A 27-year-old from Lindfield has celebrated her formal commissioning as a Royal Navy Officer on parade at Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC).
Midshipman Harriet Delbridge was one of around 131 Officer Cadets who took part in the parade, watched by their families, friends and distinguished guests, including the Fleet Commander and Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Sir Philip Jones, who was the VIP inspecting officer.
To earn her place on the parade ground, Harriet completed an intensive 30 week training course, which was split into three distinct 10 week phases. While the course predominately takes place at the world renowned College in Dartmouth, the training includes a three week ship acquaint when Harriet was assigned to HMS Ocean, the Royal Navy’s largest ships, for operations in the Baltic.
Harriet said: “The first twenty weeks were ever so challenging but rewarding. I’ve made new friends from all different walks of life and it’s been the most up and down year I’ve had so far in my life. However now commissioning it all seems worth it and I look forward to my time serving in the Fleet.”
A graduate of University College London, Harriet worked as a chartered accountant before embarking on her Naval career last November. She said: “I joined the Royal Navy to serve my Queen and country, to take part in military operations and because I didn’t want to sit behind a desk for the rest of my career.”
With the first phase of his training complete Harriet will transfer to HMS Raleigh where she will undergo training to qualify as a Logistics Officer. At sea she will be responsible for all aspects of stores, administration and catering.
The Royal Navy’s initial naval training course for Officers is underpinned by nine Core Maritime Skills that are the foundations of naval life and essential to operational effectiveness. It involves maritime training on the River Dart and also uses the rugged environment of Dartmoor to teach the Cadets how to operate and lead in the field. The course is progressive and designed to ensure that the Cadets are equipped to undertake assignments both at sea and on land, working jointly with other parts of the UK Armed Forces and in partnership with other nations. Fitness training is delivered using a disciplined method of military fitness, which focuses on developing co-ordination and individual physical strength and endurance. Command, leadership and management training is a constant thread throughout the course with an emphasis on coaching, mentoring and development activities.
For details of career opportunities visit www.royalnavy.mod.uk or call 08456 07 55 55.
Report and picture contributed by Britannia Royal Naval College.