Bletchley sailor Andy Brown was convinced he was in trouble when he was called in unexpectedly to see his commanding officer.
But instead the 41-year-old was congratulated – and told he had been awarded a Meritorious Service Medal in the New Year Honours list.
Said Andy, who is nicknamed Busta: “It was totally unexpected and a great surprise... I thought I was going to be into trouble!”
The former Leon School pupil joined the Navy 25 years ago and has served on numerous famous ships, including the aircraft carrier HMS Invincible.
The Meritorious Service Medal is awarded for good, faithful and “irreproachable” service.
Andy has worked in NATO headquarters in Portugal, mentoring Iraqi military and managing communications for the British contingent.
As a member of 259 Signal Squadron, he was also responsible for a key upgrade to the forces-wide Bowman radio communications softwear.
But his roots remain firmly in his home town, where he still pays frequent visits to the Bletchley Park TS Invincible Naval Cadet Corps.
He is also involved in charity cycling events, such as the London to Brighton and Four Harbours runs.
In his spare time, Andy offers advice to any cadets thinking of joining the navy.
“When cadets ask me what it’s like I tell them that 25 years in I still love the job,” he said.
“It’s absolutely fantastic and I don’t regret a single minute.”