Kingsley, a local Leeds lad, recently retired from the British Army, shares his inspirational and compelling story giving us an insight into some of the experiences during his 15 years of service. He also talks about his latest business venture, to follow a completely new career path.
Lance Sergeant Kingsley Simmons leaves the British army after nearly 15 years of service. Described as an outstanding role model to all the soldiers that served under his command, Kingsley’s military career and prestigious recommendations of honour and valour, typifies the understated war hero of today.
He has been awarded the General Service Medal, the NATO medal, the Iraq campaign medal, the Afghanistan campaign medal and the Queens Diamond Jubilee medal. He was also awarded the Wilkinson Sword of Peace by the Queen for his part of the humanitarian aid efforts to the hurricane hit Caribbean islands. Deployed to Iraq in 2005, Kingsley was responsible for training the Iraqi police force in armed response, tactics and physical training. In 2007 he was deployed to Afghanistan as a Fire Support group commander in charge of multiple weapon systems, travelling to hostile areas that required additional assistance against heavy Taliban attacks.
In 2009, he returned to Afghanistan as a multiple commander with the Welsh Guards. He led a team of young and inexperienced soldiers in some of the most intense fighting by British troops for more than a generation.
Undertaking one of the most dangerous roles of that time, his multiple provided on call, in depth protection for a mobile unit, as dismounted troops travelling in some very notorious, unprotected vehicles during a time of near constant Improvised Explosive Device strikes. Kingsley was blown up on six occasions and wounded twice, yet returned to the front line within days to resume command of his men, displaying selfless courage and inspirational leadership in times of great pressure.
He can consider himself extremely unlucky to not have received an operational gallantry award for his actions
Charles Fraser-Sampson Officer of the Welsh Guards.
Featuring Kingsley and his comrades, the award winning ‘Dead Men Risen’ by Toby Harnden documents in chilling detail the Welsh Guards war in Afghanistan. War is chaotic and gruesome and as an infantry soldier, you are not spared that reality. Tired of carrying friend’s coffins, seeing people killed and thinking ‘how many times do I need to get hit before it’s my time’.
Kingsley made the decision to leave the British Army.
I find it difficult to let go, I have shared experiences that I will never forget but at the same time it’s exciting to be starting a new chapter.
Utilising his military training and fitness skills, Kingsley is working as an instructor for British Military Fitness and has recently launched SimFit100. SimFit 100 is a performance improving concept that provides healthy living and motivational experiences on a 1:1, group and corporate level, with services ranging from team building, weight loss and toning to hard core, high intensity workouts.