A Blackpool soldier is the pride of his regiment after winning a prestigious award for the first part of his training.
Kingsman Paul Palmer, 27, from Blackpool, was given the Soldiers’ Soldier prize by his fellow troops after successfully completed the Combat Infantryman’s Course at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick, North Yorkshire.
The award, voted for by his peers, recognises the best trainee in his battalion following an intensive six-month course.
Kingsman Palmer said: “Ten years in the building trade was enough for me.
“I thought it was going to be a career, but I eventually got fed up with it.
“The thing about the army is that you can get qualifications and stuff, but I also want to make my six-year-old son, Rhys, proud of me.
“When I first started at Catterick to be honest I was a bit nervous.
“Doing things for the first time was a bit daunting, like going out in the field.
“Now I just love it, it’s been brilliant.
“Receiving an award was a huge surprise, it’s just in my nature to help people, it’s what I’ve done all my life.
Kingsman Palmer will receive his award at the pass out parade ceremony at the Infantry Training Centre on June 5.
His platoon commander, Capt Rich Baxter, added: “Kingsman Palmer was voted the Soldiers’ Soldier by his fellow recruits, so this is a highly regarded award.
“His desire to do well on what is a tough six months’ course is beyond doubt.
“He can also be relied on in any situation, including keeping up the morale of the platoon.
“He’s a robust soldier who will thrive in his battalion.”
After completing two weeks’ driver training, Kingsman Palmer will take some well-deserved leave before joining his new unit the 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment based in Weeton.