Nijmegen Company, Grenadier Guards have provided Guards of Honour for the visits of General Joseph Aoun, Commander in Chief of the Lebanese Armed Forces and Andriy Taran, Ukraine’s Defence Minister this week.
Accompanied by the Band of the Scots Guards, the Guardsmen have spent an intensive period on the drill square to ensure they present a polished, professional performance for their first public ceremonial duties since the start of lockdown.
Bringing a sense of team work into the training, Nijmegen Company spent a day conducting a series of activities and exercises designed to test physical stamina, military skills and coordination. Starting with massed rifle drill, the technical elements of foot drill were introduced then the Band of the Scots Guards arrived and the Company practised marching with the Band; a first for many. Focusing on social distancing added another dimension of precision to the exercises as the troops practised the formation changes.
Throughout the pandemic the soldiers have continued to provide Royal Guards at St James’ Palace, Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Tower of London but these duties have largely been performed behind closed doors. For many of the Guardsmen in Nijmegen Company, this week’s two Guards of Honour are the first time they have been on parade in public.
Learning socially distant drill to the standard required to present to visiting foreign and British dignitaries has been a challenge for the whole company with many of the Guardsmen having only recently passed out of the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick.
The Grenadier Guards non-commissioned officers have worked tirelessly on drill and turnout, instilling a pride in the Guardsmen to ensure they achieve the highest of standards.