The soldiers of 36 Engineer Regiment have received one of the highest accolades that can be bestowed upon a military establishment – The Firmin Sword of Peace.
The Regiment’s continual selfless commitment to provide outstanding humanitarian relief efforts worldwide from July 2018 to January 2019 has not gone unnoticed. On Tuesday 21st July they received The Firmin Sword of Peace for the second time in the Regiment’s history.
Soldiers from 36 Engineer Regiment have exceeded the requirements laid down in the award’s citation which reads. ‘For the most valuable contribution to humanitarian activities by establishing good and friendly relations with the inhabitants of any community’. Their efforts are specifically noted for their delivery of UK support on Operation Trenton 5, where they were charged with providing construction engineering support to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan with the building of a new hospital, the reconstruction of another and the construction of a much needed connection route for the world food programme to deliver aid supplies between those individual and communities in parts of South Sudan, who were struggling and having to go through areas of conflict where gender-based violence was tragically a common place.
The award also reflects the Regiment’s dedicated work during 2018 in Kenya on Exercise Askari Storm and the Falkland Islands and for their community engagement work in Nepal and at home in South East England. The Regiment were also acknowledged for the Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Response (HADR) support they provided during Hurricane Irma.
Part of the citation read; ‘The Regiment’s soldiers and officers were never found wanting and their collective efforts, professionalism and selflessness delivered relief that makes the world a safer place for the vulnerable and disadvantaged’.
270 members of the Regiment were on parade, this is a smaller representation than the normal 650 personnel from the Regiment to allow for greater social distancing. In front of a small but significant gathering of Senior and Regimental Military personnel and The Firmin Sword of Peace representatives the Officers and Soldiers marched onto the parade square to await the arrival of Commander Field Army (CFA) Lieutenant General Ivan Jones CB.
to receive The Firmin Sword of Peace means that their collective effort in all things humanitarian has been deservedly recognised Commanding Officer, Lt Col Jones
During his address CFA said, “It’s a huge privilege to be here today, to award The Firmin Sword of Peace to 36 Engineer Regiment. I am slightly bias as a Sapper myself but it’s fantastic to hear what has been achieved over recent years. Sappers’ are, I think just ordinary people doing marvellous things, always going just that little bit further anywhere and everywhere. I’d like to thank each of you for what you have done not only with your local communities but what you do every day, day in day out to make this Army what it is and that’s why I am so hugely proud to be your Commander.”
Speaking about his thoughts regarding the momentous achievements of his Regiment and his own success in being awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service, Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Jones said; “It is fantastic to be receiving recognition for the Regiment’s 650 Officers and Soldiers, a collective effort which has made a real difference to the world…to receive The Firmin Sword of Peace means that their collective effort in all things humanitarian has been deservedly recognised. To be part of something that has made a tangible difference to both the UN and more importantly to the local people of South Sudan in truly humbling. We are one team amongst a bigger team in a truly remarkable organisation, of which I choose to be a part of and am very proud to serve in and alongside my Officers and Soldiers.”