Oliver Perera is a British UOTC. Here are his words:
"The picture was taken during my recruit training phase with Oxford University Officer Training Corps, one of 19 UOTCs covering the UK (similar to America’s ROTCs). UOTCs have two aims, firstly to develop and train potential Army officers (regular and territorial) alongside their University studies with the aim of them going to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst for their officer training. Secondly, UOTCs are unique in that they are comprised of students many of whom have no intention of joining the Army, so they also intend to provide the potential business leaders of tomorrow with valuable insight into what the Army is like. With the hope that in the future they have better understanding of issues facing the Army, and an understanding of what ex-soldiers moving to a civilian life have done were they to one day to employ one or work alongside one in their company.
The photo was taken at the end of a particularly wet and cold Christmas camp on Salisbury Plains. It was actually taken around 10am but a mixture of cloud cover, forest blocks and the photographer using the camera's flash made the photo appear to be taken during the night.
The photo was taken by one of the Sergeant Majors who had brought his camera along to take some photos of us “in action” to put up on the unit's website. After we had finished doing some posed photos I was still aware he was taking photos but I didn’t noticing him taking this one hence I wasn’t posing which I think has led to a good photo, and now and even better painting by Matt."