Steve Heaney joined the Parachute Regiment Juniors at sixteen, then passed Parachute Regiment selection and joined 3 PARA in 1987. Two years later he successfully undertook selection into X Platoon - more formally known as the Pathfinders. He went on to serve with that unit for over a decade, working with almost every Special Forces unit with which the British military has links. In 1999 he was promoted to Platoon Sergeant. The following year, he was the first non-officer in the unit's history to be awarded the Military Cross for his leadership and courage during Operation Mayhem. He was also awarded the Commanding Officer's Commendation for finding arms caches in Northern Ireland. Sergeant Heaney left the British military in 2001, by which time he was the most experienced Military Parachutist in the British Army. He has spent the last decade working as a senior military advisor to one of Britain's key allies. Damien Lewis worked as a war and conflict reporter for major broadcasters, reporting from across Africa, South America, the Middle and Far East, and has won numerous awards for his journalism. In 2001 he wrote his first book, an international number one bestseller translated into over thirty languages, and adapted into a film and stage play. His books OPERATION CERTAIN DEATH, APACHE DAWN and ZERO SIX BRAVO were all SUNDAY TIMES bestsellers, as were his previous co-authored military books, FIRE STRIKE 7/9, co-written with Sergeant Paul 'Bommer' Grahame, and IT'S ALL ABOUT TREO, co-authored with Dave Heyhoe. Several of his elite forces books are in the process of being made into movies or TV dramas.