Best Soldier Honoured at Show
A soldier described as “a beacon of excellence” has been named as Best Soldier with an award at the Great Yorkshire Show.
The Best Soldier Award is made annually to member of the Royal Yorkshire Regiment, with a presentation in the Main Ring.
This year’s honours go to Private Damien McDonald of the 1st Battalion who was rewarded for his excellence during Corunna Company’s conversion to Light Mechanised Infantry and preparation for Op SHADER.
Pte McDonald is from Rotherham. He joined the Army as his job in a door factory was being automated and he wanted to provide stability for his young family.
Private McDonald’s performance as a Civilian Armoured Vehicle driver during Corunna Company’s Op SHADER Mission Rehearsal Exercise was exemplary. His attitude was cheerful, hardworking, and deeply professional.
His example set the standard for his peers and often drew praise from his chain of command and exercise staff.
Alongside being an expert in the Foxhound vehicle, this term, Private McDonald has passed the UST course and the nine-tonne conversion course. He also excelled during Public Order training and Team Medic training.
His citation reads: “Pte McDonald applies himself like few other soldiers. Always optimistic, forward leaning, and with a can-do attitude, his drive to improve his driving and fleet management credentials remains the example of how Private soldiers should seek out continuous improvement.
“He routinely finds relevant courses, researches the requirement, and provides his chain of command with the plan and solution for achieving his goals, and the goals for his team. He is the Company’s most accomplished driver, he sets an excellent standard for others to follow, and his performance on driving courses has been repeatedly marked out as exceptional. His levels of independence and self-motivation are far beyond that of a three-year Private soldier. He goes one step beyond in every task he is set.”
• The Great Yorkshire Show is England’s premier agricultural event, organised by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society (YAS), a registered charity supporting rural Yorkshire.
• YAS supports and promotes the farming industry through health care, business, education and scientific research.
• The Society is supported by its family of businesses including Fodder, Yorkshire Event Centre, Pavilions of Harrogate and the Harrogate Caravan Park as well as events Great Yorkshire Show and Springtime Live.
• Businesses and events held at the Great Yorkshire Showground in 2019 contributed £73.7 million to the economy.
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