Serjeant Christopher Reed
6th Battalion The Rifles
1st January 2009

 

Serjeant Chris Reed of 6th Battalion The Rifles (6 RIFLES) was killed in action in the Garmsir District of Helmand Province.

Serjeant Reed was attached to C Company of the 1st Battalion The Rifles (1 RIFLES) Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT) Battle Group and was Second in Command of his team of 8 Riflemen working alongside their Afghan National Army (ANA) counterparts. The OMLTs assist and teach the ANA in all aspects of military operations.

Serjeant Reed was killed by an improvised explosive device whilst conducting a vehicle patrol alongside the ANA in the desert of Helmand.

Serjeant Christopher John Reed was a Territorial Army (TA) soldier from Plymouth, who in his civilian career built luxury super-yachts. Although only 25 years of age, he was a highly experienced Territorial soldier, having joined the Rifle Volunteers in his beloved Plymouth in 2001.

He completed a busy and testing operational tour of Iraq with the Battalion in 2005. In early 2008 he passed the tough and demanding Platoon Sergeants’ Battle Course at the Infantry Battle School in Brecon, earning praise from the instructing staff for his ability and obvious leadership skills. He was an incredibly capable, intelligent and loyal Rifleman who was both popular and very well respected by all those who served alongside him.

As a TA volunteer, or S.W.A.T. soldier ('Some Weekends And Tuesdays' as 'Reedy' would put it) he dedicated much of his spare time to the Army getting involved where and whenever he could, always with a beaming smile on his face. He first volunteered to deploy to the Falkland Islands and quickly formed a very tight bond with his fellow Riflemen, and his many qualities became abundantly clear to his superiors.

The Regimental Serjeant Major for 1 RIFLES said after his first meeting with 'Reedy' that it would be his "main effort to persuade him to become a full time Rifleman in my Battalion", a real testament to his character and competence.

He had made a strong impression on the tour dealing with the challenges he and his team faced with energy and humour. During a recent fire fight, his Team Commander and three ANA soldiers were injured by shrapnel from a rocket propelled grenade blast. Without pause, Chris took control of the situation, overseeing the evacuation of the casualties and then continuing with the patrol.

His Company Commander, Major Andy Watkins said of him, "Serjeant Chris Reed was one of those individuals who saw the best in everything and this outlook was infectious. His team was richer for him."

His relaxed but professional manner never failed to bring out the best qualities in those around him. He took the time to form an excellent working relationship with his ANA colleagues; one of his peers Serjeant Leon Upton noted: "Reedy was conscientious and enthusiastic, taking the time to understand what made the Afghan soldier tick and they really responded to him as a result."

'Reedy' was born and bred in Plymouth and could always be heard talking about home, “The Muff”, with many of the Riflemen he had grown up with. Serjeant Chris Reed was due to marry his fiancée Heather on return from Afghanistan and the number of “Blueys” passing through the post bag between Reedy and Heather was a constant source of wonder to his fellow Riflemen.

He will be sorely missed by all members of The Rifles, especially the 1st and 6th Battalions, and his team. Our thoughts are with all those who were close to him and whom he left behind.

Once a Rifleman always a Rifleman, SWIFT AND BOLD.