I mentioned in my first post that I was now 8 months into my Resettlement phase – I thought it only right that I should give you a bit of background information on myself and where I am at to date…
Well, I joined the Royal Signals at the tender age of 16 and stayed that cap badge for 3 years until I’d finished all my training, got to my Unit and realised that not only was I terrible at all things communications, I also didn’t enjoy it one bit! I then re-cap badged to the AGC(SPS) and really came into my own. Hey, the Signals had got a 3 month Exercise in Canada and a Christmas tour of Kosovo out of me so I don’t think they were too fussed in the end…
After my next lot of training I was posted to the 2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment in Colchester. After only being with the Battalion for 3 weeks or so we deployed to Iraq on OP TELIC 3 which was a challenging Tour for the guys due to the nature of the Mission but I was in my element. A big Company group to administrate along with approximately 180 Iraqi detainees. I had found my niche and I loved it, I was promoted to Lance Corporal within 6 months.
I left the Battalion 2 years later as a full Corporal and headed off for the AGC Regimental Recruiting Team.
Here we travelled up and down the UK including Northern Ireland giving presentations to Schools, Colleges and Universities as well as exhibiting at all the Summer shows trying to get people interested about the Army and in specific the AGC. I think we even hassled the Cadets at times too, however, we hit our targets for the year and had some great Adventure Training as reward for our hard work – skiing in Austria and a week in sunny Cornwall to boot!
After there I was lucky enough to get a posting out to the Far East, Brunei Garrison to be exact as part of the Headquarters there. We supported the Garrison HQ element and their families in an extremely isolated and remote Unit and with the 8hr time difference this made dealing with the UK even more tricky. Here I worked a little and partied A LOT! It was an amazing time in my life but 2 years soon passed and posting time was here again.
For reasons unknown to myself I didn’t really ask for a specific Unit or location so when the Posting Order came through it didn’t phase me when it read ‘4 Regiment Army Air Corps’ – Little did I know that this Unit was based on an airfield in the arse end of nowhere in deepest, darkest Suffolk. This is the Unit where I felt I worked hardest. We constantly had a Squadron on an Overseas Exercise in the USA and a Squadron in Afghanistan. I myself deployed to Afghanistan as part of the Joint Helicopter Force (my 3rd Christmas tour by now) and coming towards the end of my 3 year posting I was fatigued, I had nothing left to give. I approached my Line Manager and explained my position, I needed a change…
The next day (strangely) my then boss told me of a short notice posting to Catterick in North Yorkshire, within days I had packed up my belongings into Fiona the Fiesta and we were up that A1 quicker than a flash!
And that is how I ended up at the Queen’s Royal Lancers…This posting has been probably been the happiest time of my Army career. I’ve had a good work/life balance, supported some amazing guys and their families through 2 OP HERRICK tours and generally felt respected and appreciated. I worked so hard I was selected for Sergeant but unfortunately for the Army enough was enough and Id already decided to terminate my Service. I was subsequently de-selected which was upsetting but I knew it was inevitable.
So here I am, 4 months away from being a Civilian ready to embrace the next step of my life. Scared as hell but determined to succeed.