The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award could soon be made available to troops across all of the British Army’s initial trade training establishments.
Having been part of military life for a number of years – particularly in the Army Cadet Force – the Service’s top brass want more youngsters to get access to it. A trial will soon begin at the Defence Schools of Electronic and Mechanical Engineering and Communications Information Systems, both in Lyneham.
Commander Home Command and Standing Joint Commander (UK), Lieutenant General Sir Tyrone Urch, is the Army champion for the programme. He is keen to see its legacy continue after the death of its founder. “I am very clear on the superb benefits it offers,” he said. “For the soldier, it helps them develop as individuals and leaders. And for the Army we get even more capable and confident people taking their part in teams on operations.”
The personal development scheme is open to those aged 14 to 25.
As well as boosting skills such as communication, leadership and teamwork through various tasks, it is also recognised by universities and civvy street employers. Maj Nick McEntee (REME), who helps to deliver The D of E Award, said the
roll-out would be a “massive win” for the organisation. “This is a great platform for soldiers to step up and show the chain of command what they are made of,” he explained. “In the past, some in the Army have looked upon this as schoolboy stuff. “But it is held in high regard as a qualification in civvy street; there are a number of employers who will guarantee interviews if you have this.”
Soldier. (2021) Scheme Legacy Will Live On. Soldier: Magazine of the British Army. May 2021, pp.8.