Page 10 - MBS 2022/23
P. 10

  As I write this year’s MBS article I do so with just one month left in the role and wonder where on earth the time has gone. I have tried my best not to look too far ahead during my tour as the Corps Sergeant Major but to enjoy each of the moments that have come my way, and ‘by eck’ there have been many special moments for which I consider myself extremely lucky. The last 12 months has involved quite an extensive visit programme featuring Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Kenya, Cyprus, and various units across England. Each visit leaves me beaming with pride to serve in the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, but more so proud to serve alongside some exceptional Corps Instructors. It is often said how good our instructors are, and I am tagged in many posts on social media but visiting and talking with RAPTCIs face- to-face really does bring to life the daily delivery of excellence across Defence. It is a privilege to witness, and I thank all of you for everything you do.
I have two stand out moments from the last 12 months. The opportunity to represent the Corps at the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III will clearly be one and was just incredible. For me though, what made it incredible was where I was positioned within the procession; just behind three of our Officers and 24 of our Soldiers. Words cannot explain how proud I was to march down the Mall and into the Garden of Buckingham Palace watching every pace that our RAPTCIs took. I was immensely proud of all of them. Watching friendships form between RAPTCIs whom had never met was fantastic and a real highlight was the story of an RAPTCI who was considering signing-off but changed their mind because of the esprit de corps between the marching contingent.
A second standout moment this year was the RAPTC WOs’ & Sgts’ Mess Dinner nights. Many will know how passionate I have been about our Corps Mess and the importance I have placed on it. Sharing a final dinner with everyone in the historic Fox Gymnasium will remain with me for a lifetime. Of course, as the Presiding
Members of the Mess at the WOs’ & Sgts’ Mess Dinner Night
WO1 (Corps SM) D Southern-Naylor RAPTC
                Addressing the Mess for one last time
Member, I have once again relied heavily upon a committee to bring to life what it is I have tried to achieve and I cannot thank those Committee members enough who, under the leadership of WO2 (QMSI) Shackleton RAPTC, have made a real and noticeable difference to the Corps Mess over the last 12 months.
I’d like to thank Lt Col (Retd) C Deed MBE who has been very patient and allowed me to manage my time between the ASPT and Corps SM roles, I have certainly spent quite some time away from the ASPT. I’d also like to thank the SMAA who has allowed me to just get on with the job, shape it as I have seen fit, and he even got the odd Guinness in during our visits. It’s been a pleasure to watch how the SMAA interacts with soldiers, and he always takes away work to try to help them, which is often unseen.
It has been a privilege to serve the soldiers of the RAPTC as the Corps Sergeant Major
The RAPTC contingent marching between Admiralty Arch
and I thank all of you for your support, guidance, kindness and for having the moral courage to challenge me and our Corps HQ. Congratulations once again to WO1 (SMI) D Brown RAPTC on his selection for the role which dates back to Tarbotton in 1872, and I would like to wish him the very best of luck. The Soldiers of the Corps are in very safe hands. Afterall, they are the hands of someone who lifts rocks for fun!
   Final rehearsals for the coronation complete

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