe my feelings. I'm so proud of him. I'll tell the children about him. He was a brave man, a big man.
singha61 said:
It is the first time in 26 years that the decoration has been awarded twice to the same individual.

Incidentally, the last time was also a EOD Operative, for duties in NI.

When I worked with AT's years ago, all the officers, WO's and SNCO's post-nomonals looked like a BATCO message given the amounts of awards won.


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I haven't seen today's papers but I hope they pick up this recognition of the work and bravery being carried out in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as other parts of the workd where our troops are. Good news all round.

Well done to all of them.


Just caught the end of this on Sky news. Am I right in thinking I saw a load of 'THEM' with the Blue Stable Belts on being given awards?
Well deserved to all those honoured.

Probably many more that should have been.

Fat_Cav said:
singha61 said:
It is the first time in 26 years that the decoration has been awarded twice to the same individual.

Incidentally, the last time was also a EOD Operative, for duties in NI.

I was sure the last time a bar was awarded to the GM was for the Operator who dealt with the devices under the M6 and I thought that was 1993. Can't find anything on t'internet.

Does anyone have a better memory?
MC for Russ Lewis, nice one Russ!


Well done to all of them! :D

Six RIR soldiers honoured for gallantry in Afghanistan;


By Lesley-Anne Henry and Alaistair McQueen
Friday, 6 March 2009

Six soldiers from the Royal Irish Regiment have been honoured for their service in Afghanistan.

Three of the troops, Ranger Alan William Owens, Captain Graham David Bradley Rainey and Sergeant Stephen McConnell, were awarded the Military Cross for gallantry shown during a six month stint in the deadly Helmand Province last year.

Ranger Owens was recognised for his “courageous individual |actions in the face of the enemy”. He also received high praise from Army bosses who said the young soldier had “engendered a level of empathy with the local population which no amount of fighting could establish”.

He said: “When they told me I had won a medal I was shocked. I was doing the same thing as lots of other people. I have phoned my parents, but not told them I am to get a medal. I've just told them I am to be in the news and not to worry.”

Captain Graham David Bradley Rainey was hailed for his “distinguished leadership and tactical skill” whilst in charge of an Operational Mentoring Liaison Team near the Taliban stronghold of Musa Qal’eh.

Sgt McConnell was commanding his regiment's 8 Platoon and attached to the 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment when he won his Military Cross in a fearsome battle which saw his men completely surrounded by about fifty Taliban fighters.

He said: “About an hour and a half into the patrol we were |attacked on three sides. We retaliated and then we fixed bayonets and got our grenades ready and began to advance on them. I went out across an open field to use my bayonet, but I didn't get the chance because the grenades did the job. I remember seeing the ground all round my feet jumping up as the bullets hit it.”

Also among the 100 servicemen and women to make the Armed Forces Operational Awards List were Royal Irish soldiers Acting Sergeant Alwyn Stevens, Corporal Robert McClurg and Fijian-born Lance Corporal Jon Toge.

The trio made military history after they were awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross — the first time the honour has been bestowed on three members of the same regiment at the same time.

The men received the medal awarded “in recognition of an act or acts of conspicuous gallantry during active operations against the enemy” for their work mentoring men from the Afghan National Army in Helmand Province.

Corporal McClurg was commanded for his “calm, selfless leadership style and great "personal courage” after he repeatedly salvaged deteriorating situations.

Lance Corporal Jone Bruce Toge rescued four injured soldiers and when his commander was incapacitated, led the Operational Mentoring Liaison team and Afghan National Army soldiers to safety after a rocket attack near the Taliban strong-hold of Musa Qal’eh.

Afghan National Army platoon mentor Acting Sergeant Stevens “displayed extraordinary courage” and was also applauded for his efforts in suppressing the enemy.
Well done to all and particularly to Sgt Chris Richards MC of The Royal Dragoon Guards - QUIS SEPARABIT!

Well done to all those brave and unselfish service men and women recognised......and those who continue to carry out thier duties with little thaught for thier own safety.

A harty congrats to Sgt Chris Richards, Royal Dragoon Guards, for the award of his MC.

Quis Separabit.


Well done and congratulations to all those honoured.

Special mention to those R IRISH personalities who received the various recognition ;)


Fantastic effort from all the lads especially the Royal Irish guys..bloody well done!I see there is alos a MC for the OC of Delta Coy 5 Scots who spent so much time with Ross Kemp!


that mc clurg is a cadet I think not the man who won the CGC!