AGE is no barrier for a ex-reservist who has fulfilled his lifetime ambition and is leading his fire team overseas as a regular army non-commissioned officer.

Lance Corporal Martin Owen, 34, who joined the regular army only last month, had put his boyhood dream of being a regular soldier on hold to raise a young family.

The former floor contractor, of the Tidworth based 1st Battalion of the Royal Welsh Regiment, is operating as an Infantry Section Second-in-Command, crossing the battlefield in a Warrior armoured fighting vehicle, leading his fire team alongside the French Army in urban warfare training.

At 20, Lance Corporal Owen decided to stay home when his son Hari was born and be a hands on father.

In 2016, he joined the Royal Welsh reserve with D Company, Third Battalion in Colwyn Bay and now with his children older, Hari, 14, and Ifa, aged nine, and old enough to understand, he transferred to the regular First Battalion.

Lance Corporal Owen, who has partner Sharon, said the challenge for 'older' guys is adjusting to a regimented lifestyle.

"I would say if you’re re a driven guy outside the army and have a good structure to your life, to your days and weeks you’d have no issues," he added,

"If you can master that and you have the right attitude the army is a great option for you regardless of age.

"My partner is very supportive as she knows that I have always wanted to. We even discussed it the night we met.

"When it came to do the transfer paperwork in March this year, she was so happy for me."

Lance Corporal Owen arrived in battalion a month before leaving for France and took over as a section 2ic in A Coy.

"We are a newly formed platoon in A Coy and this makes it a great time to settle in. I have a busy year ahead with Cadres for promotion coming up," he said.

Asked what it is like to have a 24-year-old section commander, Lance Corporal Owen replied: "I have no problem. He is my boss and I learn from him, but he learns from me in other ways.

"It’s a great organisation and we work well together.”