A company of soldiers in Catterick Garrison have become the first in the UK to complete training and pass out under the reign of HM King Charles III.
Nearly 60 recruits from the Infantry Training Centre marched off the parade square in front of friends and family on Friday, marking the conclusion of their 28-week course.
One of the new infanteers, Private Jent, who will be joining The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (PWRR), said: “I’m over the moon, I really am.
“For me it’s been a hard slog, it took a bit of time to get here after an injury, but it’s worth in it in the end. I’m going on holiday after this.”
Although the weather took a turn for the worse at the North Yorkshire base, the wind and rain did little to dampen spirits, with D Company cheered on by the delighted crowd and supported by the British Army Band Catterick.
The recruits, made up of various line infantry cap badges including The Yorkshire Regiment and The Rifles, were praised by Inspecting Officer Major General Bewick OBE, who labelled the infanteers as ‘the tip of the Army’s sword’ in a rousing speech.
To conclude the celebrations, and in anticipation of Fiji Day on October 10, a small group of Fijian soldiers broke into song and treated the crowd to a traditional hymn.
The combat infantry course, which has four iterations (Guards, Gurkhas, line infantry, and paratroopers), builds up military skills and fitness at a gradual pace.
This involves learning individual skill sets first, followed by section and then platoon versions, ending with assessments in all subjects which must be passed in order to complete training.
During training, recruits are taught the importance of Army values and standards, and learn that being a soldier is about putting others first while having the courage to do the right thing in any given situation.