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What we do

The Household Cavalry (HCav) consists of The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals - the most senior Regiments in the British Army - and is split between two units, the Household Cavalry Regiment (HCR) and the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment (HCMR).

The HCR is a Formation Reconnaissance regiment, acting as the eyes and ears of the Army; the HCMR carries out ceremonial duties, both mounted and dismounted, on state and Royal occasions.

Is the right job for me?

The Household Cavalry recruits intelligent, fit and decisive soldiers who are hungry for a challenge and have the will to win. You will need to be able to work in a small team, often in cramped and hot conditions, for long periods of time.

Applicants need to have basic reading and writing skills as initial training features written tests. All Household Cavalry soldiers will serve with the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment at some time so be prepared to work on horseback as well as in a Scimitar.

What training will I do?

Initial training

Every Household Cavalry soldier is first and foremost a fighting soldier. Your military career will start at ATR (Army Training Regiment) Bassingbourn, near Royston in Cambridgeshire. During your 14-week basic training course you will learn military skills such as foot drill, how to handle and fire a weapon, how to live and work in the open and how to tackle an assault course, as well developing your stamina and fitness. Having successfully mastered basic military skills, you will take your place in the Passing out Parade.

Further training

The type of further (Phase 2) training that you undertake will depend on where the Regiment needs you to work. Currently it is the Commander Household Cavalry's policy that all new recruits go to HCMR before progressing to HCR.

Ceremonial role

You start your Phase 2 training at Windsor with a 12-week riding course. You will learn how to ride and everything you need to know to care for your horse. After the riding course you start a 4-week kit ride at Knightsbridge. Here you will be taught all you need to know about looking after the ceremonial equipment, and will learn to ride in it. You will then join the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment at Knightsbridge, London.

Armoured role

Your training is conducted at Bovington in Dorset. You will be taught to drive a car before moving on to a Scimitar light tank. You will learn how to drive the Scimitar and how to operate its communications equipment. You will then join the Household Cavalry Regiment at Windsor, Berkshire.

What qualifications can I get?

The Household Cavalry offers many qualifications. Your Phase 2 training includes enrolment on a Level 2 NVQ in either Engineering Maintenance or Equine Management, depending on which role you are training for.

When you have completed armoured role training, you will be a Crewman; after that you will learn more about your own reconnaissance vehicle, and can become an Advanced Driver, Signaller or Gunner. The Household Cavalry also offers the opportunity for you to gain further qualifications such as Riding Instructor, Saddler, Tailor or Farrier at the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.

What future prospects and transferable skills will I have?

There are plenty of opportunities for promotion in the Household Cavalry. After two years, if you are good enough and pass your courses, you could become a Lance Corporal. At the four-year point you could become a Lance Corporal of Horse and a Corporal of Horse after eight years. After six years, you might be commanding your own armoured vehicle, beyond that you could become a Squadron Corporal Major looking after the soldiers in your Squadron. Having two regiments gives you two sets of opportunities.

When you come to leave the Army, the skills you have picked up will help you find work with civilian employers. The leadership and management skills of soldiers are highly valued, you are a proven team player and you will have learned how to drive and ride a horse. You will also have the opportunity to be trained in the following specialised roles:

  • Application Specialist (Information technology, communications and data specialist)
  • Paratrooper
  • Commando
  • Sniper
  • Support Trooper (Demolitions)
  • Forward Air Controller (FAC)
  • Close Observation Operator (COTAT) – widely employed on operations in Afghanistan
  • Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) Operators

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