His Royal Highness, Prince Henry of Wales (always known as Prince Harry) shares the common experiences of any soldier, who trains at the Sandhurst Royal Military Academy in the United Kingdom (UK).
While on a tour of the Jamaica Defence Force’s (JDF) Up Park Camp headquarters in Kingston on Wednesday (March 7), Prince Harry was reacquainted with two soldiers, who trained alongside him at the renowned Sandhurst.
Lieutenant Kayon Mills, who was in the same platoon as Prince Harry, described him as “down to earth."
"He wasn’t at all over the top. He dug in whenever it was time to dig in. He was humorous and very jovial, but when it was time for work he gave us the work and gave us his best all the time," Lt. Mills stated.
Out of the rigorous training at the Sandhurst Royal Military Academy came a friendship, Lt. Mills said. He recalled with a smile that "normally when they (press) would be taking pictures there I was always captured in that photo moment because I was always beside Prince Harry”.
“We would always look in the magazines or in the newspapers and I would always see my face and we would always joke around about the headlines, which would sometimes say: ‘The Prince in Training with Caribbean People’, the Lieutenant recalled.
He told JIS News that training at Sandhurst Royal Military Academy is having the “best of the best”, adding that training with Prince Harry has motivated him to carry out his duties in the JDF to the best of his ability.
JDF's Captain Sheldon Bryan, who also trained at Sandhurst at the same time as the Prince, said that while they were not in the same platoon, it was a pleasure to have been trained with him in the same batch of soldiers.
"We faced our deepest moments there (in England), bonding together and actually training with the Prince. It was a good motivation for us seeing him being a part of the team and not really putting on his title as “Prince”,” Captain Bryan said.
“He was always a soldier first”, the JDF Captain added, mentioning that Prince Harry had to do whatever was required of the others to do, “and it was really good seeing him come down to that level, almost forgetting that he was a Prince and just being a part of the team."
Prince Harry is a captain in the Army Air Corps and holds two honorary military appointments in the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force.
Geared in army fatigues, on Wednesday, he participated in several military activities at Up Park Camp, showing off his skills in a shooting exercise in the firearm training simulator at the Camp’s Multi-Purpose Training Facility for about 10 minutes. This involved firing fake rounds at a simulated target.
Prior to these exercises, the Prince commissioned a Rappel and Fast Rope Tower and unveiled a plaque mounted at the structure’s entrance in honour of his visit. The 60-foot tower was built with technical co-operation from the Government of Canada.
His visit to Up Park Camp formed part of the activities that were scheduled for his four- day visit to Jamaica on behalf of his grandmother, Her Majesty the Queen, to mark her Diamond Jubilee.
By Aldeen Campbell