ARMY recruits swore an oath of allegiance to Queen and country to mark the start of their military careers.
Seven recruits stood before their friends and family at the Territorial Army (TA) Centre in Hilsea yesterday to make the pledge.
The seven men will be joining the Hampshire-based Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, nicknamed The Tigers.
Five of them will be thrown straight into their 28 weeks of training on Sunday, while two others begin later this month.
Colour Sergeant Neil Turner, the manager of the Armed Forces Career Office in Portsmouth, said: ‘What’s great is all seven of the guys are from this area.
‘There are a lot of family here to see their sons, brothers or nephews read out the oath of allegiance.
‘The next time they will see these guys is in five of six weeks’ time when they’ve gone through some training.
‘All of them are looking forward to starting training.
‘They have worked very hard.’
The recruits spoke their oaths before Colonel Patrick Crowley, the Deputy Colonel of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment.
He said: ‘It’s an exciting career and an exciting life.
‘I wish them all the best for their training.
‘The Army is changing at the moment but we are still recruiting.
‘At the moment our regiment is not affected by the cuts.’
After the ceremony, family and friends of the recruits had lunch with some of the regiment’s currently-serving troops.
The seven recruits are now to embark on a 28-week training course in Catterick, North Yorkshire, before becoming infantry soldiers.
There are three battalions of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, two regular and one territorial.
Members of the 1st battalion are currently serving in Germany, while members of the 2nd battalion are in Woolwich on ceremonial duties.
The 1st battalion was in Afghanistan from October until April 2012, as part of Task Force Helmand.
The troops were responsible for training members of the Afghan national police force.