Barnsley teen becomes volunteer soldier like his dad

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A South Yorkshire teenager is following in the footsteps of his father by joining the same Army Reserve regiment and making himself available for war.

Private Kieron Walledge, aged 18, was inspired by his father, Gary, 47, to join 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment.

Pte Wallegde, who is keen to join the regular army in the future, became a reservist after completing a 15-day combat infantry training programme.

The East Dene Working Men’s Club barman, from Athersley North, Barnsley, said: “I joined the reserves partly because of the example of my dad, but I also thought it would provide me with a lot of useful skills.

“My ambition is to join the regular Army at a later time but in the meantime there is still a lot to learn.”

Pte Walledge signed up for the Army Reserve, formerly known as the Territorial Army, in November 2014 and had to pass medicals, a selection course and regular training exercises.

The combat infantryman’s course he passed is run by regular army instructors.

He hopes to undertake a driving course and learn to fire the general purpose machine gun in preparation of being called to serve his country.

His dad, Colour Sergeant Walledge, joined the regular army in 1988 and served for 10 years.

He is now in the Army Reserve and works as a postman in civilian life.

Col Sgt Walledge said: “I’m extremely proud of Kieron, seeing him complete his basic training takes me back to when I did mine in the Regular Army in 1988.

“I spent 10 years in the Royal Corps of Transport before joining the Territorial Army in 1998 and never regretted a moment of it.”

The Army Reserve provides support to the Regular Army at home and overseas, and is made up of volunteer soldiers