A self-employed roofer hit new heights this week when he was awarded the accolade of Best Shot at his Army Passing Out Parade.
Gunner Dan Williams was one of 75 Army Reservists that marched onto the parade square at Army Training Regiment (Grantham) to mark the end of their Phase One training.
The final stage of his training saw Daniel who lives in Arbroath immerse himself in Army life. The 16 day course at Prince William of Gloucester Barracks, Grantham, saw him taught everything he needs to know to fulfil his role within the Army Reserve including military terminology, drill, shooting, physical fitness, weapon handling, first aid, field craft and map reading.
Prior to attending the course Gunner Williams had completed four weekend training courses and will now go on to complete his trade training with his chosen Army Reserve unit: 105 Regiment Royal Artillery.
He collected his award from Major General Simon Brooks-Ward, the Deputy Commander Field Army.
Dan said: “It was a really good course. I joined the Reserves in August and I’ve never missed a training night. I completed the first part of the Phase One training over four weekends and continued to prepare for this final stage of training.
“I’ve really enjoyed this course. You get to mix with lots of different people. I thought, because of my age, I would be at the back when it came to all the physical work but I was actually in the middle.”
Dan is 30-years-old.
“It was a really cold day and night on our final exercise. At one point it was snowing. Once you were in your sleeping bag you were fine and it helped that I am used to working outside.”
He continued: “I was really pleased to win Best Shot. When I was told I just thought ‘wow’. I haven’t shot since I was in the cadets 15 years ago and it’s changed a lot since then. It’s a totally different weapons system.
“I’ve always had a hunger to join the Army. My dad and brother have both served in the military. A couple of years ago someone said why not join the Territorial Army as it was then, but I decided against it. But that nagging feeling never went away, so I decided to give it a shot.”
Addressing the soldiers on parade the Deputy Commander Field Army, Major General Simon Brooks-Ward said: “I would like to welcome you to this wonderful organisation. The Army Reserve would not exist were it not for the efforts and commitment provided by people like you.
“I understand how hard it is to give up the time, energy and yourself to this new part-time career. The fact that you do, and the fact that I am standing here looking at you makes my job as Deputy Commander Field Army an incredible privilege and an honour.
“You may be a timber merchant, a baker or an environmental health technician, mechanic or town planner but in the Army Reserve you are something different. You are a volunteer in a very special organisation.
“I want you to play an active part in your new part-time Army career, become a fully paid up member of your sub unit and unit, be a valued team member, and look to the future of possible opportunities of which there are many in the Army reserve. Your future is a very bright one.
“Enjoy everything that is before you; stick with it because it is worth it. You have joined an organisation that really is too good to leave.”
212 (Highland) Battery, 105 Regiment Royal Artillery is based on Montrose Road, Arbroath. The Battery trains every Wednesday evening. For further information contact 01241 875754 or visit the Battery between 7.30-9.30pm on a training night.