A SOLDIER has won a prestigious army award voted for by his fellow recruits.

Kingsman Jake Fletcher, from Clitheroe, was presented with the award after successfully completing the Combat Infantryman’s course at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick, North Yorkshire.

The 19-year-old was given the Soldiers’ Soldier prize, which is presented to the recruit after a vote by his fellow soldiers.

Once he has completed a two-week driver training course, Kingsman Fletcher is set to go on leave.

He will then join his new unit, the 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, also based in Catterick. Kingsman Fletcher will receive his award at the pass out parade ceremony at the Infantry Training Centre tomorrow.

He said: “It took me ages to get into the army. I first tried at 16 but it wasn’t until I had turned 18 that I eventually joined.

“The whole army thing appeals to me, it’s not that it is just a job, it is a complete lifestyle and that’s what I was looking for.

“The six months’ course at Catterick gets tougher towards the end, but you get fitter as the course progresses and you are able to do things that you thought you never could.

“I told my dad about the award and I think he got a bit emotional.”

His platoon commander, Captain Tom Reynolds, said: “Kingsman Fletcher has been awarded the Soldiers’ Soldier prize.

“This goes to the recruit who his peers think is the best soldier in the platoon, so he has the most valued award of all, the respect of his fellow recruits.

“Despite a serious welfare issue at home, he has focused and worked hard on the course. It is no surprise the majority of his platoon voted for him.

“He always appeared to be on hand to offer help and advice to those who needed it.

“A well deserved award.”