Young soldiers go marching on together

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Junior soldiers marked their first milestone in their Army training yesterday by taking part in a landmark parade.

The soldiers from the Army Foundation College, in Harrogate, were on parade as proud members of their family and friends looked on.

More than 200 junior soldiers showed off their talents on the parade square at Uniacke Barracks in Penny Pot Lane yesterday

They marched in front of thousands of their relatives and friends as they graduated from the first new short training course to be held at the college in Harrogate.

The parade of seventeen-year-old students, who joined the Army Foundation College, in September last year, were the college’s first short course to pass out. The college now runs a series of shorter courses as well admitting junior soldiers undertaking the 42-week course beginning in September.

An Army spokeswoman said last night: “The new six-month long course runs alongside the year-long course which the college has run since its formation in 1998.

“The new course will deliver basic training to the junior soldiers before they leave to follow their longer and more specialist technical training.

“The mixture of military training, education and sports will see the 16 – 17 year olds spend two terms at the prestigious college in North Yorkshire which trains over 1,500 soldiers for the Army’s many career pathways,” the spokeswoman added.

Yesterday Brigadier Greville Bibby CBE, Commander of 15 (North East) Brigade inspected the students who hail from all over the UK and took the salute as they graduated from the college watched by the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Khashi Sharifi and members of his staff.

Following the inspection and salute, prizes were awarded to mark the achievements of the best nine students.