Career at sea beckons for former BHS pupil

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A 27-year-old recruit has successfully completed the first phase of her Royal Navy training and is now on course for a career at sea.

Trainee writer Nicola Stewart arrived at the gates of HMS Raleigh, in Cornwall, last September to undergo 10 weeks of intensive training.

The course is designed to progressively give recruits the fundamental skills they require for a successful career in the Royal Navy. It culminates in the passing-out-parade attended by families and friends.

Nicola is a former pupil of Buckhaven High School and previously worked for the procurator fiscal service.

She said: “I joined the Royal Navy for a fulfilling career and for the travel opportunities.

“I’m really happy to have passed this course and so proud of the tasks I have achieved.

“Staying overnight on a decommissioned minesweeper and becoming part of a team have been among the highlights of the course.

“I have proud to have completed the assault course and overcome my fear of heights on team-building equipment standing 30 metres tall. Even a few months ago I would never have thought I could have done anything like this.”

Nicola will remain at HMS Raleigh for training at the Defence Maritime Logistics School. There she will learn the Royal Navy’s procedures in personnel administration, which will enable her to take on a wide range of responsibilities at sea and ashore.

These include the maintenance of correspondence and personnel records, cash accounting and pay and allowances.

An enhanced Initial Naval Training course was introduced by the Royal Navy in May 2011.

It is underpinned by nine core maritime skills that are the foundations of naval life and underpin operational effectiveness. Recruits are taught the basics of Naval discipline and customs. They learn about navigation and are given the chance to take the helm of their own medium sized inflatable boat during a waterborne orienteering exercise.

With Royal Navy personnel playing a vital role in Afghanistan and other land-based operations, recruits undergo training in basic combat skills which includes survival in the field. Fitness is a key component of the training and is delivered using a disciplined method of military fitness which focuses on developing co-ordination and individual physical strength and endurance.