Jonathan inspects the troops at ATC Pirbright

Jonathan performed the role of Inspecting Officer for Caen Squadron’s Pass Off Parade on Friday, 21 June 2019 at the Pirbright Army Training Centre. 


The Pass off Parade marked for 62 male recruits the culmination of 14 weeks intensive training and was, quite rightly, a hugely proud moment for the recruits, their families and the permanent staff who have guided them through the process. 


As part of his role as Inspecting Officer, Jonathan addressed the troops, offering them words of congratulations and inspiration for the next stage of their careers in the British Army. A portion of his speech can be found below:


Graduation ceremonies such as this are an obvious moment of celebration but also of reflection. More often than not, real achievement in life only comes off the back of real hard work and commitment. So please take pride in how far you have come since you started your training. But also have faith in how far you will go. Armed with the skills and knowledge you’ve attained, I can tell you are eager to tackle the next phase, whatever and wherever that might be for each of you.


I’m not going to tell you that it is going to be easy. Because it won’t. But the most rewarding things in life are rarely easily accomplished. As you embark on the next chapter of your military careers, I bid you to be open to new challenges that will present themselves to you, but also to know that along the way you will make mistakes. But that is just part of the journey. An essential part of the journey.


Winston Churchill once said that ‘’success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.’’


With those words in mind, take the opportunity today to think why you have succeeded. Learn from both your failures and your successes of the past 14 weeks. It is the most important thing that you can do, and it will help you along the path of achievement in life.


Let me leave you with one final thought. If it excites you a lot but scares you a little. You should probably do it. So be bold, be brave, and be open to the incredible opportunities that are now open in front of you. How hard you try, how far you push yourself, how high you’re willing to reach, will define how far you can go in life. With perseverance, resilience and teamwork you can all succeed.

Gentleman we need you. The world needs you. So be the best versions of yourselves that you can be and go make us all proud. To those in the audience who are here to honour these fine young men, please stand and join me in saluting Caen Squadron. Congratulations.