Tim Collins was born in Belfast and was commissioned into the Army in 1981. After a career that encompassed tours in Northern Ireland, the Falklands Islands and Cyprus, time as an operations officer in the SAS and trekking with the Gurkhas in Eastern Nepal, aged 38 he was selected for promotion to Lieutenant Colonel and assumed command of 1 Royal Irish in January 2001. He led the Battalion on operations in East Tyrone, on Op FRESCO, the Fireman's strike, and on Op TELIC, the Liberation of Iraq. On returning from that war, he was the centre of a controversy over allegations of war crimes. After clearing his name he was promoted to Colonel. Tim retired from the Army in January 2004 and now lives in Kent with his wife and children.