Double award joy for Ashfield soldier Alex

A teenage soldier from Ashfield won two top honours when he graduated from the Army Training Centre Pirbright.

Tuesday, 24th November 2020, 2:00 pm

Private Alex Spiers, 19, was awarded the titles of Best Recruit and Best Shot at his passing out parade that was attended virtually by his proud family including dad and serving officer, Lieutenant Colonel Keith Spiers.

Alex is now nearing the end of his trade training and will shortly join the Intelligence Corps.

He said: “It still hadn’t sunk in when I marched onto the parade square.

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Private Alex Spiers won two awards at his passing out parade. Photo: Garry Fox/MoD

"I am proud and chuffed with myself for being awarded the two trophies, a big grin came across my face when I was told.”

Alex, a former pupil at Ashfield Comprehensive, had always had his sights on a military career.

He continued: “I knew I was going to join the military, I was just unsure which job and whether or not I wanted to join as a soldier or an officer.

"Halfway through resits for some of my A-levels I realised I wasn’t really enjoying it, so I took the decision to join as a soldier and work my way through the ranks whilst gaining some life experience at the same time.

“I don’t see life in the Army as a job, I see it more as a lifestyle, it’s like a massive family and it’s teamwork orientated which all appeals to me.”

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic part of Alex’s basic training has been virtual with subjects such as values and standards and qualities of a British soldier taught through video conferencing whilst Army PT Instructors set him and his fellow soldiers targets to maintain his physical fitness.

Alex continued: “My favourite part of training was probably the exercises when we were living in holes.

"That probably sounds weird but it’s where I had the most fun.

"We were all together and helped each other out.”

Dad Keith who is the head of UK Engagement for 7th Infantry Brigade added: “Watching Alex march out on to parade and receive the awards was a very proud and emotional moment for my wife Helen and I and his young brother Charlie who adores him.

"We are so proud of what he has already achieved.

"Like any parents, we want our children to enjoy what they do and I think Alex has found his niche.”