MATT CROUCHER grew up in Birmingham, United Kingdom and joined the Royal Marines in the year 2000 aged 16 passing through the legendary 30+ week training programme despite a series of injuries.
He was posted to Stonehouse Barracks in Plymouth for several months and undertook a number of smaller roles before returning to the Commando Training Centre to qualify as a Heavy Weapons specialist with the Anti-Tank branch of the Royal Marines.
On successful graduation of the course, Matt was posted to 40 Commando. No more than a year later he was part of the spearhead force and was one of the first UK soldiers into Iraq during Operation Telic 1. He undertook another tour of duty from 2004-2005 in Iraq before transferring into the Royal Marines Reserve. Working for the United Nations Matt undertook a 3rd tour of duty in Iraq in 2005-2006. During his RMR career Matt secured himself a place on a Royal Marines Reconnaissance Operators course (ML3), one of the hardest and most challenging roles in the Royal Marines. Matt completed and passed the course adding to his qualifications.
In 2006 Matt was involved in a serious motorcycle accident, resulting in him being airlifted to Selly Oak hospital, where he was hospitalised for over a week. During the 9 months of rehabilitation, Matt was extremely keen to get fit and active again and carry on with his civilian and part-time Military career.
In May 2007 Matt was mobilised by the Royal Marines Reserve and attached as a Reconnaissance Operator and Heavy Weapons specialist to 40 Commando. In September 2007 40 Commando were deployed for a 6-month tour of duty in war-torn Afghanistan. 5 months later he faced down death by diving on a trip wired grenade to save the lives of his men.
Awarded the George Cross, the nations highest award for gallantry not in the face of the enemy, his incredible story of heroism has features in newspapers, TV and radio shows around the world.