Signaller Mike Leonidas is a Communications Systems Operator (CS Op) currently stationed with 20 Armoured Brigade HQ and Signal Squadron (200), based in Sennelager, Germany. He is deployed on Op HERRICK 15 and is working with A Company Estonian Ops Team.
As Mike and his camp-mates settle into a routine, Mike grows a moustache for charity, has marriage in mind and yearns for a takeaway – ‘happy days’.
Good Estonian friends
Time has started to slow down a bit now and we have started to get into a bit more of a routine. The sense of routine can give you a false sense of security but you always know that there will be something round the corner to keep you alert. For instance, this week I had to fix a radio mast, which involved precariously scaling a ladder in full body armour and helmet. Of course someone took the opportunity to shake the ladder around a bit for a joke!
When I’m not working, a few mates and I keep busy by constructing a new welfare area. It’s certainly quite makeshift, but at least it will be ours and we intend to add a bit of a personal touch. We live in quite an austere environment so we have to make ourselves more comfortable however we can.
I’ve started to make some plans for my return to Germany. There are a lot of places that I want to visit and quite a few people I want to see. I’ve made some very good Estonian friends here so I’m definitely going to visit Estonia after the tour. One of the Estonian soldiers has promised me that I can marry his sister – I hope she doesn’t mind.
My time away is also proving healthy for my bank balance. I haven’t spent a penny in a month now! If I could spend some money it would probably be on a steak or a takeaway. I’m certainly starting to miss a bit of home cooking.
The British and Estonian soldiers have a very good working relationship; we laugh and joke a lot with each other and pretend there is a divide but really we are one team. It’s also good to hear them picking up British Army slang like ‘no dramas’ and ‘happy days’. The banter is relentless: you can’t get away with anything without someone poking fun at you. My Movember moustache has been the subject of much attention.
I received my first welfare pack today which was great. The packs itself contained an array of useful things in it, but it meant even more to us that someone had taken the time to prepare this box for us than the contents itself.
Members of my Squadron are based all over the place I can only hope everybody is fine and getting to grips with their local areas, I sometimes wonder how they are doing and what they have been up to.
Sig Leonidas will now return to the UK for 14 days’ Rest and Recuperation Leave (R&R).