A NEWPORT man from a family of famous boxers has become an RAF officer having already served in the Welsh Guards in Afghanistan.

Flying Officer Luke Pearce, 34, graduated from the RAF College in Cranwell in March, beginning the latest chapter of a military career that began in 1997.

The ex-Bettws Comprehensive pupil’s first military role was with the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, where he performed ceremonial duties including Changing of the Guard, and Trooping the Colour.

After his time in the Army he studied law at college, later becoming a prison officer, but couldn’t stay away from the military for long. In his spare time he joined the Territorial Army at Raglan Barracks in Newport.

Last year, Fg Off Pearce decided to switch services and apply to become an officer in the RAF. He passed the highly competitive officer selection process to gain a place in the Initial Officer Training course at RAF Cranwell.

Since joining the RAF Fg Off Pearce has following one of his passions by becoming an RAF Boxing Coach. He is from a family of Boxers including David ‘Bomber’ Pearce, British Heavyweight Champion in 1973, 'Bimbo' Pearce, Welsh Heavyweight Champion in 1983 and Gary Pearce, Welsh Light Middleweight Champion in 1981.

“I have been involved in boxing since I was young, after being inspired by my dad and my family history” said Fg Off Pearce.

He was also motivated by his uncle Simon Pearce who attended the famous Italia Conte dance school and starred in Cats and Starlight Express.

He said he took inspiration from the passion his relatives showed for sport and theatre to help other boxers, adding: “I hope to create an environment to inspire future RAF boxers to strive for excellence, and have a positive mindset in everything they do.”

In March, Fg Off Pearce completed the gruelling 32-week course which aims to develop teamwork and leadership potential. Candidates study leadership, air power, military skills, essential service knowledge, drill and physical training.

Fg Off Pearce said: “I always believed I could achieve something special but to have finally commissioned as an RAF officer is my ultimate achievement”.

Having graduated his main job now is working as the public relations officer for the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.