Cpl O’Neill first joined the Army in March 1998 becoming a driver in 151 Transport Regiment RLC. She subsequently joined 160 Transport Regiment RLC in 2008 where she also specialised as a Radio Operator. During her service in the RLC, Cpl O’Neill served operationally Kosovo (twice), the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. During her first deployment to Kosovo she was awarded the Queens’ Commendation for Valuable Service. Cpl O’Neill joined 135 Geographic Squadron in September 2013 and has since played an integral part in the Squadron.
Joining 135 Geographic Squadron necessitated a change of trade and over the last two years Cpl O’Neill has completed a number of mandatory Royal Engineer Courses. This has included both the RE Combat Engineer Foundation Course and the RE Geo Tech (Reserve) 0-2 course. In addition, she has actively pursued her wider military skills and experience, recently completing the Defence Landing Point Commanders Course in preparation of potential helicopter operations during the current Operation TRIG MED deployment to Cyprus.
Over the last year Cpl O’Neill has been heavily involved in the development of the survey capability with the Squadron. This has involved the maintenance of equipment, development of surveying processes, the reconnaissance of tasks and leading on much of the training. Of particular note was Cpl O’Neill’s lead on the entire the survey training on this year’s Squadron FTX. In addition, she has been fundamental to the preparation and training for Op TRIG MED, the survey of the Sovereign Base Area border markers, before deploying for the full four weeks.
For much of this year Cpl O’Neill has also been studying for a degree in Civil Engineering Surveying and Mapping. Whilst she has been extremely busy in applying herself to the final year of her degree, this has not stopped her continuing to be fully involved in the Squadron. In addition, she has always had a view on the bigger picture which was illustrated in her arranging for the OC to speak to the Institution Civil Engineering Surveyors, South East Region, in March 2015. Cpl O’Neill’s dedication to her studies paid dividends and she was awarded a much deserved First Class Honours Degree earlier this summer.
Cpl O’Neill has exemplified the finest traits of the Squadron. She has worked tirelessly behind the scenes on countless Squadron events and has taken full responsibility for managing and leading a plethora of tasks; all of this at the same time as completing her degree and maintaining an excellent sense of humour.
For her constant dedication and commitment to the Squadron, Cpl O’Neill has been awarded the 2015 Endeavour Award.