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Naval officer follows in father's footsteps just before Christmas

22 December 2017
Christmas came early for a Royal Navy officer as he celebrated his formal commissioning on parade at Britannia Royal Naval College in front of this father.

Midshipman Ben White, who is following in the footsteps of his dad, Commander Steve White, was one of the latest group of Officer Cadets who took part in the passing-out parade watched by their families.

To earn his place on the parade ground, Ben has completed an intensive 30-week training course, predominately at the world-renowned college in Dartmouth, but also including a six-week ship acquaint.

Ben said: “The biggest highlight of training has been being a part of Sutherland Division. We have grown together as a team and have won almost all the various competitions and feats throughout training. This has been down to our hard work. Our team ethos has got me through training, but has also been one of the most enjoyable aspects.

“Overall training has been one of the biggest, but most satisfying, challenges of my life. I have met some incredible people and I’m honoured to pass out with them. Marching up the famous BRNC steps at the end of the parade was the proudest moment of my life.”

As a Royal Naval officer, I am delighted the Royal Navy is in safe hands, but as a Father I couldn’t be more proud of his achievements

Commander Steve White

Explaining his reasons for joining the Royal Navy, Ben said: “Having grown up watching my father’s career, I knew I wanted to follow in his footsteps. I joined the Royal Navy as it offered a fantastic opportunity to challenge myself, physically and mentally, while also giving me the ability to travel.”

Ben’s father, Commander Steve White joined the Royal Navy as a boy sailor in 1983.  He later transferred to the Officer Corps and passed out of BRNC in 1998. 

He said: “Ben today has marched up the steps of BRNC to join an elite club. He has officially joined the Royal Navy at an extremely exciting time, with new capabilities and a new political environment for him to learn. As a Royal Naval officer, I am delighted the Royal Navy is in safe hands, but as a Father I couldn’t be more proud of his achievements. I wish him every success in his career.”

With the first phase of his training complete Ben will remain at BRNC to begin his professional training to ultimately qualify as a Warfare Officer.

The Royal Navy’s initial naval training course for officers is underpinned by nine core maritime skills that are the foundations of naval life and essential to operational effectiveness. 

It involves maritime training on the River Dart and uses the rugged environment of Dartmoor to teach the cadets how to operate and lead in the field. 

The course is progressive and designed to ensure the cadets are equipped to undertake assignments both at sea and on land, working jointly with other parts of the UK Armed Forces and in partnership with other nations. 

Fitness training is delivered using a disciplined method of military fitness, which focuses on developing co-ordination and individual physical strength and endurance. 

Command, leadership and management training is a constant thread throughout the course with an emphasis on coaching, mentoring and development activities.

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