During his 10 years in the SAS, Chris Ryan's missions included training presidential bodyguards in Columbia, defending the British Embassy in Zaire from rioting mobs, and commanding the sniper team of the anti-terrorist unit in Northern Ireland. This week, the SAS hero-turned- author embarked on his next challenging operation - trying to persuade boys to read.
On Wednesday, thanks to a partnership between Mr Ryan and the National Literacy Trust's Reading Champions initiative, a UK-wide competition, Chris Ryan Operation Read, was launched.
Now, children from 2,800 primary and secondary schools across the UK, who are reading champion members, will be invited to take part in "reading missions". Each mission, tackled by teams of three to eight pupils, will be outlined by Mr Ryan in a short online film.
The prize for the two winning teams includes an amazing adventure day out with Chris Ryan.