WHILE most of us are looking forward to winding down for Easter, many soldiers are gearing up to go on operations, with one recruit heading home to Chester to share his experiences of Army life before travelling to Afghanistan.
Private Daniel Smith, aged 21 from Huntington has taken time out to visit the Chester Army Careers Information Office (ACIO) after just completing his 26-week military training course at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick.
The Combat Infantryman’s course, ensures new enlistment's can overcome the many challenges they face on a day to day basis whilst serving on the front line, with physical and mental fitness pushed to the limit.
The former Christleton High School pupil, admits: “Nothing about the training was easy, but then I wasn’t expecting it to be. I’d done a lot of research into the job and spoken to the Recruiters at the Chester careers office.
“I knew what my time at Catterick would be like and, as hard as it could be, one of the greatest challenges I had to overcome personally wasn’t the weapon handling or going out on exercises, it was fighting my fear of water to get in a canoe when we went adventure training.”
It was as a result of doing such research that Daniel was eventually able to confirm his childhood dreams of joining the Army in April 2009.
“I wanted to join a local regiment so I would be serving alongside other people from where I come from which is exactly what the Mercian Regiment provides for the Infantry.”
Daniel will travel with the 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment to Afghanistan for a six-month tour of duty this month.
Daniel added: “You have to think about what life out there will be like but I’m really looking forward to the experience I’ll get.”