AFTER completing a rigorous recruitment process the next batch of soldiers celebrated the next step in their army careers.

Nine hand-picked youngsters from across Cumbria assembled in Carlisle to swear allegiance to Queen and Country and fulfill the last step before their basic training will begin in earnest.

A total of 11 recruits will start their training on March 8, which will see them learn the skills needed to become a soldier.

Once their basic training is complete, they will then take part in specialist training which will help them perfect their specific job, such as cyber engineer or tank crewman.

Joshua Hoggarth, 16, of Distington, will train to become a gunner crewman.

“I was looking at the different roles and I wanted to do something infantry based and I saw that,” he explained.

“I want to join the 29th Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, it is a good regiment to join.

“I asked someone to explain it and I was told part of it is about parachuting and I like the idea of that.”

“I want to see how far I can go through my career.”

Supporting him at the service at the Civic Centre was his dad.

“My dad was down, he was proud of me. He is worried for me to go away, worried about me being far away.

“But they [Joshua’s family] have been supporting me, they think I will be suited to the job.”

Mr Hoggarth said he decided to join the army after first trying his hand at a different profession.

“I did plumbing at college but I didn’t really enjoy it, it wasn’t something I saw myself doing as a career.

“I love physical activity and doing sports. I love the idea of travelling as well.

“I am always doing physical activities and learning as well. I will get to do a wide range of sports.”

Paul Imrie army recruiter for Cumbria, who has been responsible for choosing and testing this latest batch of recruits, said: “They have now come to the end of the recruitment process, after being in the process for between 12 and 15 months.

“Only one in eight who apply will make it this far.

“We’ve done medicals, looked at GCSEs, done aptitude tests.

“What the day is all about is families come in have a chat with recruiters, who answer any last minute questions before they join.”

The former Warrant Officer Class 2 said 25 per cent of recruits on average don’t progress through basic training, and this can be down to various factors such as personal choice or injury.

The full list of recruits at the ceremony were:

  • Justin Weir, 16 - Royal Engineers - Military Engineer Tradesman - Borrowdale;
  • Caleb Parr, 16 - Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers - Vehicle Mechanic - Whitehaven;
  • Harvey Wear, 16 - Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers - Vehicle Mechanic - Greystoke;
  • Louis Bell, 16 - Royal Signals - Cyber Engineer - Workington;
  • Alex Cox, 16 - Royal Artillery - Gunner Crewman - Burgh by Sands;
  • Nathan Kirkpatrick, 17 - Royal Logistic Corps - Driver - Carlisle;
  • Bradley Foster, 16 - Royal Armoured Corps - Tank Crewman - Carlisle;
  • Joshua Hoggarth, 16 - Royal Artillery - Gunner Crewman - Distington;
  • Kieron Bell, 16 - Household Cavalry Regiment - Crewman/Mounted Duty - Carlisle.