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BRNC visit for hopeful officers

18 October 2017
The first of a new programme of acquaint visits for sailors hoping to join the Officer Corps has taken place at Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC).

A group of 24, ranging from Able Rates to Warrant Officers, were briefed on what would be expected of them during their time at BRNC. 

They were taken on a tour of the College and were able to witness some of the training first-hand.

Lieutenant David Clark, BRNC’s Senior Upper Yardman (SUY) Course Officer said:  “We have reinvigorated the acquaint visits and formalised them with a dedicated programme for groups of potential SUYs, Upper Yardmen (UY) and Candidates for the Wardroom (CW), three times each year.  

I found the day extremely beneficial as it gave me a real insight as to what to expect during my time at BRNC.

PO (Air Engineering Technician) Sarah Lawford

“There are many advantages of students attending the acquaint day.  They will develop an appreciation of their course, a better understanding of the output of BRNC and share experiences with each other, those currently on course and staff. 

“The visits also allow individuals to identify others they will train with when they eventually come to BRNC.” 

The Royal Navy has a long established ethos of promoting Ratings into the Officer Corps.  Lt Clark started his Royal Navy career as a rating and was commissioned in 2008. 

He said:  “Most people are worried about coming here; whether they are good enough and learning new concepts.  

“Out of 24 people attending the first visit only one had been to BRNC before.  I’ve been privileged to work at BRNC three times, twice as a Rating. 

“When I went through I could alleviate anyone’s worries early on because I knew the environment, so I do understand the apprehension.  Hopefully these visits will help to allay those fears.”

Among those taking part in the first visit was Petty Officer (Writer) Tom Brunel, from HMS Talent.  He said:  “Although I feel I had a good knowledge of what would be expected of me during my SUY training, the visit enhanced and built on this knowledge to give it a real, tangible feel that I could do this and pass the training.

“It broke down, week by week, what we would be doing and where we would be going. 

“The tour of the grounds and Sandquay was helpful, in that when I arrive at Dartmouth I will know exactly where I’m going, the accommodation I would be provided with, where to find my training staff and protocol of certain areas, such as saluting the Quarterdeck.”

PO (Air Engineering Technician) Sarah Lawford, who is currently based on HMS Prince of Wales, also has ambitions to progress her career by transferring to Officer. 

She said: “I found the day extremely beneficial as it gave me a real insight as to what to expect during my time at BRNC.

“It broke down both the UY and SUY courses and expanded on the timetable of each.  It was a fantastic day and a great opportunity to engage with other SUY candidates.”

BRNC provides three SUY courses each year consisting of seven weeks.  UYs complete the full 30-week course alongside direct entrant officers.

Further acquaint visits have been planned for February and June next year.  The visits are designed to be an introduction into Officer training at BRNC and are particularly suitable for those who have passed their Admiralty Interview Board (AIB) or have already been selected for training at BRNC.

It is not designed as a preparation course for a forthcoming AIB.  Further information and details of how to book a place on a visit are available at this link:

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