Commander Samantha Truelove MBE Royal Navy

Sam Truelove was shortlisted for the 2014 European Diversity Awards Inspirational Role Model of the Year Award and shortlisted for the British LGBT Awards 2015 (positive role model), National Diversity Award 2015 (LGBT Role model) and Inclusive Networks National Awards (Network Leaders of the Year with her Co Vice-Chair of the the Royal Navy’s Compass Network – Lt Cdr Chris Wood. [Compass is the Royal Navy’s Sexual orientation and Gender Identity network].

Sam was born in South Africa and went to school in Stellenbosch, South Africa and Coronado, CA, USA. She worked as a scuba instructor in Egypt for 4 years before joining the Army Air Corps in 1998. After a short period as an Air Trooper she commissioned into the Royal Logistics Corps from Sandhurst in April 2000. During her time with 17 Port and Maritime Regiment (as a Troop Commander), Marchwood she deployed on Operation AGRICOLA (Kosovo) and took part in Exercise Saif Sareea in Oman (RFA SIR GALAHAD).

On transferring to the Royal Navy she spent some time in HMS ARK ROYAL before completing Junior Supply Officers Course 86 at HMS RALEIGH and joined 820 Naval Air Squadron as the Staff Officer (HR/Personnel). During her time on the Squadron, she was involved in the rededication of the Squadron on transition from Sea King to Merlin helicopters, deployed to Oman (RFA FORT GEORGE and in Seeb, Muscat) and also completed a short stand alone tour to Iraq (Operation TELIC) as an individual augmentee in 2004.Sam completed Intermediate Command and Staff Course (Maritime) at the Defence Academy in Shrivenham in July 2006 before joining the Permanent Joint Headquarters in Northwood where she worked in the J1 Division (HR and Personnel) working with the Permanent Joint Operating Bases (Cyprus, Gibraltar, British Indian Ocean Territory, Falkland Islands), the Service Secretary and taking part in Exercise Bersama Padu in Singapore.Post Northwood, she joined HMS SOUTHAMPTON as the Deputy Logistics Officer (legal, HR, Personnel and Secretarial duties) at the end of an Operation VELA deployment (West Coast of Africa) and completed an Atlantic Patrol Task (South) [APT(S)] deployment (Caribbean, South America and West Africa) before joining the Maritime Battlestaff. As Military Assistant to Commander United Kingdom Task Group (Personal Secretary to senior Naval Officers and Executive functions) they deployed to the Gulf (HMS CAMPBELTOWN, HMS CHATHAM, RFA CARDIGAN BAY) as Commander Task Force 158 (Operation TELIC) working in the Northern Arabian Gulf and on the Iraqi Oil Platforms (routinely travelling from Baghdad, Basra, Kuwait, Bahrain, Dubai to the ships and platforms in the northern Gulf).After a series of pre-deployment courses in early 2009 she deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan in July 2009 in support of Operation HERRICK (HQ ISAF Media Officer). She completed Advanced Logistic Officers Course 0903 in April 2010 and joined HMS EDINBURGH as the Logistics Officer (Legal, Secretarial, Administrative, Medical, Logistics and all support Services Manager as well as Public Relations and Media Officer and Dmage Control Officer) in May 2010, bringing the ship out of refit and taking her through Basic Operational Sea Training and another APT(S) deployment back to the South Atlantic via Africa. She joined Commander United Kingdom Amphibious Forces in September 2011 as the Military Assistant to the Commandant General Royal Marines (Private Secretary to Senior Royal Marines Officers and private office Manager) and deployed on Ex Cold Response in Norway and Ex Eager Lion in Jordan. She joined the Naval Staff in August 2013 as an International Defence Engagement Officer where she uses her links and understanding in the Diversity and Inclusion space to assist some of the countries in her area of responsibility – whether that is assisting in providing Royal Navy Policy and advice on integration of Women into Navies (specifically in the Latin America region) and latterly in the LGBT space where many countries still face various issues and are at various stages of their journey towards equality for all.

Sam is the Royal Navy Triathlon Association Ladies Captain and team Coach and a committee member of the Naval Service Women’s Network. She enjoys scuba diving, kite-surfing, snow boarding, a good book, a mean game of chess and a glass of red wine if it is raining. She was awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in The Queens 2016 New Year Honours.

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