The only thing uniform about the armed forces, is the uniform!


On the 8th August, Rocking Ur Teens was delighted to attend The Commandant’s Parade at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. This was a first for us.

We learned that for over 200 years Sandhurst has evolved to meet the changing requirements of the British Army and since 1992 all those commissioned into the regular Army, male and female, graduate and non-graduate, have undergone one regular commissioning course. So now, everyone who holds the Queens Commission is trained at Sandhurst!

The training has 3 key objectives to develop:

  1. Courage – To develop courage, physically and mentally, so that officers are equipped to take the challenges that the profession of arms will present.
  2. Character – To develop the leadership characteristics and qualities required of an Officer and an understanding of the core values of the army.
  3. Professional Competence – To achieve professional competence in basic military skills and tactics and the application of command tools.

The parade itself was fun, uplifting and very creative. It must have taken many hours to perfect the complex and int ricate marching. The accompanying orchestra were on point too, with a combination of traditional and modern music

After the parade we had a delicious lunch and were invited into a presentation on Diversity and Inclusion within the Forces, which was enlightening.

We were first invited to challenge our assumptions, about what we thought about the three women at the front of the room, which was a great icebreaker and helped us realise our own biases.

I quote Kate, Surgeon Commander in the Royal Navy, who said ‘the only thing uniform about the armed forces, is the uniform’ and this rang true throughout the presentation.

Examples of inclusion and diversity, such as a husband and wife job sharing, people with disabilities being recruited for their skills in the cyber world, every role in the army being open to women except that of Catholic priest and even opportunities to have a year out to pursue other interests, highlighted how little we knew about the forces.

But what really brought it to life were the people we met, all human beings just like us.

Hannah, Royal Air Force Officer who had a corporate career at Mars before joining the forces

Audrienne, Army Soldier who was a cadet and then joined the army at 17

Hannah, British Army Officer and Transgender Representative

And many more.

Rocking Ur Teens will be doing more in the coming months to bring careers in the forces to light for the young people and the teachers and parents who influence their decisions. There are over 500 career options and roles within the armed forces. The armed forces is much more than ‘fighting’ roles, and involves extensive worldwide humanitarian and crisis relief work too.

The more teens know the better choices they can make about their futures.

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