Omani earns top military honors

An Omani cadet was named top international student at Great Britain’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

The Sandhurst commandant awarded Omani Officer Cadet Al Azhar bin Zahir Al Zakwani the Overseas Sword in August 2020. The award is given to the best international cadet in every class at the academy.

More than 5,000 foreign nationals from 120 countries have studied at Sandhurst since 1947. Omani cadets have a long history of attending the academy, thanks to the two countries’ robust relationship dating back decades. 

Oman’s Royal Armed Forces were established in the 1950s with the help of the British Armed Forces. Oman’s forces continue to grow in personnel and equipment to keep pace with security developments in the region. Omani troops numbered more than 57,000 in 2019, not including 4,500 reservists.

His Royal Highness Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, who ascended to the throne in early 2020, issued a directive to improve recruitment and training for the Armed Forces. The directive includes recruitment of officers from among college students who didn’t attend a military academy. 

The training efforts include the joint Omani and British military exercise called Saif Sareea, or Swift Sword. The countries have held this large-scale exercise since 1986. 

Sources: Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Oman Daily Observer,

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