Sailors and Royal Marines have been recognised by His Majesty the King for their dedication and ingenuity on operations around the globe.

Among those singled out on the Operational Honours and King’s Birthday Honours lists is a sailor who has reduced the risk of the entire submarine fleet from being detected by the enemy.

Petty Officer Matthew Connick is made an MBE in the King’s Birthday Honours for demonstrating “innovation and vision” by developing and coding communications software – entirely in his own time – that reduces the time Royal Navy submarines spend at periscope depth.

Submarines are stealthy, operating in deep water and by his innovation he has reduced the amount of time the submarine remains at Periscope Depth and therefore reduced the risk of counter detection.

In the words of his citation: “The implications of his efforts are far reaching and have considerable benefits on the effectiveness of the Submarine Flotilla – most notably for nuclear powered attack submarines operating in high-threat environments.”

Meanwhile, Commander George Storton received an OBE in the Operational Honours List for his time as Commanding Officer of HMS Defender.

During 2022 Cdr Storton took the ship to the High North for the largest NATO exercise in the region in 30 years; provided firepower alongside 47 warships from 16 nations in the Baltic Sea and escorted the US Navy’s supercarrier, USS George HW Bush, during a deployment to the Eastern Mediterranean.

His citation highlighted his “keen focus on his people” and “developing numerous initiatives which together delivered noticeable improvements to the quality of life of the ship’s company and their families”.

Cdr Storton, 41, said: “I am truly humbled by this honour; having the opportunity to command HMS Defender has been a highlight of my career witnessing first-hand the selfless commitment of the Royal Navy’s people.

“The professionalism, enthusiasm and teamwork of the ship’s elite cadre of sailors was inspiring and a privilege to lead.

“The support from our families made a significant contribution to operating the ship in inhospitable environments including contending with sub-zero temperatures thousands of miles from home.

“Working with long-standing allies and partners was thoroughly rewarding and highlighted to me the high regard in which the Royal Navy is held.”

Lieutenant Commander Lyndsay Oldridge received an MBE on the King’s Birthday Honours list for her time as the Marine Engineering Officer on HMS Medway.

It was her first appointment in charge of an engineering department and she “acted as the catalyst for positive change at all levels and was instrumental to HMS Medway’s ability to deliver operational tasking in the Atlantic”.

“When I was told, I was in complete shock and a little speechless,” the 42-year-old from South Wales said.

“Now it has sunk in, I feel extremely honoured to have been recognised for this award and I feel very proud.

“My time on Medway has been the highlight of my career so far. During my time as Marine Engineering Officer the ship was supporting humanitarian and counter illicit trafficking operations, assisting British Overseas Territories after a hurricane and doing a drugs bust.

“We also operated in the South Atlantic, Falklands and we were lucky enough to visit South Georgia too.

“All of this was only possible with the tireless efforts of my department, who provided an exceptionally high level of availability and professionalism.”

Lt Cdr Oldridge, who joined the Royal Navy in 2004 as an Artificer Apprentice, said her family have been a great support during her time serving. She added she was looking forward to telling them.

“My family and friends will be ecstatic,” she said. “My parents have supported me throughout my naval career and my desire to join the Royal Navy; and my wife Helen, who’s support has been unbelievable and I couldn’t do it without her support at home.”

Commander David Donbavand was appointed an MBE in the Operational Honours for his work as Operational Logistician for the Permanent Joint Headquarters for both the Middle East and Indo-Pacific regions.

Cdr Donbavand led the UK’s response to Turkey’s devastating earthquake – “turning the rapidly sketched plan into reality in a matter of hours, he facilitated the speedy delivery of FCDO equipment”.

He also led Defence’s delivery of engineering and operational readiness at the Qatar FIFA World Cup.

He said: “I was truly shocked and humbled to be bestowed with such a prestigious honour. Coming from a large military family and being the first to be honoured, they will be proud of my achievements.

“Joining the military straight from school as a rating, promoting to the Officer Corps and not being recognised with such an honour, I am forever grateful for the opportunities the Royal Navy has provided to me, my family and the numerous teams I have worked with.”

He added: “I am extremely grateful to the extraordinary people and teams within PJHQ who work relentlessly and professionally to deliver global operations and I am proud to be recognised for leading a small but exceptional workforce during some of the most perilous times in recent history.”

Royal Navy Reservist Warrant Officer 1 Gary Doke was awarded a King’s Volunteer Reserve Medal.

He joined HMS Eaglet in 1990 and has been mobilised into full-time service on three occasions for Op Telic, Op Olympics and Op Rescript.

He also worked for the Ministry of Defence in London as part of the military Covid taskforce.

A regular member of the Ratings’ promotion boards, and as the Board Warrant Officer for Junior Officer Fleet Boards, WO1 Doke’s influence has been pivotal in the development and selection of the navy’s future leaders.


Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
Commander George Storton

Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
Commander David Donbavand

US Legion of Merit (Degree of Officer)
Commodore D J Mackinnon OBE

Medaille de la Defense Nationale (Echelon Bronze)
Lieutenant Commander Philippe Allan Raymond Oakes
Lieutenant Helen Taylor

Medaille D’Outre-Mer
Lieutenant Poppy Stillman


Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath
Lieutenant General Charlie Stickland RM

Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath
Rear Admiral Rex Cox

Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
Rear Admiral Paul Beattie
Commodore Dave Joyce
Commodore David Moody
Major General Mark Totten RM

Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
Commodore John Aitken
Commander Stephen Brian
Lieutenant Colonel Olly Denning RM
Commander Iain Fergusson
Commander James Howard
Colonel Aran Jess RM
Colonel Craig Renney RM

Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
Major Matt Adams RM
Colour Sergeant David Bartlett RM
Warrant Officer 2 Marcus Bassett RM
Commander Liam ‘Dickie’ Byrd
Major Mark Carroll RM
Petty Officer Engineering Technician (CISSM) Matthew Connick
Chief Petty Officer Engineering Technician (CISSM) Adrian Grimes
Commander Chris Hill
Commander Alasdair Magill
Samantha Jane Nicolson, Chief Operating Officer RNRMC
Lieutenant Commander Lyndsay Oldridge
Stanley Keith Ridley, National Chairman, Royal Naval Association
Captain Mark Williams RM

King’s Volunteer Reserve Medal
Warrant Officer 1 Gary Doke RNR

British Empire Medal
Geoffrey Matthew Haywood, Poole Branch, Royal Marines Association
WO Benjamin Mearing RNR, District Warrant Officer Hertfordshire District Sea Cadets
Robert Anthony Pearce, National Ceremonial Training Officer Sea Cadets

Meritorious Service Medal
Warrant Officer 1 S M Clark
Warrant Officer 2 Robert C Conde (CTCRM)
Warrant Officer 1 Engineering Technician (Communication and Information Systems) Terry Dawson (FOST)
Warrant Officer 1 (Sea) D Deakin
Chief Petty Officer Engineering Technician (Weapons Engineering) B F A Donnelly
Warrant Officer 1 (Hydrography and Meteorology) E B Fitzsimmons
Warrant Officer 1 Engineering Technician (ME) M B Griffiths (DES Ships NSS Port Victory)
Warrant Officer 1 Phillip Hawkins (HQ Youth and Cadets)
Warrant Officer 1 (Aircraft Handler) Scott Iszard RNAS Culdrose
Warrant Officer 1 Tim Jukes RM (OCGRM)
Warrant Officer 2 Brad Keeling RM (42 Cdo RM)
Warrant Officer 1 (Air Engineering Technician) Richard Knaggs (HMS Prince of Wales)
Warrant Officer 1 Warfare Specialist (Above Water Warfare) Glynn Moffat (Navy Strat Pol)
Chief Petty Officer Warfare Specialist (Above Water Warfare) Stuart More (Navy X Sea NCHQ)
Chief Petty Officer (Diver) J L F O’Brien (Defence Diving School)
Warrant Officer 1 (Royal Navy Family and People Support) Claire Robson (NSFPS Hub East)

First Sea Lord’s Commendations
Lieutenant J Addison
Chief Petty Officer (Medical Assistant) M Beavis
Lieutenant Colonel B Colarusso RM
Petty Officer Warfare Specialist (Electronic Warfare) B Cosgrove
Chief Petty Officer Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering Submarines) G Foster
Petty Officer Logistics (Catering Services) S Green
Warrant Officer 2 (Diver) M Jacobs
Chief Petty Officer Logistics (Supply Chain) Reserve N Kay
Lieutenant Commander J Kedge
C Lilley, RN Comms and Influence
Sub Lieutenant C O’Callaghan
Warrant Officer 2 Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering) S Shannon
Warrant Officer 1 Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering) P Smyth
Lieutenant Kolonel P Van Rooij Netherlands Marine Korps

Royal Navy Commendations
Petty Officer (Medical Assistant) T Austin
Lieutenant Colonel D Bedford Royal Marines
Chief Petty Officer (Cryptological Technician) A Bennett
Chief Petty Officer Warfare Specialist (Tactical Submarines) J Blight
Lieutenant Commander W Booth
Lieutenant Commander N Brown
Petty Officer Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering) A Butler
A Dagens
Leading Engineering Technician (Weapons Engineering) L Dailly
Chief Petty Officer Logistics (Supply Chain) G Edwards
Lieutenant N Godley
Petty Officer (Cryptological Technician) J Harrison
Lieutenant Commander A Kane
First Officer P Lewington RFA
Petty Officer Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering Submarines) C Love
Warrant Officer 2 K Masukowitz German Navy
Lieutenant M Matthews
Chief Petty Officer Warfare Specialist (Sonar Submarines) E Neeson
Leading Logistics (Writer) N Sandford
Captain J Slater RM

Royal Navy Team Commendations
43 Commando Royal Marines – Training Office
HMS Dauntless – Advanced Tactical Coxswain Team
HMS Lancaster – Logistics Department
HMS Richmond – Warfare Department
HMS St Albans – Marine Engineering Department
Royal Navy School of Flight Deck Operations Shore Training Team

Commander United Kingdom Strategic Command Commendations
Lieutenant Commander S Chapman
Commander C Dodd
Warrant Officer 2 (Cryptologic Technician) B Gill

Commander JAC Commendations:
Chief Petty Officer (Air Engineering Technician) S I Bailey
Captain O J Bates RM
Lieutenant M Goddard
Petty Officer (Air Engineering Technician) G K Holmes
Chief Petty Officer (Air Engineering Technician) P W Kay
Leading Hand (Supply Chain) E J Leslie
Lieutenant B D Lilley
Warrant Officer 1 (Air Engineering Technician) A P Mills
Petty Officer (Aircrewman) L Phillips
Lieutenant Commander G H Walker

Commander JAC Team Commendations:
845 Naval Air Squadron, Deployed Personnel Support Team
846 Naval Air Squadron Aircrewmen
847 Naval Air Squadron, B Flight Engineers and Enablers