The Regiment - 15 years in the SAS

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  • Some, very few, autobiographies deserve the accolade "he's been there, he's done that, and deserves a number of t-shirts." This is one. Unlike a number of the autobiographies/battle reports/self-serving SAS publications, this one is basic, and honest. Starting life in Carlisle, by 15 the author, Rusty Firmin, could have been on the way to a life of petty crime. However he was offered the chance of redemption by being encouraged (or even forced) to enlist as a Junior Soldier. He did not like the idea of the Army at all, but it grew on him. For many years his main claim to fame was his sporting ability, and he played a lot of football and then something happened.

    He met an old friend who had passed selection and was then in B Squadron, 22 SAS. Firman went for selection - and passed first time.

    This is where the book fascinates: his preparation for selection and the event itself, as well as the continuation training. All of this resulted in him being posted to B Squadron as well, and to a series of operational tours in Northern Ireland and working elsewhere.

    He wasn't on the balcony with the other 400,000 or so that were, but he was part of the operation to end the Embassy siege, and his one claim to fame in that exceptional demonstration of skill is in the book - no spoilers here!
    In all it is the story of an ordinary man who achieved the standard. No bragging, no superhuman feats of endurance or one-handed firefights - just a man good soldier doing his job.
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  1. subbsonic
    Rusty was not on the balcony, but I was there when we had a great 5 a-side knock about in the back garden of No 16 waiting for the assault to go in.
      winged likes this.
  2. winged
    Two of his mates sent me a reminder card to buy the book.

    It's as real as YOU are.