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2 Lt Sarah-Jane Piesse (23) from Robertsbridge in Sussex is commissioned into the Royal Engineers. She passed out from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on August 10th 2001.
Sarah has long nurtured the ambition of an army career. At the age of 16 she was awarded an Army Scholarship, that provided financial support for her sixth form education. However, on leaving school, she decided to read for a degree before joining The Army. Sarah successfully passed The Army Officer entrance tests, known as The Regular Commissions Board, and in addition applied for and was awarded was an Army Bursary to help support her university education. She went up to The University of Manchester to read Mechanical Engineering with Business.
As soon as she arrived at Manchester, she joined The University Officer Training Corps, this allowed her to actively maintain and pursue her Military education and interests, enjoy a great social life and get paid! (Although joining an OTC does not carry a commitment to join The Army, nor do you need to be a Bursar to join.) One day whilst attending her OTC barracks, Sara read about the expedition in a back copy "SOLDIER" magazine, despite it being passed the closing date for applications, she persuaded the expedition leaders that she should be invited to attend the novice selection camp. Her phone call was just in time, the next day she was one of 25 novice hopefuls in Glen Coe preparing to climb the Anoach Eagach ridge.
Sarah had done only 1 weeks sailing prior to the expedition training and that had been aboard one of the OYT boats, Greater Manchester Challenge in The Irish sea. Although a keen skier who has represented her OTC at The Army Downhill Ski Championships and ski toured in Norway, Sarah had no Winter mountaineering experience. However, she is a qualified Summer Mountain Leader and has since attended a Winter Mountaineering Introduction course in Scotland. Sarah also enjoys parachuting.
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