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.