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Top Table for Top Culdrose Physical Training Instructor

18 August 2017
Chief Petty Officer Physical Training Instructor (CPO PTI) Donna Chapman has been rewarded for a very successful Naval career.

In October she will be off to the House of Commons for a celebratory dinner.

She will be attending in her capacity as the recipient of SAIL, the ‘Special Award in Leadership’, for Culdrose.  She received this reward as she was awarded the best leader at RNAS Culdrose.  Also attending the dinner will be the Royal Navy’s senior aviator, Rear Admiral Keith Blount OBE and Donna’s constituency MP, Gillian Keegan.

Donna runs the sports department at Culdrose. Here she has a team of physical training instructors (PTIs) and physiotherapists whose job it is to ensure that all military personnel are fit to perform their duties ashore, at sea or in the air.

She received the award in recognition of her excellent management and leadership of the department.

This is just one example of her very successful naval career.

She joined the Royal Navy in 2001 as an Underwater Warfare specialist. Following training, she spent a number of years at sea perfecting her role.

In 2008 she was selected to change branches and became a physical training instructor. Her first job was as a physical training instructor for the new entry trainees at HMS Raleigh. 

the best part about being a PTI is the diversity. No two days are the same.

Chief Petty Officer Physical Training Instructor (CPO PTI) Donna Chapman

Lots of time at sea followed including Cornwall’s affiliated ship HMS Cornwall, now decommissioned.

Before joining RNAS Culdrose she worked at HMS Temeraire. This is the establishment in Portsmouth where PTIs do their training. During her time teaching the future PTIs, she became the ‘number one’ instructor.

This is the lead instructor at the base and she was the first woman to fulfil this role. In recognition of this success, she became an Ambassador for Women in Royal Navy.

It did not end there. Last summer Donna heard from the Prime Minister’s Office. Because of her ambassadorial work she was invited to a reception with the Prime Minister at Number 10 as part of the celebrations for international Women’s Day.

She found herself not only meeting Teresa May, but also mixing with female leaders of industry, commerce and the charity sector.

Donna loves the Royal Navy and being a PTI. She says, ‘the best part about being a PTI is the diversity. No two days are the same. One moment you are delivering a training session, the next you are doing paper work, putting a bid together for a new piece of equipment. The people really make the job.’

We all wish Donna all the best in her naval career and hope that she enjoys her dinner at the House of Commons.

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