Approximately 80 recruits from Cook and Townsend Troops were on parade and they were inspected by Army Sergeant Major, Warrant Officer Class One (WO1) Gavin Paton, who is the most senior member of the other ranks of the British Army. WO1 Paton was appointed as the second Army Sergeant Major in November 2018.
WO1 Paton said, “What you see in front of you is the next generation of soldier, an advanced generation, a generation of warriors, your warriors and our nation’s warriors. The soldiers on parade today have volunteered to serve our country and its people, both home and abroad. The Army’s a tough job for tough people. It will test you, teach you but importantly look after you, you should all be very proud. It really has been a huge honour to be invited here today, I am proud of each and everyone of you. Welcome to the family.”
Leading the recruits on parade were musicians from the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas who offered light entertainment to the family and friends and also bought panache to the occasion.
The course, which all adult recruits undertake when they join the Army, is designed to develop their individual and team skills in a progressive manner, preparing them for their Initial Trade Training, where they will go on to learn the specific skills for their chosen Army trade. Their training reflects the Army Physical Training System and endorses essential mental resilience training.
Typical elements of training the recruits have endured include fieldcraft, skill at arms (weapon handling), combat fitness, qualities of a soldier, military knowledge, battlefield casualty drills and individual health and education.
19-year-old Craftsman Oliver Smith, who is joining the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers to be a vehicle mechanic said, “I am really glad to have completed the soldiering element of training, not everyone has but I have thoroughly enjoyed it. It makes me really proud to be stood here today on the parade square, the experience has taught me that you can achieve so much if you really put your mind to it.”