The awards were the brainwave of the Prince of Wales and today he makes a passionate plea to the public to nominate their unsung heroes. Writing in the paper, the proud father of serving officers Princes William and Harry expresses his ‘unending admiration’ for troops’ dedication in the face of danger.
The unique awards celebrate acts of grit and gallantry across categories including Outstanding Soldier, Overcoming Adversity and Outstanding Unit. The judging panel of ex-Service Chiefs and celebrities will select worthy winners in each category.
And from today you can nominate your heroes across all the categories. The awards cover the 12 months up to 31 August 2012.
The Prince of Wales wrote:
Once again, I find myself putting pen to paper to express my unending admiration for our Armed Forces. No matter what challenges they face, our servicemen and women are ready to give their all; and it seems to me that we are asking more and more of them.
Over the last 12 months, operations have been completed in Libya at the same time as those in Afghanistan, and Diamond Jubilee celebrations and ceremonial events continue unabated.
The Olympic and Paralympic Games are now upon us, and up to 17,000 servicemen and women have been drafted in in support of them.
The raw courage of our Armed Forces is on display day after day in Afghanistan and the number of wounded bears witness to so many individual acts of heroism. Despite restructuring and redundancies, despite danger, dust, heat and the most demanding of conditions, our troops soldier on with heads held high.
Their extraordinary resilience and humour are unique features of our Armed Forces. One of the regiments of which I am Colonel, the Welsh Guards, is training, mentoring and working in partnership with Afghan security forces in Helmand this summer.
Nominate your Armed Forces hero
Do you know of an individual or unit who has performed with distinction? The Sun Military Awards are your opportunity to give them the credit they deserve.
Following last year’s highly successful event, the fifth Sun Military Awards have been launched by The Sun newspaper, and nominations are now open. The Armed Forces and the general public will have until close of play Monday 3 September to put forward individuals and units for an award.
The categories are:
Overcoming Adversity - to recognise a serviceman or woman who has suffered severe injury or illness, and has overcome their difficulties with fortitude.
Outstanding Sailor or Marine - for the individual who has made the most outstanding contribution to the Royal Navy or Royal Marines over the past year.
Outstanding Soldier - to recognise the individual who has made the most outstanding contribution to the Army during the past year.
Outstanding Airman - for the individual who has made the most outstanding contribution to the Royal Air Force over the past year.
Outstanding Reservist - for a reservist of any rank or Service who has made the most outstanding contribution to any Armed Forces endeavour.
Support to the Armed Forces - for a civilian - a civil servant, contractor, charity worker or member of the public - who has given exceptional help to the Forces.
Lifesaver Award - for an individual or a group - whether a medical professional or not - who has performed an extraordinary lifesaving act.
True Grit - individual or group who have performed an act of true grit - through courage, determination or self-sacrifice - while in the UK or abroad.
Outstanding Unit - the winner can be a unit of any size that has excelled consistently, for example with achievements on an operational deployment.
Judges’ Special Award - the judges’ personal gift - NOT a public vote - for outstanding service by an individual or group not recognised elsewhere.