Lee Woodfield’s feet have hardly touched the ground in the seven years since he was turned down for service in the British Army as being too old – and promptly joined the Territorial Army (now Army Reserve) instead.
The carpenter and joiner from Newton Abbot, now 43, has twice been deployed to Afghanistan, as well as completing a stint in Kosovo. He’s an Army physical training instructor; taken part in exercises with the Regular Army in Poland and Canada; and qualified as a Challenger 2 crewman.
Now, Lee is celebrating further, double success. Within days of earning promotion to Corporal with his Royal Wessex Yeomanry unit at Exeter, he received the Lord Lieutenant of Devon’s Certificate of Meritorious Service during ceremonies at Dartington Hall, Totnes,
There could even be more to come. “Because I am self-employed, I’ve been in a position to take every opportunity to train alongside the Regular Army, which has been a great experience,” he said. “It’s actually something I have done for a large part of the past two and half years.
“So far, I’ve achieved all I aimed for. But I have another target. Quite recently, the Army have changed their rules and said that Reservists will be able to train as tank commanders for the first time. I’m hoping my time with the Regulars will help me get on a course next year.
“The challenge then would be to become the first Army Reserve soldier to achieve that goal.”
Also awarded the Certificate for Meritorious Service were:
- Colour Sergeant Simon Tucker, of Honiton, Army Reservist and full-time signalling skills instructor with 6th Battalion, The Rifles
- Lieutenant Nigel Cooper, commander of Crediton detachment, Devon Army Cadet Force.
- Corporal Jack Daniels, of Plymouth, a Section Commander in 8 Platoon, Millbay, with 6th Battalion, The Rifles
- Lt-Colonel Peter Lewis, of Torpoint, Commander, Plymouth College Combined Cadet Force.
- Staff Sergeant Instructor Mark Sanders, Tiverton Detachment, Army Cadet Force.