A Plymouth-based Royal Navy sailor has been rewarded for his excellence at a ceremony in Devonport Naval Base.
Petty Officer James Oakley, 32, was presented with the Navy’s long service and good conduct medal from Commodore Rob Bellfield (commander of the Devonport-based ships and submarines) for 15-years of highly professional service.
James said: “I am proud to receive my LSGC medal for completing a very worthwhile and challenging 15 years in the RN; I look forward to receiving my LSGC clasp in the years to come.”
He joined the Royal Navy aged 17 and after basic training he was drafted to the submarine school in Faslane, Scotland and spent two years training to become a submariner only to be discharged medically back to the ships.
James, who lives in Plymouth with wife Clare and sons Thomas (six) and Matthew (two) served in the Mediterranean on HMS Portland and then at Royal Naval Air Squadron Culdrose, before deploying to the Gulf in HMS Chatham
He joined 829 Naval Air Squadron assisting with the upkeep and deploying of seven Merlin helicopters before joining HMS Monmouth, again deploying to the Gulf on anti-piracy operations. Next was a tour to the UK military command centre in Bahrain to support four mine counter measures ships.
On return to the UK, James joined the Merlin helicopter training squadron, 824 Naval Air Squadron, and was selected for promotion to petty officer and after qualifications re-joined his first ship, HMS Portland while the ship was deployed. He helped prepare the ship for her maintenance period on return to Plymouth.