A regiment has paid tribute to a senior council officer who has helped transform support available to the military in her city – by appointing her as its first-ever female honorary colonel.
As an assistant director for Hull City Council, Tracy Harsley has spearheaded the authority’s efforts to improve the lives of reservists, veterans and cadet force adult volunteers in the city for more than seven years.
In recognition of her contribution, 150 Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps, which is based in Hull’s Londesborough Barracks, has appointed her honorary colonel – a post she will fill for the next five years and which will involve her acting as a figurehead, ambassador and advocate for the regiment.
“I’m enormously privileged, honoured and humbled to have been appointed as honorary colonel to the regiment. My family are from Hull and I have worked in this area since the start of my public service career. I believe it’s really important that we continue to support our reservists, veterans and armed forces here in the city.”
Hull City Council is one of the top local authorities in the Yorkshire and Humber region for the support it offers the military and has won a Gold Award under the Government’s Defence Employer Recognition Scheme for the support it gives employees who serve as reservists and cadet force adult volunteers.
“As a local authority, we’ve innovated and developed all sorts of different ways in which we, along with our partners, can support the armed forces community,” she said.
“For reservists, the single most important thing that makes a difference in the workplace is the support of their employers and at Hull City Council we are very supportive employers and encourage our staff in their military roles.”
Commanding Officer of 150 Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Casey, himself a reservist, said:
“We are delighted to have Tracy as our honorary colonel. She and her team have made a huge impact in developing partnerships across the city to ensure members of the military have the services they need to live and thrive.
“Hull has shown brilliant strategic leadership by putting in place clear pathways which make access to welfare, housing and health as fair and straightforward as possible for those from the military community. They have created a template for other local authorities to emulate.”