Lieutenant Colonel Keith Spiers awarded an OBE

Lieutenant Colonel Keith Spiers has been awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours in recognition of his passion and drive to help young people better understand the Army and to bust persistent negative myths.

Lieutenant Colonel Keith Spiers from Sutton in Ashfield leads the Army Community Engagement team based at Chetwynd Barracks, Chilwell. The team helps young people to better understand the Army and to bust persistent negative myths.

Lieutenant Colonel Spiers has pioneered unlocking and delivering ways for the Army to engage meaningfully with tens of thousands of young people, particularly with girls and diverse communities, even including primary school children.

On learning of his award, 54-year-old Lieutenant Colonel Keith Spiers, who grew up in Aspley, said: “I am deeply honoured to have been awarded the OBE and feel absolutely overwhelmed.

“This award reflects the work of the whole team – a team that fully supports the concept and is a privilege to lead. We have worked with young people for the past four years, challenging their perceptions of the Army, delivering fun and challenging activities, which hopefully inspire and give them the confidence to reach their career aspirations and goals, whatever they may be. It is a privilege to know that our work, connects with and changes young people’s perceptions and lives. To be honoured in this way leaves me without words.”

Operating initially in schools in the East Midlands but now across the whole country, his work has enabled those young citizens to better understand the Army and to bust persistent negative myths.

Starting with nothing, his relentless energy and passion, and his constant innovation have resulted in his vision of changing the perceptions of a generation of children becoming a reality.

Keith’s Army career spans more than 20 years and includes leading an Infantry Company in Iraq and commanding the 3rd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment.

He continued: “I enjoy working with my team to inspire young people and constantly look for new ways to connect with and give hope to young people. The team members are always willing to challenge my ideas as much as try them. But, even more importantly, we support each other to ensure we connect with and inspire the next generation whilst leaving them better informed about the modern British Army.”

68 Army personnel are recognised in the New Year Honours List 2022