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Issue:- Monday, 18 April 2016

Headlines and reports on this page = 2 news items.    Page - 5.

Officer cadet from Ormskirk, Lancashire graduates at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

ON Friday, 15 April 2016, Patrick Highet from Ormskirk, joined hundreds of Officer Cadets in a prestigious graduation ceremony at the Army's world renowned Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

Passing out from Sandhurst marks the completion of 44 weeks of intensive military and academic training, combined with adventurous training and sporting challenges. By the time Officer Cadets have graduated they enjoy immediate leadership responsibilities, where they will be in charge of a platoon of 30 soldiers, managing their skills, workloads and welfare.

With friends and family in the audience, Patrick and all the graduating Officer Cadets took part in the Sovereign's Parade in front of Her Majesty's representatives. The parade is a key milestone for every Army Officer and has been run at the end of each term for over 200 years.

Life as an Army Officer comes with challenge, responsibility and guaranteed progression; preparing you for your future life inside and outside of the Army. Officers could find themselves leading highly trained platoons, taking part in peacekeeping missions or helping to deliver humanitarian aid around the world.

Patrick said:- "Being part of an elite group of people that have graduated as British Army Officers from Sandhurst makes me extremely proud. It's one of the biggest challenges I have ever undertaken, but also one of the most rewarding. The training and support I have received has been excellent and I cannot wait to start putting it into practise and to be given the chance to make my contribution on operations, adventure training, and missions overseas. I would recommend an officer career to anyone looking for an exciting job away from the mundane 9 to 5."

The parade ended in traditional fashion with the Academy Adjutant following the Officer Cadets up the steps and through the grand entrance, mounted on his horse.

Major General Paul Nanson, Commandant Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, said:- "Congratulations to all our Officer Cadets on their commissions. The Cadets have come from a wide variety of backgrounds, many have come straight from university, some from sixth form and some from within the Army's soldier ranks, but they will now all embark on their Army careers with the same outstanding training. Sandhurst is not easy, but it provides opportunities to learn much more beyond military skills; it offers unrivalled leadership training, preparation for life outside the Army and guaranteed career progression. The Army is always looking for its next generation of leaders to take up the challenge of an officer career and, over the past 44 weeks, the cadets have demonstrated real dedication, determination and professionalism.  I look forward to seeing each of them realise their full potential as they embark on their careers with the Army."

After a formal lunch with friends, family and regimental officers, the day concluded in spectacular and celebratory style at the exclusive commissioning ball. There, at the stroke of midnight, the newly commissioned Second Lieutenants proudly displayed their rank insignia for the first time.

To join the Regular Army as an officer, candidates must be 18 to 26 years of age, attained at least 7 GCSEs (with a minimum grade C in English Language, Maths and either a science or a foreign language) and also have 180 UCAS Tariff points from a maximum of 3 A level subjects.

Applicants attend a 2 day Army Officer Selection Board briefing, where leadership and teamwork skills are tested. Candidates then go to the selection board, which consists of a 3 day assessment of physical and mental suitability for the role. Those successful, embark on a 44 week course taking place at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

Recruits earn a starting salary of £25,472 whilst they train. This rises to £30,617 when they are commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. After 5 years officers can be earning at least £39,236 as a Captain.

For more information about the exciting career opportunities available in the Army search "Army Officer" or visit the MOD's website.

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