The Regiment - 15 Years in the SAS, Rusty Firmin

The Regiment - 15 Years in the SAS, Rusty Firmin

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The Regiment - 15 Years in the SAS, Rusty Firmin

The Regiment - 15 Years in the SAS, Rusty Firmin

Rusty Firmin served in the SAS for fifteen years, within a military career that lasted twenty four years. During that time he took part in the breaking of the Iranian Embassy Siege, witnessed the Argentinean surrender at the end of the Falklands War and took part in several tours of Northern Ireland. By the time of the First Gulf War he was working with the Territorial SAS, so missed the war, but we also get his opinions of how the SAS was used in the conflict, with his information coming from friends who were still serving.

Firmin’s entry into the army was somewhat unusual. After a somewhat troubled childhood in and around Carlisle, his father effectively tricked him into joining the Army’s junior leaders programme, designed to educate the future NCOs of the army. Firmin was an unenthusiastic recruit, and if he’d had the money would have bought himself out very quickly, but after a rocky start soon settled in and began to enjoy himself. After a period as a gunner he successfully applied to join the Commandos, then moved on to the SAS. We get detailed accounts of his training, and especially of the SAS selection process, a very gruelling system that really continued for some time after he had been officially accepted for the Regiment.

When Firmin first joined the SAS it was a fairly unknown unit (at least away from its base at Hereford), but he played a key part in the breaking of the Iranian Embassy Siege, where the regiment made a very public TV debut! The only major war to occur while he was still in the regular SAS was the Falklands War. His squadron was sent south, but the mission it was preparing for was cancelled, and they arrived just in time to witness the Argentine surrender. We also get an insiders account of the SAS role in the First Gulf War, coming from his many contacts within the regiment, although Firmin himself had already moved to the Territorial SAS by then. Between these major deployments he was kept busy on training exercises, deployments in places like Belize,

Firmin is a rather sweary and on occasions opinionated guide to the SAS, but he is also a rather likable narrator, not taking himself too seriously. He has some gripes with the way things were done, although is generally positive about the Regiment. He is more than willing to give his views on the senior officers he encountered during his career, not all of which are positive! You can understand the appeal of service in the SAS reading this account!

1 - Childhood
2 - Boy Soldier
3 - Gunner
4 - Commando
5 - Selection
6 - Continuation
7 - New Kid on the Block
8 - Learning the Ropes
9 - First Blood
10 - Back to Ireland
11 - Suicide Mission
12 - Water Jump
13 - Back to Work
14 - Later Years
15 - Swan Song

Author: Rusty Firmin
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 298
Publisher: Osprey
Year: 2015

The Regiment - 15 Years in the SAS, Rusty Firmin - History

Born and raised in Carlisle and adopted at an early age, Rusty lived with different relatives and attended many different schools until age 15 when he had to fend for himself. At the age of 17, he joined the 49 Field Regiment Royal Artillery and remained there for approximately four years. While there, he was made captain of the regimental football team and represented the Royal Artillery and British Army football team at top amateur level. He completed several tours of Northern Ireland as a patrol commander and was heavily involved in adventure training, completing the Italian Alps walk, French Pyrenees walk, and the Great Divide trail walk in Canada in successive years. Rusty volunteered to serve with 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery completed the gruelling selection process, and at Lympstone received the coveted Green Beret. Within fifteen months of being in 29 Commando, Rusty was asked to become an instructor on the commando training wing. He applied to join the SAS and in 1977, completed the SAS selection course receiving the coveted beige beret and winged dagger in six months, assigned to B squadron.

In B squadron he faced the threat from Guatemala in the dirty jungle of Belize making three trips of duty. He visited the jungles of Malaya, Brunei, Borneo and Botswana. There were numerous desert training trips to the Middle East, four tours in Northern Ireland on both covert and overt operations, the Falkland Island conflict (image top right), four tours on the counter terrorist team and was heavily involved as a Blue Team leader as a lance corporal at the 1980 Iranian Embassy siege in London where he was directly involved with the incidents inside the embassy.

