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Leadership on the Battlefield and the Playing Field

Leadership in the SAS

Before Long Leave Lt Colonel H. S. Llewelyn-Usher of the Welsh Guards addressed the Wellington Society about his experiences as an officer in the British Army, and the lessons he had learned about leadership.

Disillusioned with life in the City and longing for the camaraderie he experienced when rowing at Cambridge, he decided to enlist at Sandhurst and from there joined the Welsh Guards. After being somewhat disappointed by not being involved in the initial invasion of Iraq, Llewelyn-Usher successfully passed specialist unit selection and was appointed to the ‘mountain division’.

He remarked that this was when he comprehended the “necessity of a leader to act authoritatively and strongly, but remain authentic to who they are”.

He spoke of his time hunting senior figures in the Ba’ath party of Iraq as part of Task Force Black, and the unyielding faith he had in his men, as well as the respect he expected to receive in return. Operations almost always required night-time parachute jumps, with silent and complex movement in hostile buildings, so trust was essential.

Llewelyn-Usher spoke of his time spent in the Welsh Guards after his tours in Iraq and his admiration of their comradeship and determination in battle. He reflected that leadership to him meant being “personally impeccable and assured; unpleasantness isn’t required, but respect is crucial”, especially when faced with life-threatening situations. 

We thank him very much for spending the evening with us.

Alexander Finlayson-Brown JRBS

DATE POSTED: 02 March 2020

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