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Soldiering On Awards 2021 announces record nominations and eclectic judging line-up

Soldiering On Awards 2021 announces record nominations and eclectic judging line-up


20 Apr, 2021

As nominations close for this year, the Awards team are delighted to announce that a record 275 individuals, partnerships and organisations have been nominated, the highest tally in SOA’s 10-year history and a 20% increase on 2020 …

As well as this fantastic news, SOA says it has been adding to its diverse line-up of category and independent judges, with representatives from all three Services – from Army Sergeant Major Gavin Paton and Laura Blair, employment director of the Officer’s Association, to Commander Debbie Whittingham, deputy governor of the Tower of London, Charlie Wallace, Scottish Veterans Commissioner, and many more. This process, it says, ensures that the judging process is as fair as possible. 

Chair of the Soldiering On Awards, Lt Col. Ren Kapur MBE (pictured above), comments: ‘We could not do any of this without our amazing sponsors, partners and supporters, who got involved and helped to spread the word. It has been another record year for nominations and registrations, which is particularly poignant at such a challenging time, when many are struggling. So many inspiring stories of hard work, dedication and extraordinary selflessness have been put forward, and to see the incredible work our Armed Forces community continue to do is truly humbling.’ 

Brand new category judge, Gillian Russell, senior program manager worldwide, in the Global Military Affairs team at Amazon, adds: ‘I am delighted, and a little daunted, at being asked to be a judge for the Soldiering On Awards. The contribution that members of the Armed Forces community make to UK society is immense, but often unseen; these awards allow their impact to be publicly celebrated.’ 

Independent Judge David Richmond CBE, Independent Veterans Advisor and Vice Chair of the Veterans Advisory Board, continues: ‘It is a privilege to be involved in the Soldiering On Awards, which celebrates the fantastic work done by individuals and organisations large and small in support of the Armed Forces community across the country every day.’

SOA President and Chair of Judges, Lord Dannatt sums up: ‘All these submissions can only mean one thing – a very, very tough job for our eclectic roster of judges – including me! – over the next two months. Thank you so much for all of your amazing nominations, and all the positive energy you’ve directed towards the awards over the last few months, it really is so important that we continue to give those without a voice, a platform, and those who deserve it – recognition.’ 

Click here to read all about read all about SOA’s 2021 judging line-up.

The Soldiering On Awards 

The awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of those who have served their country, and the diverse people and groups who work together in support of the Armed Forces community.


X-Forces Enterprise (XFE) 

XFE is the UK’s largest provider of enterprise support to the ex-military in business. Support is available to Service leavers, veterans, reservists, spouses, widows, cadets and dependants aged over 18.

It is the industry leader for enterprise training for the MoD and a recipient of the Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award for outstanding support of the Armed Forces community.

XFE supports the individual throughout their enterprise journey: starting and scaling up their own business, with ongoing support through knowledge exchange, networking and mentoring. 

To date, XFE has helped more than 2,200 entrepreneurs launch their own businesses, supported thousands more through training, events and mentoring, and provided in excess of £20 million of seed funding as an official delivery partner of the government-backed Start Up Loans scheme, with an industry-leading success rate.