Junior Soldiers complete first overnight exercise

29 January 2011

Three weeks after arriving at Harrogate’s Army Foundation College the latest intake of Junior Soldiers have completed their first overnight exercise.

The teenage troops, the youngest soldiers in the British Army, spent the night under canvas during “Exercise First Flight” held at Ellington Banks, near Ripon.

They woke up yesterday morning (Friday 28 January) to a frosty start and had to cook their first meal in the field before cleaning their weapons. The exercise saw them learn a number of basic military skills including lessons on camouflage and concealment as well as hygiene in the field.

They will return to Ripon in two week’s time when they will progress to sentry duties and will be taught how to conduct foot patrols.  By the end of their yearlong course they will encounter more advanced exercises to give them a flavour of current operational environments.

Speaking on the training area, Sergeant Simon Thompson from the College’s 19 Platoon, Burma Company explained:

“This is what most people think the Army is about – this is the basics of soldiering.  We can build on this.”

Junior Soldier Lee Sharman from Barnsley added:

“I thought it would be warmer, but it’s freezing.  Camouflaging was a laugh – I didn’t get caught, but I got wet because I was lying in a marsh.

“Still I’ve enjoyed exercise a lot as it’s something new, a different experience.  I can’t wait for the next one now.”

The Junior Soldiers from Burma Company returned to their base at Uniacke Barracks on Penny Pot Lane last night.

19 Platoon will spend today in the classroom but will be outdoors again on Sunday when they will be helping the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust with the conservation of Spurn Point Nature Reserve in the Humber Estuary.


  1. Aww well done to all the JSs that went on their first overnight exercise. My JS went on his 17th birthday, Monday 24th January… Great photos – Hope I can get some at Passing In… Soo, soo proud :-) xx

  2. Fantastic pictures and a fine bunch of young men and women. Well done Burma Coy we are all so proud of you xx

  3. Abs fantastic pictures. Well done Burma… Shame there aren’t any of Alamein where my js is, but still lovely to see your pictures :)

  4. Lovely to see pics of our js all looking so grown up cant wait to see my js at passing in well done all burma coy we are all so proud of you all xx

  5. Wonderful pictures – first exercise and they really have the look already – I bet it was a fun learning experience for all – can’t wait to see pictures of Alamein Coy too!

  6. Well done Burma 19 very proud of all of you (There are a couple of pictures of my js- can you let me know if i can purchase them?)xx

  7. Wonderful photos, fantastic that we can all see these boys as they progress and achieve, and we can read about them. Modern technology eh?? I’m just a grandma, my grandson is too busy just now to laugh with me, as he usually does. Pass in at Harrogate soon – how time flies. Looking forward to seeing him and hearing all his tales.

  8. Just seen a picture of my baby girl drinking a brew on her first overnight exercise. So proud of her, can’t wait to see her on 18th Feb.

  9. Well done JSs on your first overnight execise you all look like you had fun. I just wish I had some photos of my JS on his first exercise. Well done- everyone is so proud of you all.

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