Prince Harry calls for the reintroduction of national service

The prince said the Army could change people's lives for the better

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The Independent Online

Prince Harry has called for the reintroduction of national service after praising the Army for keeping him out of trouble.

The prince, who was speaking at the end of week-long tour of New Zealand, said the Army had been amazing for him and he dreaded to think where he would have been without it.

Encouraging his nephew and niece, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, to serve in the future, Prince Harry said: “It’s done no harm, just good, for me and I know it’s the same for William.

Prince Harry served as an Apache Helicopter Pilot from September 2012 for four months until January 2013

“Without a doubt, it does keep you out of trouble,” the prince said.

“Different people do it for different reasons. I did it because since I was a kid I enjoyed wearing the combats, I enjoyed running around with a rifle, jumping in a ditch and living in the rain and stuff.

“But then when I grew up, it became more than that, it became an opportunity for me to escape the limelight.

“I've had an epic ten years, I've had great fun. The Army keep giving me great jobs, and I can never thank them enough for that.

“I dread to think where I'd be without the Army. Bring back National Service - I've said that before," he added.

Prince Harry also spoke in admiration of what the Army had done for other servicemen, in particular the 11 men under his command at Windsor.

 “The Army has done amazing things for me. And more importantly to me, is what I've seen the Army do to other young guys.

Prince Harry rides in a New Zealand Army light armoured vehicle during a visit to Linton Military Camp in May 2015

“I was a troop commander in Windsor for three-and-a-half years, but I had 11 guys under my command.

“And some of those guys were - I mean naughty's not the word - they were on a different level. And their backgrounds and the issues they had.

“Then over those three years to see the way that they changed is huge, absolutely huge.”

After recently quitting the Army, Prince Harry is due to work with conservation groups in Africa this summer, stating it had been his “dream” that he had been unable to fulfil because of his Army commitments.