Alumni - Lt Col Mark Hudson
Lt Col Hudson left school in 1986 and joined the Reserves in 1997. He completed a year in the ranks before being commissioned into the 4th/5th Battalion Royal Irish Rangers in 1999. He has held a number of positions with the battalion and in 1999 commanded a team that was awarded a Bronze medal for the Cambrian Patrol. He was attached to 1 R IRISH and during his two years with the battalion had number of highlights, deploying with the Battalion to Iraq on Op TELIC. During this period he was awarded top student on an All Arms P Coy course.
He has completed numerous overseas exercises to Canada on Pond Jump West and spent a month with the 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell Kentucky. After returning to 2 R IRISH he completed CATAC and JSC (Reserves) and commanded B Coy (RUR) from 2005 to 2007.
In 2007 he was appointed OC for the Bastion Force Protection Company and deployed to Afghanistan on Op HERRICK from 2007 to 2008 as OC Imjin Coy. During this deployment the company deployed platoons throughout Helmand and for the final 3 months deployed to Forward Operating Base Keenan and mentored the Afghan Army.
On returning from Afghanistan he was from 2008 to 2010 OC of A Coy Queens University Officer Training Corps. From 2010 to Apr 2013 he was the Battalion Second in Command 2 R IRISH. Since 2011 he has further used his operational experience to lead on a component of a Uganda Short Term Training Team (STTT) deployment, delivering training prior to the Ugandan Battle Group’s AMISOM deployment to Somalia and led two training teams to train the Burundian National Defence Forces as they prepared to deploy to Somalia as part of the African Mission in Somalia. In 2014 he held a SO1 Reserves appointment within 38 (Irish) Brigade based in Northern Ireland.
In addition to his Army duties he has been a tireless champion for military orienteering in Northern Ireland having served as Secretary and Chairman of the Northern Ireland Army Orienteering Association. His commitment and zeal have been reflected in NI orienteering success at national level. He lead the R IRISH team to Army and Infantry awards from 2012-2014 and was awarded Regimental colours for representing both the Army Reserve and Infantry in the Inter Corps Championships. He has used his passion for adventure racing to raise money for Army benevolent charities, and was part of the top military team (R IRISH team) in the Beast of Ballyhoura (36hr adventure race) which competed against the Irish Defence Forces.