17 January 2010

Every Day Hero

Meet Lt. Col John Perez:

Lieutenant Colonel John Perez

Lieutenant Colonel John Perez
[Picture: Cpl Ralph Merry ABIPP RAF,

Crown Copyright/MOD 2009]

Gibraltar Regiment Commander reflects on 25-year Army career

A People In Defence news article

15 Jan 10

After twenty-five years in the Army, the current Commanding Officer of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel John Perez, is stepping down. Here he reflects on his career.

Soldiers of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment parade on Grand Casemates Square

Soldiers of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment parade on Grand Casemates Square, Gibraltar, to celebrate the regiment's 70th anniversary
[Picture: Cpl Ralph Merry ABIPP RAF, Crown Copyright/MOD 2009]

"As I was leaving Devil's Tower Camp last week, it would have been tempting just to look back over my time as the Commanding Officer [CO] but, of course, I knew that I wasn't just leaving the CO's office, I was leaving the Royal Gibraltar Regiment at the end of a wonderful twenty-five-year career.

"One of my fondest memories from earlier in my career was the Gun Salute at the Tower of London in 1998 which, as Adjutant, I had largely organised. As a younger officer I also enjoyed the challenge of re-roling from the Artillery into an infantry unit and being an infantry commander for the first time.

"Some of my other highlights would include the time I spent in Hong Kong with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers when it was our job to catch the illegal immigrants trying to cross the border into the crown colony and my two-year tour in Omagh with the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, when Army life in Northern Ireland was particularly tough.

"After a tour back in Gibraltar as the Adjutant, I was then posted to a job at the Regular Commissions Board in the UK where the Army's officers of the future are selected.

"Back with the Regiment again, I commanded G Company in 2003 when we first set up Exercise Jebel Sahara and it was my work at that time for which I was rewarded with an MBE.

"I didn't know that I'd been selected to be the next CO until the Board announced its results. There is always tough competition for the post of Commanding Officer."...

There is much more on this amazing career, and well worth the read. Go here to read more from Lt Col Perez.

Thank you for your service, Sir!

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