Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Cadets join forces for leadership challenge

4 November 2016
Officer Cadets under training at Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) have joined forces with their German counterparts to face the first leadership challenge of their 30-week course.

Working in teams the Cadets took to the college grounds for a series of tasks based on real-life scenarios from setting up communications to evacuating casualties and protecting vital equipment dropped from a helicopter.

Each Cadet was given the chance to lead the challenge, watched and assessed by the College staff. The Royal Navy Cadets were just seven weeks into their training and for most this was their first experience of leadership.

Officer Cadet Charles George, aged 20 from Pembrokeshire, said: “It’s been a steep learning curve. We’ve had to take in a lot of information but it’s been good.

"It’s been challenging and there’s been times when we’ve been cold and wet, but I really feel like I’ve progressed through the week.

"With the leadership tasks we have definitely bonded as a group. It feels like we are getting a lot of benefit from what we are doing even though it is challenging.” 

With the leadership tasks we have definitely bonded as a group. It feels like we are getting a lot of benefit from what we are doing even though it is challenging

Officer Cadet Charles George

OC Chris Hooper, aged 32, from Birmingham, has chosen to practise medicine within the Royal Navy and is already a qualified doctor.  He said: “Overall it’s been enjoyable.

"The physical stresses put upon us we were expecting, but the amount you have to think about and concentrate on and the speed you need to do things, takes a lot of mental effort as well as physical effort.

"Everything here builds on the stuff we’ve already done, but particularly the team-work shows how closely you have to work together.

"You couldn’t do any of this as an individual, you rely on the team and you have to know the team; we’ve all got strengths and weaknesses and doing these tasks you have to know them and play to them.”

 The German Cadets are under training at the German Naval Academy, Marineschule Mürwik (MSM) located in the city of Flensburg. BRNC has a twinning agreement with MSM and the German Officer Cadets visit annually as a way of fostering understanding between the two Navies.

OC Hooper said:  “It’s been really interesting talking to the German Cadets looking at the differences in our training and also the similarities. I think it’ll be beneficial in the future as we work together internationally so much now.”

The German Cadets are three months into their course and have been at the College for a week.  OC Christian Engler, aged 18, said:  “It’s been very exhausting, but it’s been a good experience and very interesting to see what our friends do here.”

The week-long exercise also included time at the Oakhampton battle camp where the Cadets were shown how to live and operate in the field.

Budding Flight Observer OC Katherine Butler, aged 21 from St Albans, said:  “I have never been anywhere where the weather changes so quickly, but I really liked it and have enjoyed this week.

"I genuinely quite liked being dipped in the river and the sleep is so good; I have slept better in the sleeping bag than I have in College.

"Overall training is really good. I thought I wouldn’t like the lectures, but they have been so much more interesting than anything I’ve been taught before.”

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.