NCAA player finally meets soldier whose life he saved, given medal …

The freshman hockey player and the National Guard captain met at center ice on Saturday, face-to-face that night for the first time since Union College forward Kevin Shier helped save the life of Timothy Neild. On Dec.

8, 2013, Shier and his father were driving from Syracuse to Union for a recruiting visit when they spotted a pickup truck burning near a concrete barrier of a bridge on the New York State Thruway. Neild was trapped inside.

Shier and another man helped cut Neild s seat belt and dragged him out of the burning truck, which exploded soon after. The National Guardsman was severely hurt in the crash, and was placed into a medically induced coma for 11 days. We thought he was dead, recalled Shier.

But he was alive. And on Saturday, it was time to thank the freshman hockey player who helped save that life. I wouldn t be here today or at all had Kevin Shier not done what he did, Neild said, via the Daily Gazette 1 , before Union s game vs.

Princeton, and it s so incredible to finally meet him. Before the game, Neild pinned the New York Conspicuous Service Medal on Shier, which ranks only behind the Medal of Valor as far as these honors go. Shier and his team gave Neild and his family his wife and their 3-year-old daughter were in attendance a signed Union College jersey.

From the Gazette: It was pretty surreal up until six months ago or so, and very surreal up until we found out that Capt. Neild was OK and he was recovering well, he said. It changed my life, for sure.

It s been kind of emotional. It was nice to meet Capt. Neild to kind of, not give it closure, but to solidify what had happened.

If Shier sounds humble, Neild said it s expected. “He says what a lot of the true heroes say: ‘I did it because he would have done it for me,'” he said.

2 Sports & Recreation Union College References ^ via the Daily Gazette (www.dailygazette.com) ^ he said. (albany.twcnews.com)

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NCAA player finally meets soldier whose life he saved, given medal …

Quest for the green beret

Sapper Ed Joseph Sapper Ed Joseph is an Army Reserve soldier from 131 Independent Commando Squadron Royal Engineers (131 Indep Cdo Sqn RE), embarking on the Reserve Forces Commando Course (RFCC) at Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM), Lympstone. He has two weeks in which to complete the gruelling course that, if successfully completed, will culminate in him earning the coveted green beret. Good health and spirit I don t think many people have an appreciation of what a reservist has to undergo to have any chance of success on a course such as the Reserve Forces Commando Course (RFCC).

Any spare minute leading up to the course is consumed preparing your body and mental strength for the difficult task ahead. It can sometimes feel like a bit of a lonely journey, but the desire to wear the Green Beret serves as ample inspiration. Ingrained with this sense of purpose I found myself driving through the gates of Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM), Lympstone, on what can only be described as a bleak and foreboding Friday afternoon.

During the previous week I had been a regular visitor to BBC Weather, trying to gauge what kind of weather would be accompanying us on the course. It looked as though it would be horrific, but astonishing as this may sound, I was actually excited at the prospect of the arduous challenge to come and entered the camp with a wry smile on my face. The other 131 lads arrived soon after, and I was glad that they also looked in good health and spirit.

Tarzan The first day started with a timed run through of the endurance course. I will go into this in more depth later but I didn t encounter any problems, and achieved a very reasonable time which boosted my confidence. In the afternoon we were given our orders for exercise Thrusting Daggers and set about doing a kit muster for the field phase of Commando training.

Spr Joseph starts Tarzan Assault Course with the Commando Slide. This has to be done whilst carrying 32 lbs of kit (webbing and rifle) Day two started with acquainting ourselves with the Tarzan assault course, which I personally really enjoy. I like to compare it to a more challenging version of Go Ape, and without safety harnesses.

In the afternoon we gave our kit a check over and drew our weapons for the beginning of the exercise. It began with a 12-mile tactical insertion, or loaded march. This may not sound like a great distance, but the speed at which you march, the weight you carry (in excess of 90lb), and the difficult terrain, make it more of a challenge than one might expect.

Add to this that we were in the middle of some of the worst storms the west has seen for years, and you can begin to understand that this was going to be a challenging task. I must say that I felt good on the march, the tough preparation on my Squadron s commando training weekends and long hill runs around Gloucestershire were finally paying off. Swinging into the cargo net We eventually reached Foggin Tor, the wind howling, so it was a challenge to set our bashas up, the wind engaging us in a tug of war.

