Do I believe I am someone special? No, I don’t. Have I done anything that no one else has ever done before? Probably not. Do I think I have a story? Yes, I do. I think everyone has a story, some more interesting than others for sure, but there is a story in us all, and this is mine.
Born in Basingstoke in 1972, a son, a father, and a husband on three separate occasions. A veteran of the British military and private security industry, successful businessman and now an author.
I joined The Light Infantry based in Winchester as a Junior Leader in 1988, passing out a year later and was posted to the 1st Battalion The Light Infantry, in Berlin, just before the fall of the Berlin Wall.
I then transferred to the Paras training depot in Aldershot in 1990, joining 557 Platoon, successfully completing P Company and parachute training before deploying to Northern Ireland with 1 Para. I served in a rifle company, mortars detachment and then in the close observation platoon, carrying out surveillance operations against terrorist cells, and working closely with the UK special forces and elite police units.
On leaving the Paras in 1998, I embarked on a new career within the private security industry working as a bodyguard for ultra-high-net-worth families around the world. In 2002 I became part of the first privately hired diplomatic security team in Afghanistan, post conflict. This was followed by four years in Iraq during the crazy aftermath of the 2003 war. Time was also spent on commercial tasks in Sudan, Nigeria, Kurdistan, and the USA, as well as anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden protecting private superyachts and commercial ships against the growing threat of Somali pirates.
My first venture into business came in 2009, when I created and set up a security networking events company for servicemen and women thinking of leaving, or having already left, the armed forces and looking at making a career within the private security industry. We pulled together high-end panels of industry experts and keynote speakers who delivered honest and hard-hitting overviews of the realistic pitfalls and benefits of such a career path.
I eventually set up and ran my own security risk management business in Libya. My work on 'The Circuit' led me to become one of the first security operators into Misrata during the revolution in early 2011. I was fortunate enough to meet and work with some amazingly brave people in Libya. Whilst embedded with the revolutionaries, I experienced the arduous and often fatally dangerous life they lived in their struggle for freedom. I had close connections to the US Ambassador and his security team whose murders in Benghazi in 2012 changed the landscape and dynamics of the country forever. I experienced many of the highs and lows that Libya was going through since the downfall of Colonel Gaddafi, before ultimately selling the business and retiring in 2018.
My first book, an autobiography, ‘Long Road to Libya’ is an honest and personal account of my, often turbulent, journey through life covering my time from boy soldier to paratrooper, private security operator to successful businessman. The story of a natural-born warrior and leader with the vision and pure determination to chase and achieve his dreams. The book was originally released in hardback and e-book in September 2020, self-published and promoted, achieving over 1,500 sales in the first 6 months of being released.
Thanks to my agent Andrew Lownie, and publisher Lume Books, Long Road To Libya was re-released on the 23rd September 2021 as an E-Book and Paperback. I don’t want anybody to get confused or disappointed, this is the same book as before, only difference being it’s had a slight editorial update, new foreword by Ollie Ollerton, as well as a new set of pictures and cover.
My second book, a fiction novel, and a completely different challenge to write, was released on 1st April 2022. The first of a trilogy of stories about Rhett Millard, an ex-SAS hero, now operating in the private security sector. Rhett finds himself working in Iraq and being drawn into the middle of a web of deceit and danger. He has the safety of his clients, the love of his girlfriend and security of his country on the line in a rapidly developing, fast-moving and intriguing plot.
I have been working hard over the last two years, researching, interviewing and writing my third book, a non-fiction title on the History of the Parachute Regiment, through the eyes of those who served. This will be released by Pen and Sword on 1st August 2022, just in time for the regiments eightieth birthday.