Sergeant Steve Marsden
The Guards Parachute Platoon - 3rd Bn The Parachute
1st Battalion Coldstream Guards
Iím from Bude in Cornwall
and joined the Coldstream Guards in November 1997 straight
from leaving school.
I had always wanted to join the army from a very early age
and I always knew that it was what I was going to do, so as
soon as I reached the ripe old age of 16 years and nine
months I was straight in to that recruiting office knowing I
wanted to join the Infantry but not quite which regiment.
After being told about the Coldstream guards there was no
looking back, it was the obvious choice. It was from this
moment forward that I decided I wanted to be a Guardsman.
Iíve been in the Coldstream Guards now for almost 12 years
and have loved every minute of it. In the time Iíve been in
Iíve served in the 1st Bn Coldstream Guards, Number 8
Company, Number 7 Company, Guards Training Company and now
the Guards Parachute Platoon. While serving in those
different Companies I have been jungle training in Belize
with some R+R in Cancun thrown in, Iíve trained in Kenya
doing some of the best live firing Iíve ever done as well as
getting a scuba diving adventure training qualification
while I was there. Iíve also taken part in 3 Queenís
Birthday Parades and many Queenís Guards at Buckingham
Palace and the Tower of London.
".........in the time Iíve been in Iíve served in the
1st Bn Coldstream Guards, Number 8 Company, Number 7
Company, Guards Training Company and now the Guards
Parachute Platoon ....."
Operationally I have served on numerous different tours of
Northern Ireland accumulating in around 2 years serving in
South Armagh, Londonderry, Ballykinler and Portadown. In
2005 I was deployed to Al Amarah in Iraq on Op Telic 6 for 6
months which was a real test of my soldiering skills but at
the same time extremely rewarding. Then just last year I
deployed to Southern Afghanistan with the Guards Parachute
Platoon as part of the 3 PARA Battle Group taking part in
many strike ops to help rid Afghanistan of the Taliban.
After finishing my tour of Iraq I was posted to the Guards
Training Company as an Instructor turning civilians into
Guardsmen in just 28 weeks, It was while I was posted here
that I had a go at the Armyís most physically demanding
course (bar special forces), P Company or pre-parachute
selection. If you want to come to the Guards Para Platoon,
before you are even put anywhere near a parachute you have
to pass this 3 and a half week long course. It has to be one
of the hardest courses Iíve ever done, but I passed and was
presented with my maroon beret.
Before my feet could touch the ground I was told I was being
posted to Guards Para and that I was being sent to RAF Brize
Norton to carry out my Basic Parachuting Course at No 1
Parachute School, upon completion I was presented with my
Parachute wings and welcomed into the Airborne Brotherhood
as a Guardsman of the Sky.
I now serve in the Guards Parachute Platoon as the Platoon
Sergeant with 3rd Bn The Parachute Regiment as part of the
British Armyís 16 Air Assualt Brigade in Colchester, ready
to be deployed anywhere in the world as part of the UKís
Airborne Task Force.
I am still a Coldstreamer though and always will be, and at
the end of my 2 years here I shall return to the 1st Bn
Coldstream Guards and wear my wings with pride, knowing that
I am part of a professional Infantry unit, the Coldstream
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