Dame Kelly Holmes Appointed Honorary Colonel By British Army

The double Olympic champion served with the British Army for 10 years before becoming an elite athlete.

Dame Kelly Holmes has been made Honorary Colonel of the Royal Armoured Corps Training Regiment (RACTR).

The double Olympic champion was given the honour during a parade involving 250 RACTR recruits at the Regiment’s home in Bovington, Dorset.

Her Majesty the Queen granted approval earlier this year for Dame Kelly Holmes, who served with the British Army for a decade before becoming an elite athlete, to receive the honorary appointment.

"Having had a military career nearly 10 years I'm very proud of that career," said the newly-appointed Honorary Colonel.

"To be given the role of Honorary Colonel for a regular unit, it's the first time that's ever happened.

"It's been signed off by the Queen, it's changed Army policy and it's me - so I'm very proud.

"I hope through this role that I... can be an inspiration to recruits."

During the day, Dame Kelly was also treated to a ride on a Challenger 2 tank.

The parade was also attended by the Defence Secretary, who praised Dame Kelly Holmes as an "inspiring individual".

Gavin Williamson added: 

"It's a brilliant recognition of an amazing woman."

Her first appointment as Honorary Colonel will be on 11 November.