Instead of going straight into a tertiary institution, Jack Walther will enlist in the British army. Picture: Supplied.
Instead of going straight into a tertiary institution, Jack Walther will enlist in the British army. Picture: Supplied.

Joburg teen with 3 distinctions joins British army to earn military rank before university

By Chulumanco Mahamba Time of article published Feb 23, 2021

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Fourways High School’s Jack Walther will be joining the British army after high school instead of attending university as part of his dream to earn a rank in the military.

Walther, who got three distinctions in IT, Maths and Life Orientation, told The Star that his matric year was fairly difficult for him, primarily because of the shift he had to make from face-to-face to online learning.

“It was our final year of high school and we had to shift to online learning which is very different, if you are not used to it, from in-person teaching.

“It also takes a lot of discipline, so those who are not disciplined and need that structure in their day, that can also make it difficult because no one is going to say ‘Get off your phone’ or ‘Get into class’ or you have to wake up at a certain time. You have to get up and sort your own work out,” he said.

Walther said that he felt excited going into his final year of high school where he was expecting to participate in sports and activities as much as possible for the last time.

“Everyone expects the final year to be the big one with regards to any extramurals so you have this excitement going into the year knowing that it will be your final and big year in regards to my performance on the field, on the stage, in the classroom and everywhere,” he said.

The matriculant added that he and his classmates had expectations. However, these were thrown down the drain because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I think spirits were kind of shattered a bit when people realised that we weren’t going to have any extracurricular activities,” he said. Walther said he would have done rugby, athletics and drama.

Instead of going straight into a tertiary institution, the matriculant said that he had enlisted in the British army.

“I have a British passport since my mother was born in Ireland, so I’ve decided that it would be good for me to go to the army for a couple of years because that’s how it used to be back in the old days and it instils discipline and I’ve always enjoyed discipline,” he said.

The 18-year-old added that he has always dreamed of earning an army rank.

“Once I get my results it will allow me to complete my application and I do have some family in the United Kingdom and hopefully I’ll be able to stay with them until training starts. Once training starts, I will enter the barracks,” he said.


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The Star

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