From the Colonel of the Regiment – Lieutenant General Ralph Wooddisse CBE MC
All of us in our Regimental family, the serving, the retired and our families, are watching the fast-moving events in Afghanistan with special interest. As we reflect, we know our soldiers served well, and with great professionalism. And all of us quite rightly felt we were serving in Afghanistan to not just help whilst we were there, but to also make a difference in the future. During nine tours by our Battalions, as well as all the many individual tours, members of the Regiment served with distinction and should be proud of their service. Of course, this all came at a cost. Lives were lost, and there were injuries, many serious. Not just the physical, but also those not immediately seen. Our families and our communities also did their duty, giving us wonderful, and unwavering support.
Part of making sense of all of this is to value our service. What we did to try and make Afghanistan a better place. So, looking at events unfold, it is natural to ask whether it was all worth it. Many of us will find this difficult, and some will need support to help them rationalise what they went through. But we rightly pride ourselves as being a strong closely knit Regimental family. So, we should all know that if anyone needs support all they have to do is reach out, and we will all look after each other.
We should be proud of our service. We helped Afghanistan for twenty years. We helped prevent the spread of terrorism. We did our duty, and what was asked of us by the Nation, and more. Nobody yet knows how events in Afghanistan will turn out, but as in all the past campaigns we have been involved in whether it was in Afghanistan, Iraq, The Balkans or Northern Ireland as a Regiment we did our best.