A staff sergeant in the Royal Engineers, he was serving in Afghanistan when, on a routine mission to clear improvised explosive devices, one detonated beneath his foot. Yule lost both legs almost instantaneously. Airlifted home, he has since undergone 39 operations - with his 40th due in a fortnight - while attempting to adapt to life as a double amputee.
But far from being bitter, the Musselburgh athlete has drawn strength in following a new path. The 34-year-old is one of Scotland's leading hopes in powerlifting, currently ranked fifth in the world in the 72kg weight category. He won the National Powerlifting Championships in June, setting a British record with a personal best of 183kg. If Yule can hit between 190 and 195kg - his target for Glasgow 2014 - he would be lifting almost three times his own body weight and push himself into the medal zone.
It is a feat made all the more remarkable given that Yule only embarked on his bid for Commonwealth Games selection two years ago. Formerly a competitive amateur powerlifter in the Army, he attended a talent ID day held by the sportscotland institute for sport Gold4Glasgow programme. Having been unsure what to expect, Yule left with a glimmer of new-found hope.
"Initially, I didn't think I would be able to do this," he says. "I thought my injuries were so extreme that I would never be able to get back into competitive sport. Being selected for the programme gave me something to focus on and help get motivated again. It can be easy to get really down when you are trying to work out how to best plan your life after an injury like this, but it gave me a target to work towards."
While Yule talks openly about the events in Afghanistan that changed his life forever, he does not want that day to define who he is.
"These injuries might be affecting my life in other ways, but this is something I can do and be good at," he says. "I suppose, for me, a big part is being able to show other people who have been injured that life isn't over - they too can achieve their goals."
Yule says that while always acutely aware of the intrinsic dangers of his Army job, it was something he pushed to the back of his mind. "I've had friends who were blown-up, shot, killed," he says. "As for it happening to me, it was never something I dwelled on too much. If you got into the mindset of worrying about it, it would drive you mad. I had to get out there and do my job each day.
"It was tough when friends or colleagues had been hit to go out the following day and do it all again. When I was hit my team were back out there two days later. Things over there [in Afghanistan] don't stop for emotion or grieving. That's why so many of the lads find it hard when they come home. It's only then the grief can hit them properly."
Yule is frank that undergoing his rehabilit-ation has been a steep learning curve.
"After 31 years of having legs, learning to walk again with prosthetics does blow your mind at first," he says. "You go through so many different emotions as you learn to adapt. Some of the lads who were born with disabilities, yes, they've had to deal with that, but mostly it's all done and dusted for them in terms of coming to terms with it mentally and physically.
"When I go on training camps I might mention things and can see them looking at me thinking 'What? We passed that stage ages ago'. For example, after an amputation you can get phantom pain where the leg used to be and that can continue to happen for a few years. Most of the other guys are beyond that. I'm still dealing with it, as well as making sure I'm keeping up with them when it comes to the numbers I'm lifting. But I don't mind people thinking I'm little bit behind, because it means when I do catch them up, it will be too late for them to do anything about it."
Yule, whose legs were amputated above the knee, spent last month at a medical rehabilitation centre in Surrey being fitted for new prosthetic limbs and is in upbeat mood.
"I got blown up three years ago and was due to get medical discharge from the Army but the MoD then said the government was going to fund us getting better prosthetics," he says. "We never really had good ones compared to the Americans, so it was a big deal for them to agree to it. Having good quality prosthetics just makes life that much easier. The battery life on the new ones lasts longer and the design is much better for everyday use."
He has certainly had a busy few weeks. "I've been running about..." Yule pauses, catching himself and laughing. "Sorry, running is probably the wrong word. I've been scooting about daft. It's been a lot of work as I have to learn to walk again on different legs, but it's definitely worth it. They are a bit sore to begin with, but that's always the way at the start. I'm going to be discharged from the Army at the end of October and after that I will be able to concentrate on training full-time leading up to the Commonwealth Games."
Yule has a dry - verging on black - sense of humour. While undergoing his convalescence, he met Prince Charles who asked about his job searching for IEDs. Yule duly pointed to his legs and deadpanned: "As you can see, I found one ..."
"Prince Charles was great. I have to say he was one of most friendly, genuine guys I've met," says Yule. "I have loads of tattoos and he asked me all about them. He told me that when he was in New Zealand seeing the Maoris he loved their tattoos as well. I asked if he had any himself but he said no. I'm not sure if I believe him ..."
Yule said he had no plans to add to his collection which has seen him already spend more than 30 hours in the tattooist chair.
"I'm running out of room," he says. "I've got a little bit of space on my back. I might save that for one for the Commonwealth Games - but only if I win. It has to be gold."
While he splits his training between Edinburgh and Leeds, Yule's base and family home is in Lincoln. He is married to Jody, 34, a jewellery designer, and they have a six-year-old son Charlie who is chuffed with the notion of his dad being a world beater.
"Charlie loves it - not least because he gets to keep all of my medals and trophies," he says. "I think he tells his mates they are his. Charlie will watch the wrestling on telly and ask me: 'Dad, are you stronger than that guy?' and I'll say: 'Oh yeah, easy'. They will be 6ft 8in giants but he still reckons I could beat them."
Joking aside, Yule admits that he is the toughest of taskmasters when it comes to his own performance. At the Fazaa Powerlifting Championships in Dubai in February, he collected bronze in the 80kg but believed he could have done better.
"I should have won the silver," he says. "I lost by 1kg which came down to body weight. I was in a heavier category. I realised then I needed to bring my weight down as I was up against guys who were five or six kilograms heavier."
He has worked closely with a sportscotland institute for sport nutritionist to shed 7kgs while maintaining his power.
"Now I'm one of the bigger lads in the 72kg group and it's more of an even playing field," he says. "I still reckon I should have got that silver in Dubai - I missed my first lift. That taught me the valuable lesson that, if you don't get your three lifts at these big international competitions, you are going to miss out on the top placings."
Yule will compete at the Malaysia Open Powerlifting Championship in November before heading to the IPC Powerlifting World Championships in Dubai in April. After that he is looking forward to the whole Commonwealth Games experience.
"I intend to soak up every minute," he says. "I have a few friends who were at the Paralympics who loved it and I want to have some of those experiences for myself. I'd love to go and watch the track cycling, athletics and the weightlifting as well as train with some of those guys."
Equally, he is keen to dispel some of the myths about his sport and help garner a new audience.
"Before I could bench press 165kg, but if I was lifting tomorrow I could do 185kg," he says. "Back when I was winning Army champ-ionships I thought I was the bee's knees but obviously not compared to what I can do now. People often think that because I've lost my legs I can't lift as much now. The truth is I'm lifting more than ever."