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Future submariners on their way to earning coveted Dolphin badge

13 February 2018
Two classes of submariner trainees at HM Naval Base Clyde recently passed-out from the first phase of their Submarine Qualifying Course (SMQ).

On January 25, the first class of trainees – being trained for service on board Vanguard Class submarines – reached the culmination of their ten-week “dry phase”, the classroom part of the course conducted on dry land at Clyde’s Flag Officer Sea Training (North).

Twenty-three graduated on the day with Engineering Technician Weapons Engineer (Submarines) Jalbertawarded the top student prize by guest of honour Commander Dan Simmons, Commanding Officer of HMS Vengeance Port.

“ET Jalbert displayed leadership attributes beyond his current rate, selflessly encouraging and mentoring his peers,” said one instructor in his class.  

The Submarine Qualifying Course provides future submariners with the knowledge essential for joining their first Royal Navy submarine.


“His hard work and commitment to learning saw him deliver a polished performance throughout and at his final oral board.”

Meanwhile, on February 1, the second class – consisting of 19 Astute Class students – passed-out, with Captain of the Faslane Flotilla, Captain Edward Ahlgren, presenting the top student award.

Able Seaman Writer Jones was given the honour for his commitment to achieving the highest of standards. 

He used spare capacity to assist other members of the class to gain a better understanding of the information taught during the working day.

Each of the students will now move on to different units, with some going straight to service with V Boats and A Boats and others will undergo further training before joining a vessel.

The Submarine Qualifying Course provides future submariners with the knowledge essential for joining their first Royal Navy submarine. 

The course instils the absolute professionalism demanded by the Submarine Service with trainees required to demonstrate an intimate understanding of more than 30 complex engineering systems which operate the nuclear submarines and keep the crew safe.

Prospective submariners join SMQ (North) at HM Naval Base Clyde for the dry phase of their training. 

After successfully completing a final exam, oral board and walk-rounds of a nuclear submarine, they pass-out, eventually joining a nuclear submarine.

It is there the second phase of training begins – known as the “wet phase”. 

Students complete their SMQ training at sea on board a Royal Navy submarine and it is only then that they are entitled to wear the coveted “dolphins” badge – the mark of a qualified submariner.

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