A Mirfield army recruit who swapped gardening for soldiering has been handed two top awards after finishing his training.
Private Damon Marshall, 23, has recently completed the Combat Infantryman’s Course at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire, and was named best recruit by his superior officers.
And the former landscape gardener’s plaudits did not end there, as fellow trainees voted for him to be given the Soldiers’ Soldier prize.
His performance during training has impressed platoon commander Lieutenant Lewis Farrell-Southin.
“For somone to win both these prizes is quite unusual. As well as performing well on the course, he has also shown selfless commitment to his fellow recruits. These are both well-deserved awards for a young soldier with high standards.”
Private Marshall, who attended Mirfield Free Grammar School, joined the army after deciding to look for a new challenge.
“I wanted to do a bit more with my life and the army lifestyle seemed to appeal to me. Having completed the course at Catterick I wish I had joined up earlier. Joining was the best decision I’ve made in my life so far. My family and friends recognised what a big step it was for me to go into the army, and they have all been really supportive. I’ve never won anything before, getting two awards was a bit overwhelming.”
He will now take leave before joining his new unit, 1st Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment at their base in Warminster, Wiltshire.