A YOUNG Army officer who was slightly wounded when he threw himself between one of his soldiers and a grenade which then exploded, has received the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct, writes Christopher Bellamy.
Second Lieutenant (now Lieutenant) Alistair McCluskey, 26, of The Queen's Lancashire Regiment, was the conducting officer of a grenade-throwing range at Sennelager, Germany, in July last year. One of the soldiers under 2nd Lt McCluskey's command pulled the pin out but misdirected the grenade and it landed in front of him on a low embankment.
2nd Lt McCluskey pushed the soldier to the ground at the base of the embankment and, as there was no time for both to get into full cover, he covered the head and body of the soldier with his own. The grenade exploded five feet away, giving 2nd Lt McCluskey a minor shrapnel wound to the back. The soldier was uninjured although grenade fragments pierced his equipment in several places.
2nd Lt McClusky, from Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, who joined the Army in December 1990, spent time counselling the soldier and took him back to repeat the exercise, successfully, three days later.
The citation reads: 'The gallant behaviour and coolness in danger of this young officer are in the best traditions of the Service and he is most strongly recommended as worthy of official recognition.'