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Kurdistan flag proudly featured for the first time on British Royal Sandhurst Academy unifrom

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) - Lieutenant Amir Mahdi Mizuri became the first Peshmerga officer to graduate from the British Royal Sandhurst Academy after 14 months, earning the equivalent of a military Bachelor’s degree, and the first to wear the Kurdistan flag patch on his uniform.

Lieutenant Amir was informed he was the first Kurd and first Peshmerga to study at the British Royal Sandhurst Academy. “It was a good feeling for me, and, although I was physically and mentally prepared, I was worried I would not be able to truly represent the bravery of our Peshmerga heroes,” he said.

Lieutenant Amir obtained a master’s degree in defense and warfare from the academy and told the Peshmerga Media Center that prior to joining the British Royal Academy, he took three months to study in the United Kingdom and to develop his skills.

During his first three months at the academy, Lieutenant Amir noted he did not wear any flag on his uniform because the Kurdistan flag would not have been recognized. “Eventually, my efforts paid off and I was able to wear the flag of Kurdistan, for the first time in history, on a Sandhurst Academy uniform,” Lieutenant Amir said.

Lieutenant Amir explained that he was talking with the commander of the British army about the UK’s support to the Peshmerga forces, after which he made the request to him and the British Embassy in Baghdad to receive a Kurdistan flag patch for his uniform. Three months later, on August 3, 2020, the request was approved and he was able to wear the Kurdistan flag on his uniform, to the congratulations of his fellow students and instructors.

Speaking about the history of the British Royal Sandhurst Academy, Lieutenant Amir noted no student is expected to attend without wearing a flag, and now, the holy flag of Kurdistan is being worn alongside flags of other countries. “This was a great achievement for me, as a Kurd and as a Peshmerga,” said Lieutenant Amir. “I thank the British Embassy in Baghdad and the British Royal Sandhurst Academy for helping me with this initiative.”

The Academy also informed Lieutenant Amir that going forward, every Kurd who participates in the program would be able to wear the Kurdistan flag on their uniform. Two months later, a female Kurdish Peshmerga joined the academy and was given the Kurdistan flag patch to wear on her uniform.

“I did not focus my efforts solely on the flag. I pushed for the Kurdish national anthem, Ay Raqeeb, to be sung for the first time at the British Royal Sandhurst Academy. I was joined by British and European students from May 31, 2020 to June 2, 2020 in singing the Kurdish national anthem, which were the best and happiest moments in my life,” Lieutenant Amir added.

After a month of studying at the British Royal Sandhurst Academy, Lieutenant Amir joined the British students due to his academic prowess and language competencies compared to other students. He completed his master’s degree in Defense and War Studies alongside his British peers. “I also performed very well in the Physical Training and was able to compete against the best and strongest students, so I was grouped with the strongest British students who test for the British Infantry. I was assigned to the GCC, who carry 40kg when training instead of the standard 15kg,” Lieutenant Amir proudly recalled.

Lieutenant Amir graduated with an “Excellent” grade, awarded to him by the President of the British Royal Sandhurst Academy. He also won the Marksmanship Medal on December 1, 2020, besting the competition by hitting 37 out of 40 targets.
His admission to the academy as the first Kurd and the first Peshmerga marked an important opportunity for Lieutenant Amir to honour the Peshmerga forces by outperforming his peers and by proudly representing his fellow Peshmerga. “I did my best on behalf of all our Peshmerga heroes.”

Lieutenant Amir also presented the British Royal Sandhurst Academy with badges from the Ministry of Peshmerga, 1st Special Brigade and Gulan Special Brigade as a token of respect and appreciation, along with a flag of Kurdistan, which were displayed in the International Room, a room where gifts from leaders, kings, and presidents are on display, another a symbol of deep respect from the commanders within the British Army toward Kurdistan.

Lieutenant Amir holds the following degrees:

* Bachelor:
1- Graduated from British Royal Sandhurst Academy on April 4, 2021.
2- Graduated from Zakho Military Academy - 26th Session on November 12, 2019.
3- Salahaddin University, College of Languages- English Language Dept.
* Master’s:
1- M.A in Deference and War Studies in Sandhurst Academy and University of Reading.
2- M.A in political Science and International Relationships in Istanbul (Turkey).
3- M.A in Business Administration in Istanbul (Turkey).
* Is fluent in English and Turkish