Every two weeks, new Fusilier infantry soldiers pass out from the Infantry Training Centre (ITC) at Catterick.  It can be a nervous time for these 18 year olds but the Regiment knows to welcome them properly into our family.

At every Pass Out Parade, 1st Fusiliers send a representative from their new Company up from Tidworth to watch the Parade, greet the new soldiers and meet their families.  This welcome has been declared the “Gold Standard” for easing new recruits’ transition from training to operational service, but is typical of our strong family ethos.

Basic training at ITC is an arduous 26 week course.  It’s physically testing and can be emotionally stressful.  The Regiment know this and dedicate experienced Corporals as “Regimental Shepherds” to provide moral support and to make them feel already part of our family.  This culminates at the Pass Out Parade when they are formally welcomed into 1st Fusiliers by their new Company representative.

Demonstrating this strong family spirit right from the start has dramatically reduced the drop-out rate, not only preserving recruits’ self-confidence but also saving money and resource.

Major Matt King knows the value of such support and said:

“It is brilliant to see so many Hackles, both on and off the parade, each time a newly qualified Fusilier passes off the square.  Not only does this show them that they are a valued member of the Regiment, as well as the Associations, but also it shows to their families that they are also a part of a wider Regimental Family.  Consequently, this has been heralded as the Gold- standard of recruit engagement by the Commanding Officer of 1st Infantry Training Battalion.”

New recruits also welcome the support from the regiment with one of our newest stating:

“I was a bit nervous about moving onto the Battalion, but my new Sergeant Major had come up to see our final parade.  He told me what to expect, which platoon I was joining and answered all my parents’ questions.  I felt immediately welcome as one of the Fusilier family”.

This family ethos has made the Fusiliers the envy of other regiments at Catterick who are now looking how to implement it themselves.