Military Hero Matthew Croucher to Save Wildlife

What does Britain’s most highly decorated living Royal Marine do with the education and skills gained during his exemplary years in the military?

Matthew Croucher GC protects endangered African wildlife. He recently co-founded, Action Against Poaching (AAP), a non profit organisation offering direct and proactive support to Anti-Poaching initiatives in Africa.

Matt has asked to join Chengeta Wildlife anti-poaching specialist, Rory Young, for an upcoming ranger training session,

“It will give me the opportunity to see what Chengeta is achieving first hand and where we could potentially assist.”

Collaboration with AAP could be a game changer for Chengeta. Other ex-military specialists Matt plans to bring into AAP could facilitate getting Chengeta’s proven anti-poaching training to more wildlife rangers who are facing armed poachers without the proper skills.

From Rory Young, “I am honoured to be able to work with such a man and excited to have him contribute to our training.”

More about Matthew Croucher from Wikipedia:

Lance Corporal Matthew Croucher GC, VR  (born in 1983) is a member of the Royal Marines Reserve and a recipient of the George Cross, the highest British and Commonwealth medal for gallantry not in the face of the enemy, for his extreme valour in risking his life to safeguard the lives of his comrades.

Croucher was recommended for the award for throwing himself  on a Taliban tripwire grenade to save his comrades. He was part of a reconnaissance mission near Sangin in Helmand Province in Afghanistan.

On 9 February 2008 whilst moving through a compound at night he felt a trip-wire against his leg and saw that he had activated a grenade. He threw himself to the ground and used his rucksack to pin the grenade to the floor and tucked his legs up to his body. He was thrown some distance by the explosion, but due to the protection offered by his rucksack and body-armour, suffered only a nose-bleed, perforated ear drums and some disorientation. The pack was ripped from his back by the explosion, and his body armour and helmet were pitted by grenade fragments. Of the other three members of his patrol, the rear man managed to take cover by retreating round the corner of a building; the patrol commander threw himself to ground, and received a superficial face wound from a grenade fragment; and the final team member did not have time to react, and remained on his feet, and would have been within the lethal range of the grenade but for Croucher’s action. The explosion breached a large lithium battery which was in Croucher’s pack to power the patrol’s electronic countermeasures equipment, causing it to burst into flames. A medic recommended that he be evacuated, but he insisted on continuing as the members of the patrol realised Taliban fighters would probably come to investigate the explosion, and this would give the marines the opportunity to ambush them.

Croucher was presented with the GC by Queen Elizabeth II at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace on 30 October 2008. Croucher is one of only 22 living recipients of the medal of which only 406 have been awarded.

Matt is standing directly behind HRH Queen Elizabeth II