Royal Naval submariners excellence awards

Dedicated reservist Royal Navy submariners have been rewarded for their excellence at a ceremony in Plymouth.

Eight long-serving submariners were presented with the Volunteer Reserve Service Medal (VRSM) by Captain Scott Bower, Captain Submarines in the submarine HMS Talent at HM Naval Base Devonport.

The VRSM was instituted in April 1999 and is awarded to Reserve Forces personnel in recognition of 10 continuous years' efficient service in an full time reserve service (FTRS) assignment where individuals must be above reproach in respect of conduct and performance throughout their service.

The warrant officers and senior ratings whose total service numbers 303 years, qualified for the award by virtue of their conduct and performance being ‘above reproach’.

Recipients were Warrant Officer 1 Jim Griffiths, Warrant Officer 2 Dave Kingston, Chief Petty Officer Phillip King, Chief Petty Officer Ian Larkin, Chief Petty Officer Andy Metcalf, Petty Officer Dawson Kenny, Petty Officer Charles Payne and Petty Officer Carl Wetherall.

Averaging 12 years in their current full time reserve jobs, I am truly appreciative of their hard work, dedication and maturity they bring. They set high standards, lead by example and have brought significant depth of experience both to submarines in disposal and the submarine service as a whole.

Captain Bower

The sailors have  to served on the full range of classes of submarines including decommissioned classes to those currently in service and include HMS Otter, Onyx, Dreadnought, Valiant and Upholder and all the Swiftsure and Trafalgar Class submarines.

Following their regular careers some transferred directly to reserve service or spent varying time in civilian street prior to re-joining to fill vital roles.

Captain Bower said: “Averaging 12 years in their current full time reserve jobs, I am truly appreciative of their hard work, dedication and maturity they bring. They set high standards, lead by example and have brought significant depth of experience both to submarines in disposal and the submarine service as a whole.

"I can truly say that the last 10 years of service as FTRS has been blemish free for them all and hence they are each highly deserving of this award.’’

Petty Officer Dawson Kenny has been in the Navy for 36 years. He lives in Plymouth with his wife Donna and their two daughters and said: “I feel proud to have been able to serve extra years as FTRS in Devonport relieving the work load on regular submariners.

"The most memorable trip for me was a global tour on HMS Swiftsure in 1986 which covered places you can only dream about. The 30 year anniversary of which is being celebrated this September by many of the crew.’’