A SILSDEN electrician who serves as a reservist with the Parachute Regiment has been honoured for an “outstanding contribution” to his unit.

Colour Sergeant Stephen Lightowler has been with the regiment for 34 years, both as a regular soldier and a reservist, in Leeds-based 4PARA.

He has received a special award from the Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Ed Anderson.

“Being a reservist has enabled me to combine my military duties with running my own business,” said Colour Sgt Lightowler, who has done tours of service across the world – including in Northern Ireland, Belize and Kenya.

“I get huge satisfaction training new recruits to meet the standards we need and I feel honoured that my contribution has been recognised with this award.”

Mr Anderson said reservists made a huge contribution to Britain’s armed forces. He added: “Colour Sergeant Lightowler has served in some of the most dangerous parts of the world and now inspires young soldiers to reach their potential.”