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My Experience Of Joining The British Army

Ex 'D' company cadet shares experience at Army Foundation College Harrogate - by Max Robinson

My Experience Of Joining The British Army

18 October 2023

  • Humberside And South Yorkshire ACF

I am Max Robinson and I joined AFC Harrogate at 16 years old to be an Infantry soldier in the Royal Yorkshire Regiment. At the age of 15 I started my application to join the army while everyone else applied to collage and sixth form etc, it was a long process with lots of phone calls to recruiters and trips to Edinburgh for my assessment.

After failing twice on medical grounds I passed with an A grade at the assessment centre the third time around, and I am set to start phase one training on March 12th, 2023. The first six weeks of training are commonly known to be the hardest as you go into a new way of life and most people are not used to being told what where and how they can do things. The shock of capture also hits a lot of people hard whilst also homesickness gives many a great issue as you are away from home for a long time.

From being in cadets for 4 years I was already used to being away from home for up to two weeks at a time so doing 6 weeks wasn’t a big thing for me personally. Furthermore, being on many different military bases from weekend camps and regularly seeing serving soldiers showed me what things look like in them places which really made me settle in faster.

After 6 weeks of long days and intensive training, it all pays off when you have your Passing in parade which comes with awards and promotions to junior ranks within your company. However, the main part of the Passing in parade is that at the end you are all released to go see your parents and you go home for a week's leave.

Up to now currently, 32 weeks in I have completed 5 exercises, travelled to France for a realities of war trip, completed my bronze DofE award, helped at the Yorkshire Show and much more from being at AFC Harrogate gaining qualifications and life skills which will last a lifetime.

If you apply yourself properly at cadets and want to learn then cadets helps a lot in the start as you already know a lot of the basics, so it doesn’t feel like you are getting hundreds of new things thrown at you at once and you can concentrate on learning new stuff you didn’t know and improving the things you already did.

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