An army private from Bracknell has been named best recruit after finishing his armed forces training.
Private Mike Chappell successfully completed the Combat Infantryman’s Course at the Infantry Training Centre in North Yorkshire and won the Best Recruit award.
Lieutenant John Snoddon, his platoon commander, said: “Private Chappell is a quietly confident character who has developed into a more-than capable soldier.
“He demonstrated leadership potential right from the start of the course and, looking back on it, no one really challenged him for this award.”
The 24-year-old will receive his award at the pass out parade ceremony at the Infantry Training Centre on Friday, August 28.
Private Chappell joined the army when he was 16 and went to the Army Foundation College where after completing most of his course, received an injury and had to leave. After trying his hand at a series of “dead-end jobs”, he decided to try the army again.
He said: “The course at Catterick was tough, it’s definitely a proper physical challenge, but the training team are very supportive and you’re treated like an adult and with respect.”
Getting the award has come as a complete surprise for Private Chappell. He added: “I’m sure there were several candidates for it, but it’s great to know that my hard work has paid off.
“I haven’t told my family yet, I’m going to keep it as a surprise for the parade on Friday.”
Private Chappell will take some well-earned leave before joining his new unit the 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment in Germany.