CONGRATULATIONS to Old Elean, Harry Joel, who has completed his commissioning course at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and is now a Second Lieutenant in the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment (PWRR).

We had a quick catch up with Harry (aka 2Lt Joel!) after hearing his news:

Harry, when did you join King’s Ely and in which year did you leave?

“I joined King’s as a Chorister in 2007 and I stayed to the end of Sixth Form in 2017.”

What are your fondest memories of school, and what subjects or activities were you involved in during your time at King’s?

“Nearly all of my memories of King’s are fond ones but I always smile when I drive past School House and remember the collective spirit of the House! I took every opportunity I could with Ely Scheme and learnt so many skills which have certainly come in useful in my new career. Music was a big part of my time at King’s too, with groups like Jazz Band and the King’s Barbers. I studied Philosophy, Geography and Psychology at A Level, all of which I still find myself recalling information from my lessons at King’s.”

What is the official title of the qualification you have just achieved?

“I’ve just completed the regular commissioning course at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, so I now am a Second Lieutenant in the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment (PWRR).”

How did you find Sandhurst? Would you recommend it to others? What are the challenges?

“I loved Sandhurst – it’s a very special place. The course itself is good fun, hard moments of course, but those challenges will push every individual and allow them to grow and develop, no matter what level they started at. It’s a brilliant opportunity and people should look into it, there is honestly a job role for everyone in the Army! There’s something for everyone and perks you won’t get in other jobs whilst doing something you can really be proud of. Everyone has individual moments or aspects they struggle with, whether it be the academics, the physical or the conceptual understanding of what we do but the course is progressive and you leave with a good ability. Looking back, the bits I really remember are the moments shared as a platoon either in a social context or after overcoming some form of challenge.”

How do you think King’s Ely helped prepare you for life after school?

“Life after school, especially for those leaving and not attending University straight away, can be quite a challenging year. Although everyone dreads hearing another ‘gap yah dit’ from someone about their time back-packing across South East Asia, that time can actually be quite challenging for people straight out of school as they are having to make big decisions about their future. The thing I think King’s does really well is provide you with a support network and social group that the majority of people who attend seem to stay connected to. Kings, like the Army, seems to forge quality friendships which remain over time as you always see that friends from King’s remain friends long after they’ve left. The staff are really diligent at getting students ready for University by helping them with their UCAS and have also been ready to help me several years after leaving. They’re good people to call upon as the staff at King’s are real subject matter experts on what they’re teaching! I was in a bit of a unique position as I decided from an early age that I was going to join the Army and, whilst enjoying an awesome career, I could pick up a degree with the Army’s higher education programme, so I was independent in working out my plan for after school.”

What are your plans next?

“I’ve just started the Platoon Commander’s Battle Course at the Infantry Battle School in Brecon. After completing this, it’s straight out to join the Battalion in Cyprus and then who knows where my career will take me. There are certainly some things I would like to achieve in my career and roles I would like to have a crack at but it’s still early doors. I’m just looking forward to getting stuck into it and seeing where it takes me!”

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