TODAY | October 13, 2012
>>> for the past month, prince harry has been stationed in afghanistan as an apache helicopter pilot. and we are now learning that his unit has been on the frontlines. anna bell roberts has details.
>> reporter: prince harry didn't go to afghanistan for show. he's right there on the front lines . today we have confirmation he's had multiple engagements with the taliban on the battlefield. he provides covering fire from apache attack helicopters on emergency rescue missions.
>> the fire power they deliver, the support they bring to the battlefield is at an incomparable level.
>> reporter: harry has trained long and hard for this. even as child, it was clear he was destined for the military. his first trip to afghanistan five years ago lasted ten weeks. cut short when it became public.
>> it's not painful to be here. you're doing a job, to be with such fantastic people.
>> reporter: but as we know well, there is another side to the prince. he likes to party. before he headed off to afghanistan , he got caught in las vegas with his pants down -- literally. i think prince harry is already a very popular figure. sometimes his mistakes turn into his positives. people look at the las vegas escapades and think it was a soldier letting off steam before a second deployment. i think people do love this image of him really being exactly as he seems. you look at harry and you think what you see is what you get. no doubt, harry had to fight hard to be allowed to return to afghanistan with members of his family and the military trying to dissuade him. and now he's there, he's just one of boys. a taliban attack last month where harry is based raised concerns he could be a target.
>> i don't believe that prince harry , by his presence there, engages other soldiers. i also believe that although it would be a real tragedy for prince harry to be killed or wounded, his life is worth no more and no less than any other soldier.
>> reporter: prince harry has been anointed man of the year by one british magazine. the dashing portrait a far cry from the reality of his current life on the front lines . but when he comes home in three months, he'll find tales of his tour have fanned the flames of his popularity.