A proud moment: Thousands turn out to watch junior soldiers graduate from Harrogate Army Foundation College

Army Foundation College graduation

Army Foundation College graduation

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It was a proud day for over 500 junior soldiers who graduated from Harrogate's Army Foundation College today, February 23.

Thousands of friends and family members gathered to watch as the ambitious 16 and 17 year olds marched across the square at Uniacke Barracks as part of the special graduation parade.

A proud moment for the thousands gathered.

A proud moment for the thousands gathered.

The Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Barry Dodd, inspected the junior soldiers and presented prizes.

Lieutenant Colonel William Strickland, the College's Commanding Officer, said: "It has been long and hard, and sometimes emotional. The majority proved equal to the test, and they are the future of the British Army. We are proud of their achievements and we are looking forward to their bright futures.

“The soldiers of Waterloo and Cambrai Companies represent the very best of our nation’s young people. I have no doubt that they are fully armed and prepared for their second phase of training. I congratulate both Companies, both the junior soldiers and their instructors, on a job very well done.”

The graduates from the longer 42 week course that the college offers will now move on to the second phase of their training in the Infantry, Royal Artillery, Royal Armoured Corps and Royal Logistic Corps.

Soldiers finishing the 22-week course have the opportunity to achieve a City and Guilds apprenticeship for information technology users at Level 2, with functional skills.