Prince Harry Leaving Army
10 years in military included 2 tours in Afghanistan
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 17, 2015 12:30 AM CDT
Britain's Prince Harry patrols through the deserted town of Garmsir, Afghanistan, close to Forward Operating Base Delhi.   (AP Photo/John Stillwell, pool, File)
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(Newser) – It's a soldier's life no more for Britain's Prince Harry. Royal officials say the 30-year-old prince will leave the armed forces in June after 10 years of service that included two tours of duty in Afghanistan. Harry's final army duties will include a four-week assignment in April and May with the Australian Defence Force. In a statement, the prince said leaving the army had been "a really tough decision" but he was excited about the future and felt "incredibly lucky" to have had the chance to serve in the armed forces. "The experiences I have had over the last 10 years will stay with me for the rest of my life," he said. "For that I will always be hugely grateful." He was the first British royal to see combat since his uncle, Prince Andrew, who flew Royal Navy helicopters during the 1982 Falklands War.

Harry, who is fourth in line to the British throne, served in Afghanistan as a battlefield air controller for 10 weeks in 2007-2008 until a media leak cut his tour short. Keen to return to the front lines despite fears he would be a top Taliban target, the prince retrained as a helicopter pilot and served in Afghanistan in 2012-2013 as an Apache co-pilot gunner. The palace says that after leaving the army, Harry will volunteer with the British military's Recovery Capability program, which helps wounded service members "while actively considering other longer-term employment opportunities."