Scott to become a Para after graduating north east college

A student from a South Shields military college has beaten off competition from across the UK to win a place with an elite British Army regiment.

Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 11:35 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 6:59 pm
Scott about to complete a parachute jump

Scott O’Keeffe, 21 recently passed the gruelling selection process, to become a Private in the Third Battalion Parachute Regiment.

Scott was part of the first crop of students to attend The Military Preparation College in South Shields which is staffed entirely by ex-British Armed Forces personnel.

The college offers a range of free academic and health and fitness courses to 16 to 19-year-olds.

Scott O'Keeffe with his certificate.

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As part of the challenging program, Scott had to undertake three daytime and one evening parachute jumps before he could gain his wings and become fully fledged members of the battalion.

“It was incredibly intense, but the MPC staff were all ex-army and they really prepared me well.”

“It was them that encouraged me to go for The Paras and they didn’t just make sure I had the right level of fitness, they taught me about teamwork and about taking instruction and really boosted my confidence as well.” said Scott.

Scott’s Foster mum, who also raised his eight-year-old brother Jared was equally delighted with her son’s progress.

“I’m over the moon, I just can’t believe he's a Para, several members of my family had been in the Forces, I wasn’t entirely surprised when he asked me to go with him to the Army recruiting office.

“I used to struggle to get him to concentrate on anything, but they not only gave him a focus, they gave him an aim in life and his confidence and sense of self-worth just grew and grew.

“They really brought out the very best in him and even though Scott’s now based at Colchester, they’ve stayed in touch and even came to his passing out parade when he completed basic training.”

Regional operations manager and former Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Instructor, Laurence Corbett, described Scott’s achievement as, “really exceptional.”

“The selection process is incredibly demanding and most cadets fail through injury, so to have got through first time is excellent. We are all incredibly proud of him.” said Laurence.