Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
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Prestigious military honours for Dstl staff

Dr Hilary Bird was recognised for her exceptional scientific research and Warrant Officer Class 1 Ian Barrett for his long and meritorious service.

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) scientist Dr Hilary Bird has received a Vice Chief of Defence Staff (VCDS) Commendation for her outstanding contribution to the defence and security of the United Kingdom, and Dstl’s most senior non-commissioned military advisor has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM).

The VCDS Commendation Awards are given out twice a year, in tandem with the state honours, to individuals and teams who have performed exemplary service to the Ministry of Defence.

Hilary was awarded for her exceptional scientific research output mainly supporting the development of fieldable biological detection capabilities. Hilary has been instrumental in the development and delivery of practical, operationally-relevant training and exercise support and worked closely with specialist military personnel. She has also directly supported multiple overseas and UK-based operations, providing scientific expertise on the front line of military and police operations.

On hearing the news of her award, Hilary said:

I was surprised that my work attracted an award and I feel it reflects the work of the various teams I have worked with over the years. Without their dedication and commitment we couldn’t have provided such valuable advice and direct support to military capability operations and training.

I have received many congratulations from colleagues and my family and friends and I am humbled by the number of people who have said how well deserved it is.

Warrant Officer (WO) Class 1 Ian Barrett PARA is Dstl’s most senior non-commissioned military advisor. He has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) in recognition of more than 20 years good, faithful, valuable and meritorious service throughout which he has set the highest standards of behaviour and performance for himself and others.

Reflecting the prestige of the MSM, awarded for warrant officers in the Armed Forces with impeccable service, WO1 Barrett is counted amongst the few most worthy and deserving candidates from across the Services to receive the MSM each year.

WO1 Barrett said:

After 23 years’ service in the Armed Forces and working with some incredible military personnel, not to mention with my scientific colleagues here at Dstl, I have to say it is a real honour to be recognised in this way.

Having joined Dstl from the Infantry Battle School ‘Brecon’ this year, WO1Barrett continues his service as the lead military advisor for combat trials and exploitation.

Dr Paul Hollinshead, Dstl Chief Executive said:

These awards are evidence of the varied breadth of expertise that can be found within Dstl. It is gratifying that both Hilary and Ian have been recognised for their tireless efforts in supporting Defence and Security. I am immensely proud of their achievements and offer my sincere congratulations.

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