The Royal New Zealand Artillery
Skin was born Masterton on 29 Jul 1954 and attended Rathkeale College from 1967-70 (3rd to 5th form) before entering the RF Cadet School Waiouru from 1971-72 (6 & 7th form).
Military service: 1971-72 RF Cadet School followed by a 4 month stint at the School of Artillery on the Formation Survey course. 'Real' life began after that, being posted to 161 Bty, Papakura, from 73-78. In those days there were trips galore, I think I can recount about 15 trips during this period. I also attended a Cymbeline Mortar Locating Radar course at Sch of Arty Larkhill (UK). Postings to 31 Bty, 1 Loc Tp, 32 Bty and Sch of Arty up to 1986, prior to attending the Canadian Master Gunners (MG) course 1986-87. Served as Master Gunner then a brief period as IG Tech, between 1987-90, with a final posting as Arty Project Officer until taking release in June 1991.
Highlight - MG posting. Lowlight - as No. 1 of gun det on the Band 5 course, leaving a bag of allan keys in the barrel then firing a HE rd that could have caused a bore premature that would probably have killed us all.
Joined TF 2000, serving as a Gunner Officer in 2 Cant Battalion Group. Undertook 2 operational deployments, Sinai (2001) for 6 months then Israel (2003-4) for 1 year. I plan to retire before Jun 2013, after 33 years military service.
Civilian career: Since leaving the Army I have worked for the NZ Police as an 'Instructor'. Initially this was training in computer applications then progressed to other topics. I am now currently delivering firearms and taser training. Deployed with Police to the Solomon Islands for 6 months 2007-8, to work at their Police Academy.
As a 'sideline' job, I wrote training manuals and delivered training for Marine Air Systems, on their Arty and Mortar fire control systems. This provided opportunities to work in UK, Ireland, Botswana, and Kenya.
Other Stuff: I am (still) married to Jill, who now also works for Police. Our two children are now grown up and we now have two grandchildren who live with us. I have continued home brewing, ever since those early days at the Sch of Arty, when we made and sold a brew, named Lt’s Own, for 50 cents a bottle in the 'Dungeon'. I escape trout fishing when I can.