Instituted by Her Majesty The Queen by Royal Warrant on 29th March 1999, The Queen’s Volunteer Reserves Medal (QVRM) recognises military men and women of any rank for their exemplary service and performance in the Volunteer Reserve Forces. Every year there are just thirteen of these medals awarded across the three Reserve Forces, and they are presented purely for meritorious service in the conduct of duties.
This year, a Maritime Reservist, CSgt David Hill from Royal Marines Reserve (RMR) City of London, was one of the thirteen awardees and the only Maritime Reservist in the UK to be recognised with the prestigious medal for his exemplary service and lifelong commitment to the RMR. When he received his letter from Buckingham Palace, CSgt Hill said that he had gone from, “feeling very humbled” to “feeling like superman,” in a matter of seconds. For him, this award has validated the years of dedication that he has put into his reserves career.
CSgt Hill’s story started in the mid-sixties in Aldgate, East London. From humble beginnings, the young Hill found great solace in being a Cub Scout and Army Cadet. Inspired by his early involvement with these youth organisations, joining the Royal Marines Reserve in 1983 seemed an obvious next step! During his time in the reserves he has passed many regular junior and senior courses, and his Royal Marines Mountain Leader course, with superior pass marks. After an astonishing 38 years of service, he has achieved a phenomenal amount.
Having been deployed abroad three times, he is no stranger to a challenge or two. One of his proudest moments was during his third deployment to Baghdad, Iraq when he helped to rebuild the fire service, “It was great to be able to give something back to the people and help them rebuild,” said CSgt Hill, who believed his role was very much “boots on the ground” – giving practical assistance and making a difference to the lives of local people.
Balancing his reservist role with his civilian one is something he prides himself on. In his civilian role, CSgt Hill works as Station Commander at London Fire Brigade HQ, a Staff Officer role, although he confessed that, at times, it has been “difficult to balance”. Recently, he has dedicated time to strengthening the relationship between the National Fire Service and Defence, helping them understand the value that a reservist can bring to a company or civilian organisation. His efforts resulted in London Fire Brigade signing the Armed Forces Covenant in January 2020 and pledging their support to reservists in their workforce.
Having spent years in training sessions, being deployed and missing family events for his service, CSgt Hill attributes much of his success to the support and patience of his family, “Without the devotion of my family and wife I simply wouldn’t be where I am today,” he exclaimed.
Colour Sargent David Hill will continue his dedicated service while he eagerly awaits his medal which will be presented early next year at Buckingham Palace.