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Top honour for 40 Commando chief Matt Jackson
Lt Col Matt Jackson, 41, Commanding Officer of 40 Commando on Operation Herrick 17 from October 2012 to April this year, was in charge of more than 2,000 troops in 22 camps across the Nahr-e-Saraj area of Central Helmand – a job previously shared between three lieutenant colonels.
As well as overseeing combat operations, he led the handover of 15 ISAF bases to Afghan forces and attended the scene of an attack in which six British service personnel were murdered by a rogue Afghan solder.
His leadership was credited with reducing insurgent attacks in the area by 52% even though the British forces available to him had been cut by 50%.
His citation reads: “He has led his team superbly, degrading the insurgency and strengthening the Afghan security forces.”
Married father-of-three Lt Col Jackson, who will work at the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall from next month, when he is being promoted to full colonel, said: “This award rewards all of the Marines and soldiers who worked as part of 40 Commando Group Royal Marines operating as Tactical Support Unit Nahr-e-Saraj.
“Without their hard work, tenacity, loyalty, courage and bravery we would not have been able to transfer responsibility for security to the Afghan National Security Forces as effectively as we did.
“This was genuinely a real team effort and I am proud to accept this award for this collective endeavour.”
Lt Col Jackson, a keen sportsman, has previously won medals for service in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service in 2009.
The DSO is awarded for distinguished service during active operations against the enemy.
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