A soldier has taken over the role of regimental sergeant major (RSM) at a Catterick Garrison-based infantry unit from a man he describes as “an older brother”.
Fellow Rotherham native Warrant Officer Class One (WO1) Jamie Pearson has handed over his duties at the 1st Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment to childhood friend WO1 Chris Barnes.
The outgoing RSM, who joined the Army at 17, said: “I’ve known Chris for 32 years.
“He lived next door but one to us and we’ve not only grown up together, but also followed each other’s careers.
“It’s a real privilege to be handing over this important role to him.”
The pair, who have served together in Estonia and Iraq, have spent nearly 20 years in the same unit and have previously swapped responsibilities as company and regimental quartermasters.
They both attended what was known as Clifton Comprehensive School and have played football together since they were children.
WO1 Barnes, the junior of the two men, having joined five years after WO1 Pearson, said: “He’s been like an older brother and mentor to me.
“Not only did I follow him into the Army, he helped teach me to drive.
“He was one of the instructors at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) when I did the cadre there. We were both posted to help train and shape the careers of many young Army officers.”
The two men previously soldiered in the famous Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, with whom the late Captain Sir Tom Moore served, prior to the creation of the Yorkshire Regiment.