Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Officer Harry Now a Prince among Men

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Officer Harry Now a Prince among Men

Article excerpt

Byline: JOSH LEWSEY

IT'S A big day for Prince Harry with his commissioning from Sandhurst. Harry will become an officer in Her Majesty's land forces but more importantly, as I know from my own time there, part of a group of men and women that together has experienced a year of character assessment and training, forming a mutual bond and respect that, though not extinct, is rare in civvy street.

On his arrival, the Academy Sergeant Major mentioned they'd both call each other sir, yet the Prince would be the only one who'd mean it. However, coming from such a unique background after a year of physical, mental, and emotional 'learning', I would wager that the ASM would now return the address with somewhat more meaning.

Sandhurst (this primarily means the staff at the time there) does a phenomenal job to provide approximately 700 new officers each year to be of sufficient standard to lead our soldiers.

The element of leadership is key and although the course is enormously varied, succeeds in grooming young men and women to be of a particular standard that are capable of this. For those below average, there can often be an enormous change not just in job proficiency but also in character.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Prince Harry on a couple of occasions due to his fondness for rugby - he actually spent several months working as an assistant rugby development officer with the RFU.

When I've met him what has always struck me is how remarkably normal he is.

This, aligned to his natural confidence and strong personality, would suggest that he was already a potential leader. Consequently, the regime would have done little to change his personality but merely given him the basic officer skills needed in such a large institution.

The tabloids often remark on his antics - which made the front page of the papers last weekend - but they are not so different from most of his age. Now though this may raise some eyebrows, I'm not debating whether such actions are justified for such a figure, but merely highlighting the most relevant lessons that he's probably learned in his time there. The most significant being the respect of your peers.

When times are tough, regardless of what industry you are in, true character traits are revealed. Consequentlyat such times it is vital that in a group environment you must pull your weight or you are disrespected and labelled 'Jack'.

Yet with him being such a public figure, doing your fair share of graft is only one half of keeping everyone happy. With the political sensitivity of all his actions, the rigid rank structure that exists and the outside interest in him, to achieve a truly head-down trouble-free existence he must also be seen to be doing his bit.

There is a subtle difference, but in the profession he has chosen and the way he'd have negotiated the year he may have seen that such lessons have direct parallels to the other aspects in his life. …

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