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WHAT HAPPENS AT OFFICER TRAINING

British Army officers are regarded as some of the best leaders in the world.  It's their job to motivate and inspire the troops under their command, getting the best out of them no matter how exhausting or potentially dangerous the task.  They also need to be comfortable making tough and high pressure decisions.

Officer Cadets develop these skills at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.  The 44 week Commissioning Course has 80 per cent pass rate but, as Officer Cadet Sian Mayer recently found out, there are plenty of high points too. "It's amazing how fast your fitness improves.  You think you'll never be able to go eight miles carrying a 20kg load, but by the end you're doing much more and not even thinking about it." She went on to say, "I have made life time friends - everyone relies on each other and that brings you all together."

The Commissioning Course Explained....

The year at Sandhurst is divided into three terms: Junior, Intermediate and Senior.

Term 1

The first five weeks are spent mastering basic military skills. Halfway through the term Officer Cadets complete an exercise which involves a 70km mountain trek that tests their navigation skills as well as their ability to think clearly in difficult conditions.  They then learn about infantry tactics before going on a period of leave that includes a week-long course at an adventurous training centre.

Term 2

During this term Officer Cadets learn more about being a leader. Much of their training is delivered through Infantry Tactics, and they take part in several field exercises.  The also start the process of deciding which unit they would like to join.  Part of the term is spent planning the adventurous training expedition they tackle during the period of leave before the third term.

Training Expedition

The Expedition is an opportunity for officer cadets to relax in a very different environment, but it also has a part to play in officer development.  Sports like rock climbing and sailing gives officer cadets a physical challenge as well as testing their capacity to make decisions and take controlled risk in stressful environments.

Term 3

Officer Cadets have finished the process of deciding which cap badge they would like to join.  The focus of the exercises now moves towards complex tasks such as peacekeeping and counter-insurgency.  The final exercise draws together all their experiences.  The course ends with the Sovereign's Parade when they will be commissioned as a British Army Officer. 

 

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"EVERYONE RELIES ON EACH OTHER AND THAT BRINGS YOU ALL TOGETHER"

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