Major Alex Turner – new DSO Major Alex Turner has been awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his work in the Nahr-e Saraj district.

Speaking to The Sunday Times, the Old Etonian said he was forced to change tactics midway through a recent tour because it was difficult to get the local Afghan men to cooperate. ‘These men were ex-mujaheddin. They were the first to say, "This insurgency is different. There’s no nationalist component to this.’ ‘They provided the backbone to my security force, that they created. They were very experienced fighters who said "well, I’ve fought for 24 years, another year won’t hurt."

‘We dressed them in brown salwar kameez outfits and Afghan hats to make them look as much like the local people as possible. I kept it deliberately simple. Maj Turner, who is the commanding officer of No 2 Company, 1st Battalion the Irish Guards, also ordered his men to sneak into a Taliban-controlled village at night and plant a flag carrying the message ‘sleep well, we’re watching you’. The bold move worried the insurgents and also helped reassure some of the locals who were concerned of Taliban attacks. Maj Turner, who read war studies at King’s College in London, also used his historical knowledge to borrow tactics used by the French in Algeria and American forces in Vietnam to force insurgents out of ‘no man’s land’ in Helmand. In another incredible achievement, he also made a Taliban warlord dig up the improvised explosive devices (IED) which he had earlier planted. Maj Turner is among 140 servicemen and servicewoman who have been honoured for gallantry during the winter tour of 16 Air Assault Brigade.

From the Daily Mail.