April 2017
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August 2017 Newsletter

The Summer Term has ended with the commissioning of Course 163 and recess is upon us. The Sovereign’s Representative was King Abdullah II of Jordan, himself a Sandhurst alumnus, who delivered a heartfelt and concise address, which is reproduced below. Accompanied by Queen Rania, the King took lunch with parents and cadets after the parade.

During the first week of recess, the Intermediate Term cadets headed off on their Adventurous Training Expeditions. Every participant receives a grant from the Sandhurst Trust and, since August 2015, we have supported 1,065 cadets. During the Summer Term, the Trust provided grants of £19,889 in support of activities at Sandhurst.

The parade took place in torrential rain which did not let up at any time during the event. At one point the Adjutant’s horse spooked at the sight of the parade square apparently moving as a river of water cascaded in front of him. The Trust hosted 165 individual attendees at the parade, 90 on various guided tours and another 98 alumni on reunions. A number of guests commented on how well the cadets performed in the most miserable of conditions.

That evening, just before the Commissioning Dinner, 32 International Cadets received the Sandhurst Medal from the Commandant. Instituted in December 2016 and provided by The Sandhurst Trust, the medal is awarded to all International cadets who have successfully completed the course. Also present were Mr Richard Anderson, a Trustee of our charity, who was responsible for the design of the medal and Mr Matthew Holland from Bigbury Mint who produced the award and the Director. In order to give the No1 Dress Uniforms worn by the cadets on the parade earlier that day time to dry the very pragmatic decision was made to allow the cadets to attend their Commissioning Dinner in Barrack Dress – almost certainly a first.

King Abdullah II of Jordan was the Sovereign’s Representative at the Commissioning of CC163. In a witty and very personal address The King reminisced on his time as a RMAS cadet, offered wise words to those who were commissioning and, as a father with a son on parade, offered heartfelt thanks to the parents, family and friends of the cadets. Besides Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan royal Princes from Luxembourg and Liechtenstein also commissioned.

The Queen’s Medal was awarded to OCdt A G R Toomey who commissioned into The Royal Regiment of Scotland, the Overseas Sword to OCdt Ahmed Al Mazrooei from the UAE and the Sword of Honour to SUO T A Walpole who commissioned into The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.

The music was provided by the Band of the Corps of Royal Engineers, supported by pipes and drums from the Royal Jordanian Armed Forces. The parade was the last for the Academy Adjutant Maj Pete Middlemiss who returns to The Scots Guards. It was also the last parade for Fran Bullock who heads off to the Intermediate Command and Staff Course on promotion to Major. She was the Junior Officer Trustee of the charity and we thank her for all her hard work and advice from the coal face and wish her all the best at the College of Knowledge.

Speech by King Abdullah II of Jordan
In the name of god the merciful, the compassionate. Commandant, Officer Cadets, staff of the Royal Military Academy, distinguished guests. I am honoured to represent Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second on this special occasion. And it’s not the first time I have had the privilege to attend the Sovereign’s Parade. Many years ago I was a cadet standing where you are now. The memories of that day have stayed with me making it a distinct pleasure to address today’s cadets and academy staff, their families and friends and the distinguished guests who join us.

My first hand experience also allows me have a fair idea of what is occupying the minds of those present.  The Commandant and his staff are thinking, well its been a great day so far, they’re hoping that my speech doesn’t rain on the parade. The gradating cadets are thinking hurry it up along, Sir, they want to get up those steps. The parents are thinking no, no don’t rush the tributes to our sons and daughters. Nothing could be a prouder moment for the families and friends of these fine cadets, and I should know my son Hussein is one of them.  And the instructors, well having learnt from and endured under some splendid colour sergeants I know how much blood, sweat and tears go into achieving the standards required.  You can see the fruits of your labours today. These cadets and their instructors have displayed outstanding precision and panache. Sandhurst at its best.  The Senior Division, you were immaculate. What the rest of us must not forget is what lies behind this impressive performance. That is the iron self discipline and mutual support on which great soldiering depends. Nowhere is this taught more effectively than here at the RMA, because as Sandhurst’s motto recognises one cannot lead unless one serves. In other words working with and supporting the success of others.  You young officers have chosen a noble career of service. Wherever you go and whatever challenges you face you will stand as exemplars of duty, honour and resolve. 

