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Officer profile

Lieutenant Tom Glasspool is a Troop Leader, commanding a Troop of three Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks and their crews.

"I attended the Royal Grammar School Guildford and joined the Army branch of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF). This gave me the opportunity to see a bit about what the Army was, and prompted me to do a 2 day visit to the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.

"Although this visit was something I did more out of curiosity than anything else, it persuaded me to see what a career in the Army would be like. After attending Army Officer Selection Board in Westbury, Wiltshire, I was awarded a place on the September 2011 intake at Sandhurst after I finished school.

"After finishing my A levels, I went to the University of York, where I studied Philosophy and Politics and joined the York Detachment of the Leeds University Officer Training Corps (UOTC). They offered the opportunity to do various Adventure Training courses, and it was with the UOTC that I gained my RYA Day Skipper qualification - something I've used several times at Regimental Duty.

"After graduating in 2011 and a summer of travelling - a month of backpacking around Greek islands, I joined the Royal Military Academy in September. Having visited Bovington with the UOTC, I knew that I wanted to work with Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks.

"I also had friends applying for the Queen's Royal Hussars, so they were a natural choice.

"After commissioning, I went to Bovington; the Crew Training School for all armoured vehicles in the Army, and where I learned the basics of driving, maintaining in tanks.

"After a couple of months we moved to Lulworth Gunnery School and live fire ranges! From here I began the Tactics course, learning to move and command a troop of 3 tanks in tactically demanding and high-pressure environments, culminating in a complex attack across Salisbury Plain.

"Upon completing the Troop Leaders' Course, I flew to Germany to begin a 2 week firing package with the Regiment. This meant that I was immediately doing the job I had trained for, and was a fantastic opportunity to get to know my troop and crew.

"In Summer 2013 my Squadron deployed to Canada as part of a battlegroup exercise; a challenging and exciting exercise in which hundreds of armoured vehicles carry out large scale armoured warfare - and my first chance to command a tank troop in a tactical situation.

"A month of hard work was not without its rewards however, as my Squadron headed first to get stuck into kayaking, horse riding, parachuting and rock climbing, then to Calgary for some well-deserved relaxation!

"Since returning from Canada and Summer leave, it's been a blur of training, sport and social events, including the Summer Ball, playing Rugby for the Regiment and running a sailing expedition in the Baltic."

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