Hundreds of proud friends and family have watched as 200 young men and women graduated from Harrogate’s Army Foundation College (AFC)..
More than 200 junior soldiers went on parade at the AFC at the end of the centre’s first ever six-month long course.
Under bright sunlight and clear blue skies, the Cambrai and Heavy Cavalry Band played as Brigadier Greville Bibby CBE, Commander of 15 (North East) Brigade, inspected soldiers from five platoons.
Nine of the junior soldiers received special prizes for their acheivements, including Junior Soldier Jack Chettleburgh, 17, who was awarded the prestigious “Best Junior Solider” honour.
Jack, from Norwich, was watched by his mother Toni Neale, father Ian Chettleburgh, his grandparents and step-parents.
He said: “I really enjoyed the parade today. It was hard work working up to this, but it was worth it.”
His parents said they were “very proud” to see their son receive his prize.
“It was very chilly today, but I could have sat there all day. It was fantastic. He’s done very very well,” mother Toni said.
The young soldiers will now go on to his “phase two” training with their chosen regiments - in Jack’s case the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.
The parade marked the first time junior soldiers have graduated after only six months at the AFC, in a new course for soldiers going on to join the Army’s technical corps.
For Lt Col Khashi Sharifi, the AFC Commanding Officer, it was the last time he will take part in a graduation parade before going on to a new posting in Afghanistan.
“It has been emotional for me, but it’s always nice to go out on a high,” he said.