Between 1982 and 1990 Rusty took part in training operations around the world, most of a very sensitive nature. The types of training he did were Special Forces training, bodyguard training at presidential level and counter terrorist training to name but a few. He was a qualified paramedic, demolitionist, a colloquial Arabist and a Malay speaker. In 1990 he was ‘stood to’ for the Stanstead aircraft hijacking (Afghan terrorists seized a jet, flew it to Stanstead airport with 150 passengers aboard, after a few of days of intense negotiations all 150 passengers were released and 60 of them claimed political asylum in the UK). After 13 years with B squadron he went to HQ squadron 23 SAS as permanent staff instructor (PSI). In 1992 he attended Plymouth College and gained a NEBS M Diploma in safety management along with a National Examination body of Occupational Safety and Health certificate (NEBOSH).

From 1992 until present Rusty has worked all over the world or ‘on the circuit’. His jobs included being a diamond mine security consultant located in West Africa, delivering armoured cars to the CNN news crew in Sarajevo during the war and carrying out close protection and surveillance jobs both as a team member or team leader. He was a security manager for the Mobil Oil Company in Algeria, and spent eight years working for Herbalife International of America as an on the road security adviser (58 countries in all at that time and close protection operative for Mark Hughes the only CEO and founder of the company).

In addition, he was the security advisor for Mel Gibson whilst making the film Braveheart in Scotland, security advisor and a bodyguard for the Japanese embassy in Afghanistan, provided security in Athens at the Olympics for the American swimming team and the security consultant and personal protection officer for the Japanese ambassador at the Japanese Embassy in Kabul. In Afghanistan he was also a hostile training and security coordinator once again for the Japanese Embassy. In Europe he was a valuable artwork courier, and in the UK he was a covert and overt vehicle fleet and logistics manager on a sensitive government project. Rusty has also worked on a residential security team and as a close protection operative for dignitaries and VIP's.

Rusty married Torky in 2012 and they live in an idyllic village setting in the UK. Rusty has two grown-up sons Matthew and Mark from his previous marriage.

ISBN 13: 9781472817372

Firmin, Rusty

This specific ISBN edition is currently not available.

From its early beginnings in World War II, the Special Air Service (SAS) has won renown for some of the most dramatic, dangerous, and controversial special operations of the 20th century. It is a secretive and mysterious unit, whose operations and internal structures are hidden from the public eye. Now, one of its longest-serving veterans offers a glimpse inside its shadowy world. Rusty Firmin spent 15 years with 'The Regiment' and was a key figure in the Iranian Embassy siege in May 1980. He also served with the SAS in the Falklands and in Northern Ireland during the 1980s. Now available in paperback, this is the unforgettable chronicle of Rusty's combat experiences--a fascinating and intimate portrayal of what it was like to be part of the world's most respected Special Operations Force.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Rusty Firmin served for ten years in the Royal Artillery before volunteering for the SAS and, as a junior SAS NCO, was given command of one of the two assault teams at the Iranian Embassy siege in 1980. After 15 years' service in the SAS, during which he served all over the world, he left the Army to become a private security contractor. He is the co-author of Go! Go! Go! The Story of the Iranian Embassy Siege.

From WWII to Iraq the SAS has been at the forefront of armed conflict, though most people wouldn't realise it was even there. This work contains the author's - a former SAS soldier - memories of 20 such warriors who are true heroes, although many were never recognised as such during their lives or even in death.

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This is the unforgettable chronicle of Rusty's combat experiences, transporting the reader back to the cutting edge of the SAS's deadly covert missions during the crises of the 80s and 90s. But even more fascinating is his intimate portrayal of what the service was actually like to live and work in. Having served as a paramedic, a demolitions expert, a linguist and ultimately the senior SAS bodyguard instructor, Rusty draws on a unique breadth of experience to delve into the hidden world of the SAS as an institution.

From its early beginnings in World War II, the Special Air Service (SAS) has won renown in some of the most dramatic, dangerous and controversial military special operations of the 20th century. It is a secretive and mysterious unit, whose operations and internal structures are hidden from the public eye. Now, one of its longest-serving veterans offers a glimpse into the shadowy world of the SAS. Rusty Firmin spent an incredible 15 years with 'The Regiment' and was a key figure in the assault on the Iranian Embassy in London in May 1980, the near-suicidal planned attack on Argentina (operation MIKADO) during the Falklands war and the secret conflict between the SAS and the IRA in the 80s.

