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Best Recruit

The Best Recruit award is judged by the platoon’s training team. It goes to the trainee who has put in the best overall performance during the course.

The award winner will have displayed an aptitude for being an infantryman: he'll be fit, tough and resilient. He'll be a strong character who comes to the forefront when the training becomes harder. He will have understood and begun to embody the values and standards of the British Army and he will have leadership potential.



Rifleman Jason Baxter, 19, from Stenhousemuir has won his platoon’s Best Recruit award. His platoon commander, Lieutenant Tom Jamison, said: “Rifleman Baxter has excelled in the military aspects of the course, but his attitude to training has set him apart from his peers, he never faltered. This is a coveted award and it has gone to a worthy winner." Rifleman Baxter received his award at the pass out parade ceremony at the Infantry Training Centre on 4 November.

Rifleman Baxter said: “I joined the army as soon after my eighteenth birthday as I could. Although I did think about joining earlier, I wasn’t mature enough. The course at Catterick was exactly what I expected, it’s tough in parts and it has its ups and downs but the training team is there to make sure you get through it. They’re helpful and really patient. I never thought of myself as the best recruit, I just tried to put my best effort in all the time. My parents are really happy for me, but I did have to explain what the award meant.”

Rifleman Baxter will complete a two weeks’ driver training course before taking some well-earned leave and joining his new unit the 5th Battalion The Rifles in Bulford.



Fusilier Scott Kane, 19, from Conwy, has won his platoon’s Best Recruit award. His platoon commander, Captain Alex Postles, said: “Fusilier Kane was an impressive, enthusiastic and committed recruit who always had a smile on his face, even during the toughest aspects of training. I am sure he will do well in his battalion; he has a promising career ahead of him.” Fusilier Kane received his award at the pass out parade on 4 November.

Fusilier Kane said: “I have always wanted to be a soldier, even after two years at college doing the uniformed public services course, where I looked at the other services, I still wanted to be a soldier. Going back to after World War Two, some of my family were conscripted and they stayed on as professional soldiers, so I think it is in my blood. The training at Catterick is demanding, but the good thing is that what you learn in classrooms you quickly put into practice in the field. The training team are all experienced soldiers so for them to give me this award means a lot. I will be a bit sad to leave behind some of the friends I have made here.”

Fusilier Kane will take some well-earned leave before joining his new unit the 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh in Tidworth.



Highlander Craig Gibson, 21, from North Ayrshire, has won his platoon’s Best Recruit award. His platoon commander, Lieutenant Dan Morgan, said: “Highlander Gibson’s performance on the course has been impressive. He has been outstanding in every area of his training, he is a definite NCO of the future.” Highlander Gibson received his award at the pass out parade on 19 August.

Highlander Gibson said: “I wish I had joined earlier, but it didn’t happen and I ended up in a factory. I did that for a while until the routine of it finally got to me. The army life appeals to me, keeping yourself fit, travelling around the world, and there is excitement involved, of course. Right from the start, I enjoyed the course at Catterick. There are obviously highs and lows over the six months, but you keep working hard, pushing ahead, and being part of a team is great. Being told I had won this award was a bit of a shock, to be honest, but it is good to know the training team think I am good at my profession.”

After two weeks’ driver training and some well-earned leave Highlander Gibson will join his new unit the 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland also based in Catterick.




Kingsman Connor Marshall, 20, from Burscough,  has won his platoon’s Best Recruit award. His platoon commander, Lieutenant Charlie Holder-Williams, said: “Kingsman Marshall has been the strongest recruit since day one of the course, a fine example for his fellow recruits.” Kingsman Marshall received his award at the pass out parade on 19 August.

Kingsman Marshall said: “My grandfather was in the army for 28 years and he was my idol, he was a big influence in me joining. I thought the course at Catterick was belting, every day is different and you are always learning something new. Our training team were great and I have made some good friends here. I kept my head down and worked hard, so I am chuffed I have won this award.”

After some well-earned leave Kingsman Marshall will join his new unit the 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment based in Cyprus.



Rifleman Michael Scullion, 29, from London, has won his platoon’s Best Recruit award. His platoon commander, Lieutenant Simon Reed, said: “While Rifleman Scullion did have some prior military experience, his performance was exceptional. He has displayed the utmost professionalism over the last six months and has already shown he has leadership potential.” Rifleman Scullion received his award at the pass out parade on 19 August.

Rifleman Scullion said: “I was in the Royal Engineers for a year, although I really wanted to be an infantryman. It took me a while to get to the Infantry Training Centre, but I am definitely where I want to be now. During the second part of the training at Catterick I was in my element, learning about new weapon systems and fieldcraft. I have put a lot of effort into what is now my profession, and what I hope will be my long-term career. My training team were operationally experienced soldiers, so to get this award from them is a great honour.”

After some well-earned leave Rifleman Scullion will join his new unit the 4th Battalion The Rifles based in Aldershot.