UK Government

Ministry Of Defence (National): Armed Forces Honoured at Sun Military Awards

Press Release   •   Dec 16, 2009 11:56 GMT

The excellence of the Armed Forces and supporting civilians were recognised last night at the second Sun Military Awards, organised by The Sun newspaper in close association with the Ministry of Defence.

Their Royal Highnesses The Princes William and Henry of Wales were guests of honour at the event held at the Imperial War Museum, London, on Tuesday 15 December. They were joined by military Chiefs, senior government and political figures, and stars from the worlds of entertainment and sport to pay tribute to these unique individuals.

In ten categories, the Awards, affectionately known as “The Millies”, recognised the bravery and professionalism of Service and civilian personnel working in today’s Armed Forces around the world. They also celebrated members of the public who provide unstinting support to the military in various ways.

In addition to the main categories there were two judges’ awards for special recognition. One award was presented to the Joint Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group, for their continual professionalism on operations in exceptionally difficult conditions. The Judges also paid tribute to the courage of all family members who have been bereaved this year by recognising the Afghan Heroes charity. Also known as “The Band of Mothers”, the charity was set up by the mothers of eight Servicemen who died in Afghanistan this summer during Operation Panther’s Claw.

Speaking about the awards, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, Chief of the Defence Staff said:

“This year has been another year of extraordinary achievement by our Servicemen and Servicewomen. Whatever the task and whatever the challenge, they do their duty: and they do it for us – the people of this great nation.

The Sun Military Awards enable the nation to say thank you to our brave men and women and to their families for their dedication, courage and sacrifice. It means a huge amount to them to know that the nation is behind them.”

The ceremony, including unique footage of shortlisted individuals and teams on operations, plus reconstructions of the acts of heroism that were nominated, will be televised on Monday 21 December at 9pm on ITV1.


1. Overcoming Adversity
Marine Ben McBean, 40 Commando Royal Marines, Plymouth, Devon

2. Most Outstanding Sailor or Marine
Able Seaman Medical Assistant Kate Nesbitt MC, attached to 1st Battalion The Rifles, Plymouth, Devon

3. Most Outstanding Soldier
Corporal Mark Powis MC, 1st Battalion The Rifles, Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset

4. Most Outstanding Airman
Flight Lieutenant John Walmsley, RAF Odiham, from Edinburgh

5. Best Reservist
Able Seaman Edmund Grandison, HMS Forward, Royal Naval Reserve, from Tyseley, Birmingham

6. Support to the Armed Forces
The town of Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire

7. Life Saver Award
Corporal Carl Thomas, 2nd Battalion The Rifles, Liverpool

8. True Grit Home
Acting Chief Petty Officer David Rigg, Royal Naval Air Service, Culdrose, Cornwall

9. True Grit Overseas
Sergeant Andrew McNulty, 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment, 
Catterick, North Yorkshire

10. Best Unit
The 2nd Battalion, The Rifles, Ballykinler, Northern Ireland

11. Judges’ Award for Special Recognition
Joint Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group
Afghan Heroes

Notes to Editors:

1. The Sun Military Awards were open to military or civilian members of the Armed Forces, either on an individual or team basis.

2. Shortlisted individuals and teams were chosen from more than 1,000 nominations in 10 categories, submitted by members of the public and the Armed Forces. Alongside the main categories there was the Judge’s Award for Special Recognition. This was awarded by the judging panel to two candidates who did not win in their category, but who the judges nonetheless felt were equally outstanding in their fields and deserved recognition.

3. The celebrity judging panel for the 2009 Sun Military Awards were:
• General The Lord Guthrie, Chief of the Defence Staff 1997-2001 
• Admiral Lord West, First Sea Lord 2002-2006 and currently Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Security and Counter-terrorism, The Home Office
• General Sir Mike Jackson, Chief of the General Staff 2003-2006
• Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter Squire, Chief of the Air Staff 2000-2003
• John Terry, England Football Team Captain
• Martin Johnson, England Rugby Team Manager
• Andy McNab, writer and former member of the SAS
• Ross Kemp, actor and journalist
• Dame Kelly Holmes, Olympic Gold Medallist
• Sally Thorneloe, widow of Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe
• Tom Newton-Dunn, Political Editor, The Sun
• Myleene Klass, singer, broadcaster and daughter of a Royal Navy Serviceman

4. The awards were launched on 31 July and nominations closed on 14

5. For further information contact Vicky Beacon, Defence PR and Events, 020 7218 6162, or Tom Callagher, 020 7218 0341,


NDS Enquiries 
Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department