FORMER Peebles High School head boy Frazer Stark has become a fully-fledged army officer.
Frazer, 23, was one of the officer cadets from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) who were exercising in Dumfries and Galloway last week. The 10-day Dynamic Victory exercise was the culmination of the their 44-week training course.
There were 270 senior-term cadets involved, including 33 from the US academy at West Point.
A rural operations phase took place in the Galloway Forest, while urban testing was held in the former Dalbeattie ammunition factory – and a live-firing element featured at the Kirkcudbright ranges.
The exercise culminated in a battlegroup attack after which the cadets were permitted to don the headgear of their chosen corps or regiment to replace the RMAS beret they have worn for the past year.
Frazer’s mum Morag, who manages the Macdonald Cardrona Hotel near Peebles, told TheSouthern: “Frazer said it was a wonderful feeling to wear the Tam O’ Shanter of the Royal Regiment of Scotland for the first time. He’s wanted to join the army for a very long time and was determined it would be a Scottish regiment.”
Frazer has joined 5 SCOTS, which is the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He signed up for the Regular Army from the Territorials at the beginning of this year and saw service in Poland, Italy and Kenya during his time in the TA.
He said: “There is also a Peebles connection at Sandhurst as my company sergeant major, Andy Johnstone from the Scots Guards, comes from the town, and he has taken great pleasure in putting me through my paces. And our mums are good friends.”
Morag and her husband, Craig, will be at Sandhurst for the passing-out parade on August 12. Frazer has been promoted to cadet sergeant, of which there are only six at Sandhurst.