Not Good Enough or just no interest?

Once again New Years Honours List and a paucity of RNR recognition

I am not advocating gongs etc for the sake of it but surely we must have someone who merits the QVRM (I could certainly mention quite a few over the last year or so who have put the effort in and I am sure there must be many of you out there who could also name names

Am I deluded about the people I consider worthy - or is it just total lethargy on the part of those who should be putting names up for consideration?

Answers on a postcard please to HM Queen "Sorry we were late"!
It probably just doesn't occur to the right people at the right time that they should be considering QVRM nominations. That said I had never heard of that medal until now. I thought the VRSM was the only reserve medal (which was a step backwards since we previously had the LS&GC?). Isn't the mention in dispatches used for this kind of thing though? As a recognition of noteworthy service.
now if you trained to swim a bit a won a medal, you'd get something. BUT if you worked a full time job and then volunteered for yrs to help others etc , errrrrrrrrrrrr you get f'all!
It's not the lack of nominations being put forward. The problem lies at the next stage, where approvals for forwarding the nominations occur. The Navy have never been very good at recognising efforts by awards in the honours list. The Army/RAF and even the Sea Cadets give more recognition to their people.


War Hero
I know people do a good job, but surely we are in this for something other than a gong? Griping that the RNR did badly in the NY Honours list does seem slightly Walter Mitty like in my opinion.
Queen’s Volunteer Reserves Medal 1999.
Replaced medals for outstanding service within the Order of the British Empire

It is ordained that the Medal shall be awarded only to those who, being members of any rank of Our Volunteer Reserve Forces, shall have rendered such devotion to duty and exemplary service over a period usually of at least 10 years in and to Our said Volunteer Reserve Forces as shall have been of particular value to Our said Forces and constituted an outstanding example to others, and that such awards shall only be made on the recommendation of Our Secretary of State for Defence.

The Queen's Volunteer Reserves Medal is awarded to recognise outstanding service in the Volunteer Reserve Forces. It is awarded to men and women of any rank in the Volunteer Reserves of all three services. It is announced in the Armed Forces section of the-New Year and Queen's Birthday Honours Lists and recipients, who are entitled to the letters QVRM after their names, attend an investiture. The medal is circular in shape and made of silver and hangs from a dark green ribbon with three narrow gold stripes.

The medal bears on the obverse the crowned effigy of the Soverign and on the reverse the words "The Queens Volunteer Reserves Medal" on a scrolled ribbon and the name of the recipient is inscribed around the rim.
From my meagre understanding of the process I believe that there is a certain quota allocated to the military to bid for on a half yearly basis. When bids are submitted they are usually done so for the following award period, rather than the up and coming issue ... that means up to twelve months in advance.

The problem I note from several years of divisional and other HR related work is that we are notoriously bad at recognising merit and, consequently, do not submit enough bids. Yet again we tend to undersell our people.

There is not enough of an effort made by units to put their people forward - possibly because of lack of understanding of the processes involved with perhaps with just a little reluctance to take the time and effort to submit the citation.

Shame really.



Book Reviewer
MasterChief said:
Queen’s Volunteer Reserves Medal 1999.
Replaced medals for outstanding service within the Order of the British Empire


The medal bears on the obverse the crowned effigy of the Soverign and on the reverse the words "The Queens Volunteer Reserves Medal" on a scrolled ribbon and the name of the recipient is inscribed around the rim.
And rather modestly, MasterChief fails to admit that he was the recipient of this gong a few years back - see there are some RNR units that can do the paperwork and recognise hard work and dedication!


Lantern Swinger
Think the truth of the matter is that the RNR has an enormous apathy in terms of its own generally (Although by no means all!) and as such rarely puts anyone other than those in the most senior of positions (with the exception of a certain thoroughly deserving CPO (MSA) from Vivid a few years back who got either the Royal Red Cross or the Order of St. John), otherwise it seems you either have to be an officer of long standing having worked at HQ or be the Masterchief him/herself. Haven't seen anyone else ever get a sniff of this level of recognition.

