Officer receives Top Award in London

A WADDINGTON based officer has been honoured for his service in Afghanistan at a ceremony in the heart of the City of London. Flt Lt Nic Justice was the Guest of Honour at a special gathering of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, one of the professional guilds of London, which collectively trace their history back to 1155.

He was awarded the Richard Sermon Award, as the member of Personnel (Support) specialisation considered to have made the most outstanding contribution to the effectiveness of the RAF on operations. In 2014 Flt Lt Justice was the UK Key Leader Engagement officer to the Commanding General of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) Forward Brigade in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. His role was to understand the objectives and needs of the key Afghan tribal, military and political leaders, and then prepare and accompany the General, and his staff, to meet with them.

Meetings normally took place off-base, which required him to deploy by various means to many of the most contested areas of Afghanistan. In many meetings, or ‘shuras’, he would sit cross-legged with tribal leaders, whilst others events consisted of elaborate meals with political and military leaders. His understanding of the Afghan perspective ensured that the maximum benefit was derived from every gathering.

“I’m extremely happy to receive this award and to meet the members of the Guild, who include some of the most senior personnel leaders in the country. I’m particularly glad that my branch is able to call upon their wise counsel and found them to be very interested in the RAF’s approach to personnel matters,” Flt Lt Justice said.

Air Cdre Alan Opie, Head of the Personnel Branch said “Flt Lt Justice richly deserves this wonderful award. His outstanding contribution to the success of this complex mission highlights the excellent support that Personnel Officers provide across the spectrum of military operations”.

Flt Lt Justice was among the very last personnel to leave Helmand in October 2014. His service was also recognised with a formal award from the USMC, the citation of which noted that his performance, “significantly contributed to this Bde’s potency in support of combat operations” and was “directly tied to the command’s success.”

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