The Regiment - 15 Years in the SAS by Rusty Firmin - Jack Hughes - 978

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The Regiment: 15 Years in the SAS

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The Regiment: 15 Years in the SAS Adrian Weale, Rusty Firmin

Rusty Firmin is a legendary figure for a generation of soldiers as well as for British Military History buffs. As a member of B Squadron, 22 SAS Regiment, Rusty led one of the two assault teams which stormed the Iranian Embassy in London in May 1980. Two years later he was a key figure in the planned SAS attack on mainland Argentina, designed to destroy the deadly Exocet missiles which were based there, ground the Super Etendard aircraft which launched them and assassinate the pilots who flew them.

As well as participating in these two dramatic events, Rusty spent more than 15 years in &lsquoThe Regiment&rsquo, as SAS soldiers refer to it, serving throughout the world on operations, training missions and exercises. This is his story.

&lsquoThe Regiment: 15 Years in the SAS&rsquo by Rusty Firmin will feature:

Inside the SAS

Warfare.Today has put together a list of the top books about the Special Air Service (SAS) – and the Special Boat Service (SBS) – some of them written by former members of the British Army’s elite special forces, all of them fascinating.

Ollie Ollerton, Break Point: SAS: Who Dares Wins Host’s Incredible True Story

Ex-Special Forces’ soldier and host of SAS: Who Dares Wins, Ollie Ollerton tells his incredible story for the first time.

Matthew ‘Ollie’ Ollerton is a former Special Forces soldier and a member of the Directing Staff in Channel 4’s hit show SAS: Who Dares Wins. Ollie’s military career began at the age of 18 when he joined the Royal Marine Commandos and toured operationally in Northern Ireland and in Iraq for Operation Desert Storm. After completing the gruelling 6-month-long SAS selection process, Ollie joined the Special Boat Service (SBS). During his six years in the SBS, Ollie’s missions included counter-narcotics, counter-terrorism, homeland security, counterinsurgency, operations and humanitarian efforts. Upon leaving the Special Forces, Ollie worked in Iraq as a private security contractor before heading to South-East Asia, using his incredible military training to benefit the lives of those less fortunate. While working for a charity, he was lead command of a three-man team bravely infiltrating child trafficking rings, rescuing children and bringing them to safe houses.

Ex-Special Forces soldier Ollie Ollerton has faced his own break points and now he tells us the lessons he has learnt along the way. From survivor of a freak childhood attack to elite fighter, Ollie’s incredible story features, high-speed shoot-outs, counter-terrorism and humanitarian heroics.

Special Forces soldiers are not supermen. Bullets don’t bounce off them. They don’t hit the target with every shot. They have the same vulnerabilities and doubts as the rest of us. But ordinary people can achieve the extraordinary, under the greatest pressure, in the most challenging situations.

Ollie’s life has taught him that everyone has the capacity for incredible achievement, because it’s only when it’s crunch time, when you’re down to your last bullet – when you’re at break point – that you find out who you really are.

Peter Ratcliffe, Eye of the Storm: Twenty-Five Years in Action with the SAS

Peter Ratcliffe served in the SAS for twenty-five years. Blooded in Oman in the 1970s, he also saw action in Northern Ireland, in the Falklands War, and in the Gulf campaign. From his early days in the Paras to his time as Regimental Sergeant-Major in the Gulf, he has lived and fought by the motto ‘Who Dares Wins’.

Eye of the Storm is Ratcliffe’s insider’s account of that exceptional career. Fast-paced, earthy, dramatic, funny, occasionally disturbing, it is laced with firsthand descriptions of ferocious and bloody fighting, sudden death and incredible heroism, and peopled with a cast of extraordinary individuals. Beyond that, however, it corrects many of the distortions and exaggerations of other books, and explodes several long-standing myths about the Regiment.

Here – at last – is the authentic voice of the SAS.

