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Intelligent leadership and initiative leads to MBE for Nadine

Staff Sergeant Felicia ‘Nadine’ Watkinson, of the Staff and Personnel Support (SPS) arm of the Adjutant General’s Corps (AGC) is being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2022, for her ‘intelligent leadership, initiative and drive’.

A Sergeant at the time, Nadine was standing in as Head of Location Brussels, working within the European Joint Support Unit (EJSU), Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) - a role three ranks above her own and normally provided by a Warrant Officer Class One (WO1).

Her citation said: “Sgt Watkinson has shouldered considerable additional responsibility including standing in as the Head of Location Brussels and covering the absent Warrant Officer Class One position for six months, in addition to maintaining her own responsibilities and delivering high output and support for the headquarters.”

“To be honest I am still in shock and keep pinching myself,” said Nadine on learning of her award. “I am surprised; this is something I didn’t expect or believe would ever happen to me!”

It was during the pandemic, when the Covid-19 rules were constantly changing that Nadine and her team maintained their flexibility and resilience, in supporting the families who were travelling back and forth from the UK.

Jamaica-born Nadine, who has been in the Army for almost 19 years, said: “We were operating in a time of real uncertainty and everyone needed individual guidance, reassurance and support. As a team, being part of the headquarters, the pressure was immense for everyone. However, we worked together to maintain the trust and confidence of personnel and their families.”

Her citation praised her work ethic, saying: “Her intelligent leadership, initiative and drive have transformed the performance of her small team. Many of her initiatives and innovations have been adopted as best practice across the network of National Support Elements in location in Europe.”

“It is a great honour to be appreciated and recognised by my team and staff within EJSU,” she said. “For me, I see this award as a further example of how the Army has changed and become more diverse and inclusive. I know that my family and friends will be very proud of me, although I consider that I am accepting this award on behalf of myself and all my colleagues.”

Nadine, was born and grew up in May Pen, Clarendon Parish, Jamaica and now lives in Nottingham, UK with husband David. She’s served in Belize, Germany and Belgium, and describes her role as providing staff support and assurance to personnel, including advising on pay, documentation and accounting.

Read the full Queen's Birthday Honours List here