UK: Royal Navy Engineer Receives MBE Award

Royal Navy Engineer Receives MBE Award

A Portsmouth-based Royal Navy engineer, described as the heartbeat of HMS Illustrious and HMS Ark Royal, has been awarded the MBE.

Warrant Officer 1st Class Marine Engineering Mechanic John ‘Whiskey’ Walker, 50, of Portsmouth, is currently serving on board aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious with the job of training the entire ships company in fire fighting and damage control techniques.

His 32-year career career has included service throughout the world on nine ships including HMS Ariadne in the Gulf in the 1980s and two deployments on the former ice patrol vessel HMS Endurance.

He served in HMS Ark Royal between 2008 and 2011 before transferring to HMS Illustrious.

His citation reads:

“Putting the needs of the Service before your own, you have always demonstrated boundless dynamism and inspirational leadership.

You have made a major impact in consecutive seagoing appointments especially in the Service’s two capital ships HMS Ark Royal and HMS Illustrious.

Your professional excellence, sustained energy and enthusiasm earned you universal respect and admiration.”  It adds:

“The lynchpin of numerous activities, you led by example and were the heartbeat of these two ships.

Embodying the very best qualities of an outstanding Warrant Officer, the resilience and professionalism you displayed, not only in these testing appointments, but throughout your long and distinguished career, has been remarkable and in the finest traditions of the Service.”

WO1 Walker said he was extremely proud but humbled to receive the award.

“When I phoned my wife to tell her the news I was very emotional. As a young rating joining HMS Raleigh in 1980 it never crossed my mind that I would end up as a Warrant Officer in the Royal Navy with an MBE.”

WO1 Walker is married to Trudi, a Petty Officer who has also served 22 years in the Royal Navy. She currently works in works in Brussels.

Naval Today Staff, June 19, 2012; Image: Royal Navy