So let me say a few words directly to you as fellow officers. You and your soldiers will have unprecedented resources to hand.  Over the course of your careers technology will advance relentlessly.  But remember this first, nothing, nothing will substitute for the quality of your command.  In the years ahead your soldiers will look to you for guidance and inspiration.  They’ll want to know that you care for them and their families.  They will model their behaviour on your integrity, they will get their courage from your steadfastness. And these attributes are not reserved for the military but are equally applicable in public service and business. These are huge and at times daunting responsibilities.  You must strive to be the best, and understand you will not be alone. Your friends in your platoon and companies will be lifelong because you have learnt that working for each other is the way to succeed. Some of your most important friendships forged in the mud and rain of Brecon will be those with cadets from different countries, different cultures and religions. Indeed, the enduring bonds that began here can help all of you lead the global understanding that a secure and peaceful future requires.

The second guiding thought is this. However far your careers take you, always remember where you started.  This past year has given you memories you will not forget. The often horrible weather or the times you felt like throwing in the towel. And I know you will always remember the first time you were called Sir even though we quickly learnt what Regimental Sergeant Majors really mean. “I will call you sir and you will call me sir. The difference is you mean it and I don’t”.  But it’s just as important to remember the many who helped when things were toughest.  Friends and family who cheered you on from the day you arrived here with your ironing boards. On behalf of her Majesty the Queen I thank them most sincerely. And I know how importation they will be to you as you go out into this hugely exciting, challenging and at time dangerous career.

Third and last.  Always act in a way you can be proud of.  Not every day will be a good one, you will not win every battle but however many times you get dumped down in life you can, and must, get up again. In this profession of arms you are now where the buck stops.  You are graduating because people believed in you. You must now believe in yourself and rise to the challenges ahead. However difficult, do what is right. Be confident in what your instructors have taught you.  Take strength from your family and faith, and above all my fellow officers never stop serving to lead. – Oh and never stop bulling your shoes.  It’s a small humble task but small things are the beginning of everything.  The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. Congratulations to you all and may you always be successful, happy and safe.

The Junior term cadets headed off on Adventurous Training (AT) courses while the Intermediates took part in AT Expeditions. Not only does this put their qualifications into practice but also gives them practical experience in organising an exped and gathering the necessary clearance and financial support. Since August 2015, the Sandhurst Trust had given grants to 1065 cadets with each receiving a minimum of £50. This Summer there were 23 expeds to 9 countries including Iceland and the USA.

The RMAS Women’s rugby team took on the AGC in the last week of term. The full-strength opposition boasted several International and Army-level players whereas several of the Sandhurst team had been only playing for three months. The final score was 25-17 to the AGC but there is no doubt that, had the game continued for another 20 minutes, the superior fitness of the Academy team would have changed the course of the match. Despite the wet conditions (the match was held on the same day as the Commandant’s Parade) there were many spectators, including the General. The strip was partly funded by The Trust in the same way we funded the men’s strip earlier in the year.


The member section of the Sandhurst Trust website contains a number of articles and journals relating to both Leadership and International Affairs. The Trust is able to reproduce articles from the International Institute of Strategic Studies and the following have been added this month:
Iran under Rouhani.
The Secret of North Korea’s ICBM Success.
The Trump Administration & The Russian Probes.
The Unwinding of South Africa’s Foreign Policy.
Centre For Army Leadership – Leadership Insight 3.
Our regular Famous Friday post on our Facebook page is proving very popular. This gives information on Sandhurst graduates who have gone on to make their mark outside the Army. We have recently featured:
Robert Runcie (1942 Scots Guards) Archbishop of Canterbury.
Richard Todd (1941 King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) Hollywood Actor.
Tony Rolt (1939 Rifle Brigade) Le Mans 24 hour race winner.
Patrick Lichfield (1959 Grenadier Guards) Society Photographer.
Any suggestions for future features will be gratefully received. Visit our Facebook page at:
The Academy is involved with a new leadership publication and is seeking authors to contribute their leadership experiences in either Iraq or Afghanistan. It is hoped that the finished book will become a RMAS set text. Contributions can be either in full chapter (4000 words) or vignettes of 600-700 words. Full details are at:
Three groups braved the monsoon like conditions at the Commandant's Parade and enjoyed subsequent Reunion Luncheons. Members of Intake 29 marked the 55th anniversary of their commissioning and members of Ypres Coy Intake 39 and WRAC 43 marked the 50th anniversaries of their commissioning.

