A Dorset-based soldier, who has been described as the ‘engine room’ behind the revitalisation of relationships with local communities and going above and beyond with his charity work, has been made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE).
Staff Sergeant Jamie Barrett, of the Royal Armoured Corps Engagement Team based in Bovington, has been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2021 for his unstinting work in engaging with communities across the country and a determination to make a difference with his charity work.
Between 2018 and 2020 he organised the attendance of his engagement team at over 100 events from County Shows to Air Festivals, in order to engage with the community and explain the role of the Army and particularly that of the Armoured Corps.
I’m overwhelmed at the thought of receiving this honour as I had never even dreamt this would be something that would happen to me. It also fills me with pride that my work and drive is recognised and rewarded. It feels surreal." Staff Sergeant Jamie Barrett, RAC
He has also brought inspiration to school children from around the country by supportingBattlefield Tours as part of a Government study programme initiative. In his own time, he has been tireless in his work for charity, particularly for homeless and wounded veterans.
His citation reads: “Staff Sergeant Barrett has been the engine room behind the delivery of Royal Armoured Corps engagement over the last two years, In 2019, he co-ordinated his single team's attendance at an impressive 28 major and 37 minor events across the United Kingdom, complete with armoured display vehicles.
"He has also personally enabled many battlefield tours for school children and supported homeless veterans. In his free time, he supports several charities including Walking with the Wounded and Homeless Veterans UK. He has helped raise both money and awareness for the plight of homeless veterans, sleeping rough with them during the winter on the streets of Blandford.”
Jamie, 40, grew up in Walsall in the West Midlands but was born in Germany where his father was serving. He joined the Army in 1998 and served with Queen’s Royal Lancers who eventually amalgamated to become The Royal Lancers.
During his 22-year career, he has deployed to Kosovo and Cyprus and completed three tours of Iraq, being recognised for his work with a Brigade Commander’s Commendation and two tours of Afghanistan with the Brigade Reconnaissance Force. He was also recognised for his outstanding commitment a Staff Instructor to the Royal Yeomanry.
Not only an inspiration to others, it would appear that his inspiration sits closer to home as his daughter is looking to take up a career with the Army.
He said of his award: “I’m overwhelmed at the thought of receiving this honour as I had never even dreamt this would be something that would happen to me. It also fills me with pride that my work and drive is recognised and rewarded. It feels surreal.
I particularly enjoyed the Schools Centenary Battlefield Study Programme. A highlight was the honour of laying a wreath at the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate in Belgium with so many different children.”
Of his charity work he said: “There is always a way to help. Raising money or sleeping rough to raise awareness are small things but can be effective if it also inspires others to get involved or spend a little time to raise money.
“I will always dedicate my personal time to charity work or assisting programmes that can inspire people.”