Monifieth in Angus, Scotland, UK
Acting Sergeant, Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters)
9/21/2009, Helmand, Afghanistan
Acting Sergeant Michael Lockett, from Monifieth in Angus, joined 1st Battalion The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment (1 WFR) in Tidworth in 1996. The WFR became 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters) in 2007.
Acting Sergeant Lockett took part in every operational deployment and exercise the battalion undertook; he served in Bosnia and Northern Ireland, and in 2009 he returned to Afghanistan for his third tour.
At Garmsir in 2007, as Platoon Sergeant in A (Grenadier) Company, he displayed selfless commitment and unshakable bravery fighting and leading his platoon to rescue wounded comrades trapped in a Taliban ambush. For his actions that night he received one of the nation’s highest awards for gallantry, the Military Cross.
He spent the large majority of his career as a machine gunner but he held many other qualifications including Jungle Warfare Instructor and Military Tracking Instructor.
His deployment to Afghanistan in 2009 was as part of the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team Battle Group. He was working and operating alongside the Warriors of the Afghan National Army at Patrol Base Sandford in the Upper Gereshk Valley. His professionalism set the finest example to the Afghan Warriors. He was an inspirational leader.
‘Locky’, as he was known to his friends, will always be remembered for his infectious laugh and prominence as a man. His leadership style was the exact mix of compassion and steel which garnered the respect of both those he led and those he served.
He was nearing the end of his tour when he died. He volunteered to stay on at his patrol base to ensure that the incoming soldiers knew as much as they could about the local area and they could reap the benefits of his vast local knowledge.
Leading men and setting an example was a familiar position for Acting Sergeant Lockett; he died doing a job he loved and he earned the highest respect from all those who knew and worked with him. He leaves behind his children from a former marriage Connor (eight), Chloe (seven) and Courtney (five), family, and his girlfriend Belinda.
His parents, Mal and April, paid the following tribute: “We are immensely proud of Mike – he was everything that we could ever have wanted in a son and was a devoted father to Connor, Chloe and Courtney. He was always positive, and always seemed larger than life. Words simply cannot express what he meant to his close and wider family and his many friends. His passing has left a huge void in all our lives that can never be filled. We can only take solace in the fact that he died doing a job that he was born to do with his ‘boys’ in 2 MERCIAN Regiment.
He would want us all to celebrate his life by remembering the many good times, with a cold beer, broad smile, and looking forward to the future.”
Major Ed Gaffney, Officer Commanding AMBER 91, Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team, Patrol Base Sandford, 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters), said: “Sergeant Lockett MC was quite simply the best soldier I have ever worked with. He was immensely brave, talented and hugely committed to his soldiers. They in turn were completely devoted to him. On numerous occasions during our tour his actions saved the lives of members of the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team and the Afghan National Army.
I personally will always appreciate the support he gave me and friendship we shared over the last few months. His tragic death is a huge loss to the soldiers in the team and the battalion. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”