On Saturday 12th August members of 8 Pl CC 063 marked the 10th
anniversary of their commissioning with a lunch in Old College
Welbeck 9 Entry Reunion - Alan Braund is trying to track down members of Welbeck 9 Entry for a Reunion at RMAS in April 2018, for more information email Alan on
 If you would like to organise a Reunion for your Platoon, Company or Intake email Sue on


2017 Events – Bookings Open:

Wed 04 Oct - Centre for Army Leadership Speaker Series
 The first instalment of the Centre for Army Leadership’s Speaker Series, sponsored by the Sandhurst Trust, takes place on Wednesday 4th October with guest speaker Ira Chaleff.
The CAL's Leadership Speaker Series brings international, national and British Army leaders and leadership thinkers to an Army audience.  Speakers are researchers or practitioners in their fields and come to share their knowledge, ideas, research and experiences of leadership. It gives leaders the opportunity to ask subject matter experts their personal views on the practical application of leadership. Tickets are available at a lower rate for members of The Sandhurst Trust. For more information click here, To book tickets click here
Sat 28 Oct - WWI Remembrance Concert
 The Royal Military Academy, in collaboration with the Patrick Noronha Orchestra, invites you to attend an evening of classical music and readings from selected war poets in order to commemorate the sacrifice of all those who laid down their lives during the Great War of 1914-1918.  

The concert will take place in the poignant setting of the Royal Memorial Chapel which in itself is a permanent reminder of the great sacrifice suffered by a lost generation. For more information and tickets click here
 Wed 13 Dec - CC 171 Commandant's Parade, tickets can be purchased here

2017 Reunions – Bookings Open:
Sat 23 Sep SMC 871 30th Anniversary Reunion
Sat 07 Oct - 12 Pl CC 071 10th Anniversary Reunion
Sat 14 Oct - SMC 873 30th Anniversary Reunion
Fri 03 Nov 1 Pl SMC 921 25th Anniversary Reunion
Fri 10 Nov - Media Operations Group 21st Anniversary Reunion
Sat 18 Nov - 26 Pl CC 963 20th Anniversary Reunion
Wed 13 Dec - Dettingen Coy Intake 40 50th Anniversary Reunion
Wed 13 Dec - Waterloo Coy Intake 40 50th Anniversary Reunion
Sat 16 Dec - 3 Pl SMC 921 25th Anniversary Reunion
Tue 19 Dec - Intake 20 60th Anniversary Reunion

2017 & 2018 Reunions - Save the Date (planning still in progress, some dates subject to confirmation):
Sat 07 Apr 18 – SMC 922 25th Anniversary Reunion
Sat 23 Jun 18 – WSC 881 30th Anniversary Reunion
Sat 14 Jul 18 – Ypres Coy SGC 881 30th Anniversary Reunion
Wed 01 Aug 18 - Intake 21 60th Anniversary Reunion
Fri 03 Aug 18 – Intake 31 55th Anniversary Reunion
Sat 04 Aug 18 – 4 Pl CC 923 25th Anniversary Reunion
Sat 08 Sep 18 – CC 073 20th Anniversary Reunion
Wed 12 Dec 18 – Rhine Coy Intake 40 50th Anniversary Reunion

Don't forget that we have an online shop where you can purchase RMAS branded items and memorabilia.

If you have any enquiries, please contact the relevant member of The Trust Staff: 
Leadership, Baptisms, Memorials:  Vaughan Kent-Payne
Membership, Reunions: Sue Hatton
Accounts, Weddings: Jenny Richards
Private/Corporate Events, Tours: Hannah McInally
Retail: Liz Matravers
Copyright © 2017 The Sandhurst Trust, All rights reserved.

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