Prince Harry's life has been a captivating journey, marked by his dedication to military service and his transition to the glamorous world of Hollywood. On this day 18 years ago, in 2006, the Duke of Sussex officially completed his officer training at the esteemed Sandhurst Military Academy, setting the stage for a decade-long career in the British military that would include two tours of duty in war-torn Afghanistan.

However, Prince Harry's first deployment to the notorious Helmand province in 2007 was cut short just 10 weeks in, due to a devastating media leak that breached the carefully maintained media blackout. The decision to withdraw the Prince was not taken lightly, as Brigadier Andrew Mackay, the Helmand task force commander, explained: "The decision to withdraw Harry from operations was not made lightly and was given careful consideration.

At the time of the decision, he was deployed in the field, conducting operations against the Taliban and we, therefore, had to consider not just the consequences for him personally but those that he was serving alongside."

According to royal expert Duncan Larcombe, this turn of events left Prince Harry "absolutely furious," marking one of the lowest points in his life. Larcombe revealed that only two things could calm the Prince during this challenging time: his then-girlfriend Chelsy Davy and the African nation of Botswana. "Where did he go? Straight to Botswana with Chelsy Davy. Straight there and spent a couple of weeks there. Almost like - it's where he goes when there's steam coming out of his ears to calm down," Larcombe shared with Yahoo's The Royal Box.

Despite this setback, Prince Harry's commitment to serving his country remained steadfast. In 2008, he began helicopter training, and in 2012, he returned to Afghanistan for a four-month tour as a co-pilot and gunner in Apache helicopters. During this second tour, Prince Harry revealed in his memoir "Spare" that he killed 25 Taliban members, a disclosure that sparked protests and criticism from military figures, including Admiral Lord West, former head of the Royal Navy, who called the duke "very stupid" for providing such details.

However, Prince Harry defended his decision to share this information, arguing that his goal was to reduce veteran suicides by fostering an environment of openness and honesty. In an interview with US talk show host Stephen Colbert, he stated, "I made a choice to share it because having spent nearly two decades working with veterans all around the world, I think the most important thing is to be honest and to give space to others to be able to share their experiences without any shame."

The challenges and sacrifices Prince Harry faced during his military career have undoubtedly shaped his character and resolve. His journey from the front lines of Afghanistan to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood serves as a testament to his resilience and ability to overcome adversity. As he continues to navigate his role as a public figure and advocate for various causes, including mental health and veteran support, Prince Harry's experiences in the military remain a defining chapter in his life story.