Officer Cadet Ashley McMahon shares his recent success and looks back at his time at Warminster.

“I left Warminster School just over four years ago, but not just with GCSEs and A-Levels.

I've drawn on many lessons gained during my time at Warminster and didn't realise how much I would value them or that they'd come to be tested when I left for South Wales to study and pursue my lifelong career ambition to become a British Army Officer.

Warminster School has a strong co-curricular culture aimed to prepare pupils for the real world, the amount of soft and transferable skills I learnt were truly invaluable. As I finished University, I found myself fully prepared and immersed into all that the Army culture has to offer and ready to undertake the arduous Army Officer Selection Board.

I attended the board in November 2016, only a few weeks ago as I write this. Now, as I look back at it all, it's an extremely tough process; and a long one at that. For me, it all came down to the four-day final selection Main Board. It consisted of many different interviews, tests, essays, discussion groups, fitness tests, psychiatric tests and practical assessments. For most of it I felt at ease, especially when I was asked to talk about my proudest achievements to date. With so many of them happening at Warminster it was easy to call upon events and situations. I even found myself bumping into two former Warminster chefs during the process, who were going to be catering for me the entire week. We immediately recognised each other on day one, and catching up really put me at ease and it just goes to prove that it's not just the teaching staff at Warminster who have genuine care for their pupils.

Results came out as I was FaceTiming my family. As the letter came through the door I was able to share this nerve-wracking moment. I remember opening the letter and reading the first line, shaking my head slowly. “He's got it”  said my father, and sure enough, I had. I passed and received an invitation to attend the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to progress as an Army Officer.

If passing the board was about luck, then I certainly put it down to all those at Warminster School who wished me well, I've had many fellow pupils, OVs and just as many members of staff wish me well in my endeavour. I want to thank them all individually and looks like I may actually get to do that with all these fantastic Old Verlucian events coming up!

For all those thinking about a career in the British Army, I too wish you the very best of luck, if you're coming from Warminster School you are in good hands and will be fully prepared. Take everything on board you can during your school days and seize every opportunity you are offered at Warminster.

Serve to lead.”

Graeme McQueen, Head of Development and Alumni was clearly delighted, “This achievement is very well-deserved. Ashley threw himself into all school life had to offer at Warminster and this was clearly very beneficial to his character development. He emerged as a reliable, engaging young man with outstanding leadership skills and it is no surprise to us that the Army saw these and other qualities in him. We look forward to hearing about his time at Sandhurst and to catching up with him at Old Verlucian events.”