Soldier’s royal recognition

Cpl Scott Sharkey received the Queen's Commendation from the Duke of York
Cpl Scott Sharkey received the Queen's Commendation from the Duke of York

A Hawick soldier has been awarded a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service for his part in a battle against Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.

Corporal Scott Sharkey, who has been in the Royal Air Force for nine years, received the honour from HRH the Duke of York at RAF Lossiemouth earlier this month.

The former Drumlanrig and High School pupil was recognised for his actions in repelling an attack on Camp Bastion from Taliban fighters and pulling colleagues from the wreckage of a vehicle which was blown up by an incendiary device in October last year.

And in his recommendation, Sharkey’s Commanding Officer said: “Sharkey is highly professional, utterly reliable and extremely motivated . . . his performance has been outstanding . . . he has led by example and met this challenge head on.”

And it continued: “Sharkey was in the thick of the action . . . leading from the front . . . during this period Sharkey was faced with the recovery of two UK servicemen who had been killed . . . evidence of his character, resolve and emotional intelligence, his first concern landing back at Bastion was for his emotionally drained team . . . he talked through the scenario with his subordinates and directly after continued with his duties, inspiring his team.”

Mr Sharkey was one of 130 troops who marched along Elgin High Street to mark the return of 5 Force Protection Wing from deployment in Afghanistan.

And commenting on his commendation, Cpl Sharkey, a member of 51 Squadron RAF Regiment, said: “The attack came on September 14, and two weeks later I had to pull my best mate out after an incendiary device went off.”

During the attack three men were injured including one who sustained severe damage to his legs. Two of the men will return to duties but the other has left the service.

Cpl Sharkey, who is 28, is the son of Tommy and Sarah Sharkey, and says that he was only doing what he was trained to do and that if anyone deserves recognition it should be those who have lost their lives or been injured. And he added: “Afghanistan is done for 51 Squadron and I’m looking forward to heading
off to Kenya on holiday for three weeks to see the wildlife.”

On his return to duties, Cpl will be posted to RAF Leeming.