A ROYAL Navy sailor has been awarded the coveted Meritorious Service Medal in recognition of an illustrious career.
Andy ‘Busta’ Brown is a communications and information systems specialist based at Britain’s maritime headquarters in Bahrain.
The 41-year-old feared the worst when he was suddenly summoned to see his commanding officer – but it was nothing but good news.
He said: ‘I thought I was going to be in trouble, but then the Commodore told me I had been awarded the medal.
‘It was totally unexpected and a great surprise.
‘My dad was quite overwhelmed and really proud and my wife couldn’t believe it at first.
‘I have spent a lot of time away over the last few years and I can honestly say that without the support of family, there’s no way I could have done the job to get this award.’
To gain the coveted medal, somebody must have ‘good, faithful, valuable and meritorious service, with conduct judged to be irreproachable throughout’.
Other necessary qualifications are at least 20 years of service, and involvement with charities or social organisations outside the military.
Andy, from Gosport, is still waiting to hear where and when he will receive the medal, which was awarded to him as part of the New Year’s Honours List.
It is usual for the Royal Navy’s Second Sea Lord to present the award during a ceremony on board HMS Victory in Portsmouth.
Andy hopes his wife Emily and two daughters Bethany, 15, and Charley, five, will be there to see.
He has served in numerous ships including frigates HMS Danae, Battleaxe, Lancaster, and Iron Duke, destroyers HMS Nottingham and Birmingham, and the aircraft carrier HMS Invincible.
In the last four years, Andy has been deployed to foreign shores from Lisbon in Portgual to Umm Qasr in Iraq where he mentored members of the Iraqi military.
He joins a number of other servicemen and women from the Portsmouth area who have been recognised in the honours list for their hard work.
As reported in The News, Portsmouth-based Warrant Officer Class 2 Paul Hutchinson was awarded the MBE.
Wendy Townshend, a senior scientific officer for the Ministry of Defence in Portsmouth was also awarded the MBE.
And retired Rear-Admiral John Lippiett, of the Mary Rose Trust, was awarded the CBE.