Rugby officer cadet is ready to serve - The Rugby Observer

Rugby officer cadet is ready to serve

Rugby Editorial 10th Sep, 2016 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

A PROUD Army officer cadet from Rugby is ready to serve his country.

James Billingham joined hundreds of his peers in a prestigious graduation ceremony at Sandhurst – the Army’s world renowned Royal Military Academy.

James now takes charge of a platoon of 30 soldiers in the Royal Artillery, where he will manage their skills, workloads and welfare.

James 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.”

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

With friends and family in the audience, 22-year-old Second Lieutenant Billingham took part in the Sovereign’s Parade in front of Her Majesty’s representatives – a key milestone for every Army Officer which has been run at the end of each term for over 200 years.

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.

After a formal lunch with friends, family and regimental officers, James rounded off his memorable day at the exclusive commissioning ball where, at the stroke of midnight, the new Second Lieutenants proudly displayed their rank insignia for the first time.

Major General Paul Nanson, Commandant Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, said:

“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.

“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.”

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