Monday, November 28, 2011

Some Gave All: Rifleman Sheldon Lee Jordan Steel

Rifleman Sheldon Lee Jordan Steel killed in Afghanistan

A Military Operations news article

28 Nov 11

It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Rifleman Sheldon Steel, from 5th Battalion The Rifles (5 RIFLES), who was killed in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, on 27 November 2011.

Rifleman Sheldon Lee Jordan Steel
[Picture: via MOD]

Rifleman Steel was taking part in a foot patrol to disrupt insurgent freedom of movement and to reassure the local population in Babaji, in the Lashkar Gah district, which is in the Nahr-e Saraj (South) area of operations, when he was caught in the blast from an improvised explosive device (IED). He was airlifted to the field hospital at Camp Bastion where he was declared killed in action.

Rifleman Sheldon Lee Jordan Steel

Rifleman Sheldon Lee Jordan Steel, aged 20, from Leeds, joined the Army in November 2009, and underwent his combat training at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick, North Yorkshire. Rifleman Steel passed out of basic training in April 2010 and shortly afterwards joined 5th Battalion The Rifles, based in Paderborn, Germany.

During his time with the Battalion, Rifleman Steel had achieved a great deal. He arrived at a busy time in the Battalion's calendar and was immediately thrust into further training, learning the intricacies of the Warrior armoured fighting vehicle, while developing the closest of bonds with those whom he would later deploy to Afghanistan with. This training culminated in a six-week, vehicle-mounted exercise in Canada in late 2010. Throughout this testing period, Rifleman Steel demonstrated that he was quickly developing into a skilled, robust and intelligent soldier, in keeping with the Regiment's tradition of the 'thinking, fighting Rifleman'. This early promise was honed through Afghanistan pre-deployment training in the first half of 2011.

Rifleman Steel's skills as a marksman, coupled with his mature approach and calm, focused demeanour were harnessed on the Sharp Shooters' course, which he passed with ease. A highly professional soldier he had proven to be one of the stars of his company. He was focused on his career, rightly ambitious, and showed great promise.

He leaves behind his mother Victoria, sisters Cody and Carys and brother Kameron.

Rifleman Sheldon Steel's family paid him the following tribute:

"Sheldon was loving, caring and affectionate with his family and we all heard from him regularly. He loved being in the Army from when he was in the Army Cadets to joining 5 RIFLES. He was very fit and ran a marathon in June this year. He won prizes for his soldiering both in training and in a Regimental competition. He had a good sense of humour and frequently joked with us all.

"He was a big lad - all 6 foot 4 in of him - with a big heart. His Nanas had to stand on the wall outside the house to kiss him 'goodbye'. Words cannot explain how much he will be missed by us all.

"We have already received a lot of support from family, friends and work colleagues and we really appreciate this. "

Ashleigh Craig, Adam Thomas, Paul Bone and Sam Hall - all former Army Cadets with 'C' Company Yorkshire North and West Army Cadet Force and friends of Rifleman Steel - said:

"Sheldon was a good mate and we couldn't have wished for a better friend. He was always ready for a laugh. He was so keen to better himself and be good at his job. He was kind and had a very honest approach to life. Every time he came back on leave he went mad on fitness and part of him was back with the Regiment. He was so brave and we are all so proud of him. We will miss him a lot." ...

Go here and read more about this Fallen Hero, from those who know and love him the most.

Rest In Peace, Sir. Always remembered. Always honoured.

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