A 21-year-old from Swindon, who has an ambition to be a Royal Navy Warfare Officer, has completed the first stage of his training at Britannia Royal Naval College.
Midshipman Oliver Daniel Mendham, from Nine Elms, swapped his life as a salesman for a career in the Royal Navy last November. To prepare him for his new role he has undergone 30 weeks of intense training, which culminated in the passing-out-parade and his formal commissioning as a Naval Officer.
The Royal Navy’s initial naval training course for Officers is split into three 10 week phases known as Militarisation, Marinisation and Initial Fleet Time. While the first two phases take place predominantly at the world renowned College in Dartmouth, Oliver undertook the final stage of his training at sea on board the Helicopter Carrier HMS Bulwark.
His time at sea included a trip to Rotterdam to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Anglo Dutch amphibious partnership and a visit to Liverpool where HMS Bulwark was part of the commemorations for the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic.
The former pupil of New College Swindon was previously a member of the Air Training Corps (ATC).
Oliver said: “I have had a strong ambition to join the military as an officer since my school days, which grew from my time in the ATC. The Royal Navy offers a great opportunity to serve the country whilst seeing the world, which has always appealed to me. Overall the training was suitably challenging with a great group of people and I now feel incredibly proud to have passed out, having learnt so much in a short time. My ambitions are now to fully qualify as a Warfare Officer going on to specialise as aircrew or in intelligence.”
With the first stage of his training complete, Oliver will remain at Britannia Royal Naval College to begin his specialist training to ultimately qualify as a Warfare Officer.
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.
Details of career opportunities within the Royal Navy are available online at www.royalnavy.mod.uk or by calling the Recruitment Line on 08456 07 55 55.