“His description of the Battle of Mirbat is second to none you could almost hear the ADOO rounds smashing into the sandbags as you read this chapter” – ARRSE (Army Rumour Service)

Ben MacIntyre, SAS: Rogue Heroes – The Authorized Wartime History

In the summer of 1941, at the height of the war in the Western Desert, a bored and eccentric young officer, David Stirling, has a vision for a new kind of war: attacking the enemy where they least expect it – from behind their own lines.

Despite the intense opposition of many in British High Command, Winston Churchill personally gives Stirling permission to recruit the toughest, brightest and most ruthless soldiers he can find. And so begins the most celebrated and mysterious military organisation in the world: the SAS.

With unprecedented access to the SAS secret files, unseen footage and exclusive interviews with its founder members, SAS: Rogue Heroes tells the remarkable story behind an extraordinary fighting force, and the immense effort of making it a reality.

Ben Macintyre is the multimillion-copy bestselling author of books including Agent Zigzag, Operation Mincemeat and A Spy Among Friends. He is a columnist and Associate Editor at The Times, and has worked as the newspaper’s correspondent in New York, Paris and Washington. He regularly presents BBC series based on his acclaimed books.

Harry McCallion, Undercover War: Britain’s Special Forces and Their Secret Battle Against the IRA

Harry McCallion, Undercover War

When British troops first deployed to Northern Ireland in 1969 to keep apart rioting factions of loyalists and nationalists, they could not have known that they were being drawn into the longest campaign in the British Army’s history, a battle against the threat of a new rising force – the Provisional Irish Republican Army.

While patrols, vehicle bombs and incendiary speeches are the defining memories of the Troubles, the real war was fought out of sight and out of mind. For thirty years, Britain’s Special Forces waged a ferocious, secretive struggle against a ruthless and implacable enemy.

Harry McCallion’s deep experience across the theatre of Northern Ireland offers a unique insight into nearly every major military action and operation in the Province. Having served seven tours with the Parachute Regiment, undergone selection for 14 Intelligence Company, completed six years with the SAS – including two tours with their anti-terrorism team – and received two commendations for bravery during service with the Royal Ulster Constabulary, there are few more qualified to tell this astonishing story.

This book is his blistering account of the history of Britain’s war against the IRA between 1970 and 1998. From new insights into high-profile killings and riveting accounts of enemy contact, to revelations about clandestine missions and the strategies used in combating a merciless enemy, Undercover War is the definitive inside story of the battle against the IRA, one of the most dangerous and effective terrorist organisations in recent history.

Harry McCallion is in a unique position, as someone who has served right across British Special Forces during the Northern Ireland conflict. He served seven tours with the Parachute Regiment, before undertaking selection for the secretive and extremely selective for 14 Intelligence Company. He then completed six years with the SAS, including two within anti-terrorism teams, before joining the Royal Ulster Constabulary – where he received two commendations for bravery during a six-year service ended by a bad car accident. After his career in the police came to an end, he trained in law and is now a successful barrister based in the northwest of England, working in civil and criminal courts.

Harry McCallion is also the author of Killing Zone.

Cedric Delves, Across an Angry Sea: The SAS in the Falklands War

‘An exciting and honest account of a SAS command in war: of the leaders and the led of offensive spirit and individual initiative of doubt and uncertainty of ingenuity and adaptability and of sacrifice, courage and humanity. Those who seek to command in battle should study this account with care for it shows that, . . . ‘continuing unto the end until it be thoroughly finished yields the true glory.’– General Sir Rupert Smith KCB DSO OBE QGM

In early summer 1982–winter in the South Atlantic–Argentina’s military junta invades the Falklands. Within days, a Royal Navy Task Force is assembled and dispatched. This is the story of D Squadron, 22 SAS, commanded by Cedric Delves. The relentless tempo of events defies belief. Raging seas, inhospitable glaciers, hurricane-force winds, helicopter crashes, raids behind enemy lines–the Squadron prevailed against them all, but the cost was high. Holding fast to their humanity, D Squadron’s fighters were there at the start and end of the Falklands War. Theirs was the first Union Jack raised over Government House in Stanley. ‘Across an Angry Sea’ is a chronicle of daring, skill and steadfastness among a tight-knit band of brothers of learning fast, fighting hard, and winning through.

