South Tyneside soldier gets Queen’s Birthday honour

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A reserve soldier and karate expert from South Tyneside has been named in the Queen’s Birthday honours list.

Staff Sergeant Hayley Just, 38, from South Shields has been in the reserves since 1998, based at 103 Field Squadron based at Fenham Barracks in Newcastle.

She will be awarded the Queen’s volunteer Reserves Medal.

During her time with the reserves she has travelled all over the world including America, Germany and the Ascension Islands as well as completing an Operational Tour in Iraq in 2003.

She has recently became a key member of her Squadron’s Recruiting, Retention and Mentoring team.

But Staff Sgt Just recognises her success in the sporting world has also helped her to gain the award.

She is the most successful female competitor the Army and Combined Services have ever had. Last year she eclipsed her own record of holding six Army and Combines Services titles by lifting the World title in the World Union of Karate-Do Federations championship in Dublin.

Staff Sgt Just said: “I was completely shocked when I got the news about the award. I could hardly believe it but it really is a big deal. I don’t do everything for the reward but it is a wonderful accolade.”

“When I went on operations in Iraq it was a great opportunity to use all the training we had done and I have enjoyed the way of life for the past 20 years. I am always looking to the future for the next challenge but I am beginning to get into the old and bold category these days.”