If I tell you right now what the next 20 years will hold for you — and if I tell you that I know because I’ve lived through it myself — you won’t believe me. You’ll experience war, peace, corporate life, business management, failure and success; all will test you in one way or another, and all will make you grow and develop.

You are now an 18-year-old deciding what to do in life, considering whether to pursue a commission in the British Army and enter the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Due to living in Kenya you are being given the opportunity to experience Army life tomorrow. Tomorrow you will turn up in your chinos with a day sack on your shoulder to see where you end up.

My advice is: you’ll never know unless you try, and if doesn’t work out, well, you gave it your best shot. So go make your mark!  But before you do, there are some things to remember.

You will learn how to use a radio with the mantra “press, pause, speak” to overcome the delay on transmission, and the OODA Loop which emphasises the need to “observe before orientating, deciding, and importantly, acting”. You have great energy and will carry people along on the wave of your enthusiasm, but you also have the potential to leave chaos in your wake. So take the time to pause, and then speak; and apply this approach to life in general.

Your father left home to join the Army at 15 with no formal qualifications, and left the Special Air Service as a highly respected Non-Commissioned Officer; and your Mother ran the home base, raised you, and juggled work. Success is not a right, and to get there (wherever “there” is) takes hard work. Rob, the only philosophy I want you to live by is to be true to yourself; and the success will or won’t come, but it will be defined and measured by you. And guess what? If you give others the same chance as well, and set them up for success too, you will be amazed at what they can achieve.

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