Sir Cedric Delves joined the Army in 1966, was commissioned into the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment and later joined the SAS, which he commanded at every level. He also led the Special Forces before becoming Commander of the Field Army. He was medically discharged after losing a leg to a drunk driver.

Rusty Firmin, The Regiment: 15 Years in the SAS

From its early beginnings in World War II, the Special Air Service (SAS) has won renown in some of the most dramatic, dangerous and controversial military special operations of the 20th century. It is a secretive and mysterious unit, whose operations and internal structures are hidden from the public eye. Now, one of its longest-serving veterans offers a glimpse into the shadowy world of the SAS. Rusty Firmin spent an incredible 15 years with ‘The Regiment’ and was a key figure in the assault of the Iranian Embassy in London in May 1980.

Rusty Firmin served for ten years in the Royal Artillery before volunteering for the SAS and, as a junior SAS NCO, was given command of one of the two assault teams at the Iranian Embassy siege in 1980. After 15 years’ service in the SAS, during which he served all over the world, he left the Army to become a private security contractor. He is the co-author of Go! Go! Go! The Story of the Iranian Embassy Siege.

Newly revised and available in paperback, this is the unforgettable chronicle of Rusty’s combat experiences – a fascinating and intimate portrayal of what it was like to be part of the world’s most respected Special Operations Force.

Ken Connor, Ghost Force: The Secret History of the SAS

“Controversial, blistering and unique.” – Andy McNab

An insider’s history of the SAS and a sensational examination of Britain’s true role in international politics over the last fifty years.

Containing explosive details of operations unknown even to 99% of serving SAS men, this is the definitive history of the regiment written by an ex-SAS soldier of 23 years’ experience. Connor reveals how the assassination of President Kennedy gave the SAS truly global significance. He tells the truth about SAS involvement in the Falklands War and the Gulf War and about their operation against the IRA in Gibraltar. Compiled from personal experience and the eye-witness accounts of friends and colleagues, this book reveals the inside story of SAS operations in both conventional war and counter-terrorist operations.

Ken Connor was a serving soldier in the SAS for 23 years and the key figure in the creation of the anti-terrorist unit responsible for storming the Iranian embassy. He is currently a much sought after television and radio commentator on the Afghan crisis.

Andy McNab, Bravo Two Zero: The Original SAS Story

“The best account yet of the SAS in action” Sunday Times “Extraordinary” The Times “Gripping” Daily Telegraph “Magnificent” Independent on Sunday “A gripping account of special forces at work… a tremendous adventure story” Daily Telegraph

From the day he was found in a carrier bag on the steps of Guy’s Hospital in London, Andy McNab has led an extraordinary life.

As a teenage delinquent, Andy McNab kicked against society. As a young soldier he waged war against the IRA in the streets and fields of South Armagh. As a member of 22 SAS he was at the centre of covert operations for nine years – on five continents. During the Gulf War he commanded Bravo Two Zero, a patrol that, in the words of his commanding officer, ‘will remain in regimental history for ever’. Awarded both the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) and Military Medal (MM) during his military career, McNab was the British Army’s most highly decorated serving soldier when he finally left the SAS.

Since then Andy McNab has become one of the world’s best-selling writers, drawing on his insider knowledge and experience. As well as several non-fiction bestsellers including Bravo Two Zero, the biggest selling British work of military history, he is the author of the best-selling Nick Stone and Tom Buckingham thrillers. He has also written a number of books for children.

Besides his writing work, he lectures to security and intelligence agencies in both the USA and UK, works in the film industry advising Hollywood on everything from covert procedure to training civilian actors to act like soldiers. He continues to be a spokesperson and fundraiser for both military and literacy charities.

If you haven’t read it by now, it’s high time you did.

Top Pick

Ollie Ollerton, Jason Fox and Ant Middleton might be topping the charts of books by former SAS/SBS soldiers, but Ken Connor’s forgotten classic, Ghost Force, is definitely worth a read.

Watch the video: Rusty Firmin - Clearing the Iranian Embassy