Corporal Danny Nield, 1st Bn Rifles - KIA 30/1/09

It is with great regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Corporal Daniel 'Danny' Nield from 1st Battalion, The Rifles, was killed in Afghanistan on Friday 30 January 2009.

Corporal Nield was killed as a result of an explosion, believed to have been caused by a Rocket Propelled Grenade, during a contact with enemy forces during a deliberate operation north of Musa Qaleh in Helmand Province.

He was deployed as the Forward Air Controller (FAC) in a Fire Support Team (FST) of 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery. They were attached to an Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT) from his own unit, S Company, 1st Battalion, The Rifles, working alongside the troops of the Afghan National Army (ANA).

Corporal Nield was born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire on 15 March 1977. Educated at Pittville School in Cheltenham, he joined the Army Cadets at the age of 13. On 2 September 1993 he enlisted at the Cheltenham Army Careers Office joining the Gloucestershire Regiment, who later became the Royal Gloucestershire Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment (RGBW).

Corporal Nield completed a Potential Junior Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) Cadre in December 2000 and his Mortar NCO Standard Course in December a year later. Corporal Nield surprised his colleagues by leaving the Army in April 2004 but rejoined in July 2006.

After the founding of The Rifles he then went on to pass the demanding Forward Air Controllers' Course in April 2007.

Corporal Nield's calm West Country exterior masked the steely professionalism of a true warrior who relished his time spent on operations. Having served on operations in Bosnia, Northern Ireland and Kosovo, he had already completed a previous tour of Afghanistan.

Corporal Nield had also taken part in exercises with his Regiment across the globe including Arizona, Botswana, Belize, Canada, Cyprus, Kenya and Kuwait.

Corporal Nield deployed in September 2008 for Operation Herrick 9 as part of a FST where his role was to control fast jets and attack helicopters in direct support of UK and Afghan Forces on the ground. This was his second tour in this role and was clearly a job that he loved.

His experience, dedication and unwavering enthusiasm were an inspiration to all. He consistently provided clear and concise advice to his ground commanders and used his initiative to bring in air support, frequently in circumstances of extreme pressure and danger, to have a decisive effect on the enemy. As such he was largely responsible for the safe return of many of his UK and Afghan colleagues over the tour.

Corporal Nield was a personable, reliable and loyal team member. His sense of humour was legendary across the Regiment and he would seldom miss an opportunity to poke fun at his mates. As an FAC within an artillery-dominated Team, Corporal Nield would often be heard winding up his colleagues with the phrase, "Guns for show, jets for a pro!" for which they seldom had a repost!

Blessed with a nickname unspeakable in polite company, he would habitually introduce himself as such much to the entertainment of his colleagues.

Corporal Nield will be sorely missed by all who had the privilege to serve with him from his FST, the Riflemen of S Company OMLT as well as the wider regiment of The Rifles.

However, it is his parents Peter and Sheila, sisters Emily and Kimberley, and brother Anthony who will feel his loss the greatest and our thoughts and prayers go out to them all as we mourn the passing of a great Rifleman who died living the life that he loved.

"Once a Rifleman, always a Rifleman"

Gone but not forgotten. God rest your soul.
Stand down fella. RIP

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