A teenager from Leeds is one of the first Army recruits to take part in a new, shorter training course being held at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.
Junior Soldier Liam Walker, 17, from Armley, is one of 240 new recruits at the Army’s flagship training establishment for 16-year-olds in Penny Pot Lane.
The six-month course will run alongside the year-long course that the college has offered since its formation in 1998.
The new course will deliver basic training to the Junior Soldiers before they leave to follow their longer and more specialist technical training.
The mixture of military training, education and sports will see the 16 and 17-year-olds spend two terms at the college, which trains around 1,600 soldiers each year for the Army’s many career pathways.
The former pupil at Swallow Hill Community College in Whingate Road, Armley, will do military training, personal and team development, physical training and military studies.
He will also have the opportunity to gain non-vocational qualifications in English, Maths and ICT, as well as driver theory training.
When I started here I felt a bit nervous, but excited about the training. I didn’t think there would be this much kit. I’m not too bad at ironing, but I’m sure I won’t be up to their standards here. I want to join the Royal Engineers and am hoping to move up the ranks. I’m looking forward to my first combat training.”
This is a very exciting time for the Army Foundation College as, for the first time in five years, all Junior Entry Soldiers will come to Harrogate for their initial training. We’re delighted to welcome Junior Soldiers from the technical trades, who will complete a six-month basic training course, alongside their non-technical counterparts, who will continue to spend a year at the college. Those on the short course will go on to considerably longer Phase Two training courses, so the majority will have reached their 18th birthday before joining their regiments. Our 16- and 17-year-old recruits will, undoubtedly, benefit from training in one location. It will allow us to draw on a wealth of experience and expertise to tailor both military and educational programmes to meet the ever-evolving needs of the Field Army and the Junior Soldier.”