A British Army officer based in Catterick Garrison has been awarded an MBE for his work fighting the Covid-19 pandemic thousands of miles from home.
Major Damien Mead, of the 4th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (4 SCOTS), was recognised for his efforts while deployed in Afghanistan in the latest round of the Operational Honours and Awards List.
The officer said: “It is a huge privilege to receive this award on behalf of all Highlanders, attached Corps, and families, who together delivered a critical operational outcome in support of UK and NATO objectives in Kabul.”
The serviceman, who commanded troops from six different nations, oversaw the provision of force protection to a team training Afghan Army officers.
Major Mead ensured that not a single case of Covid-19 occurred in his base though his impeccable judgement, rigorous control measures, and care for subordinates.
He also worked tirelessly to safeguard the mental wellbeing of his men and women, through mitigating the debilitating impact on those isolating to prevent potential spread of the virus.
Lt Col Tim Draper, Commanding Officer (CO) 4 SCOTS, said: “I am delighted that Major Mead has been awarded an MBE for his work in Afghanistan. It is testament to his extraordinary leadership coupled with the outstanding efforts of his entire company.”
Nearly 1,000 British soldiers remain engaged in the Central Asian country to work with Afghan and international partners in developing the capabilities of the host nation security forces.
Alongside military activities, the UK supports a wide range of projects to improve education, healthcare, economic growth, and local governance.