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First promotion for Royal Navy Reserve Engineering Branch

LET Chris Raeburn has become the first RNR Engineering Branch member to be promoted
15 June 2021
An engineer has become the first reservist to be promoted since the RNR Engineering Branch was established in 2014.

Engineering Technician Chris Raeburn, who has been promoted to Leading Hand, was also the first junior rate to be accepted into the branch seven years ago.

The HMS Calliope reservist, who in his civilian life is an engineering manager and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle pilot, said: “I think it’s a great, but long-overdue step forward for the branch.

“This should hopefully encourage more junior rates to join and pave the way for civilian engineers to eventually join too. I hope I’m the first of many to go down this route.” 

The RNR gives me the opportunity to travel and to carry out practical engineering and maintenance again

LET Chris Raeburn

LET Raeburn joined the Royal Navy originally in 2001 and served on destroyers and RFAs before leaving in 2007.

After a brief stint in the Territorial Army, he joined the RNR in 2013 and has deployed to Bahrain and Oman.

 “I spend a large portion of my day job sat at a computer and I miss the hands-on aspect of engineering that I had in the RN. The RNR gives me the opportunity to travel and to carry out practical engineering and maintenance again.”

A new Direct Entry Technician scheme is due to be launched later this year which will see engineers from specific industry trades be able to join the branch, and LET Raeburn’s promotion is part of an initiative that proves industrial civilian engineers have the skills that the branch need and wish to recruit.

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