IT experts from the Royal Signals were rewarded for their support and commitment to the service yesterday, during an event for "unsung heroes" at Mansion House.
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The soldiers were recognised for designing IT infrastructure for the field to keep critical systems up and running without fail – a duty which is often overlooked.
Winners of the prestigious award were Corporal Hempstock of the Signal Regiment (Air Support), Sergeant Lian Froggett, communication systems engineer (CS Eng), and Lance Corporal Cooke of the United Kingdom Special Forces (Signal Regiment).
Hempstock was deployed on Operation Herrick 14, in Afghanistan, in May 2011 as an applications specialist and Acting Sergeant. Among many of his achievements, Hempstock used his own initiative to investigate the operational utility of Google Earth to improve situational awareness.
On collecting his award, Hempstock was described as having “remarkable initiative” and demonstrating a “rare talent for innovation in information and steely determination to get things done”.
“Our job is often a thankless job, so this award is a massive pat on the back,” he said.
Froggett, communication systems engineer of the Royal School of Signals (Signal Regiment), was described as a “phenomenal engineer and natural teacher”.
He joined the Military Support Section in March 2010 as an instructor, but spent the majority of his time as the sole communication systems engineer (information systems).
Froggett designed and engineered crucial training elements from the ground up, to incorporate the latest Microsoft software, Cisco network infrastructure and IP radio technology.
In recognition of his management potential, Froggett has recently been selected for foreman of signals (information systems) training at the Defence College of Communication Information Services.
He explained how he made a career move from a chef to the army and has never looked back. “Working in IT, my job is so diverse, it’s always interesting,” he said.
Lance Corporal Cooke of the United Kingdom Special Forces was described as “confident and highly capable…well beyond the expectations of his position and rank”.
Lord Mayor David Wotton was present to "thank the men and women of the armed forces, who we owe so much to. We are indeed grateful to all of them, past and present. Congratulations and thanks to the winners.”
Jonathan Soar, Master of the Information Technologists' Company, said he was "very proud of the association with the Royal Signals”, and that receiving an award was an “extraordinary achievement”.