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Army ammo experts keep it in the family

A highly decorated British Army explosives expert made history when he presented his daughter with her Ammunition Technician badge after she graduated in the trade to follow in her father’s heroic footsteps.

Lt Col Eamon Heakin RLC QGM, of Wantage, Oxfordshire, became the first ever British Army officer to proudly present his only daughter, Private Blythe Heakin, with her Ammunition Technician (Class 2) badge,

The badge marks Private Heakin’s entry into the AT trade at a graduation ceremony held at Defence Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Munitions and Search Training Regiment (DEMS Training Regiment), Kineton, Warwickshire.

Not only did the presentation make history, it also came as a complete surprise to Private Heakin, who knew her father was attending the ceremony to see her and her fellow ten students graduate from the 28-week AT (Class 2) course, but not that he would be there as the Presenting Officer.

Describing the moment she realised that her father was going to be presenting her with her badge and certificate at the ceremony, Private Heakin said: “I’ve never heard of a father being the Presenting Officer before, so it was an honour to be welcomed into the trade by my dad.”

The young soldier, who has been in the Army for 13 months, will now move to Deepcut where she will learn to drive and will then go on to Shrivenham to complete her training before being posted to her new unit ‘ and will be promoted to the substantive rank of Lance Corporal.

Passing the Ammunition Technician Class 2 Course is the first step in her Army career during which she hopes one day to eventually commission as an officer ‘ following again in the steps of her father who is also a late entry officer, commissioning in 2006.

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