Prince Harry promoted to captain
PRINCE Harry has been promoted to captain after completing five years' service as an officer in the British Army.The announcement by St James's Palace comes a few days after the royal, a trainee Apache helicopter pilot, passed the half-decade milestone.
Following a 44-week training course at Sandhurst the prince was commissioned as an Army officer on April 12, 2006.
As a non-graduate he was eligible for promotion to the rank of captain after five years.
A St James's Palace spokesman said the former lieutenant would now be known as Captain Harry Wales.
He added: "Prince Harry has been promoted to captain within the Army Air Corps in recognition of time service in the Armed Forces."
As a captain he will be on a pay band of STG37,916 ($A58,848) to just over STG45,000. ($A69,843) The prince has been forging ahead with his military career and is well on the way to realising his dream of returning to the front line in Afghanistan.
He served for 10 weeks in the country as a forward air controller during 2007-08 directing jets dropping bombs on Taliban positions in Helmand province.
Harry's official office also confirmed that the prince had passed an eight-month 'conversion to type' course to learn how to fly the Apache helicopter while at the Army Aviation Centre (AAC) at Middle Wallop, Hants.
Before his brother Prince William marries fiancee Catherine Middleton on April 29 the royal will begin the final phase of his training, a "conversion to role" course at Wattisham Airfield in Suffolk, and spend time in America under instruction.
Speaking earlier this month while training for an Arctic expedition, the royal said it would be pointless to undertake such costly training if he never went into combat.
He said: "You become a very expensive asset, the training's very expensive and they wouldn't have me doing what I'm doing.
"I'd just be taking up a spare place for somebody else if they didn't have me going out on the job."
St James's Palace also released a picture of Harry with his aircraft taken while he spent two weeks in the French Alps last month on a mountain flying exercise.
Outlining other aspects of the training, a spokesman said: "Before progressing on to the night flying phase, Prince Harry was tested using a cockpit blackout system known as the 'Bag'.
"This exercise prepares students for flying on the night vision system, which displays thermal imagery into the helmet-mounted display over the pilot's right eye.
"The night flying phase lasted approximately three months culminating in a final assessment, during which students commanded a pair of Apache helicopters at night in order to test their handling, captaincy, understanding of the aircraft system and response to simulated emergencies."