Provost Sergeant Major Marc Thomson – 1 Military Police Brigade
Marc was awarded the Scottish Samurai Shogun Award in 2018 but due to military commitments, was unable to receive his award until 21st January 2019.
The award was presented by Ronnie Watt OBE, ORS, in the D-Day map room in Southwick House in Hampshire. From 1943, Southwick House was used as the advance command post of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force.
From 1944, in the months leading up to D-Day, the house became the headquarters of the main Allied Supreme Commander General Dwight Eisenhower, Naval Commander-in-Chief Admiral Bertram Ramsay and Army Commander-in-Chief, General Montgomery, Air Chief Marshal Trafford Leigh- Mallory Air Commander-in-Chief and others.
Marc became the first serving soldier to be presented with the award for his services to the nation and charity work, even managing to raise funds while on operations tours.
His most enterprising was running non-stop for 158 kilometres on leaving 158 Regiment RMP on promotion. In 2018 he even surpassed that remarkable effort by running the equivalent of six marathons, cross country in six days.
Inverurie born, Marc was educated at Daviot Primary School and Inverurie Academy in Aberdeenshire. On leaving school, he moved to Elgin to study sport and fitness, thereafter working at the Craigendarroch Hotel in Ballater then as manager of Douneside House & Health Club in Tarland.
On 1st April 1997, Marc joined the Royal Military Police rising to the rank of Provost Sergeant Major (equivalent Corps Sergeant Major and Command Sergeant Major), the senior soldier in the Corps and 1 Military Police Brigade.
His personal military record is impressive. On joining, he was named Best Student at the Army Training Regiment Winchester. In December that year he was awarded the Golden Whistle at Royal Military Police Training School at Chichester. In 1998 he received the General Service Cross (unofficial decoration) and the following year the UN Cyprus Medal. Also in 1999 he was awarded the 4th Division General Officer Commanding Commendation for Bravery for rescuing a man from a fire in Aldershot.
In 2000 he was awarded his All Arms Parachute Wings. Between 2000 and 2002 he received the NATO Kosovo Medal with “Kosovo Bar” as well as being Mentioned in Despatches (MiD), NATO Bosnia Medal and the NATO Macedonia Medal during operational tours.
From 2002, Marc served in Northern Ireland and was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery (QCB) in 2004 and General Service Medal with Northern Ireland clasp for Operation BANNER.
Marc (right) served three tours in the Afghanistan theatre. He was awarded the Operation HERRICK Afghanistan Medal with “Afghanistan Bar” plus rosette. He was also awarded the Operation TELIC Iraq Medal with “Iraq Bar” plus rosette.
To give an idea of Marc’s involvement in military operations, he is one of the few who has been awarded the Accumulated Service Medal (ASM) for 1000 days in combat and Accumulated Service Medal (ASM) for an additional 720 days in combat. A total of over 1,720 days in combat operations is most impressive.
Marc has also received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal plus three International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) non article 5 medals for operations in the Balkans and Afghanistan. In 2013 the US Army awarded Marc the War on Terrorism Service Medal and the War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.
In addition to the awards listed above, Marc also received the following Commendations:
- Chief of the General Staff Commendation (2009)
- The 3rd Division General Officer Commanding Commendation (2010)
- The 4th Division General Officer Commanding Commendation (1999)
- Three Provost Marshal (Army) Commendations (2003, 2010 & 2016)
- The 1st Brigade Commander Commendation (2013)
In September 2018, Marc became the second Scot and first member of the Royal Military Police to be awarded the European Police Coix ‘d Honneur (silver) which is awarded to civil, military police, or security service personnel. The medal is awarded to those who are serving or who have served with ‘honour, loyalty, integrity and courage’ during the course of their career.