The married couple during the handover ceremony (Picture: Alamy)
Army

Husband hands over command of Army regiment – to his wife

Lieutenant Colonel Lyndsey Kelly is the first female officer to command the regiment after the swap and will oversee 165 staff.

The married couple during the handover ceremony (Picture: Alamy)

Lieutenant Colonel Lyndsey Kelly has assumed command of No.1 Army Training Regiment (1ATR) – from husband of eight years Lieutenant Colonel Shamus Kelly.

The Commanding Officer role, at the Army Training Centre in Pirbright, overseeing a regiment tasked with transforming civilians into British Army soldiers, was handed from husband to wife during a ceremony at the centre, near Aldershot, on Friday.

Lt Col Lyndsey is the first female officer to command the regiment and will oversee 165 staff.

Lt Col Lyndsey said: "I have been in the training environment before and I enjoyed it so much which is the reason it was my preference to come back here.

"I love to be able to shape and influence the recruits, our next generation of our Army, but I also love working with such motivated people."

Lt Col Shamus said: "The advice I would give Lyndsey is the advice everyone gave me before I took command – you have got two-and-a-half years to invest in our people – it's look after our people and very much enjoy the moment.

"When you have recruits in, they are vulnerable adults, they are very impressionable, so it's a lot of responsibility to make sure you safeguard and look after them."

Parents to two children, the couple will now work just a short walk away from one another, as Lt Col Shamus remains in Command of the HQ Regiment within Pirbright.

Lieutenant colonels Shamus and Lyndsey Kelly on their wedding day in 2013.

Both joined the Army in 2001, then met in 2010 and married in 2013.

1ATR takes on up to 500 recruits at one time, putting them through a 14-week Basic Training programme to prepare them for service as Regulars and Reserves.

Running alongside 2ATR, the regiment has four sub-units affiliated to different Army Corps: 59 (Asten) Battery – Royal Artillery; 96 (Duke of Gloucester) Squadron – Royal Logistics Corps; Jackson Company – Adjutant General's Corps and Chavasse Company – Royal Army Medical Corps.

A "particularly proud" Lt Col Lyndsey said: "What I would like to think is when a male or female recruit starts on day one they see there is no differences, male or female, it's completely normal and that's what they should expect to find throughout their career.

"I am particularly keen on making sure this environment is a healthy one and reflective of the wider Army and wider society."