Junior Soldiers Sky Lawn and Kadon Lawn.
Junior Soldiers Sky Lawn and Kadon Lawn.

Young soldiers march towards their future careers

23 February 2024

Hundreds of young soldiers marched towards their future careers after graduating from the Army Foundation College (AFC) Harrogate today (Thu 15 Feb 24).

Around 370 paraded in front of an audience of 3,000 proud family members and friends, signifying the completion of their Phase One training.

During the course, Junior Soldiers undertake several military training, fitness, and education tasks culminating in a vigorous two-week battle camp and tactical exercise, which prepares them for the next step in their Army careers.

The ceremony marks the end of months of hard work, dedication, and success. The 17 and 18-year-olds will now go on to complete their trade training before joining regiments across the UK.

On the parade square was 17-year-old Rebecca ‘Becca’ Davies, who will now go on to complete Infantry Phase Two training at Catterick. She will then join the Grenadier Guards in London, where she is looking forward to combining ceremonial duties with being an Infanteer.



Becca, who is from Telford, chose to join the Grenadier Guards after completing her training due to family connections with the Army.


Becca said:

I have a Grandad who joined Blues and Royals (part of the Household Cavalry Regiment) which helped me to choose the Household Division.


During Becca’s time at AFC, she became a Junior European Kickboxing Champion, using her spare time to attend training and competition and is preparing for the Junior World Championships later this year. Becca praised the college for supporting her in being able to balance her military and kickboxing training.


Becca said:

I joined the Army to be part of the history of Britain and also to help me as much as possible with my sport.


Becca said she enjoyed the year at AFC, a particular highlight being a trip to Normandy, France as part of a college battlefield study, where she learned the history of D-Day and experiences of British soldiers before her.

Becca is now looking forward to her Phase Two training at Catterick and combining both her kickboxing and Army career.


Becca said:

I want to continue to grow kickboxing within the Army and continue to be a guardsman.


Also featured on the parade square was 18-year-old Ewan Henley. Ewan is the Junior Regimental Sergeant Major (JRSM) for the cohort of Junior Soldiers. Ewan, who lives near Stroud, explained that the Army can teach you lots of new skills and help you gain qualifications you can use in the future.


Ewan said:

I’ve completed my level two English and Maths at AFC Harrogate and I’ve grown more confident.

I want to join the 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment because what they do really appeals to me.


Also graduating were cousins Sky and Kadon Lawn, aged 17, who live near Middlesborough. Both joined straight from the same secondary school, because of the benefits of an Army career.



Kadon stated he wanted “to travel the world” and being at AFC will allow him to do so.


Sky said:

It’s made me more confident and assured in myself and my decisions.” She continued: “I was able to take part in rugby and have some fun whilst also getting better fitness.


Both Sky and Kadon will now start Phase Two training before joining their respective regiments.


The college offers training to two cohorts of Junior Soldiers per year. Candidates will embark on either a 49-week course or a shorter 23-week course. The former is for those joining the Infantry, Royal Armoured Corps/Household Cavalry and Royal Artillery, with the latter for those planning on joining courses with further Phase 2 training, such as Royal Engineers and Royal Army Medical Corps.


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