Many English proverbs are so old it’s hard to know who coined them. One from Geoffrey Chaucer (we think) is very apt in 2024 – “All good things must come to an end.” 

This summer I’ll be leaving the Army Reserves, after serving for thirty years. In that time, I passed both the Reserve Forces Commando and Army PTI courses. I also served on two overseas deployments, first in Iraq in 2003 and then Afghanistan in 2008.  I won’t miss the gruesome hikes over Dartmoor and the sleepless nights on field exercises. I won’t miss trekking across London to HQ every week. But I will miss the camaraderie and the opportunity to lead, coach and train our young soldiers.

A new project

Our famous medieval writer only told us half the story, however. He could have added that every end also creates a beginning. For me, that beginning is a project that will bring together a new team for new challenges. We’ve christened ourselves ‘Los Leones’ – the lions.

‘Los Leones’ are mainly ex-military folk but also serving military and civilians. That combination is important, because we’re looking to build a culture where both military and civilian skill-sets can work together. 

In the short-term, we’ll focus on a handful of endurance events, to raise funds for military charities. You may have already read about some of these on my website or Instagram posts:

That will keep ‘Los Leones’ busy with training and prep in 2024. Looking further ahead, I’ll be finding more inspiring projects. That means tough challenges that require courage, strength and determination. They may be team events, or training support for individuals who raise money for a military charity. 

The army taught me what can be achieved by working together for a common goal. Over the years I developed not only physical and mental resilience but saw the priceless qualities of patience, humility, empathy, respect and courage, often in challenging conditions.

With the stresses of modern life, it’s understandable that people feel alone and overwhelmed. Self-induced pressure can add to this sense of isolation. But there is a way to change this and you can make a difference. The tradition of public service and volunteering is long established in this country. When communities come together, good things happen.

Whole communities can be heroic, too. Think of the little ships of Dunkirk, rescuing thousands of soldiers from the beaches of northern France in 1940. Or the countless examples of neighbourliness during our own coronavirus crisis. Together we achieve more.

What you can do
Please email me at if you’d like to help support ‘Los Leones’ and our fundraising efforts. You may be interested in taking part in one of our endurance events. Or perhaps joining the behind-the-scenes team with travel, planning and logistics. We’re not necessarily looking for military experience, but we are looking for fellow lions!