The Last Supper

2011, Age twenty-one

Firing live rounds down the range and into the desert terrain of Afghanistan, check zeroing my rifle prior to deploying into the hostile environments of Nad-e-Ali, Helmand Province. After three or four vital days of final pre-deployment training, acclimatisation and detailed briefings on the current situations in Afghanistan, the company and I were now on standby to deploy. Continue reading “The Last Supper”

Mind-Numbing Hours

2008, Age eighteen

Stepping off the ramp of a Merlin helicopter and into the high temperatures of Iraq. Walking into such intense heat, as if you were walking into an oven (not that I’ve ever walked into an oven). Though at last, I was here, deployed on my first operational tour in Iraq. Continue reading “Mind-Numbing Hours”

Soldier to Civi Forecast

Ladies & gentlemen

I would like to thank you all for the overwhelming continued support.

I really do appreciate every read, comment and ‘share’. We are now entering the sixth week of my blogs and I have already had great feedback, immense positive support and almost two thousand views.

I thank you Continue reading “Soldier to Civi Forecast”

The Most Memorable Day

2011, Age twenty-one

Sitting in a small mud structured room, referred to as ‘CP (Check Point) Karim’, a compound situated in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.  Listening to the Company debrief with my notebook in hand. As every night, the multiple (team) commanders would gather in the Operations Room, to receive debrief reports over the radio. However, on the 20th of November 2011, we received a report which would trigger many emotions.
Continue reading “The Most Memorable Day”

Under the Wings

2008, Age Seventeen

Seventeen months on, from walking through the gates of The Army Foundation College in Harrogate, as a young and naive sixteen-year-old, I was once again walking through a new set of gates. This time, however, these were the gates of The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, and I had now completed the transition from ‘civi to soldier’.

I had learned a great deal in basic training and compared to the sixteen-year-old I was seventeen months ago, I had certainly come a long way. I was extremely proud of what I had already achieved and I was excited to finally be joining my regiment. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but remember the valuable lesson I had learned during the early stages of basic training (reference blog one, titled: Shock of Capture) and I noted, it would probably still be in my favour to keep my head down and play the grey man. Continue reading “Under the Wings”

Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail

2007, Age sixteen

Tactical exercises, combat medical training, firing various weapon systems and putting live rounds down the range. 

Fifty two weeks of basic training, and I now stand to attention in front of my family, on my passing out parade (graduation parade). I’ve been taught how to shave, shower and wash my balls correctly. I’ve also received lessons on how to preserve the life of casualties and how to kill the enemy. There has been a great deal of information to take on board, however I was taught well and with diligence, I was now ready to join my regiment in order to deploy.   Continue reading “Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail”

Value of Military Friends

2007, Age sixteen.

Freezing my tits off, sitting on the frozen floor of a shell scrape (a temporary, defensive dug in position), somewhere on the training area of Catterick. So dark in the early hours of a cold January morning that I couldn’t even see my hands in front of my face, yet it was my time to be on stag (On watch or lookout). The whole platoon relying on my alertness and observation skills, so that they could rest easy, although I couldn’t see s**t. I remember my hands being frustratingly disabled due to the cold temperatures, which restricted me from being able to unzip my trousers for the meaningless and simple task of going for a tactical piss (urinating whilst maintaining a low profile). Continue reading “Value of Military Friends”