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Beds and Bars Awards

The  ‘Live Your Life Awards’, presented by Beds & Bars in Association with Navy Wings, are presented to a Junior Rating who has performed with distinction and stood out from their peer group.

The latest awards were made in London on February 22nd to three hugely deserving winners.

Admiral Sir Ben Key KCB CBE ADC, AET Kieran Sams, Cdre Niall Griffin MBE 

AET Kieran Sams

As the Tech Office AET on 825 NAS, Kieren Sams works diligently to track, manage, and advise upon the status of all logistical demands for equipment on our Wildcat aircraft. Regularly handling and driving equipment returns, Sams’ efforts have successfully increased the pace in which unserviceable items are put back into the repair loop. Sams also feeds integral data into the weekly Aircraft Limitation and Deferment Reviews, providing up-to-date information on the status of all items needed to rectify. Sams is a strong AET whose actions and efforts on 825 NAS were recognised by his award of AET of the Month in Jun 22.

However, this nomination stems not just from the above, but from Sams’ passion and activity outside of work, in support the Homeless and Vulnerable Outreach Network (HAVON). This is an activity that he never speaks about nor publicises in any way. Many on 825 NAS are completely unaware of the time he gives and the care he takes to support those less fortunate in the local community.

For almost three years, Sams has been working with the HAVON. Providing a service in Yeovil Town Centre that seeks to ensure a healthy hot meal, alongside hot and cold drinks, is provided to those who need it, no questions asked. The Charity also provides regular care packages for vulnerable people who can’t make it to the Town Centre.

In addition, a special package is generated at Christmas, providing everything needed for a Christmas dinner. Always present on service nights, Sams engages wholeheartedly with the Charity’s customers, using his personality to swiftly build a rapport with those he meets.

Recently Sams answered a request late on a Saturday, from a lady regarding a pregnant family member who was rough sleeping, but whose tent had been damaged during heavy rain. The inclement weather had also left her bedding and belongings soaked, generating a potential risk of pneumonia to her and her unborn child. Exemplifying the can-do ethos of the FAA and dynamic wheeler dealing, Sams managed to arrange for the donation of a new tent, which he then personally collected and brought to her, along with fresh bedding, toiletries and sleeping mats from the Charity’s store.

Relying only upon public donations and raising awareness of their good deeds via Facebook, Sams is also responsible for keeping this page active and moderated, pushing out information and posting requests for volunteers and donations whenever they are required.

Hard working, reliable and compassionate in all he does, without any fanfare or self-promotion, Sams truly goes above and beyond in the support of others. He is worthy of recognition and is the 825 NAS nomination for the Live Your Life Award.

LAET Chelsea Jobling

LAET Jobling is a Junior Rate Engineering Supervisor within RNAS Culdrose’s Merlin Operational Support Team. In a team that provides a vital contribution to the Royal Navy’s Merlin fleet availability, LAET Jobling displays thorough commitment to the team’s work, acting with resounding professional energy to progress and lead maintenance activity.

In addition to her primary role, LAET Jobling often acts to promote Engineering and Technology to the next generation through support to the Royal Navy’s regional engagement team, and through her work contributing to RNAS Culdrose’s own STEM activities. Throughout 2022 she played a central part in the organisation and conduct of the ‘Regional Lego League’, helping young children from across Cornwall experience coding and engineering to solve problems; and she has supported Culdrose’s Work Experience programme – demonstrating to students from across the country the opportunities that the Royal Navy has to offer to school-age Students.

LAET Jobling also contributes to the development of the Service’s organisational culture and diversity, which has seen her contribute ideas to senior Station and Service personnel, to the benefit of the Service.

Outside of her professional life, Chelsea is an active sportsperson playing rugby for a local community team, ensuring that she reflects the best values of the Royal Navy and living life to the full.

Capt Stuart Irwin, LAET Chelsea Jobling, Admiral Sir Ben Key KCB CBE ADC

Col Mark Johnson, LAET Harry McMillan, Admiral Sir Ben Key KCB CBE ADC

LAET Harry McMillan

Leading Hand Harry McMillan has been selected for a Live Your Life award because of his exceptional performance as a leader and team member within the Commando Helicopter Force and the wider Naval Service.

Throughout he has displayed the utmost dedication for his work and has consistently pushed himself and his team above and beyond. A true force multiplier, his energetic and devoted approach to work has been matched by humility and consideration throughout all of his exploits.

As a Mechanical Supervisor on the Commando Merlin airframe, his leadership of small teams of engineers responsible for its maintenance in all environments has seen him deliver to the highest of professional standards, and has ensured Operational Capability remained upheld.

He dependably demonstrated high technical prowess alongside a professionally curious, innovative, and natural problem-solving mindset. Such an attitude showed a maturity and ability that has naturally inspired his peers and subordinates alike and has proven to be a positive example to all engineers in the Fleet Air Arm.

Outside of his core engineering role McMillan has proven himself a passionate athlete and role-model through his participation in representative sport.

He jumped at every opportunity to challenge, develop, and improve his physical ability. This was particularly evident when he participated in the 2022 Navy Powerlifting Championships, where he was placed 1st in his weight category. His passion also extended to the Royal Navy Field Gun competition, as an integral member of the HMS Heron team he recruited numerous team members from across RNAS Yeovilton to participate in the physically intense competition at HMS Collingwood, where the team were awarded 2nd place in the final.

Additional to these high intensity sports, he has also built a wellness community in his hometown called Walky-talkies, which is a Devon based walking group aimed at promoting both physical and mental wellbeing. It is this additional level of devotion to a wider group of people outside of his core work that really demonstrated his broader community values, and capacity to care for others.

Recently, McMillan returned from a British Services’ Expedition to Pakistan in 2022, where he was highly commended by Air Commodore DC Tait MBE for his enormously strong performance whilst participating in an arduous, challenging, and perilous expedition. He showed real determination when he pushed fatigue aside and overcame illness during the traverse of the Gondogora La at 5600 metres, indeed the leader . Following a rockfall, which caused 2 causalties, he then displayed exceptional strength of character and perseverance when faced with this traumatic situation to assist in a real casualty evacuation utilising nothing more than a tarpaulin in an extremely remote and dangerous location. This test of courage and selfless commitment to go beyond his physical boundaries is testament to his mental resilience and fortitude.

McMillan represents the highest standards and ethos of the Royal Navy, where he routinely displays selflessness, courage, exceptional leadership, and humility, and is thoroughly deserving of this prestigious Live Your Live award.