Two brothers who grew up in Harston, near Denton, are about to start serving alongside one another in Afghanistan.
Private Andrew Devine, 25, is already on deployment in Helmand province, and now his brother, Sgt Philip Devine, 32, is preparing to join him.
After finding out that he would be serving alongside his brother, Philip said: “I thought it was mad that we wear totally different cap badges and yet we are ending up together out there.
“Lots of infantry soldiers and corps soldiers go on tour but to end up together on the same tour I thought was surreal.”
Andrew and Philip both attended St Hugh’s School and are members of a large family, including parents Tom and Lesley back home in Harston.
At the moment Philip, his wife Lynsey and their two-year-old daughter Lucie Anne are living in Gutersloh in Germany, where he serves with the First Logistics Support Regiment while Lynsey is an MoD clerk and also in the forces as a reserve soldier of the Royal Army Medical Corps.
Previously Philip has completed a tour of Iraq, and earned the prestigious maroon beret and parachute wings during his time with the Thirteenth Air Assault Support Regiment and Pegasus company.
Meanwhile his younger brother joined the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers as an avionics technician, before returning to civilian life for a while and becoming part of a successful start-up business.
However after finding that he missed life in the military he rejoined and retrained in the infantry, helping to complete the handover of Helmand’s task force to Regional Command South West.
Currently working on Operation Herrick 19, the same operation that his elder brother will join him on, Andrew said: “It is a real eye opener being here for real after all the training.”
Back at home Andrew has a girlfriend, hair stylist and colour technician Imogen Kirk, while there is a third Devine brother who also serves in the military.
“He is a senior air craftsman serving with the RAF in Boulmer in the North East. Thankfully for the Devine family he is not due to deploy on the same deployment to make it a trio,” added Philip.