MBE for exceptional role model

A soldier serving with the Colchester-based 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery has been recognised for her "drive, energy and relentless pursuit of excellence” in training the next generation of troops.

Sergeant Jade Baptie, from Dalkeith, was recognised with an MBE in the New Year Honours List for her work as a section commander at Army Training Centre (Pirbright). The role saw her delivering the 14-week basic training given to all recruits before they learn the specialist skills of their chosen Army trade.

The MBE citation praises the 31-year-old as “an exceptional female role model in a male-dominated environment and has, through her tremendous work ethic and uncompromising personal standards, unlocked the potential in dozens of recruits”.

Jade said: “I was speechless when I was told about the MBE. I feel like I just did my job, and did nothing above and beyond the effort that all section commanders put in.

“I got a massive sense of satisfaction from the work at Pirbright. We see recruits on the first day of their Army career, and a lot have come from difficult backgrounds or have personal issues. After 14 weeks you see a different person, and to know that you’ve helped them to overcome challenges and get the best out of themselves is hugely rewarding.”  

Jade worked at Pirbright between 2019 to 2021, with the COVID-19 pandemic bringing additional complexity to training recruits.

“It was very difficult to teach skills like first aid and weapon handling while sticking to social distancing rules,” she said. “We had to find ways to make the training work while delivering to the same standards.”

Jade joined the Army in 2012, serving in the Adjutant General Corps’ Staff and Personnel Branch, the Army’s human resources and finance specialists, and has deployed on operations in Afghanistan and Cyprus.