John Howard, known as 'Jack' or 'Kiwi', was a New Zealander who served with 3 PARA in 16 Air Assault Brigade Reconnaissance Force before being killed in action on Sunday 5 December 2010.
Private John Howard was born in Wellington, New Zealand, on 17 April 1987. Having arrived in the United Kingdom he applied to join The Parachute Regiment and subsequently completed the Combat Infantryman's Course held at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick, North Yorkshire.
On successfully passing out in November 2007, Private Howard was posted to 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (3 PARA) in Colchester. On joining the battalion he was posted to B Company and deployed to Afghanistan in March 2008 on Operation HERRICK 8. During his time with 3 PARA, he deployed on exercises in the Netherlands, Norway, Kenya and the USA. Throughout this period Private Howard served with distinction and was identified by his regiment as a potential high flyer with much to offer.
True to form, in April 2010 he volunteered for service with the Brigade Reconnaissance Force and successfully completed the Brigade Reconnaissance Force cadre, excelling during the demanding build-up training, before deploying on Operation HERRICK 13. During this time he qualified as a sharpshooter and a team medic.
Right from the outset of the tour he rapidly established himself as a leading personality in his section and platoon. His sense of humour and easygoing attitude made him an immensely likeable figure whose friendships with his comrades spanned both rank and age. He had been at the very forefront of all the Brigade Reconnaissance Force operations up to the point when his life was tragically taken.
Private Howard was serving with 16 Air Assault Brigade's Reconnaissance Force on a patrol ten kilometres south west of the provincial capital of Helmand province, Laskah Gah, when he was fatally wounded during an action conducted against insurgents operating in that area.
All of those who knew Private Howard will be poorer for the loss of this engaging, compassionate and inspiring young man. He leaves behind his parents Roger and Anne, two sisters Charlotte and Isabella, and his girlfriend Sophie.
Lieutenant Colonel James Coates, Commanding Officer, 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (3 PARA), said:
"Our thoughts and prayers are with his parents Roger and Anne and family at this distressing time. We pledge to remember him always and to honour his memory in all of our actions across Helmand over the coming months and beyond. Utrinque Paratus."
Private Howard died on 5 December 2010, aged 23 years old. He was finally laid to rest following his funeral at St Paul's Cathedral in Wellington, New Zealand on 21 December 2010.
Profile photo courtesy of MODRead More