Hemel soldier named as top training instructor

Corporal Skinner with his Top Instructor award
Corporal Skinner with his Top Instructor award

A soldier from Hemel Hempstead has been recognised for his inspirational training methods at the 2018 Corps of Royal Engineers Awards.

Corporal Daniel ‘Frank’ Skinner, aged 28, was acknowledged as the Corps’ top training instructor at the awards ceremony.

Daniel, who serves with 26 Engineer Regiment in Wiltshire, received the award for delivering training across a wide range of skills during the regiment’s eight-month deployment to Estonia on Operation Cabrit, often sacrificing his own time to do so.

Daniel, whose parents Regan and Alison still live in Hemel, said: “It was massively humbling just to be nominated but to be told that I had won, well I could not believe it.

“I was well chuffed to be formally recognised. It was a special moment.”

During his time in Estonia, former Longdean School pupil Daniel initially provided training for his section only.

But so successful were his lessons that he was soon providing training on field engineering and infantry assault bridging to the whole NATO Battlegroup, including Estonian and Danish soldiers, where knowledge and experiences were exchanged.

Daniel said: “The deployment provided an ideal opportunity to invest more time in training and mentoring to the guys on how to live and operate in the extreme cold temperatures, hone soldiering skills and build up their confidence.

“It was great to see the guys realising the benefits later in the deployment, pushing themselves to learn and improve.”

The award reads: “Corporal Skinner designed and delivered a series of training events that set the tone for interoperability and it is a testament to his instructional, inspirational leadership abilities that soldiers seek him out for extra tuition in their own free time.

“His dedication and sheer hard work as an instructor have directly contributed to the success of Operation Cabrit 2.”