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Question Time at Raleigh For Navy Recruits

13 September 2016
Trainee sailors at HMS Raleigh have been given the chance to put their questions to one of the Royal Navy’s most senior officers.

The group of recruits in week six of their 10-week initial naval training course met with the Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral Jonathan Woodcock. 

Vice Admiral Woodcock is a former Commanding Officer of the base.  He asked the trainees about their training and invited them to ask him questions. 

Topics ranged from further details on the Royal Navy’s new ships and equipment to how Admiral Woodcock achieved his current position.

Ideally I’d like to get a Commission as an Officer in the future, so it was really useful to find out what’s it like from someone who has worked really hard to get to his position.

Recruit Stuart Howes

Royal Naval Reservist Ben Lewis was one of the trainees who met the Admiral. 

He is taking advantage of an initiative to fast-track his training by undertaking his induction alongside those destined for a full-time career in the Service. 

Ben, from Wigan, is a part-time lifeguard and also works in the Royal Navy Careers Office in Liverpool. 

He said: “The Admiral gave us a good perspective of what Officers working at that level are actually like and how they approach us as trainees at HMS Raleigh. 

“We really enjoyed his company.  He gave us an insight into what the wider Navy is like, especially the new Aircraft Carriers.  I’m considering becoming an Aircraft Handler.”

Vice Admiral Woodcock told the trainees that around 40% of the Officer Corps started their career as Ratings at HMS Raleigh and today’s Royal Navy is a career without limits. 

Recruit Stuart Howes, a trainee Seaman Specialist from Oxford, said:  “Ideally I’d like to get a Commission as an Officer in the future, so it was really useful to find out what’s it like from someone who has worked really hard to get to his position.”

During his day at HMS Raleigh Vice Admiral Woodcock was also updated on the latest developments and took the salute at the passing-out-parade. 

Addressing the parade he said:  “It is an honour to be here on this very special day, which marks an important culmination of huge amounts of effort and hard work.

“Congratulations to all of you on your great success today.”

Vice Admiral Woodcock was in command of HMS Raleigh from 2008 to 2009. 

He was appointed Second Sea Lord and Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff in 2015 and is responsible for the delivery of the Naval Service’s current and future personnel, equipment and infrastructure.

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