I was studying military history at Salford Uni when I decided to join the TA. That was in 2003. I was a Kingsman in the Ardwick barracks of what was then the Kings and Cheshire Regiment. I loved it and wanted more. As I looked into it more I realised I could get myself to Sandhurst and be an Officer. I thought, 'I'll have some of that!!' So a year or so later off I went. I loved every minute. A lot of people don't but I'd never experienced anything like it. I took every opportunity and made the most of it. I knew I was meant to be in the Infantry and after a few visits realised I belonged in The Cheshire Regiment. My county regiment. I joined then in 2007 towards the end of a residential tour in Northern Ireland. From there we deployed straight out to Iraq followed by training in Kenya, Germany and the Falkland Islands to name but a few. The pinnacle however was a summer tour to the Upper Gereshk Valley in 2010. I was by this time the Sniper Platoon, FSG and rifle platoon Commander all rolled into one. It was fierce and many on both sides were killed and injured. It was soldiering in its purest form, straight out of Brecon and made real. It takes a long time for even the strongest to get over an experience like that. That's why I chose to go back, however as a Cultural Specialist. First I had to pass the arduous Pashto long language course. 15 months overall followed by a tour back in Gereshk. By 2013 we already had a foot out the door but it was so rewarding and in many ways cathartic. I knew our war there was unwinnable but everyone stood strong to give the Afghans the best chance of success. Back home I became the Operations Officer of the Defence Cultural Specialist Unit, whose focus was definitely on the future. I was to provide linguists and Cultural Specialists literally across the globe. It was great job but knowing I wanted to leave and pursue a career in the private sector, I volunteered to attend the Officers' Military Intelligence Course. Another arduous 20 weeks but definitely worth the effort. So that sees me here today, looking to my own future within this industry.