A 17-year-old from Banbury was one of more than 500 junior soldiers to graduate from the Army Foundation College (AFC) in Harrogate.
Tyler Smith took part in Europe’s largest military graduation parade to mark the culmination of a year of hard work and dedication.
Private Smith joined teenagers from all over the country taking part in the parade at Uniacke Barracks on August 14 after completing their training to become junior soldiers for various regiments of the British Army.
He is hoping to join the Grenadier Guards, and spoke about his time at the AFC proudly.
He said: “My training made me work harder than I had ever worked before, both physically and mentally, and that was so rewarding. I now feel capable of things I would never have imagined I could accomplish.”
Nearly 4,000 relatives and friends turned out to watch as the new soldiers passed out in a parade which is the second largest for the British Army. Each soldier rehearses about 20 hours in preparation for the graduation parade.
The soldiers have all completed training which combines military skills with education in key subjects such as numeracy and literacy, as well as adventure training and sports, culminating in a 30-hour patrol across the Yorkshire Dales.
Brigadier Andrew Jackson, director of recruiting and training for the army, said: “These young soldiers can be very proud of their achievements. The training they go through is tough, but undeniably leads to excellent opportunities for personal and career development and allows people’s talents and skills to shine through.
“By the end of their time at AFC Harrogate, our junior soldiers are confident and proficient, and have gained crucial transferable skills.”
The soldiers will now begin the next part of their specialist training, where they will learn how to do their jobs at home and on operations.
For more information visit www.army.mod.uk/join/