Owen Smith commissioned as an officer in the British Army in 2015. After completing his training as an officer cadet, Smith became a Second Lieutenant in the newly formed 2nd Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment. He and much of the unit lacked combat experience, so their command approved a deployment as part of the rotating British troop allocation to NATO CFOR. In February 2017, Smith and his company in the Black Rats Battalion went to Chernarus and were made part of MNBG West. For several months, Smith acted with distinction in his unit, providing securitization operations in Novigrad and operating cross-border security on the Chernarus-Takistan border alongside his CDF counterparts. In June 2017, Smith was promoted to Lieutenant as his unit was preparing to return home as their first six month rotation began to close.
Then in July, things really started heating up in Chernarus. HQ CFOR ordered both MNBGs to go to high readiness, and Smith’s planned return to his home and his favorite pub were dashed. He and some of the other junior officers snuck out for a pint in Kirovograd anyway, and drank until the sun came up. As he returned to Base Kozlov, shit was clearly fucked. Everyone was on high alert, preparing defenses. The men, still drunk, ran to their respective units and tried to sober up as best they could. For his part, Lieutenant Smith acted cogent enough, and stepped into the briefing without so much as a second glance by his fellow officers. Russia and CDF were going at it, and people were sick. That’s the jist of what Smith got while trying to act normal.
Lt. Smith didn’t touch a drop of alcohol from that point on. Three days later, he was yearning for a beer as reports of those infected with the virus hitting all over Chernarus came to his unit. Three days after that, and Smith’s company of the 2nd Battalion was being ordered to deploy into South Zagoria… ground zero for the virus. On July 17, he and his fellow Black Rats arrived on the western border of the region. They found a highway filled with abandoned and wrecked vehicles. Infected were lolling about, lowly growling at anything that made a sound. One of Smith’s men misfired, setting off a chain reaction of violent infected. Things went bad there fast. Before he knew it, Smith lost over half his men. Those infected hordes destroyed any chance they had at getting home alive, much less for a tall pint.