A soldier deployed as part of a military team supporting NHS hospital staff fighting COVID-19 marked his 18th birthday on his first day in the job.
Private Brandon Dean is one of 12 soldiers from 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment assisting at Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester and Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.
Members of the Armed Forces cannot deploy in public-facing roles until they turn 18 and this marked Private Dean’s very first operational task for the Army.
During a break from duties last Friday, he was presented with a birthday cake and a card from fellow soldiers at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
"It was a big surprise to get a cake and card from my unit on my first day of duties at the hospital," the 18-year-old from Hartlepool said.
A total of 370 soldiers have been deployed in support of NHS Midlands across 23 hospitals, assisting medical staff as either Combat Medical Technicians or carrying out general duties, like Private Dean.
Speaking about his role, he said: "We are all just pleased to be doing our bit to help the NHS at this crucial time.
"Anything we can do to ease the pressures on nurses and doctors, who are working incredibly hard, makes this worthwhile."
Brigadier AJ Smith, Commander Joint Military Command West Midlands, said: "We remain in support of NHS Midlands as we have been for the last 10 months.
"Our military personnel are providing medical and broader support to the amazing NHS team as they continue to face this unprecedented challenge."
More than 5,500 service members are involved in what has become the biggest ever homeland military operation in peacetime.
Cover image: Private Brandon Dean was surprised with a birthday cake and a card during his break (Picture: British Army).