It is my strongly held belief that senior officers within the units are primarily to blame for trying to get recognised/noticed themselves (with some honourable exceptions) rather than looking to reward others within their organisation. I've certainly never known anyone within my unit even being written up for an award, never mind being pushed to the next stage by those within West Battery. The RM and RMR seem, along with the Army and RAF to be much better at this, which is probably why they get the majority of awards consistently. It's also probably true to say that there is a perception that the Navy is merely a bit-part player in operations and a poor relation at that.

If this is true (and i doubt anyone will be bothered from above to deny it) then perhaps it's time to begin to redress the balance. There are quite a few deserving cases i can think of who have been mentioned up the chain over the years who haven't even got as far as anyone bothering to write them up for recognition, so perhaps it's time the middle management pulled their finger out and actually looked to reward the deserving properly.
In my time when they started handing out the silver jubille medal to a select few........errrrrrrrrrrr werent we all in at that time deserving a medal and then they handed out the South Atlantic medal to people still set fot on Terra Ferma in the UK, I have viewed all of those gongs a waste of time......look who gets them...........and as for those that take political office and then get a feckin knighthood..............I mean, Coe, Archer and especially that arsehiole Mandleson............. etc, c'mon


Lantern Swinger
its difficult enough to get DO's and Senior Officers to put in yearly reports on time let alone recommendations for medals.

Must admit that having worked for the Army, they are extremely good at recognising their people especially at SNCO and below. The team I worked with had at least 70 army and ex army SSgt and WO's and we had 5 MBE's at least.

I think the problem lies within the units, most of my guys do not know what their DO looks like due to changes every 2 minutes, and even though the unit is more than 2/3rd the size it was when i joined we don't see the Mgmt team from one week to the next unless we bump into them in the corridor.

I doubt that if I asked them who was deployed at the moment they would be able to tell me.

Luckily my branch has the Mgmt structure in place which is allowing us to operate succesfully, but more and more we feel like a lodger unit, rather than a member of the ships company. Until something needs organising or the wardroom bar needs staff of course.


Lantern Swinger
There has also been a growth in recent years in the number of gongs been given out on "operational honours" lists, hence the numbers on the Queen's Birthday & NY list for the Military seem to have dropped making it even more difficult for RNR folks to get recognised.
It seems that there is a misapprehension as to HOW one is nominated, and WHY one is nominated.

If you have a subordinate who YOU feel is desrving of an honour or award (other than an operational gong) YOU (the SR / DO) get the appropriate JPA form and FILL IT IN! It is then vetted / annotated by your Commanding Officer before being forwarded to the appropriate command chain (note, the CO simply passes it on - they don't bin it).

Your Flag Chain of Command then vets the applications and select / edits / bins before forwarding to the C in C. After that stage of approval they go into the honours and awards pot where, ultimately the decision to award or not award is decided.

That is the HOW - note that at a Unit level you simply forward the paperwork - decisions on yes/no are WAY above the Unit CO's paygrade!

Now, as to why...the reason for getting an award (of any sort) is to recognise a performance/committment which is exceptional...not simply a reward for doing your job. Maybe, unlike the other two services, the RN is keen to ensure that honours and awards still count for something and is, therefore, careful to put forward only exceptional candidates?

I have submitted 4 recommendations for my subordinates in the last two years (1 at each honours and award round) - none have been passed at Flag rank. Will I continue to submit award recommendations? Yes, if I believe the individual deserves to be rewarded. Do I expect to get these people a medal as of right? No - I am well aware that there are very high standards for awards and I simply hope that I am doing the best job of "selling" these individuals and their achievements to the command chain that I can.
Mandama - Well done on showing the right spirit and making the effort - if only there were more like you in the RNR.

I fully take on board the sentiments about quality not quantity and have made that distinction myself when I have also recommended people for various awards or recognition in the past (with quite some success thankfully) but I regularly see examples of exceptional performance among RNR colleagues which go (seemingly) unrecognised yet see a steady stream of published awards for our colleagues in DPM or Light Blue.

So I return to my original post and now expand the question -

1. Are there insufficient people in the RNR who merit recognition?
2. Are those who should be drafting recommendations etc unsighted, ill-informed on the process or just lazy?
3. Do our grown ups actually give a damn?

Answers on a postcard please to ..........

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