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Sixteen new officers commissioned into the Royal Naval Reserve

Sixteen new officers commissioned into the Royal Naval Reserve
17 October 2022
The Accelerated Officers Programme of 2022 culminated with a passing out parade at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, as 16 new officers commissioned into the Royal Naval Reserve and two Midshipmen of the Cayman Islands Coast Guard (CICG) returned to the Caribbean as trained Midshipmen.

Vice Admiral Andrew Burns CB OBE, the Fleet Commander, reviewed the parade, respectfully toned down in light of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The culmination of nine weeks full-time training, the Parade at Britannia Royal Naval College was a proud day for the Midshipmen and their families, many of whom travelled to Dartmouth to watch them celebrate their success, including Commander Robert Scotland, the Commander of the Cayman Islands Coast Guard.

The ceremony, which included a minute silence to commemorate the life of Queen Elizabeth II, saw Reservists from across the country join the parade as a formal Guard of Honour for the Fleet Commander.

The parade was accompanied by music provided by the Band of His Majesty’s Royal Marines, the first time that the Band were His Majesty’s Band since 1952.

Giving the annual AOP an international flair for first time, two members of the newly-established CICG – Mid Christopher McTaggart and Mid Arianna Wheeler Seijas - completed the course alongside their Royal Naval Reserve counterparts.

The CIGC ensures the preservation of maritime safety and security around the Cayman Islands.

Commander Robert Scotland, Commandant of the CICG, travelled from the Cayman Islands to Dartmouth to attend the Graduation Ceremony, and said: “I am delighted that two members of the CICG were able to attend this year’s AOP.  The AOP provided an opportunity to learn the basics of seamanship, teamwork and leadership, all key skills for the CICG’s future leaders, which provide a solid foundation on which we can begin to develop our Officer cadre.

“This year’s AOP is just the beginning of what I’m sure will be a long and mutually beneficial partnership between the CICG and the Royal Navy.  The friendships established this year at Britannia Royal Naval College between the Royal Naval Reserve Officers and our new Midshipmen will ultimately help to ensure that we, as a United Kingdom Overseas Territory, can continue to play an active role in helping to preserve the maritime safety and security of our Islands, while being ready to support our sister Overseas Territories during times of need.”

SLt Matt Parsons from HMS President was awarded the MacRobert Sword for being Top Officer to complete Initial Naval Training throughout the year; AB John Dixon from HMS Ceres was awarded the MacRobert Bosun’s Call for being Top Rating to complete Initial Naval Training throughout the year; Mid Rosie Spencer from HMS President was awarded the top student on AOP 22.

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