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Cadet praises Sandhurst fast track
4:29pm Wednesday 28th August 2013 in News
A SALISBURY Army Reserve officer cadet has become one of the first to complete a new eight-week reservist commissioning course at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.
Second Lieutenant Mark Bennett, 18, from East Harnham, passed out from the pilot course recently and has become one of the youngest officers to commission into the British Army.
The pilot course demonstrates the new focus on expanding the Army Reserve, enabling personnel to fast-track their officer training, which would usually be spread over a year or more.
The course enables the students to immerse themselves in the military environment, learning all the basics of military skills and the art of leadership, from weapons handling and drill to command and tactics.
Lt Bennett, a former Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet, said: “I really enjoyed the course; it was my first prolonged period of time in a military environment. We had experiences that we could not have got from our TA units. It was good to progress from the basic training with room inspections to leading platoon attacks – it was challenging and intense.”
Lt Bennett is currently putting what he has learned into practice on the training area in Thetford, Norfolk, where he is a member of the directing staff, preparing fellow reserve officer cadets to attend the Sandhurst course. He will then return to university.
Born in Milton Keynes, Lt Bennett moved to Salisbury 12 years ago when his parents, then serving in the RAF, were posted to Boscombe Down. He is currently attending Canterbury University.
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