A WINCHESTER man has been honoured by his colleagues as ‘the soldiers’ soldier’.

Rifleman Jack Osborne won an army award after finishing his recruit training.

The 20-year-old, from Weeke, completed the Combat Infantryman’s Course at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick, North Yorkshire.

Rifleman Osborne said: “Joining the army was a bit of an impulsive decision for me. I cannot even give a definitive reason why, I was looking to do something different and thought I would give it a go. Fortunately, I’ve ended up really enjoying the training,” he said.

“The type of person I was studying sociology and ancient civilizations with at college is different to the kind of person I’ve met at Catterick. I’ve enjoyed getting on with everyone on the course and helped out where I thought I could. I suppose that’s why I got this award.

“The one aspect that sticks out for me during the whole six months is that the instructors have all been on operations. They have seen and done it all, they are real role models.”

His platoon commander, Captain Tom Hamblin, said: “This is awarded by the Riflemen themselves, they vote for who they think is the best soldier in the platoon, so this makes it a real pat on the back from his fellow recruits. I am sure he received this because of his selfless nature; he was always helping out behind the scenes and was the first to raise morale with his sense of humour when the going got tough. A well deserved accolade.”

After two weeks’ driver training Rifleman Osborne took some well-earned leave before joining his unit, the 4th Battalion The Rifles in Bulford.