The parade, one of Europe’s largest, was overseen by Stuart Andrew MP, the Minister for Defence Procurement, and Warrant Officer Class One (WO1) Gavin Paton, who is the Army Sergeant Major.
WO1 Paton said:
Harrogate offers something unique for British teenagers.
The training pipeline focusses on leadership, education and providing opportunities that differ vastly from the civilian sector.
The AFC trains over 1,200 young troops every year, with the 16 and 17-year-old recruits also enrolled onto the Army Apprenticeship Scheme.
One of the soldiers to benefit from the College, Junior Soldier (JS) Kate Burton, 17, said:
It was such a proud moment to see all my family and friends, and stand in front of them on parade.
I’ve developed as a person; working on things like courage and forming deep friendships that I probably wouldn’t get elsewhere. I hope to stay in touch with most of those friends and will now go on to my musical training in Twickenham.
JS Burton and the rest of her cohort will commence their respective trade training courses in the near future, with some due to move to Infantry Training Centre Catterick.
When it comes to final words of advice, WO1 Paton encouraged youngsters:
Identify what it is that you want to do with your Army career and give it your best shot.