Richard Hunter is a family man working for the NHS in the North East of England. His background saw him being brought up within the military environment. Unsatisfied with his current employment, he often thinks back to his time in the Army. His father had been a soldier and it was Brett’s decision to follow him on this career path.
But the parade ground, torturous PT lessons, adventure training and the military skills tests he would have to endure, are only the start of his journey.
He would then have to prove himself to his peers within his Regiment. This would be easier said than done, having such a highly regarded father in the same Regiment. In his first months, he needed to be subservient, and accept the practical jokes played on him. His father had warned him it would happen, and was all part of being a new soldier in the Regiment.
In his first few months in the Regiment he would learn his trade as a tank crewman, in camp and on the plains of the Luneburger Heide of Soltau in Germany. The cold winter nights, lack of sleep and being on constant lookout for the infamous "drop bears". Yet by the end of his first exercise he would become to be accepted.
The experiences of the walled city of Berlin for twenty four months, would last in his memory for years to come. The city’s night life, sporting competitions and continuous ‘crash outs’, would enrich his military and personal life.
The cold war in North West Germany, Brett would meet his mentor, and a man he would respect all his life. Yet after only one training season, he would be forced to move on, and begin his search for promotion. The next step on the ladder would be to gain a ‘Class 1’ qualification.
The black art of ‘Signals Communications’, was delivered to him in the Royal Armoured Corps Signal School in Bovington. Learning the complexities of both HF and VHF equipment, and how to run a Command Vehicle. These skills were to be essential for the time he would spend in Battlegroup Headquarters.
The troubles in Northern Ireland were to be his initiation into ‘Operational Tours’. The realism and authenticity of its training, ensured that he would hopefully return unscathed. By the end of it, the question he had asked himself all those years ago, as a young man in his garden in Germany, would be answered.
‘Would he ever feel this same bond to others as he did now with these three friends?’
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Denim to Khaki
by Ian S Varty
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Denim to Khaki
by Ian S Varty
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by on September 27, 2016
- Ian S Varty, March 2016
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