Josh joined the Royal Engineers in 2004 at the age of 17, after a year of not really knowing what to do with life after he left school.
Josh says he embarked on the best experience of his life; "It was great, hard and emotional but I do not regret a minute of it."
Josh passed the All-Arms Pegasus Company (P Coy) in 2004 and was awarded the prestigious Maroon beret and earned his parachute jump wings.
Josh was then posted to 9 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers in Aldershot in late 2004. In April 2006 Josh was deployed on his first operational tour, Op Herrick 4, in Helmand province, Afghanistan and then again in 2008 & 2010.
Josh pushed himself to the limits professionally and personally throughout his military career. In 2010 Josh heard he had been accepted to become an instructor at 3 Royal School of Military Engineering (3 RSME) in which he would be teaching new recruits combat engineering. Josh was due to take the posting early 2011
New Years Eve 2010
Unfortunately Josh was unable to take up that posting after his life took a turn on New Years Eve 2010, Josh says "I went out with a bang"!
Two months into his third tour of Afghanistan, Josh stood on a Pressure Pad Improvised Explosive Device (IED) that triggered beneath him, resulting in the loss of both his legs and his right arm. The blast also damaged his remaining left hand. Josh also suffered damage to his spine, nerve damage and he also had a pulmonary embolism which Doctors back at Camp Bastion had to fight to control.
"I still remember everything" he says, "I didn’t think it was me at first because I felt no pain and couldn’t see because there was so much dust in my eyes". It wasn't until his colleagues started applying tourniquets that the penny dropped.
Josh says "This may sound bad and some may feel sorry for me, but don't, yes, it changed my life but it changed it for the better".
Life Goes On
Josh is now continuing with his life with his wife and son. Josh doesn't want to be seen any differently to anyone else and enjoys doing normal things with his family. Trips to the Zoo and days out at Fratton Park to watch their team, Portsmouth FC Play, are a regular occurrence for the Boggi Family.
Josh got into cycling to try to keep fit and he put his name forward to take part in the Big Battlefield Bike Ride 2013. Completing this Bike Ride gave him the bug for cycling and he has been doing so ever since.
He has gone on to compete in the Inaugural Invictus Games in London set up by Prince Harry. Here Josh won a Bronze medal in the Cycling Time Trial.
Josh then went on to compete in the 2016 Games in Orlando. He took home 2 Silver Medals in Cycling and 2 Gold Medals in Rowing.
Josh says he misses being able to play football, this was and always will be a huge passion in his life but since being injured, Josh has achieved some coaching qualifications and now helps manage the local team for whom he used to play.
He has been fitted with the new X3 prosthetic leg, which is a life changing piece of kit. He can now do a lot more: walking on uneven ground is easier, as is attending football matches, and going on holiday.
Josh says: "I’m still here. I’m still the same person as I was before, I’ve just got a few limbs missing. Yes I did want to be a soldier but now, I’ll settle for just being me".
Josh's next challenge was to take on one of the world’s toughest endurance cycling events, the epic 3,081 mile Race Across America (RAAM). Starting in Oceanside, California, competitors pass through 12 states, covering over 3,081 miles and climb in excess of 170,000 feet before finishing in Annapolis, Maryland. Josh says: “Being a part of the RAAM team is the one thing I have wanted to do since I started cycling. Being at Headley Court and listening to the updates of the team that did it 2012 gave me the bug and I always knew that if it ever came up again I would want to do it. This is what I have trained for over the last 4 years.”