Junior PARA Takes Top Slot

  • Posted on 27 Feb 2017
  • 06 min read
*Junior Soldier Name in image name* Prizewinners from AFC Harrogate pass out parade 23/02/17. NOTE TO DESKS: MOD Release Authorised handout images. All images remain Crown Copyright ©2015 Photo credit to read-Sgt Jamie Peters RLC

Photo: Sgt Jamie Peters RLC

A young soldier has brought pride to his home town as he was named the best young soldier at his passing out ceremony.

 

Riley Hill, who studied at Victoria Academy in Barrow received the award for Best Junior Soldier as he passed out of the prestigious Army Foundation College in Harrogate.

Now the 17-year-old Barrovian has successfully passed out of the college, Hill has his sights set on one of the most highly respected regiments in the army.

He said: “I feel really pleased and proud to have won a prize and feel the leadership and initiative training has been one of the best bits of my time at the college.

“Now it is time for a bit of holiday before moving on to the next stage of my training at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick as I want to join the Parachute Regiment.

“Graduating from AFC Harrogate in front of my friends and family is something that I am very proud of doing. They are all really proud and happy for me.

“As a junior soldier you learn core life skills such as leadership, teamwork and determination.

“I have made loads of friends and met new people, and I have become much more confident in my own ability.”

The ceremony is the culmination of many months of hard work and determination.

In order to progress, the junior soldiers were put through an intense, 30-hour battle camp challenge across the Yorkshire Dales.

The task drew on all the training the junior soldiers had experienced during their time at the Uniacke Barracks.

Commanding Officer at AFC Harrogate, Lieutenant Colonel Strickland, said: “All the junior soldiers passing out today should be proud of all they have achieved during their time here.

“The training these soldiers go through is tough, but undeniably leads to excellent opportunities for personal and career development and allows people’s talents and skills to shine through.”

More than 4,000 friends and family members watched the Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Mr Barry Dodd CBE, inspect the junior soldiers and present their prizes.

AFC Harrogate regularly take in 1,350 school-leavers in March and September intakes.

The British Army have recently launched a new recruiting drive to attract more like Junior Soldier Hill.

‘This is Belonging’ calls on people to act on their want to do more for good causes and join a team that strives to achieve results unthinkable on your own.

It showcases the role the Army have in providing adventure and travel opportunities, as well as the potential to continue education through apprenticeships or further qualifications.

The junior soldiers who just passed out will now go on to serve in various corps and regiments of the British Army as they begin the next part of their specialist training.

That includes learning how to do their jobs at home and abroad. Many junior entry soldiers go on to become engineers, IT specialists, infantry soldiers or technical specialists.

Commanding Officer at AFC Harrogate, Lt Col Strickland said: “The Army will give you the chance to belong to one of the most respected organisations in the world and pursue a job that will make a positive difference.

“The Army will invest in your future development and all junior soldiers are trained and developed in skills and qualifications that can be used to grow a career within the Army of for use in a civilian career.”

Lt Col Strickland added he was proud of the soldiers under his command, and he was confident they would go on to achieve great things.

He said: “All the junior soldiers passing out today should be proud of all they have achieved during their time here.

“The training these soldiers go through is tough, but undeniably leads to excellent opportunities for personal and career development and allows people’s talents and skills to shine through.”

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