A soldier who was killed by a blast in Afghanistan has been hailed by comrades as "the complete package".
Lance Corporal Daniel Cooper, from 3rd Battalion The Rifles, was killed in an explosion as he tried to clear a path in an area south of the Sangin district centre, in northern Helmand, on Sunday morning.
The 21-year-old from Hereford was named on the day Major General Nick Carter, the British general in charge of Isaf forces in southern Afghanistan, announced that troops are to launch an offensive to take back areas Helmand province now controlled by the Taliban.
His parents, Karl and Caroline Cooper, said in a statement: "A caring son, brother and partner. He was not just a brother but a best friend who will be sadly missed by all that knew him. Daniel, we were proud to be your parents from the day you were born."
L/Cpl Cooper went to Whitecross High School before joining the Army and deploying to Afghanistan in October last year. The fitness fanatic wanted to become a physical training instructor.
Lieutenant Colonel Nick Kitson, Commanding Officer 3 Rifles Battle Group, said: "Lance Corporal Daniel Cooper was one of the great characters of the Battalion. His sense of humour and zest for life were topped only by his ability and determination.
"The consummate soldier, he was the complete package - fit, bright and dedicated to his work. Ever cheerful and irrepressibly positive, he shone as an example to the more junior Riflemen on how to act and what to aim for."
Lieutenant Palmer Winstanley, Officer Commanding 2 Platoon, said L/Cpl Cooper was the "epicentre of platoon morale" and "wore his heart on his sleeve".
He said: "I remember when he had cleared with his metal detector past an improvised explosive device which a local Afghan later pointed out to him.
"Despite the fact that it was nowhere near the route he had cleared, I found him hours later worrying about having let his mates down. That was the kind of thoughtful man he was, more concerned for his mates' safety than his own. In the end, Coops died clearing a safe path through what we knew to be a dangerous area."