I joined the army on the 7th September 2008 at the age of 16. My initial training was at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate. This is where I first learnt the fundamentals of being a soldier. Some people realise at this point the army isn’t for them, but for me, I saw an opportunity to do something significant and be the best.
I progressed through basic training and eventually after a tough and vigorous year, I had been moulded into a basic soldier. I then moved to the Royal Armoured Corp (RAC) school in Dorset to learn my specific role as a cavalryman in the Queen's Royal Hussars.
My second phase of training took place in the RAC training school Bovington. This is where I learnt my first trade as a tank soldier and a driver. I was never too keen on mechanics as a civilian, but I found driving and maintain a 72tonne tank quite enjoyable and passed the course without problems. Spending almost half a year at Bovington I couldn’t wait to get to my regiment to start working with them.
I arrived at regiment in the middle of June; I was sent to C Squadron and have stayed theere ever since. In my time I have deployed to numerous countries on exercise including Canada, Bavaria and the tropical counties of Wales. In 2011, the Regiment began preparations to go to Afghanistan with two squadrons: one acting as infantry on the ground and one in tracked, armoured vehicles called Warthog.
For me, it was light role infantry and C Squadron, which now took the name of Coriano Company, after a regimental battle honour. I was extremely happy with my position - it was a chance to be part of regimental and army history. We were the first cavalry unit to be trained and deployed as an infantry unit, so we started right from the bottom and worked our way up to operational readiness, working closely with our local infantry, Fifth Battalion, the Rifles (5 RIFLES).
Later that year I deployed with my company and was based in PB Attal, a patrol base in Helmand province. We saw a determined and clever enemy - I could instantly see why the training was so intense. I saw countless contacts that tour, but none that I felt I hadn't been trained for. The tight bond that others and I have in the Queen's Royal Hussars helps with our job on a vast scale. I can trust the men I work with to a great extent, which is why I’m proud and honoured to serve with them today.
Its not all hard work and no play in the Regiment though. I have been to Cyprus to complete my kayak instructor qualification, Canada to climb the Rockies and I even represent the Regiment in cross country. I have been on various trips around Europe. Being based outside the United Kingdom, I've been on various trips around Europe and as part of an armoured regiment on exercise, I've been to Canada and America too.