A former Darwen Aldridge Community Academy student has received a prestigious British Army award after finishing top in his recruit training. Private Daniel Hayden, 18, has won the Parachute Regiment Best Recruit Award after successfully completing the combat infantryman’s course in Catterick, North Yorkshire.
The award is judged by the platoon’s training team and goes to the trainee who has put in the best overall performance, displaying an aptitude for being an infantryman and being fit, tough and resilient during the 28-week course.
The former DACA student said he has always had an ambition to become a paratrooper and is delighted to have received the accolade.“I have wanted to be a paratrooper since I was about 14. The Parachute Regiment is an elite unit and I think their standards are the highest in the British Army. Receiving this award is quite an honour for me.”
Only one recruit per platoon receives the award, so there are only five or six awards given out each year.
His platoon commander, Captain Tom Hand, said: “Private Hayden has won the Best Recruit award. “He is a mentally and physically robust character who has excelled on what is a gruelling six-month course.
“He has the confidence and nous of a much more experienced soldier.”