Front Line Soldier to Front Line Author – 23rd June 2014 — Andy Johnson

Andy had always, since the age of 3, wanted to be a sol­dier and at 16 he real­ized his ambi­tion, by join­ing the Coldstream Guards, and after 24 years’ ser­vice, he ended up as their Regimental Sergeant Major.  It was clear to see how Andy had achieved this pos­i­tion.

He had spent time on many cere­mo­nial duties like Changing of the Guard, as well as seeing much active ser­vice. He was shot at, in Bosnia keep­ing Muslims and Christians apart; in Iraq, he had worked on the cre­ation and train­ing of an indi­gen­ous police force, and in Afghanistan, fight­ing the Taliban.

During this time Andy was also brief­ing the media reg­u­larly and acting as the armies’ spokes­man. With instant com­mu­nic­a­tion avail­able from the bat­tle­field via mobile phone cam­eras and the ever-present report­ers, the modern sol­dier has to be tech­nic­ally cap­able and highly trained. Every shot has to be accoun­ted for and Health and Safety are para­mount.

Although there were very sad losses to endure, and some frus­tra­tion, it was a test­a­ment to lead­ers like Andy that morale remained very high, as the troops were doing what they had been trained to do.

However, at the age of 40, Andy decided to leave the Guards to sup­port his family more. Initially, unhappy work­ing with the local Council, he decided to become self-employed and set up a com­pany to train Leadership and Management. This involved, for example, Youth work, work­ing with han­di­capped chil­dren, work­ing with groups of school chil­dren and also Company Management Training. One group of boys gave him great sat­is­fac­tion as he turned them away from an aim­less life and helped to motiv­ate them to get jobs, careers, and a struc­tured life.

On leav­ing the army, during a reset­tle­ment course, he expressed his wish to write a book. The neg­at­ive response he got, made him determ­ined that he would do it. He has writ­ten 4 war novels to date, (avail­able on Amazon) which are doing well, based on fact and much research. He has also been given the film script of a new film ‘Charlie’, due to be launched at the Cannes Film Festival, to write the book of the film.

Having admit­ted that the army had given him an edu­ca­tion that was prob­ably better than if he had not joined up, we all felt that the Coldstream Guards had lost a very cap­able man.

Lest we forget — it was a most inter­est­ing and reas­sur­ing morn­ing know­ing that our way of life and values are being upheld. If you would like to know more about what Andy is doing now then click here.