August 13th 2014


Brigadier Hugh Robertson has inspected the next generation of Army Reserves at their Passing Out parade held at Prince William of Gloucester Barracks, Grantham.

Over 60 soldiers marched onto the parade square in front of family and friends having completed their basic training.

The two-week residential course forms the foundations of their military career. It has taught them everything they need to know to fulfil their role within the Army Reserve including military terminology, drill, shooting,  physical fitness, weapon handling, first aid, field craft and map reading.

Brigadier Robertson who is the Assistant Commander Army Recruiting and Training Division enlisted into the TA in 1984. He joined the Royal Corps of Signals and initially serving as a Signalman with 94 (Berkshire Yeomanry) Signal Squadron before commissioning as an Officer in 1988. He inspected the parade and presented a series of awards including Best Recruit and Best Shot.

Addressing the soldiers on parade he said: “It is 30 years virtually to the day that I joined the TA as it was then, and I remember the parade you are on today vividly and that’s after 30-years. You are now at the start of your careers and there are undoubtedly many challenges that lay ahead for you but I am confident that you will approach these with the same dedication and determination you have shown in the last two weeks.”

Brigadier Robertson awarded Private Karl Standing the award for Best Recruit. Karl (39) will join the 3rd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment.  He said: “I joined because I needed a change of life. I felt I could do more. I’ve always been interested in the Army and decided to pursue it. I was a bit surprised to be awarded Best Recruit. I had no idea. I don’t think I did anything special; I was just myself. I set high standards for myself and I am pleased that those standards were recognised.”

He continued: “It was a challenging course at times and we were busy all the time. I enjoyed the field craft training the best, but then being an infantry man that is my area and it’s an area I feel comfortable in.”

Private Connor Boyes, aged 19, was awarded Best Shot. Connor from Sunderland is currently studying for a degree in War Studies at Wolverhampton University. He has joined the HQ Company of the 4th Battalion The Mercian Regiment and plans to join the regular Army when he finishes his studies.Passing out paradePassing out parade

He said: “I was surprised when I was named Best Shot. It was the award that I wanted to win but I really didn’t think I’d get it. The weapons cleaning was the hardest bit, just when you thought you’d finally got it clean the instructors would check it and find you’d missed something. But that’s how you learn and it all comes with experience.”

There to watch Connor on parade were his father WO2 James Boyes and mum Karen. James is a member of the Army Air Corps and is currently attached to 201 Field Hospital in Newcastle. He said: “We knew he had aspirations to join the Army, but we didn’t know he’d applied to join the Reserves until he’d actually done it. It will be good grounding for him and we are very proud of him.”

Brigadier Robertson concluded: “If I could give these soldiers one piece of advice it would be to enjoy every moment and make the most of it. It will be hard at times but also a lot of fun. I’ve had a fantastic Army career and made some great friends; when I look back I realise that some of my best friends are those I have met throughout my Army career.”

The Phase One course is one of 42 different types of courses delivered by 5 Training Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) every year. The instructors have been specially selected and trained for their role. Their main task is to lead recruits through their training and assist then with passing all aspects of the course.

The Reservists will now return to their units to complete their trade training. For further information on Army Reserve Units visit the Army web at