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First intake of 2018 begin training at Dartmouth

22 January 2018
The January intake of 140 Officer Cadets have become the first new arrivals at Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) this year.

During a week of conditioning, the Officer Cadets (OCs) have been issued with their kit and briefed on what will be expected of them over the next 29-weeks.

They have conducted their first lessons in marching and military standards and their fitness has been tested.

OC Harriet Austin, aged 22, from Essex has joined the Royal Navy for a change of career and is aiming to become an Observer within the Fleet Air Arm. 

She said: “I’ve always been keen on problem solving. I like a challenge and change, as I get bored quite easily.  The military looked really appealing and then I looked into aviation and aviation at sea ticked all the boxes for me. 

“I know the next 29-weeks is going to be a lot of hard-work, a lot of fitness, there’ll be tests of my mental ability and not a lot of sleep, which I’ve already experienced.  So overall it’s going to be a real test of every aspect of me, but I’m up for it 100%.”

In addition to learning key military skills this first phase is all about determination and working as a team

Commander Ian Lynn, Commander Training at BRNC Dartmouth

OC Matt Rees hails from Ellesmere Port. The 25-year-old already has some experience of the Royal Navy as a member of the Royal Naval Reserves. 

He said: “I’ve been waiting a couple of years to join. I wanted to do something different, making a difference in the world and have a life worth living. I have a basic understanding of what’s going to happen during training, but it’s all still a learning experience. 

“I think you can do as much prep as you want, but it’s still going to be a massive culture shock. I’m looking forward to driving a warship; a little bit nervous about that, but where else can you do that in your 20s.”

The course at BRNC is split into two distinct phases, the first of which is known as the militarisation phase. 

Commander Ian Lynn, Commander Training at BRNC, said: “In addition to learning key military skills this first phase is all about determination and working as a team. They will be taught how to develop their skills as leaders within the college and on Dartmoor. 

“We’ll also take them down on to the river to learn how to drive the fleet of boats we use for training. There will be an introduction into critical thinking, ethics and Royal Navy ethos. 

“It’s a very busy period for them designed to give them a good foundation to build upon in the second stage of this course, which will include a period at sea on board an operational warship.”

Members of the public can follow the progress of these cadets via the college Twitter account - @DartmouthBRNC.

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