HRH Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, heaped praise on more than 600 teenagers for their very impressive drills as they passed out from the British Army’s flagship training establishment today (Thurs, 13 Feb, 2020).
The Prince said he had heard how difficult and challenging the recent weather had made their preparations for the Parade at The Army Foundation College in Harrogate and congratulated all the junior soldiers for an excellent turnout.
HRH Prince Edward added:
I know you will have gained confidence, resilience, a sense of teamwork and leadership during your time here and these are all qualities which will stay with you for the rest of your lives.
Everyone on parade today should feel very proud of what they have achieved.
The Prince was in attendance at as the Queen’s representative and as the Senior Inspecting Officer. He inspected the junior soldiers, presented prizes and took the salute as the military parade passes the dais.
The College at Uniacke Barracks in Penny Pot Lane, Harrogate, runs two types of course – a 42-week-long course and a shorter 22-week course both of which train junior soldiers destined for a wide variety of Army careers.
The junior soldiers on the longer 42-week course marched off the square to the second phase of their training in the Infantry, Royal Artillery, Royal Armoured Corps and Royal Logistic Corps.
A company of junior soldiers on the shorter 22-week course designed for other cap badges will head for the longer more specialised phase of their training which could include being a vehicle mechanic with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers or to becoming a communications system operator with the Royal Signals.
Both the courses provide a unique combination of military basic training and vocational training to the junior soldiers.
The graduation parade at Uniacke Barracks was the finale for the junior soldiers and thousands of relatives and friends turned to watch the junior soldiers graduate despite the very wintry conditions.
The college opened in 1988 and accommodates 1,344 junior soldiers.