FORCES SKILLS AND VALUES PRAISED BY NATION'S LEADERS AT LARGEST EVER SOLDIERING ON AWARDS CEREMONY

28 October 2022

Ministerial and military leaders have celebrated endeavour in the armed forces community and praised the contribution that serving personnel and veterans make to society.  

Fourteen winners were announced at the 2022 Soldiering On Awards across a diverse set of categories, including Defence Inclusivity, which Landmarc has been proud to sponsor since 2018. The awards recognise the hard work and achievements of individuals and organisations from the armed forces community, including serving personnel, veterans and family members. 

Landmarc's Managing Director Mark Neill, presenting Lance Corporal Natasha Day with the Defence Inclusivity Award.  

650 guests gathered at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge on Thursday 27th October 2022. The 12th annual ceremony was the biggest in the Soldiering On Awards' history as finalists from the last two years, who had been restricted to virtual celebrations, were invited to join their 2022 counterparts to celebrate with representatives from all three services, military charities, and corporate supporters.​

Minister for Veterans' Affairs Johnny Mercer MP joined Ministry of Defence leaders at the event, which was hosted by journalist and television presenter Lucrezia Millarini and former Army Reservist and plane crash survivor Jamie Hull. 

Minister for Veterans' Affairs Johnny Mercer said:

"Congratulations to all the recipients of the Soldiering On Awards. The recipients of these awards highlight the incredible values that our armed forces bring to civilian life. I'm delighted to have celebrated these fantastic successes in person with award winners and nominees."  

Representatives from Landmarc, DIO, the Army and Allo Allo star and SoldieringOn Awards Ambassador, Vicki Michelle MBE. 

Chief of Defence People, Lieutenant General James Swift OBE, recognised the military community's contribution to society in his address: 

“The armed forces are renowned for building people, teaching skills and providing opportunities. We hope these skills and attributes stand people in good stead for post service life and are what makes us a better society overall both in and out of uniform. 

“The Soldiering On Awards help to lift the lid on those remarkable achievements and inspire so many. Tonight's room is filled with those lived experiences and some of the extraordinary talent from our forces and their families."  

English football legend David Beckham OBE added his praise in a video message, apologising that he could not be present:  

“I'm really sorry that I can't be with you this evening at the wonderful Soldiering On Awards. I know that you'll be having an amazing night listening to so many inspirational stories of remarkable individuals from across the armed forces community.  

“To you the finalists, the work that you do is so vital; your dedication and commitment is truly incredible. I believe that each and every one of you are winners." 

Lt Col Gilly Moncur, another finalist in this category, also received a Special Recognition Award for her services to the Army Cadet Force (ACF). 

Soldiering On Awards Chair, General the Lord Dannatt GCB, CBE, MC, DL, explained the event's importance: 

“These awards call attention to the wonderful things people in the armed forces are doing and how they hope to make society better for us all. Their stories of enviable success and achievement we hope will act as inspiration for others as well as affording them a moment of reflection and congratulations."   

Mark Neill, Managing Director at Landmarc, also paid tribute to this year's finalists, commenting: 

“As proud sponsor of the Defence Inclusivity category, we were delighted to attend such an inspiring event, supporting and celebrating many outstanding achievements from our Armed Forces community. Congratulations to all of this year's winners and finalists. 

Lance Corporal Natasha Day won the Defence Inclusivity Award for establishing the award-winning Defence Breastfeeding Network to support service women to continue to breastfeed when they return to work. She runs the network alone, supporting over 900 families and has opened 22 breastfeeding rooms in military establishments to support women in the workplace. 

Lt Col Gilly Moncur, another finalist in this category, also received a Special Recognition Award for her services to the Army Cadet Force (ACF), where she works tirelessly to embed all aspects of Diversity and Inclusion into the ACF through her leadership of the ACF Step Change Diversity and Inclusion Project. 

Closing remarks were made by Lt Col Ren Kapur MBE, Chief Executive of X-Forces Enterprise and Soldiering on Awards: 

“The essence of the Soldiering On Awards is to shine a light on ordinary people doing extraordinary things. After the pandemic halted celebrations, it's a joy to gather among these wonderful people and feel such mutual support in the room. The Armed Forces community represents the very best of British, leading the way in demonstrating what it truly means to be a supportive community, and these unique awards provide opportunity to both reflect on incredible achievements and inspire future endeavours." 

The evening featured musical performances from Chelsea Pensioner and Britain's Got Talent Winner Colin Thackery, Soprano Christina Johnston, the Military Wives Choirs and the Corps of Drums of the Royal Logistic Corps.

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