Page 11 - Chiron Calling Spring 2019
P. 11

   was when I arrived at Hyde Park Barracks for my two week stint with the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. Up until this point they had just been convinced that my job was nothing more than square bashing with the odd vaccination. Settling into my room in the tower at Hyde Park Barracks, and looking over Knightsbridge, I did think to myself how it wasn’t quite the average veterinary job. To then be involved with the build up to Trooping the Colour and watching it from the sidelines with the farriers was definitely the icing on the cake.
Following my wonderful time at the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment (HCMR), I was back up at DATR but this time onto my Protection Dog Handling course with my canine compatriot, Jimmy, who was so good he made me look far better than I was. It was nice to let my veterinary mind switch off for a bit and be at the tooth end of the business!, excuse the pun. Whilst having always been aware what these incredible dogs are capable of, it was a vastly different experience being the one holding the lead. Over this time we had our Centenary Dinner at St James’ Palace courtesy of HRH, The Princess Royal, and again I caught myself sitting there smiling wondering how many of my civilian colleagues would get a chance to do this in their career.
After that I had two back to back trips to Cornell University and Utrecht University presenting research I had been a part of on wellbeing within the profession and then when back quickly thrust into work again, but this time getting ready for the centenary parade. It was time to squeeze back into service dress, which I am sure was far bigger whilst at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and get practicing carrying the Regimental standard for the Centenary Parade. Its safe to say, that carrying that standard properly, whilst not trying to let it bash anyone or touch the ground is actually far harder than it looks! That said, it was an honour to be the nominated as the Corps Standard Bearer for the Centenary parade through the town of Melton.
It was then time for the DATR’s Adventure Training camp in Cornwall, where we went hiking along the coast, rattled our bones to the core mountain biking, attempted to surf and braved coasteering. I can safely say that I am far better falling off a cliff into the sea than I am standing up on a surf board, although a particular highlight was seeing a seal pop up 10m from me in the sea.
In terms of parades, one other highlight of the year was the Regimental Mascot’s parade, which was truly an event that
Lt Andy Rose
What a great life as an Army VO
Military mascots on parade
could only be done by the British Army. I had been lucky enough to work with the Irish Wolfhounds and their handlers that week, teaching them basic veterinary care.
After the parade season, I had a quick trip with the VSTAT to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus to inspect the RAF Police dogs as well as a quick jaunt over to Episkopi. Having grown up outside Dhekalia, it was nice to finally see the island from the other side of the fence, as well as getting out for some sun and a brandy sour in the evening.
Since joining the RAVC, I have been lucky enough to start playing for the Army Medical Services Rugby team and have enjoyed wins over the Intelligence Corps, Armoured Corps and Army Air Corps with a hopeful tour to Canada next year and a successful season for the AMS RFC.
Now, having spent almost a year at the DATR and completed my PDP, I am ready to move onto my next step at 1 Military Working Dog Regiment and hope to bring everything I have learned to the table there and relish the opportunity for some new and exciting challenges! And thank you everyone at the Veterinary Training Squadron who helped in my first year, particularly the nurses who had to manage with my frequent ‘vet’ looks!

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