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OBE for officer leading cultural change for the British Army

Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Buxton, Royal Artillery, who led the team charged with countering unacceptable behaviour and improving the culture of the British Army, is being recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2022 with an OBE.

Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Buxton, 43, who was cited as SO1 (Staff Officer Grade One) Unacceptable Behaviours, headed up the Unacceptable Behaviours Team, including the Army Mediation Service (AMS) and has also been instrumental in helping the Army value the parents amongst its ranks by establishing the award-winning Army Parents Network.

“I’m exceptionally privileged to be recognised in this way,” he said, on learning that he was to become an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) during The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year.

“I led a fantastic team of eight people, and this award is as much for them as it is for me. Because so much of what we’ve done and achieved over the last few years to improve the lived experience of our people has been down to a massive team effort. I’ve just been a small part of that and I feel very privileged to be in this position,” he said.

Lt Col Buxton’s efforts have been directly responsible for increasing the capacity, delivery and overall effectiveness of the services available to commanders, including mediation, and in turn the personnel who seek their support. He said: “I’ve seen where the Army was 22 years ago when I joined and compared to where it was then to where it was now, the resources now available to support our people is outstanding.

“There’s always more that we can do. You look at soldiers now - the opportunities they have if things do go wrong – they are able to speak out about it and to make a change at their level. With a unit climate assessment a private soldier can speak truth to power, they get that opportunity to tell their Commanding Officer (CO) what’s working well and what’s not working well.”

His citation says: “He has devoted considerable personal effort and time to a number of associated initiatives, largely of his own invention, which have brought additional benefits for Army personnel. In particular, his work to establish and lead the Army Parents Network has been ground-breaking and class leading.”

Father of two, Lt Col Buxton says he wanted to join the Army for as long as he can remember. He’s currently CO of the Army Training Regiment Grantham. “I’m incredibly proud,” he said. “Now, as a CO I can see the power of the tools I was running in my last job first hand, and the support I’m now given by climate assessments and mediation is fantastic.”

The Army Mediation Service provides soldiers and civil servants with the opportunity to address workplace relationships which have broken down by offering resolution at the appropriate level of escalation.

The Army Parents Network was created to support serving Army Parents and the Chain of Command by providing access to information, advice and peer support, on topics such as maternity and pregnancy, paternity, shared parental leave, childcare, family policies and adoption.

Read the full Queen's Birthday Honours List here