A RASTRICK man has been awarded the Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate, one of the highest honours in the forces.
The certificate was presented to Kevin Whiteley by Lord Crathorne, Lord-Lieutenant for North Yorkshire, at a private ceremony held at Yeomanry Barracks in York, in recognition of his outstanding contribution and dedication to the Reserve Forces.
Mr Whiteley, aged 53, volunteered for the Territorial Army in 1976 and decided to join the regular army a year later. He served in the 1st Battalion, the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, he saw service as a crew member in Bradford on the ‘Green Goddess’ Fire Appliance during the firemen’s strike of 1977.
In addition to three tours of duty in Northern Ireland, and postings to Gibraltar and Belize, where he became an Army Driving Instructor.
On leaving the Regular Army in 1989, Mr Whiteley re-joined the 1st Battalion, The Yorkshire Volunteers, becoming the Platoon Sergeant and steadily being promoted up the ranks to his current rank of Warrant Officer Stage 2, where upon he took over the running of the Recruit Training Team.
Taking up a Full Time Reserve Service Position in 2008, he now serves in the 4th Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, and has been instrumental in setting up and managing the Recruit Selection Wing, successfully overseeing several hundred new recruits joining the Reserve Forces.
Mr Whiteley, who outside of his TA career has raised thousands of pounds for the RNLI, said: “I’m extremely pleased to have received this award. I volunteered for the TA nearly 36 years ago and enjoyed myself so much that I signed up to the Regulars and then came back to the TA afterwards. I still enjoy it enormously today and I feel very honoured to have been recognised in this way.”
Colonel Carron Snagge, chief executive of the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (RFCA) in Yorkshire and The Humber, added: “We have so many committed men and women in Yorkshire who give up their time outside working hours to provide support for the Reserve Forces. I am delighted that Kevin’s service has been commemorated in this way and I have no doubt he will continue to make a great difference to the Reserve Forces.”
Colonel Snagge also appealed for more adult volunteers to support the region’s 5,400 cadets in the Army Cadet Force: “We would love to hear from people who are willing to offer their time and enthusiasm to join our ranks as an Adult Instructor – no military experience is needed.”