Captain Sir Tom Moore today (Thurs, Sep 10, 2020) praised the high standard of turnout of hundreds of Junior Soldiers during their Graduation Parade at the Army Foundation College, Harrogate in North Yorkshire
Capt Sir Tom, acting in his new role as Honorary Colonel of the Northern military training establishment, was speaking after carrying out his duties as the Chief Inspecting Officer at the Junior Soldiers’ Passing out Parade.
Capt Sir Tom said:
What a privilege it has been for me to attend today’s Graduation Parade. These fine young soldiers are just at the beginning of their careers and it was an honour to be here for their Passing out Parade.
I know they have come through some challenging times recently but they have done so well and I am very excited for what lies ahead for them. As I always say ‘Tomorrow will be a good day’ and for them that will certainly be the case, I’m sure.
The World War II veteran, who has raised a phenomenal £40 million for the National Health Service’s charitable wing, NHS Charities Trust, upon completing 100 laps around his garden at his home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, during the lockdown period, has become a household name and national treasure.
The Keighley-born hero, who was shown around the College last month for the first time, returned to inspect the 294 Junior Soldiers from Cambrai Company who are on their Passing out Parade.
Lieutenant Colonel Simon Farebrother MC, the College’s Commanding Officer, said it had been an honour and a privilege to host Captain Sir Tom again in such a short time and the Junior Soldiers had been excited to have him carry out the inspection.
Lieutenant Colonel Simon Farebrother MC said:
We were absolutely thrilled when Capt Sir Tom became our Honorary Colonel but we did not expect him to be back so soon and especially to be carrying out the Inspection. It has been a remarkable day and one which all the College Staff and Junior Soldiers will remember throughout their careers. He is an inspirational figure for the Junior Soldiers who, like him, are fulfilling their potential in the British Army. It has been a wonderful day!
JS Adam Bradford, from Leeds, spent four years in the Army Cadets before he joined the Army Foundation college and after his graduation will join the Royal Logistics Corps as a chef with the next part of training around 18 weeks long with 14 spent learning to cook in a real kitchen.
JS Adam Bradford, from Leeds said:
It was just brilliant having Captain Tom on parade with us. All of us have been amazed at what he has achieved in recent months during Covid 19.
I found the Physical Training enjoyable even though it was not something I had done before. I like the routine of each day and being able to see what I have achieved each day. The early starts were a shock at first but now I see it as a great way to start the day.
JS Ethan Turton-Mason, from Sheffield, said his grandfather was serving in The Yorkshire Regiment and his uncle in the Welsh Guards but he had always wanted to join the Royal Engineers to gain a trade.
JS Ethan Turton-Mason, from Sheffield said:
Seeing Captain Sir Tom on parade with us made me feel so proud to be graduating and pursuing a great career in the British Army just like he did.
I was proud to complete the finally physical assessment which was a 6-mile march carrying 20kg. My mental resilience has grown and by doing all the physical training I have grown in real confidence in what I can achieve.
The Junior Soldiers of Cambrai company started training in March but due to the Corona virus pandemic (Covid 19) they had to do 10 weeks of virtual training before returning to the College at the end of May.
Subsequently the Junior Soldiers completed 18 weeks of training without any time off but have still had the opportunity to achieve a City and Guilds apprenticeship for Information Technology users at Level 2, incorporating Functional Skills.