A county council worker from Alton has been chosen to receive a prestigious award for his services as an Army Reservist.
Adrian Keeble has completed operational tours in Bosnia and Afghanistan during his 20-year service and has risen to the highest non-commissioned rank of Warrant Officer Class 1.
And as a result of this, he has now been recognised in the New Year Honours list by being awarded the Queen’s Volunteer Reserves Medal.
Only 13 of the medals are handed out each year nationwide, with WO Keeble, who has previously received five service medals, admitting he was “honoured” to be chosen.
He said: “I became a Reservist as I wanted to do something interesting and challenging with my life, and to serve my country.
“It’s improved my self-confidence, my fitness, and my organisational, planning and communications skills; all important life skills which help me to adapt to all sorts of situations.
“I was honoured and delighted to receive the Queen’s Volunteer Reserves Medal, which was completely unexpected.”
WO Keeble’s position as the Senior Reserve soldier with 71st (City of London) Signal Regiment requires him to make a 150-mile round trip to the regimental base in south London for training around 100 days a year.
But for the rest of the time, he works as an information analyst at Hampshire County Council, with the authority’s Armed Forces Champion, Andrew Joy, lauding his “incredible job”.
“We are delighted at WO Keeble’s richly deserved recognition from the Queen for his dedication in serving our country.
“He has done an incredible job for his country, and the county council is proud to have supported him.
“We are indebted to him, and Reservists like him, for serving the nation.”
The county council was last year one of 22 organisations to be recognised for its support of the Armed Forces by a Gold Award, presented by the Duke of Cambridge.
WO Keeble added: “I’m very grateful to the county council, who have been very supportive, with two weeks’ additional paid leave for training and other duties, as well as time to get involved in important events such as Armed Forces Day.”