Junior soldier wins top prize

Best Junior Soldier: Jordan McCarthy, from Ripon.
Best Junior Soldier: Jordan McCarthy, from Ripon.
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A junior soldier from Ripon received a top prize when he graduated from the prestigious Army Foundation College in Harrogate.

Jordan McCarthy, 16, was awarded the prize as the Best Junior Soldier from the Royal Engineers.

Jordan joined the Army Foundation College in September last year for the first of the newly designed courses combining vocational education and military training.

On the course, he had the opportunity to gain Non-Vocational Qualifications in English, Maths and ICT as well as driver theory training.

“The best part of being here was making a new set of friends and knowing they’ll be friends for life,” said Jordan, a former pupil of Outwood Academy.

“The course as a whole has given me a wider sense of leadership – I had to lead a fire team on fire and manoeuvre and that was really challenging.”

The 23-week course delivers basic training to junior soldiers before they leave to follow their longer and more specialist technical training. Over two terms at the college in North Yorkshire, which trains soldiers for the Army’s range of careers, 16-17 year olds are given a mixture of military training, education and sport.

“The prize awarded to Jordan is the culmination of 12 months of hard work and dedication,” said Lt Col Oz Lane, the college’s Commanding Officer.

“He can be rightly proud of his achievements at the college and the staff and I wish him well as he goes forward to the second phase of his training which he hopes will be with the Royal Engineers.”

The General Officer Commanding 3 UK Division, Major General James Cowan CBE DSO, inspected the 450-strong parade and presented Jordan with his award.

“When I told my mum she was dead pleased,” said Jordan. “I feel very proud and surprised about winning the prize but overall just very proud.”

For more information about the Army Foundation College go to www.army.mod.uk/training_education/24420.aspx.