Royal Navy submariners recognised for hard work in specialist areas with award wins

Christopher Randall was named the winner of the Rear Admiral Bateson Award – presented annually to highlight excellence in the Weapons Engineering branch. UK MOD © Crown copyright 2024. OGL (Open Government License).

Three submariners have had their hard work, dedication and expert knowledge recognised by winning awards.

The trio currently serve on the same Astute-class hunter-killer submarine and were nominated for the awards for their efforts below the waves. 

Petty Officer Engineering Technician (Weapons Engineer Submariner) Christopher Randall was named the winner of the Rear Admiral Bateson Award – presented annually to highlight excellence in the Weapons Engineering branch.

It is given to someone who has made a significant contribution to their unit’s operations and innovation or developed the branch – which is responsible for a boat’s cutting-edge weapon systems and sensors – in the previous 12 months. 

In his citation, POET Randall is described as a “dedicated engineering technician who persistently puts the needs of the Service ahead of himself.”

It listed several examples of him learning new skills and expanding his knowledge to help with defective systems on board the submarine – in one situation learning how to programme and rebuild a piece of software. 

He also used his initiative to offer support on other functions on board the boat to ensure their deployment ran smoothly. 

But his willingness to teach others in the department was also highlighted as making him a worthy winner.

“Beyond his technical aptitude, PO Randall displays the coaching and mentoring skills needed to inspire the inexperienced personnel within the Department while simultaneously strengthening their technical competence,” his citation added.

“Most distinguishing, however, is his willingness to change his own plans to support the department’s output without any direction often sacrificing his own personal time – he is a dedicated submariner and as such is worthy of recognition for his consistent upholding of the submarine ethos and core values.”

Sub Lieutenant Duncan Bell

Meanwhile, fellow crew members Sub Lieutenant Duncan Bell and Chief Petty Officer Ryan Bleakley were named Best Trainee of the Year and winner of theCommanding Officer’s Engineering, Leadership and Innovation Award respectively by livery companies of their trade.

The Worshipful Company of Tin Plate Workers named Sub Lt Bell as Best Trainee of the Year for being a “key figure” in his boat’s control room and, since earning his Dolphins as a fully-qualified submariner, continuing to learn new skills. 

His winning citation continues: “Sub Lt Duncan Bell has surpassed all expectations on his route to qualifying as a submariner. A modest and conscientious individual, his quiet leadership style has seen him become one of the key figures within the Control Room, demonstrating competence beyond that of his more experienced peers. 

“He has continued to add to his repertoire learning new skills that will stand him in good stead on his return to a sea going unit, where he will make a positive impact as a Section Officer.”

CPO Bleakley was presented his winning award by the Worshipful Company of Engineers. His enthusiasm and drive in leading shipmates earned him the Commanding Officer’s Engineering, Leadership and Innovation Award.

His citation states:

“CPO Bleakley is responsible for delivering capability to command at the cutting-edge of technology in the most hostile environment available: underwater and far from home. 

“By implementing high and rigorous engineering standards, he ensures maintenance and repairs are completed in an effective and safe manner providing the round-the-clock availability on which submarines depend. 

“A determined leader, his drive has had a positive influence on the sections under his custody seeing an uplift in output while maintaining morale in what at times have been compressed timelines imposed by the submarine’s operational programme.”

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Source: Royal Navy. With kind permission to republish. Photos: UK MOD © Crown copyright 2024 OGL (Open Government License).


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