Parents & Guardians
This section will enable your parents to answer any queries they may have about you becoming a Royal Welsh Soldier. They can also get a glimpse of what your life will be like while you are still in training and once you have become a Royal Welsh Soldier - ranging from the care and support you will receive as a recruit to your career progression, and continuing education while you are serving in the Battalion.
Staying in Touch
At Catterick during training:
Staying in touch with your son during his time at Catterick is easy.
Mobile phones are allowed within the barracks and most recruits tend to use them at night when their working day has finished. If he does not have a mobile phone there are plenty of pay phones around camp that he is free to use.
Post is delivered/collected daily to and from the Recruits, so that birthday cards, letters or postcards will all get to your son in the quickest time possible.
Once your son is in the Royal Welsh:
Once your son has left Catterick he will have the ability to email, phone or write to you whilst at his unit. Each unit has the same facilities as Catterick and they are available to all personnel.
Whilst deployed on military operations or overseas training exercises:
On operations all ranks will be given an allocation of time on a satellite phone so that they may ring home.
Depending on where they are operating there is usually the facility to email, and of course they can write. The Service provides free letters, known as "Blueys" because of their colour and is the favoured method of writing home. Parents, wives and girlfriends can send Blueys, and these are free of charge and do not require a stamp. E-Blueys can be sent via the internet and this is often a lot quicker than hand writing them - the unit or ship will print them out in theatre and they will then be delivered to your son within a few days.
On training exercises and operations every effort is made to ensure all ranks can communicate with those at home. However, the security situation may preclude this. Satellite phones and email facilities should always be available. Also, the normal mail system - managed by the British Forces Post Office - can be relied upon.
The Royal Welsh understands the importance of looking after its most precious resource, its soldiers. At each of our barracks we have an Army Education Centre that provides access to both personnel and professional education courses. At these centres you can do basic Maths and English courses, or if you want to, even study for GCSEs or NVQs. The centres also run IT courses such as the ECDL, or for the less experienced computer user they do basic computer skills courses.
All the professional courses the Regiment have to offer are also civilian accredited so the qualifications you receive are recognised in civilian street. Ever soldier is entitled once a year to use their Standard and Enhanced Learning Credits which is access to a fund which they can use to help pay towards an education course of their choice. The chances for education and personnel and professional development are immence. It really is up to you as to how far you want to take it.
“When my son first told me he was joining the Royal Welsh I was very nervous for him. I had heard about the Royal Welsh on the news and knew that they had been fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Luckily my son did a lot of research on the subject and found out exactly what he would be asked to do. This eased my mind slightly knowing that he knew what he was getting in to. Once he joined up and started his training at the Catterick Training Centre we visited him and learnt all about his training - what he would be likely to do once he left training; and about how the Royal Welsh really look after their own.
The facilities at the Catterick Training Centre were first rate and I got a really good feeling that my son would be looked after and very well fed.
We visited the Training Centre again when my son completed his training. There was a full day dedicated to his platoon and their Pass Out. Everyone made it feel really special and I was so proud of him for completing such a challenging course. During this last visit I received lots of information on who I can get in touch with when/if he goes to Afghanistan. Also, how my son will stay in touch with our family and his girlfriend.
I managed to see my son quite a few times during his time at the Training Centre. I feel becoming a Royal Welsh Soldier has improved him as a person - he is much more respectful, thoughtful and confident in himself and his abilities.”
Mrs ST from Cardiff
“When my son told me he wanted to join the Army I had my reservations. I had a few mates who had been in the Services and they reassured me that it was a good choice and that it is a good career for a young lad.
Before he signed up we both went along to a 'meet the Royal Welsh at the local County Show. They told us what they had done and how much they enjoyed the job and the lifestyle that it gave them. This reinforced my son's desire to join and after he had passed the Potential Royal Welsh Course, he joined a month or so later.
We visited him during his time in Catterick, here we had a good chat to his Section Commander and the Sergeant. Both were really nice people and set my mind at rest that they were doing their best to get him through the training. They had all been through it themselves and knew what the recruits were going through. I found the visit really good; everyone seemed very professional and focused.”
Mr AW from Wrexham