Basha made, I eventually settled into my gonk (sleeping) bag, to snatch an hour s sleep before the inevitable stag (guard duty). When my turn came to stag-on, I ve no shame in admitting that I felt a bit threaders (not terribly chirpy). The weather was truly grim, and with freezing cold sleet and harsh winds, it was an effort to up.

I find in these kinds of situations it s best to think about a funny experience to give yourself a lift. On this occasion I recalled a meeting with Sergeant Cloonan at the ARC before leaving 301 for CTC. He called me over, in the drill hall, saying that he had some advice for me about the coming course.

I was expecting one of those fatherly motivational speeches, as Sgt Cloonan is one of those experienced seniors who s truly considerate of the guys under him. I walked over and he put his arm around me and said Ed, are you ready for the course and confident you ll pass? I replied Yes, Sgt Cloonan.

Good! he said, Because if you fail I m going to have to punch you. With that he gave me a pat on the back and walked off.

The effect was as it should be, giving me a valuable morale boost whenever I didn t feel like joining the party. So with a smile on my face, courtesy of Sgt Cloonan, I made my way to the stag position and settled into the job at hand. To be continued Sapper Joseph 1 .

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References ^ Sapper Ed Joseph 131 Indep Cdo Sqn RE (britisharmy.wordpress.com)

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Quest for the green beret

Tropical storms, abandoned tattoos and the South Shore Serenade …

Musician Lance Corporal Paul Dove talks about working in Bermuda as part of a Corps of Army Music training team. Army Musician Lance Corporal Paul Dove. Bermuda.

A tiny island located in the North Atlantic covering an area of 20.6 miles 2 with a coastline of just 75 miles. Home to Bermuda shorts, whistling tree frogs, pink sand beaches, the Bermuda onion, the world s smallest drawbridge and, for the next 18 nights, a Corps of Army Music (CAMUS) Short Term Training Team (STTT). The team was made up of personnel drawn from all over CAMUS and included Warrant Officer Class One Bandmaster Matt Simons, Drum Major Alistair Smith, Musician Mattias Andersson and me, Lance Corporal Paul Dove.

CAMUS in Bermuda? Bermuda has always held close ties with the UK as a member of the Commonwealth. In particular, The Bermuda Regiment is closely linked to the Lincolnshire Regiment and its successor The Royal Anglian Regiment, specifically the 2 nd Battalion, who often provide training in various guises.

CAMUS provide STTT s in direct support of the Army s core purposes of contingent capability for deterrence and defence and overseas engagement and capacity building as outlined under the current Army 2020 plan. Our team was in Bermuda to support and help train The Band and Corps of Drums of the Bermuda Regiment, the ceremonial face of The Bermuda Regiment. In the same way that Army Reserve Bands are required to complete an annual camp, our deployment was to coincide with the Band s annual two-week camp.

Drum Major Alastair Smith with the current and potential Drum Majors of the Bermuda Regiment Band and Corps of Drums. On the 26 th of September after a seven hour flight from London Gatwick, the team touched down at Bermuda airport at 2200 hours local time. We were met by Major Dwight Robinson, Director of Music of the Bermuda Regiment and a former resident at Kneller Hall having graduated from the three year Bandmasters course held there in 2003.

Accompanying him was the Band Sergeant Major, Warrant Officer Class Two James Van-Lowe. Serving over 30 years in the Regiment Band, WO2 Van-Lowe was no stranger to UK military music having completed his Band Sergeants course at the Royal Marines School of Music in Deal, Kent, in 1986. After settling in at Warwick Camp and spending a day acclimatising at Bermuda s famous Horseshoe Bay, we eagerly awaited the arrival of the Band and Drums members.

Indeed, when they arrived, there were a few more familiar faces, Cpl Paul Smith and LCpl Kallan Thomas who had both completed training at the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall. Within the first few days we were introduced to the Regimental Sergeant Major WO1 Gavin Rayner and the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Foster-Brown, a serving British Army officer originally from The Royal Green Jackets (now The Rifles) Regiment. They were both extremely pleased to have us on the Island and made us feel very welcome.

