HMS Queen Elizabeth’s first Commanding Officer and a Royal Navy aviator responsible for delivering the F-35 Lightning jets into service are among those recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2019.
In total 22 men and women from across the Royal Navy and Royal Marines have dates at Buckingham Palace to acknowledge their long-standing and energetic service, from front-line operations to helping military families through fundraising and community activities.
The Royal Navy’s Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd – who was the first Commanding Officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth – receives the CBE for his tenure in charge of Britain’s biggest warship.
His time in command saw a string of successes from the ship’s maiden sea trials and first entry into Portsmouth, through to the first ever deck landing operations with the UK’s new F-35 Lightning fighter jets.
VAdm Kyd said: “It was a great privilege to command HMS Queen Elizabeth from the day she left the builder’s yard in Scotland to her first F-35 trials off the United States coast, laying the foundations for her operational life ahead.
“Bringing her into service as the first of our two new aircraft carriers, as part of our growing fleet, was a truly national endeavour. We should reflect warmly on the extraordinary efforts made across our country and the Navy to deliver these magnificent ships across her ship’s company, civilian staff, contractors and many others.
“On a personal note, it was an honour to command HMS Queen Elizabeth and lead such a brilliant ship’s company through a unique, challenging and at times emotional journey.
“We did it together and this award is very much reflective of our combined efforts – I am deeply grateful to them all.”
Chief Petty Officer Air Engineering Technician (Avionics) Mike Eland is one of the world’s leading experts on the F-35 aircraft and has been made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for his role in returning fixed-wing fast jets to Royal Navy carriers.
CPO (AET) Eland, 41, who is originally from Scarborough, has been recognised for his efforts to introduce the Royal Navy’s first stealth fighter into service in co-operation with the US Marine Corps at their base in Beaufort, South Carolina.
“It’s an amazing feeling. Like anyone, I don’t do my job for recognition and this is completely unexpected. I have loved my job in the United States and this is a fantastic way to end ten and a half years here before returning to the UK,” he said.
“The team put a lot of effort in and this news really hasn’t sunk in yet.”
Warrant Officer 1st Class (Physical Trainer) Natasha Pulley, 49, from Camborne in Cornwall has also been made an MBE.
The Plymouth-based sailor has been heavily involved in a wide variety of charity work involving children, the homeless and the elderly.
WO1 Pulley, who has been in the Royal Navy for 32 years and has mainly been based in the South West, was also the first female ever to train a field gun team. She is also among the first two women to run in the event, in which teams of sailors competitively transport a field gun and equipment.
Described as an inspirational leader, instructor and role model, WO1 Pulley was said to have ‘enriched the lives of service personnel, their families and the wider community in the West Country’.
Her citation said: “Combining an overwhelming belief in people and their potential with inspirational leadership, you are an exceptional role model.
“Your selfless determination, loyalty and boundless drive represents the very best values of the Royal Navy and are in the finest traditions of the service.”
WO1 Pulley said: “I am incredibly humbled to receive this recognition. Honestly, I am shocked and feel overwhelmed. I just do my job and try and put people first.
“I try and make a difference in the community and break down barriers.”
Former SAS trooper turned TV presenter Bear Grylls – who is also an honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Marines – has been awarded an OBE, while honorary Lieutenant Commander and TV historian Dan Snow has been awarded an MBE.
THE LIST OF RECIPIENTS IN FULL
Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (CB)
Rear Admiral Jon Pentreath
Major General Charlie Stickland RM
Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE)
Commodore Paul Burke
Major General Matt Holmes RM
Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd
Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE)
Commodore Steve Allen
Commander Richard Bone
Captain Chris Connolly
Commander Steve Drysdale
Commander Martin Freeman
Lieutenant Colonel Bear Grylls (Honorary)
Commodore Rupert Hollins
Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE)
Commander Adam Clarke
Chief Petty Officer (Air Engineer Technician) Mike Eland
Air Engineering Technician Matthew Gallimore
Captain Ian McDougall RM
Warrant Officer 1st Class (Physical Trainer) Natasha Pulley
Lieutenant Commander James Reynolds
Commander Kevin Robertson
Lieutenant Commander Martin Shakespeare
Lieutenant Commander Dan Snow (Honorary)
Chief Petty Officer (Engineer Technician) Helena Ward
Warrant Officer 2nd Class Andrew Watson RM
Queen’s Voluntary Reserve Medal (QVRM)
Lieutenant Commander David Cooper