Back in 2005 when I was a young Lance Corporal in C Company The Staffords, D Company were preparing to leave for a parade in Normandy, France, as their coach driver walked past C Company accommodation I thought it would be a good idea to take a few pot shots at him with my air rifle from the accommodation window.
Unbelievably, one of the air rifle pellets hit him in the neck. Thinking nothing of it, but at the same time being quiet proud of the shot I went and had a shower and carried on with my daily routine.
Around 10 minutes later the Regimental Sergeant Major, accompanied by the Provost Sergeant where outside the accommodation block screaming and shouting looking for the sharpshooter who had shot the coach driver in the neck, being the young JNCO with integrity, courage, loyalty, selfless commitment, courage but not so much discipline that I was, I owned up to being the responsible soldier.
I soon found myself stood to attention in front of the adjutant, who made me apologise to the coach driver, who, for some reason or other did not accept my apology.
A short while later I was stood to attention again, but this time in front of the Commanding Officer. He asked me if I had anything to say “you could send me on a Sniper course, Sir” was probably not what he wanted or expected to be my reply, in hindsight it probably was not the best thing I could have said.
Needless to say, I wasn’t a Lance Corporal by the end of the day and I never did attend a Snipers course.
The Staffordshire Regiment.