More than 70 Army reservists marked the first step in their military careers by taking part in a pass-off parade at the barracks in Grantham.
The passing out parade at Prince William of Gloucester Barracks marked the end of Phase One training. The 16-day course has taught the soldiers everything they need to know to fulfil their role within the Army Reserve including military terminology, drill, shooting, physical fitness, weapon handling, first aid, field craft and map reading.
Before attending the course, the soldiers, who will be joining Army Reserve units of every cap badge, had completed six weekend courses and will now return to their units to complete their trade training.
Proud family and friends braved the elements to watch the reservists from a range of civilian backgrounds including an environmental consultant and steel fabricator.
The Commanding Officer of the City of Edinburgh University Officer Training Corps, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Connolly, inspected the parade and presented a series of awards including those for Best Recruit and Best Shot.
Addressing the parade, he said: “The Army is charged with four responsibilities: protecting the United Kingdom, fighting its enemies, preventing conflict and dealing with disaster and as I look out today we now share those responsibilities.
“You only need to look at the Ebola crisis in West Africa and the recent flooding in Britain to see that we are busy both at home and abroad and, in fact, in 2015 the Army had over 95,000 soldiers deployed on over 300 commitments in over 50 countries.
He continued: “We have restructured the Army. We now have an integrated force of regulars and reserves, adaptable and responsive to meet threats as they emerge.
“All of you on the square, are now integral to that capability and it’s a fascinating environment in which to work. With that said, much is unchanged. The values and standards we live by may have been tinkered with from time to time, but, fundamentally they remain those expected of soldiers in my generation and many before.
“Another element that is unchanged is the camaraderie and pride that you feel in yourselves and each other today. It is well earned and absolutely justified. Given the short and compressed nature of this course, to have attained the standard of drill and turnout that we see today is genuinely outstanding and I am led to believe this is reflective of your other disciplines, from navigation to first aid, from PT to the ranges.
“When you leave here today, take your hard-earned new skills, friendship and memories but also take the Army’s core values: courage, discipline, respect for others, integrity, loyalty, and selfless commitment. Try to live by them, they are very easy to talk about or look at on a piece of paper, but much more difficult to look at every day. Apply them when you are serving and in what you do in your personal lives.
“You are drawn from different cap badges but have a common thread; you bring experience into the Army. The Army is incredibly fortunate to have you, so thank you. This is the start; continue to aspire to make yourselves better as you move forward in your careers. Take time to reflect on yourselves and your own performance and be self-aware. If you can do those two things you will be better soldiers for it.”
The course is delivered by Army Training Regiment (Grantham) whose instructors have been specially selected and trained for their role. Their main task is to lead recruits through their training and assist them with passing all aspects of the course.
Addressing the instructing staff, Lieutenant Colonel Connolly said: “To have only 16 days to deliver this syllabus means that you have to teach it absolutely right first time and you have to be leading by example as you do so. Based on what I have seen today - the enthusiasm and quality of those on parade - I thank the instructors for their professionalism, dedication and exemplary role modelling.”
For information on joining the Army Reserves visit www.army.mod.uk