Chichester cadet graduates at Sandhurst

Tara Michelle Watson, a cadet from Chichester, has graduated from Sandhurst
Tara Michelle Watson, a cadet from Chichester, has graduated from Sandhurst

Chichester cadet Tara Watson has graduated from Sandhurst today.

She joined hundreds of Officer Cadets in a prestigious graduation ceremony at the Army’s Royal Military Academy.

Tara, who will be joining the Royal Artillery, said: “Being part of an elite group of people that have graduated as British Army officers from Sandhurst makes me extremely proud. It’s one of the biggest challenges I have ever undertaken but also one of the most rewarding.

“The training and support I have received has been excellent and I cannot wait to start putting it into practise with the Royal Artillery and to be given the chance to make my contribution on operations, adventure training, and missions overseas.

“I would recommend an officer career to anyone looking for an exciting job away from the mundane nine to five.”

Passing out from Sandhurst marks the completion of 44 weeks of intensive military and academic training, combined with adventurous training and sporting challenges.

By the time Officer Cadets have graduated, they enjoy immediate leadership responsibilities, managing the skills, workloads and welfare of a platoon of 30 soldiers.

With friends and family in the audience, Tara and the other graduating Officer Cadets took part in the Sovereign’s Parade – a key milestone for every Army officer that has been run at the end of each term for more than 200 years.

Life as an Army officer comes with challenge, responsibility and guaranteed progression – preparing soldiers for future life inside and outside of the Army. Officers could find themselves leading highly-trained platoons, taking part in peacekeeping missions or helping to deliver humanitarian aid around the world.

The parade ended in traditional fashion with the Academy Adjutant following the Officer Cadets up the steps and through the grand entrance, mounted on his horse.

Major General Paul Nanson, commandant Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, said: “Congratulations to all our Officer Cadets on their commissions.

“The cadets have come from a wide variety of backgrounds – many have come straight from university, some from sixth form and some from within the Army’s soldier ranks – but they will now all embark on their Army careers with the same outstanding training.

“Sandhurst is not easy, but it provides opportunities to learn much more beyond military skills – it offers unrivalled leadership training, preparation for life outside the Army and guaranteed career progression.

“The Army is always looking for its next generation of leaders to take up the challenge of an officer career and, over the past 44 weeks, the cadets have demonstrated real dedication, determination and professionalism.

“I look forward to seeing each of them realise their full potential as they embark on their careers with the Army.”

After a formal lunch with friends, family and regimental officers, the day will conclude in spectacular and celebratory style at the exclusive commissioning ball. There, at the stroke of midnight, the newly-commissioned Second Lieutenants will proudly displayed their rank insignia for the first time.

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