Sunday, 13 September 2009

Courage Under Fire! Able Seaman Kate Nesbitt, MC.

A Military Cross has been awarded to 20 year old Able Seaman Kate Nesbitt of the Royal Navy.

A 20-year-old medic who repeatedly rushed forward to save colleagues while under attack from the Taleban has become the first woman in the Royal Navy to be awarded the Military Cross and only the second in the Armed Forces.

Able Seaman Class 1 Kate Nesbitt tended wounded colleagues from 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines several times when they came under fire while on patrol in Afghanistan. The Ministry of Defence said: “Able Seaman Nesbitt’s actions throughout a series of offensive operations were exemplary. Under fire and under pressure her commitment and courage were inspirational and made the difference between life and death. She performed in the highest traditions of her service.”

The Military Cross is given to members of the Armed Forces “for exemplary gallantry during active operations against the enemy”, and ranks below only the Victoria Cross and Conspicuous Gallantry Cross as a recognition of bravery in battle.

Private Michelle Norris, 18, a medic with the Royal Army Medical Corps, was the first woman to win the Military Cross. She braved heavy sniper and machinegun fire from 200 insurgents during a fierce battle in southern Iraq in 2006. She climbed on top of an armoured vehicle to give life-saving treatment to a comrade.

Able Seaman Nesbitt’s award was one of more than 100 announced by the MoD yesterday in relation to 3 Commando Brigade’s tour of duty in Helmand between October and March. She was one of 14 to receive the Military Cross. Two were awarded to members of the special forces; their names were not published.

Bob Ainsworth, the Defence Secretary, said the servicemen and women recognised were the pride of Britain.

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