Jonathan Edis - Cardiff
I'm 2Lt Jonathan Edis, I am 21 years old and I am currently in my third year at Cardiff University studying music.
My interest in the armed forces originated from my career in the army cadet force.
Initially, I had very little interest in joining the army until realising that what I enjoyed most was spending nights in the field and running around in camouflage.
I had planned on joining the Army straight after sixth form, however, after finding out about the OTC I reconsidered my options and found myself at university.
I am now at the start of my final year with the OTC. What I have achieved so far is well beyond what I had intended to do during my time at WUOTC. I have tried to get myself involved in all the courses going, including TA P-Company and the TA commissioning course, resulting in greater responsibilities and a chance to put my leadership skills to the test.
The most challenging event I have taken part in during my career in the WUOTC will have to be the Cambrian Patrol. Cambrian Patrol is an event which takes place in Wales and is hosted by 160 (W) Brigade. The event concentrates on leadership, teamwork and physical fitness.
I decided I wanted to be part of the patrol at the end of my first year at WUOTC and in order to prepare myself I started walking with a heavy pack over Pen-Y-Fan. Wales OTC took the people who were interested through a selection phase, where we replicated something similar to the patrol in Sennybridge. Earning my place in the team also earned me my nickname "Rifleman Edis"; my position within the team.
The patrol started Friday morning and took place over the whole weekend, finishing Sunday morning. Throughout the patrol we came across numerous stands, tested our abilities as infantry soldiers. Completing these stands after having marched long distances with very little sleep made the tasks much more difficult. One of the tasks we came across was a river crossing, this involved putting all of our kit in waterproof bags and swimming across a very wide and cold river.
As horrible as this may sound, it was certainly one of the most refreshing swims I have ever done. The patrol concluded in an ammunition re-supply run, which really tested every ounce of my determination. We knew we had finally reached the end of the patrol when we saw WO2 Stanfield with a big grin on his face, congratulating us while ushering us onto our transport back to camp. Our patrol managed to come away with a silver medal, which we were all over the moon about. This year, I will be leading the patrol and aiming for the gold!
One of the great things about OTC is that you can make what you want of it. If your course does allow a lot of breathing space, OTC is perfect at filling in the gaps between the course because of the variety and opportunities it offers. Even if the course is fairly intense, there is no necessity to dedicate all spare hours in the day to the OTC. For me, WUOTC has given me the opportunity to meet people who are like minded; people who do not stick to the student stereotype. I cannot wait for this year to begin!