Craig Robertson

Staff member
David John
  • UNIT
Parachute Regiment
  • RANK
Sergeant (BEM), Warrant Officer Class 2 (MBE)
British Empire Medal, Member of the Order of the British Empire
British Empire Medal 1987, Northern Ireland 1993 (MBE)
born 21.01.1951
London Gazette 51171, 30th December 1987, Page 19 (BEM)
London Gazette 16324, 21st November 1994, Page 16324 (MBE)


British Empire Medal : Acting Staff Sergeant Playford is currently employed as the Chief Instructor at Individual Training Unit (United Kingdom Land Forces). Prior to taking post he was deployed in Northern Ireland as a Patrol Leader within the Special Air Service Troop on an operational tour. His efficiency and dedication was an example to all, and had direct bearing on a number of successful operations carried out against IRA terrorists during the tour.

As a result of his success operationally, Acting Staff Sergeant Playford was appointed As the Northern Ireland Instructor on the Regimental Counter Revolutionary Warfare Wing of 22 Special Air Service Regiment. When the Northern Ireland training for 22 Special Air Service Regiment was taken over by Individual Training Unit (United Kingdom Land Forces) Acting Staff Sergeant Playford was appointed as the Chief Instructor on merit. This key post is established for a W01, and it is very much to Acting Staff Sergeant Playford's credit that he has carried out his duties impeccably and with great initiative and drive at the lower rank of Acting Staff Sergeant. He is directly responsible for the training standards of 14 Intelligence Company Recruit Training and for the skills training of prospective members of the Special Air Service Troop in Northern Ireland.

During the last ten months Acting Staff Sergeant Playford has achieved spectacular results in training procedures, thus improving the operational efficiency of both elements of the Special Forces Group deploying to Northern Ireland. This has called for excessive hours of work and exceptional dedication and loyalty on his part. Working totally unsupervised he has also introduced many new techniques for joint operations involving the Special Air Service Troop and 14 Intelligence Company personnel, which have been reflected in the recent successful operations in the Province, notably at Loughall.

What has made Acting Staff Sergeant Playford's achievements all the more remarkable is that throughout this period he has been suffering from a kidney disorder. Such is the calibre of the man that he has not allowed it to affect his extremely high personal standards, but it must be a source of grave concern to him regarding his future career prospects. The fact that his promotion and his employment within the Special Air Service Group may be subject to some future limitation makes the recognition of his services to date absolutely critical.

For his devotion to duty, loyalty of the highest order, and for his achievements both in specialised training and in the operational area, Acting Staff Sergeant Playford should be accorded special recognition.

Place : Pontrilas Army Training Area
Date of Action : July 1986 - June 1987
How Employed : Chief Instructor Special Duties

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