Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Defence Minister meets the navy’s new recruits

23 September 2016
The Minister for Defence Veterans, Reserves and Personnel has been given a first-hand insight into naval training meeting recruits at HMS Raleigh

Mr Mark Lancaster MP paid an overnight visit to the Royal Navy training base as part of a wider visit to Royal Navy and Royal Marine establishments in the South West.

He met with a group of junior officers and also sat down with a class of trainees in the sixth week of their 10 week initial naval training course.

The Minister explained his role and also spoke of his background as a former soldier and current member of the Territorial Army, in which he serves in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

He asked the trainees about their training and their reasons for joining the Service.  Mr Lancaster also took questions from the recruits.

Among the class was the Minister’s namesake, Recruit Thomas Lancaster, who is training to be a Engineer Technician. 

The class leader for his group, Recruit Lancaster, who is not related to the Minister, said:  “I think a lot of people had a great experience just being able to chat to the Minister and ask him whatever they liked.

"To think he took time out from his schedule to come and meet us was really good.”

It was nice to know that he is in the military and understands what we’ve been going through having broken bones himself.

Recruit Magen Spence

The Minister also met members of Crean Division, HMS Raleigh’s rehabilitation division, which provides care and a package of training to help recruits who have suffered an injury or illness return to full fitness. Mr Lancaster asked the recruits about their daily routine and how they maintained their focus and morale.

Recruit Magen Spence said:  “It was nice to know that he is in the military and understands what we’ve been going through having broken bones himself.”

Mark Lancaster was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence Personnel and Veterans on 12 May 2015. He is the MP for Milton Keynes North.

The Minister is responsible for personnel, reserves, veterans and service families in a range of areas from civilian and service personnel and policy to the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and defence estate.

During his time at Raleigh he also met with the local DIO representatives and contractor staff responsible for maintenance of the site.

The Minister arrived at HMS Raleigh by boat from the Naval Base after earlier spending time with the Royal Marines at the Commando Training Centre, Lympstone, where he joined the recruits for their 50-mile run across Dartmoor.

He left HMS Raleigh for a visit to the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton.

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.