HMS Sherwood reservist success story

Topic: PeopleReserves

A reservist from Newark has successfully completed his Initial Naval Training after leaving his full-time Royal Naval career behind 17 years ago.

Able Seaman Craig Wagstaff, aged 45, of Boughton near Newark, re-joined the Royal Navy as a reservist one year ago as he wanted a new challenge and felt he could pass on his previous warfare trade skills to younger members of the current ship’s company in Nottingham.

Serving with HMS Sherwood, the East Midlands’ only Royal Naval Reserve unit, Craig has now completed all of his Initial Naval Training in just 11 months, attending HMS Raleigh in May 2016 where he was awarded the Captain’s prize for best performance on the course.

On a day-to-day basis, Craig works full-time for Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service and he says he could not have realised his reservist ambitions without their constant support. 

Craig explained: “When I re-joined the Royal Navy in June 2015 after an absence of 17 years I was unsure what to expect. However, with the help and support of the ship’s company at HMS Sherwood and the excellent instruction of the initial training team staff I quickly settled in to my new reservist role. I got myself back up to speed completing my Phase One training including the confirmation course in less than a year from joining. 

“I consider myself extremely fortunate to be given the opportunity to serve my country once more, and to be able to do this alongside serving with Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service something I am extremely proud of. 

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my last year at HMS Sherwood and am looking forward to taking on many new exciting challenges that lay ahead. I am now focussing on my next step and hope to start my specialisation training soon.”

I consider myself extremely fortunate to be given the opportunity to serve my country once more

Able Seaman Craig Wagstaff. HMS Sherwood