There is nothing else id rather do

As I sit and wait for my flight home for my R and R, I realise that 6 months ago I was meeting my new platoon for the first time. Since first meeting my Platoon Serjeant, my Section Commanders and the Rifleman it has been a roller-coaster ride planning and training for an unknown role in Afghanistan and eventually deploying out here to an unknown entity. 20 months since starting my training I am in Afghanistan leading thirty men through the ups and down. Afghanistan, a mixture of the excitement of deploying on a patrol and for the majority wondering what the future holds.

The majority of the work is not easily definable and is not measurable on any scale. I feel responsible for the morale of the platoon, when they are down I try and think of ways to bring them up. When they are frustrated I try and understand why they are frustrated and how we can change it. When they make mistakes I feel responsible and try and work out how to fix it. It is something you are not trained for and is very much trial and error, never knowing whether you are really achieving anything especially when the majority of your solutions are just talking to the riflemen.

The patrols are the other part of the job and you wonder how much of a difference you can actually make to this fascinating country. Deployed on the ground you have the constant feeling that you cannot achieve anything measurable but then have glimmers of hope as you speak to a local who is onside and understands about what his government is trying to achieve. Or you go to a Local Police Station who understand their role far more extensively then they are often given credit for. While at the same time you are waiting for the, at some point inevitable, contact or IED. The ultimate test for you as platoon commander; the one you want to know you can do well but never want the implied consequences of failing or of possible casualties.

I have been lucky that I have had the opportunity to come here and there is nothing else that I would rather do. The thrill of directing a platoon with so much experience to do my part for the country. As I await my flight back home I am looking forward to seeing my family and friends but there is a part of me that wants to stay here, continue to guide, lead and protect my platoon and do the job I signed up to do.

2Lt O Wootton


About robgrimesphotography

Experienced and enthusiastic, I have a real passion for photography that I have gained over the years and that shines through in my pictures and my portfolio. I specialise in capturing those spontaneous moments that we otherwise could lose, either at your wedding or on a relaxed family shoot of your choice. I am always happy to talk about photography, so if you think I might be the right person to take your photographs then give me a ring to discuss your pictures, they are yours after all. Also a full time serving soldier in the Infantry in the British Army, but soon to be leaving the forces after Project Afghan finishes.
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7 Responses to There is nothing else id rather do

  1. Maria Zarif says:

    Wow, already going home? (: It seems you had good experience over there, are you going back any soon? And does that mean you are going to stop posting?

    • robgrimesphotography says:

      Its my time to leave soon, so once i leave this country i will never return. So the posts will stop after the middle of june I’m afraid x

      • Maria Zarif says:

        Wow, pretty disappointing! But I hope you will have a good life ahead of you (: Is there anyone else of your colleagues who blog? I would love to read more posts about Afghanistan.

      • robgrimesphotography says:

        No one else is going to blog, it wouldn’t then be my blog with me blogging. Sorry but I’m not prepared to hand it over to someone else.

      • Maria Zarif says:

        no no,thats not what I mean. What I mean is, that is there anyone else beside you who has their own blog? Like your colleague who share the same interest and blogs? I was curious and would love to follow more blogs like yours…thats it (:

      • robgrimesphotography says:

        Ahhh i get you, i don’t think there is anyone else doing such a thing out here apart from myself, seems strange in this day and age that there aren’t more people blogging these days about their life out here in Afghanistan. If i find anything i will let you know for sure x

      • Maria Zarif says:

        Thanks Rob ūüėÄ
        Have a nice day (:

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