From Lieutenant General John Lorimer DSO MBE, Colonel Commandant of The Parachute Regiment.
Lance Corporal Josh Leakey, who has been awarded the Victoria Cross for valour on the battlefield in southern Afghanistan, typifies the spirit and ethos of The Parachute Regiment. On the 22nd August 2013, Lance Corporal Leakey deployed as part of a mission into a Taliban stronghold, to disrupt a key insurgent group. Displaying inspirational leadership, well above that expected of his rank, Lance Corporal Leakey’s actions single-handedly regained the initiative and prevented considerable loss of life.
His exemplary conduct in the face of heavy and accurate enemy fire epitomises The Parachute Regiment’s watchwords of professionalism, discipline, courage and self-reliance. He is the recipient of the Nation’s highest honour that a soldier can receive and all ranks of The Parachute Regiment and the wider Airborne Forces family are exceptionally proud of him.
On their behalf and as Colonel Commandant of The Parachute Regiment, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Lance Corporal Leakey on this singular and most deserved award.
Lance Corporal Leakey’s valour serves to remind us of the words of Field Marshal The Viscount Montgomery of Alamein in his tribute to British paratroopers after the Second World War:
‘They have shown themselves to be as tenacious and determined in defence as they are courageous in attack. They are, in fact, men apart – every man an Emperor’.
‘Utrinque Paratus – Ready for Anything’.