Tempted by the mysteries of the East, he volunteered for service in the Gurkha Engineers and was approved by the Colonel of the Regiment, the magnificently-monocled General Lancelot Perowne. His first posting was in Malaysia, where he built bridges and roads, exercised in the jungle, and trained Gurkha recruits. Keen to pursue his early fascination with Russia and life behind the Iron Curtain, he persuaded the system to let him train as a Russian Interpreter, spending 18 months at a special school in Beaconsfield and lodging with Russian émigrés in Paris. There followed 2 years at GCHQ as a reward for his efforts. Next, back to the Gurkha Engineers, then in Hong Kong, trekked in Nepal, married, served in Northern Ireland, attended the Staff College, posted to the Ministry of Defence, back to the Gurkha Engineers in Hong Kong, where he was tasked with forming a new engineer squadron and moving it to Chatham. Thereafter 6 months at the National Defence College and 6 months in the Falkland Islands, followed by 2 years commanding the Depot Regiment Royal Engineers in Chatham.