Soldiers from the Rifles have been celebrating taking their first step up the ranks, with around 70 passing their junior NCO course.

They have marked the achievement with a passing out parade at Dreghorn Barracks in Edinburgh.

After weeks of hard work, there’s no doubt that it was a day to remember for the soldiers, as RFN Liam Banning told us:

“It’s been a long and tiring six weeks. It’s been a mental battle, and I think we’ve done well to prove that we’re ready to be NCOs”.

Rifles Passing Out Parade

Their next step on the career ladder will be to progress to Lance Corporal- although getting this far hasn’t been easy for the troops.

Of around 120 who began the course back in October, only 70 have completed it, earning the all-important Lance Corporal stripe, and according to RFM Matt Laurie it was a make or break moment in his career:

“It was getting to that point in my career where it was either sign off or get promoted- so I thought I’d give it a bash, and I passed, so hopefully I’ll carry on going up the ranks!”

Rifles Passing Out Parade

And of course it was a proud day for the troops’ families, with dozens braving the biting Edinburgh cold to share in their loved ones’ special day.

Patrick Hopkins spoke of the pride he felt on watching his son pass out:  

“I’m so proud, considering some of the things he said on his weekend off, it must have been very tough.".

Now, the Riflemen can look ahead to the future- and perhaps climb even further up the ranks.

Rifles Passing Out Parade