Within hours of the Band starting their annual camp, I found myself on an engagement at the Bermuda Cathedral in Hamilton with the rest of the STTT. The event was to commemorate the start of WW1 and pay respects to the fallen and in particular, fallen Bermudians who had served in both world wars with the British Army. Throughout the two weeks, the team also took part in the South Shore Serenade each day.

This involved marching out of the Camp and performing to the morning and evening traffic on one of Bermuda s busiest roads and, on occasion, marching round the local residential areas in Warwick. Me working with pupils of the Bermuda Youth Orchestra at Cedarbridge Academy. One of the most rewarding engagements we took part in was at Cedarbridge Academy.

Here we helped the Band strengthen its relationship with the Bermuda Youth Orchestra, a source of possible recruits for the Band. The team spent some time with their individual sections, instructing on basic musicianship principles. This also helped to show some of the Regiment Band members how to run sectional rehearsals, a skill that would come in useful.

The Band also performed at the Bermuda Police Service (BPS) parade, marching through Hamilton to celebrate the Service s 135 th anniversary and also publicising the upcoming Tattoo performance. Preparing for the tattoo One of the aims of the next couple of weeks for the Band and Drums was to prepare for the BPS Tattoo. This was to be an extravaganza involving a massed Bands performance with the Royal Bahamas Police Force Band, The Somerset Brigade Band (a band primarily made from ex-Bermuda Regiment Band members) and the Bermuda Islands Pipe Band.

Before all this though, the STTT were required to assist in designing a display for the Bermuda Regiment Band. Rehearsals for the BPS Tatto at the Bermuda National Sports Centre Musn Mattias Andersson performing at the Bermuda National Sports Centre. Drum Major Smith took charge of designing a display for the Band and Drums and rehearsals were plentiful and included lessons on band drill, instrument deportment and musical rehearsals on the parade ground.

Drum Major Smith also put some of the members of the Band and Drums through their paces with some basic Drum Major tuition. The Band and Drums have traditionally attended the Drum Major course held at The Army School of Ceremonial in Catterick and after Drum Major Smith s lessons, there was no shortage of volunteers. WO1 (BM) Simons, assisted Major Robinson with rehearsals on the Tattoo music which included challenging pieces for the Band such as the 1812 Overture, and Stevie Wonder s Sir Duke.

In amongst these rehearsals, and in between the Band s military training, the team delivered lessons on music theory and basic musicianship principles, an experience that I found quite daunting as I had not previously taught music theory to a large audience. However, the Band was very receptive to our efforts and enjoyed our sessions with them. During these rehearsals, we received a visit from the Governor of Bermuda, His Excellency, the Honourable George Fergusson and Bermuda s Premier, Mr Michael Dunkley.

They spoke to members of the team and Band and were very appreciative of all our efforts over the last few days and looked forward to seeing the finished product. Team Building with a bit of football and volley ball One of the other goals of the Band and Drum s annual camp was to develop unit cohesion. To that end, there were several team building exercises laid on throughout the two weeks.

Fortunately, we were invited along to all of them and they included golf, bowling, a production of The Pirates of Penzance and my personal favourite, kayaking along the coastline in the North Atlantic Ocean. Bermudian weather To quote Band member Sgt Marie Trott, If you don t like the weather in Bermuda, just wait ten minutes! Unfortunately the weather took a turn for the worse with the arrival of tropical storm Fay which battered the Island and sadly resulted in the BPS Tattoo being cancelled.

During this time, The Bermuda Regiment was embodied by the Government to help cope with the post-storm relief effort. This embodiment was in direct support of the Regiment s mission to: Support the civil authority with the security of Bermuda, its people, property, livelihood and interests in order to maintain normality. Several members of the Band were also recalled to support the relief effort and the sense of professionalism and team spirit shown by the Regiment at this time was very impressive.

So our time in Bermuda had come to an end. Before the Band went their separate ways, we all said our farewells and exchanged gifts. Major Dwight Robinson was hugely appreciative of what the CAMUS STTT had provided to his Band and hopes to host another team in the near future.

Thanks must go to Major Dwight Robinson and all members of The Bermuda Regiment that made our trip possible. As this blog is being written, hurricane Gonzalo has just made it to the UK after battering its way through Bermuda. The STTT would just like to take this opportunity to say that we hope that our colleagues in The Bermuda Regiment are safe and continue to perform admirably. .

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Tropical storms, abandoned tattoos and the South Shore Serenade …

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