An inspirational Hartlepool soldier who trained women in Afghanistan to be Army officers has been awarded for her work with an MBE.
Sergeant Abbi Morrow, 30, a Staff Sergeant Instructor in the Royal Army Physical Training Corps (RAPTC), spent nine months in Afghanistan last year where she trained women at the Afghan National Army Officer Academy (ANAOA) in Kabul.
She set up and delivered Endurance Training Leader packages for fellow mentors and two UK force protection companies.
The dedicated sergeant also voluntarily redrafted the Camp PT Policy and associated Risk Assessments.
In recognition of her efforts, Sgt Morrow, originally from Rift House in Hartlepool, has been given an MBE for being an inspirational role model on the New Year’s Honours List.
Sgt Morrow, who is based at Middle Wallop, Stockbridge, Hampshire, with the Army Air Corp as their senior physical training instructor, said she was delighted to receive the honour.
And the accolade couldn’t have come at a better time for Sgt Morrow, who is also celebrating her wedding anniversary with wife Jacqueline Morrow, who has just retired from the Army after 23 years.
Sgt Morrow, a former pupil at Brierton School, said: “It is really nice to have the acknowledgement, because to me I am just doing my job.
“I am a physical training instruction and worked out in Afghanistan with Afghan women for nine months from March to November 2017.
“I worked as part of the mentoring team ANAOA, training them, to be officers, taking them for PT and getting them fit for the role.”
Sgt Morrow, who joined the Army aged 16, continued: “The big presentation is to come and I think it will be really overwhelming on the day. “It is great to get the recognition, as you never set out to do it for anything.”
The latest honours list also saw awards handed to a string of sports people and celebrities.
Sixties supermodel Lesley “Twiggy” Lawson receives a damehood for services to fashion, the arts and charity, and best-selling author Philip Pullman gets a knighthood.
Downton Abbey’s Jim Carter gets an OBE, while Monty Python star and travel documentary maker Michael Palin is awarded a knighthood.
Overall, 1,148 recipients are named in the 2019 New Year list, including 43 people recognised for their acts responding to the terror attacks in Manchester and London in 2017.
In sport, England football captain Harry Kane gets an MBE while national team manager Gareth Southgate gets an OBE, both for services to football and in recognition of England’s semi-final run at the 2018 World Cup.
Former England cricket captain Alastair Cook is knighted for services to cricket while Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas gets an upgrade from MBE to OBE.