Our time at the BRNC: Young Officer comments.....
Seniors – joined BRNC in May 2010, passed-out Dec 2010 now on the Initial Warfare Officer’s course
- Sub Lt Lee Fallows aged 24 and an Upperyardman having spent 3 years as a rating
- Sub Lt Hugh Gaskell Taylor, aged 26
- Sub Lt Dave Pearce, aged 25
New Entry Term Officer Cadets (OC) – joined BRNC in January 2011, moving on to Initial Fleet Time in May. Hoping to pass-out from BRNC in July 2011
- OC Matthew Stone, aged 25
- OC Gerrard Tin, age 23
Q: Why did you join the RN?
Sub Lt Gaskell-Taylor - I wasn’t happy with a normal 9-5 job in an office and the RN offered something different. A career in the RN is unlike any other offering constantly challenging and varied roles where you are always part of a team whilst getting to work with a diverse range of people from all around the world.
Sub Lt Fallows - I worked for nearly 5 years on Tall Ships so decided a creer in the RN seemed a good move.
OC Stone -I wanted the opportunity to travel and see the world, to have the chance to be a leader and to have a job that is both mentally and physically challenging. Most importantly I wanted to do something worthwhile which I can feel proud of.
Q: What did you think when you first arrived at BRNC?
OC Tin - The militarisation process was a shock at first, coming straight from civvie street. However, the bonding process began almost immediately, with a sense of camaraderie and comradeship developing as training intensified.
OC Stone - I was initially taken aback by how large the College is, the building is quite grand and really dominates the area. Everyone though was so welcoming though.
Sub Lt Preece - nervous, excited and I couldn’t wait to start training.
Sub Lt Fallows - Having spent time at HMS Raleigh and then at sea as a junior rate, coming through the gate and looking up at the College was certainly strange, I wondered do I really belong here? That quickly subsided though as I settled in.
Q: How well prepared were you for New Entry training?
OC Tin - The information you get sent before joining is a great help. In terms of fitness though – you can never be too fit. I wish I had spent more time on my cardiovascular fitness and less on my beach muscles!
OC Stone - I had prepared well physically but nothing, however, could have prepared me for the myriad of mental and physical challenges awaiting me. The training and advice you get in the first few weeks helps you so much and brings out the characteristics and attributes that you need to succeed here.
Q: What did / have you found particularly challenging during New Entry?
OC Stone - The Assessed Basic Leadership Exercise – 4 days and nights on Dartmoor was for me by far the biggest challenge.
I learnt so much from it, pushing my body further than I thought it could go and cope with and more than my mind could ever take.
OC Tin - the physicality of training can sometimes be difficult along with time management to incorporate study of new subjects and hopefully find time for some form of relaxation.
Sub Lt Gaskell-Taylor - ABLE, the test on Dartmoor of your leadership skills, teamwork, physical and mental resolve.
Sub Lt Preece - ABLE, the hardest and yet also one of the most enjoyable experiences!
Sub Lt Fallows - Actually working with the different cultures of the international students and the understandable language issues but you know that it is invaluable experience for you future career.
Q: How did you feel when you Passed-out of BRNC?
Sub Lt Fallows - Relieved! Given that I was already in the RN when I joined here it had still been an incredible transition for me, opening my eyes in so many ways.
Sub Lt Gaskell-Taylor - Passing-out Parade was the culmination of 28 weeks of hard work. It was a great day for both me and my family. It marked only the start of what will be challenging career.
Sub Lt Preece - A huge sense of achievement and pride.
Q; What did your families and friends think of Dartmouth when they visited you for families weekend or POP
OC Tin - My parents loved it here. They have no military background so they were reassured by what they saw and learnt from the visit.
OC Stone - Whilst being impressed with the college they found Dartmouth to be such a charming and peaceful town with a great selection of shops and restaurants, they loved the novelty of the ferry too!
Sub Lt Gaskell-Taylor - Everyone was impressed with both the town of Dartmouth and the superb setting of BRNC – such views.
Sub Lt Preece - Dartmouth has some really good pubs and everyone is so friendly in the town.
Sub Ly Fallows - Like me my family could not fail but be impressed by the College, such a stark contrast to HMS Raleigh. the town too.
Q: What do you think of Dartmouth and the surrounding area?
OC Tin - The setting of Dartmouth with the beautiful buildings and the quay-side are idyllic. There is a very British fell to it all
OC Stone - I had never been to this part of England before I came to BRNC but I am growing extremely fond of it. Both the College and the town are stunning. I am so lucky that I get to see the sun rising over the River Dart most mornings.
Sub Lt Gaskell-Taylor - I have had a great time here including some brilliant evenings out in Dartmouth. I am lucky enough to have a room at the front of the College so wake up every morning to the most amazing view over the Parade Ground and the River Dart.
Sub Lt Fallows - BRNC is the ideal setting. You could not have a better stage from which to launch your career as a naval officer.
First Published April 2011 By The Dart