New Recruits Pass Out At Army Training Regiment Winchester

The 89 new recruits had to complete nine weeks of training online because of the coronavirus pandemic.

A passing out parade for the British Army’s newest recruits has taken place at Army Training Regiment Winchester.

Troops from Anzio company had to endure a slightly longer period of basic training due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, family and friends were not able to celebrate with the 89 troops passing out.

"It was quite different, to be honest," recruit Mekaa George said.

"This is obviously a massive achievement. I've wanted to do it for so long and now you're actually... you're here, on the square, passing off. "

The troops from Anzio Company have had time to adjust to things working differently than usual.

As they joined the Army during the pandemic, nine weeks of training was delivered online.

"It was quite bizarre at first, because we were here for four-and-a-bit weeks before we got sent home," recruit James Golding said.

"Our section manager was brilliant," he added.

The 89 troops who made it through the extended 14-week period were inspected by the area's MP.

MP inspects new recruits passing out at Army Training Regiment Winchester 030720 CREDIT BFBS.jpg
The recruits were inspected by local Tory MP, Steve Brine.

Conservative MP for Winchester and Chandler's Ford, Steve Brine, thinks the Prime Minister might be keen to hear how the Army has adapted during the lockdown.

"I was particularly interested in them being tracked on Strava during lockdown, and I think that is something I need to pass on to Number 10," Mr Brine said.

While online apps and video-calling have offered solutions during the lockdown, some trainers believe nothing replaced the in-person experience.

"When they start basic training, that is the best time for them to actually bond together as a team, know how to work with different people and adapt their own styles and personalities to those around them," Corporal Anne-Marie Magaharan said.

"Ultimately, you need to be face-to-face."

The recruits will now go on to their respective Trade Training Schools.