Date started at MPCT
John Hughes left his home town of Llanelli in South Wales in 1992 to join the Army at the age of 18. After completing phase 1 basic training in Lichfield, Staffordshire and phase 2 combat infantry training at Strensall in North Yorkshire, he joined the 1st Battalion the Royal Regiment of Wales (1RRW) in 1993 with his initial posting being Tern Hill, Shropshire.
John spent 10 exciting and varied years with 1RRW which included further postings with the battalion to Northern Ireland on Operation BANNER, London on public duties and Germany in an armoured infantry role before being posted to the Infantry Training Centre Catterick (ITC(C)), North Yorkshire as a Corporal in a Section Commander/Instructor role training adult recruits. During John’s infantry career he was fortunate to have gained a broad range of experience in roles such as foot soldiering, peacekeeping, covert surveillance, reconnaissance, armoured infantry and as an instructor – roles which enabled John to visit countries such as the Falkland Islands, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, America, Canada, South Africa, Germany, Bosnia and Ukraine on exercises and operations.
On completion of his posting to ITC(C) and having developed a passion for the training and development of others, John decided to transfer to the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) in 2002 as a Regimental Specialist before being posted to the Army Technical Foundation College (ATFC) in Arborfield, Berkshire as a Section Commander/Instructor, training 16-17 year old apprentice trainees wishing to join the various army technical Corps.
On promotion to Sergeant in 2005, John remained within the Arborfield Garrison and became a Platoon Sergeant at the School of Electronic and Aeronautical Engineering (SEAE). A responsibility of his was to lead on non-technical military training for phase 2 trainees during the periods between their technical courses. John created and developed a training programme for over 1000 trainees annually and in doing so was recognised for this and his wider role as Platoon Sergeant by being awarded an MBE for “innovation and inspirational leadership”.
In 2007 John was posted to 1 Close Support Battalion REME in Osnabruck, Germany on promotion to Staff Sergeant and immediately commenced pre-operational training for a deployment to Iraq (Operation TELIC 11). Soon after arriving at the battalion, he was appointed Company Sergeant Major (CSM) for the deployment in acting Warrant Officer Class Two (WO2) rank. On return from this challenging yet successful tour, John was posted to the Army Foundation College, Harrogate (AFC(H)) in 2008 as a Quartermaster Sergeant.
On promotion to WO2 in 2010, John was posted to Bielefeld, Germany and became the CSM of 2 Field Company, 101 Force Support Battalion REME; a posting which included deployments to Cyprus as Operation Company CSM of the British contingent of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and as CSM of a REME vehicle fleet and equipment Summer Repair Programme (SRP) at the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK).
John’s final assignment before completing his 22 year Colour Service was as a Warrant Officer Class One (WO1) in the appointment of Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) of 4 Close Support Battalion REME in Tidworth, Wiltshire which included a Brigade scale exercise at the British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS) in Canada.
On transitioning from the Army John broadened his career portfolio in operations and facilities management before becoming the London Regional Operations Manager (ROM) at MPCT in April 2020.
John has a passion for the outdoors and was for most of his military career a participant and coach of cross country and athletics, an instructor in canoeing/kayaking and a Joint Service Mountain Expedition Leader (Summer) (JSMEL(S)) – military qualifications that enabled him to expand his experience in the delivery of adventurous training. A particular highlight of his is having led an expedition of Mount Kenya in 2011 where he used the expedition to deliver a Summer Mountain Proficiency (SMP) Distributed Training course – a first of its kind in the British Army due to his course being completed on a high-altitude mountain.
Since leaving the forces John has become a Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE) Accredited Expedition Assessor in support of his local Combined Cadet Force (CCF) contingent.
Since retiring from the Army, John has settled in Tidworth and enjoys spending his spare time with his wife and 2 daughters.