The Army Foundation College in Harrogate in North Yorkshire trains the soldiers of the future. School-leavers aged between 16 and 17 years and five months of age are eligible to attend the AFC which offers young men and women the opportunity to continue learning as they build their military skills and experience more of the Army life they have chosen.

Today saw over 600 of the Junior Soldiers graduate from the Army Foundation College following a year of undergoing military skills training, vocational qualifications and City and Guilds apprenticeships. Following the parade which, other than Trooping of the Colour in London, is the largest in Europe the Junior Soldiers will go on to complete their ‘phase two’ special-to-arm training for their respective regiments or corps before then joining their units to continue with their military careers.

From drawing their weapons out of the armoury first thing in the morning to the final tweaks to their uniforms ensuring that everything is perfect. To a final bit of packing as they head off on leave after the parade. To farewell hugs with strangers who became friends who they now know better than their own family and finally to a proud march onto the Regimental Square…today I went ‘behind the scenes’ with 19 (Kohima) Platoon as they carried out last minute preparations on their kit and uniform ahead of the parade in front of parents and family members and readied themselves for the most important parade and one of the most important miles stones of their career to date…


Trust, Courage and Team Spirit‘ – Motto of AFC Harrogate

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See more of my work on my website and blogs….. HERE

Images remain copyright Ian Forsyth /  Getty Images

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