India’s Chief of Army Staff, General Manoj Pande PVSM. AVSM, VSM, ADC today had the honour of representing His Majesty King Charles III as the Inspecting Officer for the 201st Sovereign’s Parade held at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.
185 Officer Cadets, of Commissioning Course Number 223, passed out from the Academy at the parade.
But the Officer Cadets will need to wait a few hours more, until the stroke of midnight, to officially take up their King’s Commission which will be celebrated with friends and family at the Commissioning Ball.
As well as those passing out into the British Army, there were 43 international cadets from 28 countries from as far afield as Ethiopia to Papua New Guinea. They will return to their nations’ militaries, taking with them the best leadership training available to serve as commissioned officers.
General Pande, escorted by the Royal Military Academy’s Commandant, Major General Zac Stenning, inspected the ranks of the Senior Division on parade.
The senior Indian Army officer stopped periodically to review the impeccable turn out and chat with the cadets, who have completed the 44-week long commissioning course, standing to attention before him.
Referring to today’s ever advancing defence technologies, the General said in his address to the parade and audience:
“The advancements in cyber, space, the information domains and progression in the capabilities of the instruments of war are making the present day battle-space more complex and lethal.
“Despite the emergence of these technologies on the battlefield, the significance of the man or woman behind the gun remains undiminished. It is the unyielding resolve, courage and valour of soldiers that determines victory.
“As you march up the steps of Old College be cognisant of the fact that you follow in the path taken by generations of distinguished British officers, you will do well to follow their example in the virtues standards and values that they stood for.”
General Pande’s final duty as the Sovereign’s Representative was to present the awards for the top performing cadets on the course:
- Sword of Honour: Senior Under Officer WJ Clark: who commissions into the Royal Gurkha Rifles. Considered by the Commandant to be the best cadet in the Intake.
- The Queen’s Medal: Officer Cadet Grimbaldeston-Cherry: who commissions into the Royal Signals. Top military, academic and practical scores in the Intake.
- International Sword: Officer Cadet Daniel Chintu, Zambia. Considered by the Commandant to be the best International Cadet in this Intake.
- The International Award: Officer Cadet Paul Milbers, Germany. The top international cadet in military, academic and practical scores.
The parade closed in the time honoured fashion with the Sword of Honour winner, Officer Cadet W Clark, being the last to march into Old College closely followed by the Academy Adjutant, Major Andrew Dunlop, riding up the steps and in through the doors on his mount, Sovereign Shadow.