Upper Sixth student Ben Sheppard is the proud recipient of an Army Scholarship which recognises his full potential to become a regular Army Officer on completion of his A levels and undergraduate degree.
Ben’s dream has always been to join the Army, to have an active lifestyle and see the world so when he spotted the chance to be funded through college and university it was an easy decision to apply.
There is a rigorous selection process due to the fact that a place at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst is guaranteed for every recipient of the scholarship. Your academic ability and fitness are tested to the full including your communication and team building skills on a number of tasks and assessments through 3 intensive days at the Army Officer Selection Centre in Westbury, Wiltshire. The board sits only once per year and offers a maximum of 100 scholarships. Despite this Ben says that his colleagues on the selection did not feel like it was a competition, ‘we were all in it together and supported each other through the process; the important thing to remember is that you are only selected if the board feel that you have the potential to become a Regular Commissioned Officer.’ In 2015, only 50 potential officers were granted the scholarship.
The award is equal to £10,000 by the time Ben finishes university but he has to maintain his academic success, achieving grades at A level and beyond to be awarded the money at each stage. Whilst at university Ben will also complete 27 days training per year with the Officer Training Corps and he will also receive pay for this as a reservist.
At College Ben is studying History, Politics, Economics, an Extended Project Qualification and is also completing his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. He loves Swimming, Rugby and Athletics and likes to be active and enjoys being outdoors.
He says of joining the Army “I’d like to join the Royal Engineers, maybe attached to 3 Commando Brigade or other amphibious forces. Sometimes joining the Army can seem like a controversial decision but I know that they do a great deal of good in the world, such as disaster relief and peacekeeping. I know it is what I want to do.”