HE is a man with other’s lives in their hands.
And now Army medic Greg Kershaw is learning the extra vital skills he will need on the front line.
Cpl Kershaw, of Newsome, is in training for a deployment to Afghanistan.
And, in addition to the essential medical skills he has acquired, he has been learning other techniques, including locating hidden enemy improvised explosive devices (IEDs), defending against an ambush while on patrol and carrying out guard duty at a forward operating base.
Cpl Kershaw, 25, who serves with Germany-based 1 Medical Regiment was taking part in Serpent Soldier – an Army exercise designed to train soldiers in all the skills and drills needed on the front line.
During an operational tour like Afghanistan, every British soldier, whether they are a medic or not, needs to be ready to take on a military role outside their own trade at short notice.
Without the right training they would be a risk to themselves and their comrades in a combat situation – no matter how much an expert they are in their own field.
Cpl Kershaw, who joined the Army in 2004 and has served in Bosnia and Iraq, said: “If I go to Afghanistan I may be part of the Brigade Advisory Group mentoring members of the Afghan National Army, including their medics.
“I will also provide medical cover on patrols.
“It will be an interesting experience. I was a section commander responsible for teaching and developing recruits, so I will take that experience with me, but the cultural differences and language barrier will be a totally different kind of challenge.
“I will be learning a bit of Pashtu which should help.”
Former Newsome High School student Greg, whose parents Susan Bell and Terence Kershaw live in Huddersfield, added: “This kind of training is essential.
“We are all soldiers first and need to have all the basic soldiering skills.
“I want to be an asset for the section I am assigned to – not a burden.”
Lieutenant Colonel Tony Finn, the Commanding Officer of 1 Medical Regiment, said: “This training is absolutely critical.
“This is part of a programme of exercises and training to prepare the regiment for a possible operational deployment.
“Over the next few months they will be trained and tested in all the different aspects of soldiering, gradually joining up all the separate skills they will need to ensure that the Regiment is ready to deploy.”