A Cambridgeshire soldier killed during an operation targeting insurgents in Afghanistan has been named by the Ministry of Defence as Corporal Alex Guy from the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment.
Cpl Guy, 37, was killed on Friday while leading his section to assist a group of Afghan soldiers pinned down by enemy fire during an insurgent ambush in Nad-e Ali District of Helmand Province.
His wife Emma, whom he married in 2006, said: "Alex was kind. A happy, full-of-life and kind hearted man, with a passion for his work and family."
Cpl Guy, from St Neots, had been in the army for 19 years and served on eight operational tours including Bosnia, Iraq, three of Northern Ireland and three of Afghanistan.
He had been recently selected for promotion to the rank of Sergeant.
Along with his wife, Cpl Guy leaves his mother and father, Aileen and Andrew, and sisters Rebecca and Martha.
His mother said Cpl Guy was born into a military family who were stationed at RAF Coltishall.
"He left school in 1991 and eventually decided to join the Army in 1992. The comradeship and discipline and 'sense of family' meant everything to him.
"He was a wonderful and loving son, husband, brother, friend and comrade."
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Aston MC, commanding officer of 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, hailed his "courage, selfless commitment and professionalism".
He said: "A loyal, committed and thoroughly decent man, Corporal Alex Guy was a unique member of the Vikings. His honest, welcoming approach and impressive operational pedigree saw him achieve the ideal balance between good friend, wise mentor and tough commander.
"In his section he had forged a strong team which he led through the most dangerous of situations with nothing other than courage, selfless commitment and utter professionalism. When things got difficult Corporal Guy was exactly the person you would want by your side; he would quietly revel in the responsibility and never you let down. It is these attributes that have defined his career over the last 19 years and will remain in the memory of his fellow Vikings.
"Fiercely proud of his Battalion and intensely devoted to his wife Emma and his family, his loss will be felt deeply across the Battlegroup. Today we have lost a remarkable Viking. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this impossibly difficult time."
Cpl Guy enlisted in the Army when he was 18 and was quickly identified as a talented young leader and promoted to Lance Corporal in 1995.
In 2000 he was selected for training as a specialist in the Anti-Tank Platoon and was promoted to corporal in 2003.
He later worked as an Army recruiter before returning to the Battalion in 2010 to begin preparations for deployment to Afghanistan where his section was attached to B Company of the Estonian Scouts Battalion, part of the 1 Royal Anglian Battlegroup.
Major Bevis Allen, Officer Commanding, D (Cambridgeshire) Company, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, said: "Corporal Alex Guy was the epitome of a Viking soldier; professional, dedicated, brave, and dependable, yet also self-effacing, modest and approachable to even the most newly-arrived soldiers."
He added: "Corporal Guy's tragic loss leaves a huge gap in our team. He was one of the true stalwarts of D (Cambridgeshire) Company. Our grief, however, is dwarfed by that which will be felt by his wife, Emma and his parents. I hope some small comfort can be taken from the fact that he died doing the job he loved, surrounded by his Viking brothers, who held him in such high esteem."
His friend Corporal Wayne Cole, Regimental Signals Detachment Commander, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment said: "I have known Alex ever since we arrived at Bassingbourn on day one of recruit training in 1992. Since then Alex has been the best mate you could possibly have, generous with his time and incredibly loyal.
"Alex, I will miss you more than I can describe. My heart goes out to your lovely wife Emma, your family and many friends. You may be gone but I for one will always remember you as a true Viking. Stablis."
Cpl Guy is the 419th member of UK forces to have died since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001.