A Ripon army captain is celebrating after receiving an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list.
Captain Louise James is currently based at Deverall Barracks at the Joint Services Mountain Training Wing.
Capt James has been honoured with the royal award after 26 years of service to the Armed Forces. She said: “I was totally shocked at the news, and to be honest my first word on hearing of the award was, really? But, of course, I am absolutely delighted and proud to receive the award.”
Capt James was one of the first students to attend the Uniformed Service Course at Grimsby Institute, when it was first established in 1992. She said: “I was very sporty at school and in those days the choice to go on studying was to become a PE teacher or join the military, so I joined up and it was the best choice I ever made as I have had an amazing career in the British Army and have achieved so much.”
Her first posting was with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in the Adjutants General Corps, serving on operational tours in Bosnia and Northern Ireland. On completion of these tours, Capt James attended a physical training instructor course in Aldershot and was posted as a physical training instructor at Sir John Moore Barracks in Winchester, transferring into the Royal Army Physical Training Corps in 2000.
Capt James also served with 12 Regiment Royal Artillery who were based in Germany and completed a United Nations operational tour in Cyprus. On return she attended an Exercise Rehabilitation Course at Headley Court after which she was posted to Wattisham Airfield where she assisted in helping injured personnel.
The next step in her varied army career was at Defence College Police and Guarding at Fareham in Hampshire. Her dedication to service was rewarded with a Warrant Officer Class 1, and she was posted to 7th Armoured Brigade and served on Operation Herrick in Afghanistan.
In 2014 she received a Late Entry Commission and was promoted to Captain, and joined 4th Infantry Brigade based at Catterick Garrison. Beginning her sporting career as a gymnast, Capt James continues to participate in army triathlons, cycling, swimming, cross country and netball.