Lowestoft teenager is gunning for successful army career

Junior soldier Alfie Tiffen with the Small Arms Cup  CREDIT Crown Copyright 2014, Sgt Paul Morrison Junior soldier Alfie Tiffen with the Small Arms Cup CREDIT Crown Copyright 2014, Sgt Paul Morrison

Thursday, February 27, 2014
5:12 PM

A junior soldier from Lowestoft has proved he has his eyes firmly fixed on the target of having a successful army career by winning an award for his shooting skills.

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Alfie Tiffen received the Small Arms Cup after he graduated from a 42-week training course at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate, Yorkshire.

He was awarded the cup for his shooting skills on his junior soldier course, which started last March and involved vocational educational and military training.

The 17-year-old, who went to Lowestoft’s East Point Academy, will now embark on full infantry training and he hopes to rise through the ranks of the Royal Anglian Regiment, which has two full-time battalions.

Junior soldier Tiffen said: “I feel very proud winning this prize as I love the infantry.

“To be told I am the best infanteer out of 240 people has made me very happy.

“I hope it’s the start of a promising career in the British Army.”

During the course the budding infantryman gained a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and NVQs in numeracy and literacy, learned survival techniques, took part in adventure activities and enjoyed playing rugby.

Junior soldier Tiffen said: “The best part of my time at the Army Foundation College was the final military exercise – a gruelling two weeks on the south west coast of Scotland when we had to fight the weather.

“The college has given me many opportunities to do things that just wouldn’t be given to me at home – for example, we were sent to Normandy for a week learning about what people sacrificed for our safety in the Second World War.

“I’ve learnt life skills which I know will stay with me.”

He was among 450 junior soldiers who graduated from the army college at a special ceremony in which they were inspected by Major General James Cowan, commander of 3 UK Division, on their passing out parade.

The general also handed over the Smalls Arms Cup to junior soldier Tiffen.

More than 81% of the junior soldiers who started the 42-week course completed it and they will now go on to train in the infantry, Royal Artillery or Royal Armoured Corps.

Lt Col Oz Lane, commanding officer of the Army Foundation College, said: “The prize awarded to Alfie is the culmination of many months of hard work and dedication.

“He can be rightly proud of his achievements at the college, and the staff and I wish him well as he goes forward to the second phase of his training which he hopes will be with the Royal Anglian Regiment.”

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