Just 19 months ago Jason Ong was standing on guard lining The Mall for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's wedding.
Now the Devon soldier, formerly a guardsman, is ready to deploy at five-day's notice with the Parachute Regiment to any conflict zone.
As part of his training, the 21-year-old from Barnstaple is currently in Spain with the soldiers of B Company, the Third Battalion, the Parachute Regiment on the UK's first joint exercise with Spanish airborne counterparts.
The change ends years of Afghanistan-specific training, and three intense operational tours of Helmand. With the drawdown of British forces from the country set to gather pace next year, the new training exercise marks a significant transition for the soldiers.
Private Ong said: "Being that close to the royal wedding was cool, but I joined the infantry to be a combat soldier, and I wanted to better myself as a person and be a better soldier.
"It's about knowing that if you are going to do something then you are going to be the best, and the Paras are the best at what we do."