A third-generation soldier from Colchester has spoken of the satisfaction he gets from passing on his skills and knowledge to junior colleagues.
The highlight of Corporal Kajan Thapa’s 12-year career was a two-year posting to train recruits at Army Training Centre Pirbright.
“We get given civilians and 14 weeks later we send them out as soldiers,” he said. “I was in charge of recruits who start out not quite knowing what they’ve got themselves into, and I was helping them through the training. There’s a real sense of pride in seeing people find their feet and develop their skills under your guidance.”
Kajan was born in Nepal and moved to Colchester at the age of 15, attending St Helena School and Colchester Institute.
“I didn’t really enjoy college and I joined the Army at 18,” the 31-year-old said. “My dad and grandad had been in the Royal Gurkha Rifles and I grew up hearing their stories about army life and the opportunities for travel and sport, and I thought ‘I want a bit of that’.”
I’ve really found that I enjoy looking after people and passing on my skills, knowledge, and experience to younger soldiers.” Cpl Kajan Thapa
7 Avn Sp Bn REME
Kajan trained as a driver and started his career with Colchester-based 13 Air Assault Support Regiment Royal Logistic Corps. He is now based with 7 Aviation Support Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers at Wattisham Flying Station in Suffolk.
“My role now is less about driving and more about managing a team of drivers and vehicles, making sure that everything and everyone is ready to deliver our driving tasks,” he said. “I’ve really found that I enjoy looking after people and passing on my skills, knowledge, and experience to younger soldiers.”
Across his career, Kajan has deployed on exercises in Kenya, Germany and France to train alongside soldiers from other NATO armies. The keen boxer has fought for his Regiment and competed in the Army individual championships at bantamweight.
Kajan’s brother Corporal Sajan Thapa is a military personnel administrator with Colchester-based 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment.
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