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OFFICER CADET OLUCHUKWU’S TRIUMPHANT MILITARY JOURNEY AT SANDHURST

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By Okosun Dennis

History is for those who aspire and work assiduously to achieve it. For Officer Cadet Owowoh Princess Oluchukwu, etching her name in the history book on Friday, 12th April 2024, was not a fluke.

She dusted history books and embossed her name most spectacularly; graduated from the prestigious United Kingdom’s Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst (RMAS), making it the first-ever Nigerian female officer to do so.

The 24-year-old Oluchukwu was one of the 135 Officer Cadets to graduate during RMAS’ Sovereign’s Parade in London, United Kingdom.

Her journey to stardom in her military career started in 2018, when she joined the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), in Kaduna State, Nigeria. During her second year at the NDA, she was appointed a Cadet Lance Corporal; a Cadet Sergeant in her fourth year, and in her fifth year she was appointed to the role of Company Senior Under Officer Charlie (CSUO C).

It was learnt that she was one of the international cadets who landed at Sandhurst in Camberley, Surrey, to receive leadership training, before they were commissioned into their respective militaries around the world.

Having completed her course, Officer Cadet Oluchukwu is expected to join the intelligence corps on her glorious return to Nigeria.

Disclosing her enviable feat,  Atinuke Akande-Alegbe, a Senior Communications and Public Diplomacy Officer at the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office in Abuja explained the significance of Oluchukwu’s achievement, noting that it was borne out of her longstanding and dedicated commitment to the UK in supporting Nigeria’s Professional Military Education training.

With a remarkable academic prowess, she completed the Academics Wing of the commissioning course with First-Class Honours in Biological Sciences.

In her dedication, Owowoh Princess Oluchukwu expressed profound gratitude to her family, mentors, instructors, and supporters who believed in her throughout her academic sojourn at Sandhurst.

“Oluchukwu’s groundbreaking accomplishment not only symbolizes a personal triumph but also underscores the collaborative partnership between the UK and Nigeria in military education and training.

“Her success serves as an inspiration for aspiring officers, particularly women, and showcases the exceptional capabilities of Nigerian citizens on the global stage.”

An Army representative said: “A lot of the hierarchy from her forces were there to witness the event. By all accounts, she is a very popular person judging by all of the people who were hugging her.

“She is very physically powerful and was very intent on wanting to join the Nigerian military. She had a beaming smile all the way through.”

It was disclosed that Officer Cadet had undergone 11 months of intensive training, which was split into three terms, leading to the Sovereign’s Parade before receiving their commission.

The Inspecting Officer, who is known as the Sovereign’s Representative, was the Chief of the French Army – representing King Charles III.

General Pierre Schill was at the parade to also celebrate the 120th year of the signing of the Anglo-French Entente Cordiale, which marked the beginning of an alliance between the two nations that would endure two world wars.

Significantly, this year was the 232nd commissioning course as the Sovereign’s Parade marks the passing out from Sandhurst of Officer Cadets who have completed the Commissioning Course.

United Kingdom’s Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst (RMAS) was established in 1801 and has since trained many Nigerian military officers.

It used to be one of the most treasured and popular military training institutions for military officers in Nigeria before the establishment of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA).

Foremost and renowned trained officers include the following: Captain Robert Adeyinka Adebayo, Captain Philip Effiong, Major Samuel Adesoji Ademulegun, Major Aguiyi lronsi, and Captain David Akpode Ejoor.

Others include: Lt J Akahan Akaga, Lt Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Lt Yakubu Gowon, Lt Yakubu Pam, 2nd Lt Hassan Katsina.

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