Arriving at Sandhurst Harry felt that all around him a new world was taking shape. When he timidly entered the gate of RMA Sandhurst it seemed to him he was living out a dream to which his principles were opposed. He had to spend here 44 weeks.
He felt that his new status as a junior cadet would bring him new experiences and challenges. Little by little, in the first days of his military career, Harry gets acquainted with the strict hierarchy of the military, military ranks and positions, military language and terminology, the forms of address laid down by regulation. The schedule includes a period of adjustment to the life of a cadet, characterized by many individual duties which are not easy. For some, this period passes quickly, for others, it seems long.
During the five weeks of drills ( named “weeks of the inferno”) Harry learned many things. This was important for him. Training fortifies the spirit and exerts a good influence on any soldier. Training and life in the military develop the mind, cultivate emotions and responses, strengthen the will, mould the character and shape the temperament. Last but not least, they develop respect for values and symbols which Harry up to this point hadn’t fully appreciated.
During the Second Term’s classes, Harry began to get the feeling of what it was to be a cadet and he trained as much as he could in order to cope with it. His interest in military life sharpened his mind and developed his competitive spirit. The quality of an officer is acquired not only as a result of the training in the Shooting Range and in the Exercise Field, but also as a result of his classroom education. Here in the classroom, Harry understood that military life, with its specific demands, requires certain fundamental changes in the attitude and behavior of each cadet.
During the Third Term the educational background obliges him to display integrity, to make quick decisions and be fair. He has to assume responsibility for his actions. He has to demonstrate moral courage in all circumstances and inspire and drive his soldiers to attain their goals. He must respect and defend their honor and dignity and set an example as regards physical strength and endurance. If he can combine all of this, he can consider himself competent and he deserves respect. Otherwise, he will be a pale shadow of a genuine commander. He will fail at the first test whether that be in the garrison, or on the battlefield.
The second part of the book tells about the Expedition to Cyprus which is going to be such an adventure! This test is going to discover whether all of them have completed the metamorphosis that turns them into professional soldier.
Then, the moments of graduation and the Passing Out ceremony come.
Here, the journey ends.