Saturday, April 30, 2011

Gone for a soldier


2006
Like all Officer Cadets at Sandhurst, Prince William considered a number of regiments before applying to join The Household Cavalry. He based his decision on the variety of roles which the regiment undertakes, from reconnaissance support to airborne forces, right through to ceremonial duties. The Prince was also attracted by the Regiment’s outstanding record in recent decades, most notably during the Falklands Conflict, the 1991 Gulf War, Bosnia and Kosovo, in Iraq and in Northern Ireland.
2008
Sub-Lieutenant Wales, as he is known in the service, will spend the next three weeks undergoing basic naval training, to learn core skills such as navigation and sea safety. The remaining five weeks will be spent aboard the frigate HMS Iron Duke on duty in the North Atlantic where he will join patrols searching for drug runners in Caribbean waters.
2010
Prince William has successfully completed the final phase of his RAF helicopter flying training and is now a fully-qualified Search and Rescue pilot. Flight Lieutenant Wales recently passed the last stage of the Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) course at Royal Air Force Valley, Wales and will join Number 22 Squadron, C Flight as a fully-operational pilot flying the Sea King Mk3 helicopter after his graduation in mid-September.

2011
Prince William, though a serving search-and-rescue helicopter pilot with the Royal Air Force in Wales, wore the dress uniform of the Irish Guards regiment for his wedding yesterday to Kate Middleton.

The decision apparently caused some surprise within the RAF, but the prince’s role as colonel of the Guards is the highest position that he holds in the British armed forces.
So, let's get this right. Prince William (Eton, St Andrews) goes to RMA Sandhurst and chooses the Household Cavalry; but then he goes to BRNC Dartmouth and trains for the RN; but then he goes to RAF College Cranwell and trains for the RAF. Finally finding a Service that can rely on him, he trains as an SAR pilot. But then, when it comes to marrying his long-term on-and-off girlfriend, he turns up in the uniform of the Irish Guards, a regiment with which he has never served but of which he is a Colonel. One would have thought he would have worn his RAF dress uniform but clearly, this man has commitment issues.

Meanwhile in Afghanistan:
As Prince William gets ready for his wedding, members of his former squadron in the Household Cavalry Regiment have been out on patrol in Afghanistan.

D Squadron has been based in Helmand province since last September, maintaining security in and around the town of Gereshk alongside soldiers from the Afghan National Army (ANA).
James Blount (Harrow, Bristol), on the other hand, served as a Captain in the Life Guards, prevented the outbreak of World War III and went on to lose his O and to sing about being in a club in 1973, the year before he was born.

Billy Bragg (Barking Abbey Secondary School) completed basic training for the Queen's Royal Irish Hussars, there being no Queen's Republican Irish Guards.





1 comment:

Ethan Tucker said...

So, let's get this right. Prince William (Eton, St Andrews) goes to RMA Sandhurst and chooses the Household Cavalry; but then he goes to BRNC Dartmouth and trains for the RN; but then he goes to RAF College Cranwell and trains for the RAF. Finally finding a Service that can rely on him, he trains as an SAR pilot. But then, when it comes to marrying his long-term on-and-off girlfriend, he turns up in the uniform of the Irish Guards, a regiment with which he has never served but of which he is a Colonel. One would have thought he would have worn his RAF dress uniform but clearly, this man has commitment issues.

I think it's traditional for the heir to the throne to spend some time in each of the three services, to gain an appreciation of their operations. Certainly Charles did when he was younger, anyway.