A Royal Navy sailor from Bletchley, who has served for more than 23 years has been awarded the prestigious Meritorious Service Medal.
Chief Petty Officer, Andrew ‘Busta’ Brown, 41, was praised for going above and beyond the call of duty during his career, and awarded the medal by the Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral David Steel on board his flagship HMS Victory in Portsmouth. Just 52 Meritorious Service Medals are presented each year and only RN personnel who have completed 20 years’ service, have already received the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and have a record throughout their time in the RN or Royal Marines which is classed as exemplary, are eligible.
CPO Brown, a communication information specialist, works at the UK’s Maritime Component Command (UKMCC) in Bahrain as a Communications Information Systems Manager.
“It is an honour to have been awarded the MSM,” he said. “I have spent a lot of time away from home over the last few years and can honestly say that without the support from my family there is no way I could have done the job for which I was awarded this medal.” CPO Brown, who is married with two children, has numerous decorations from his time in the navy including the NATO medal with clasp (1995), Air Operations in Iraq (2001), and the Op Telic (Iraq) medal (2010). He added: “I would say that my best draft was with 15 Signal Regiment as a Close Support Team Leader – a very rewarding assignment working with an Army Signals Regiment.
“I was then responsible for providing specialist knowledge and experience on Bowman radio communications system to the Royal Navy and assisting in the upgrade of the Fleet’s Bowman radio systems.” Following the presentation to just 23 personnel on board HMS Victory on Tuesday, the recipients and their families were offered a tour of Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard before lunch at Admiralty House, the Second Sea Lord’s official residence.
“I am exceptionally honoured to present these Meritorious Service Medals to an outstanding group of personnel,” said Adm Steel. “These awards are given to those who, in 20 years or more of service to the Royal Navy, have maintained the highest, unbroken standard of conduct and proved themselves to be truly remarkable individuals in their line of work.
“They set an incredible example for others to follow and should be extremely proud of all they have achieved.”
The silver medal dates back to January 14, 1919 – just two months after the end of the First World War and was originally intended to reward either specific acts of gallantry not in the presence of the enemy, or for meritorious service performed by petty officers and ratings.
CPO Brown is a keen long-distance cyclist and also enjoys carp fishing. He attended school in Bletchley where his parents Susan and Andrew still live.