THE ANCIENT AND HONOURABLE
APPOINTMENT OF CONDUCTOR

PARCHMENT HISTORY

1987 was the year that WO1 Mike Hobbins, RAOC, was appointed Conductor whilst serving at HQ DGOS, Ord 1, and it was he who questioned why something more special was not made of this most prestigious date in a soldier's career. At his, and an equally enthusiastic SO2 Manning's instigation a parchment was designed, approved and taken into use in 1988. Between 1988 and 2000 Conductors parchments were sent to the recipient's highest ranking officer for presentation in whichever way they thought fit. Apparently some were lavish occasions whilst others were merely handed over in their envelopes!

Discovering these iniquities prompted Cdr Hobbins and the then RLC Sgt Major Steve Yafi into introducing the formal group presentation which was first held as the Conductors Day and Parchment Ceremony in 2001 at the HQ and Central Sgts' Mess Deepcut, and now entrenched as a highlight in the RLC Corps Diary. This coincided with the introduction of the new Millennium Parchment, still in use today, which improved upon the original much smaller RAOC and, subsequently, RLC document.

Cdr Hobbins, MBE, RLC, was the first recipient of the new parchment and, incidentally, the last serving RAOC appointed Conductor to leave the RLC in 2002 as the RLC Senior Conductor giving him 15 years in the appointment.

At the same time Cdr Dave Patterson took up the reins of Senior Cdr and decided to open up attendance to the Parchment Ceremony to all serving, commissioned and retired Conductors. In addition (following some active lobbying by retired RAOC Conductors attending the 2002 event !) the approval of Brig R Rook OBE ADC, DRLC, was granted for the presentation of enhanced parchments to include the RAOC badge, alongside that of the RLC, to retired and former Commissioned RAOC Conductors who had not received one during their service.

DB