First Sea Lord takes the salute at BRNC Dartmouth

The Head of the Royal Navy has taken the salute at the latest passing-out-parade at Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC), four decades after his own graduation.

Admiral Sir Philip Jones KCB ADC, First Sea Lord, Chief of the Naval Staff was the guest of honour for the parade, which marked the end of training for 147 new Royal Navy Officers, including 16 promoted from the ranks.

Also taking part in the parade were 18 International Cadets from 13 countries and 11 new officers for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary service.

Admiral Jones joined the Royal Navy in 1978 and took up his current appointment in April 2016. During his early career, he saw active service in the Falklands campaign in 1982 on board the Amphibious Assault Ship HMS Fearless.

The First Sea Lord said: “The people serving in today’s Royal Navy are as good as they have ever been, demonstrating the extraordinary dedication, professionalism and unique sense of good humour that our nation has come to expect.

"It’s a Service that I am enormously proud to lead and a Service that, through hard work and determination, these new Officers have earned the right to join.

"As they take their place in the Fleet and join in our efforts to uphold international law upon the seas, defend our national interests and promote our country’s prosperity, these latest additions to our Officer corps now share in the responsibility of leadership to make sure the Royal Navy retains its place as one of the very best navies in the world.”

The people serving in today’s Royal Navy are as good as they have ever been, demonstrating the extraordinary dedication, professionalism and unique sense of good humour that our nation has come to expect. It’s a Service that I am enormously proud to lead and a Service that, through hard work and determination, these new Officers have earned the right to join.

Admiral Sir Philip Jones KCB ADC

Among the current generation of Officers was 22-year-old Midshipman (Mid) Jack Passmore from Willand in Devon.

Prior to joining the Royal Navy Mid Passmore graduated from Plymouth University with a first-class honours degree in Biomedical Science in 2017, but deciding he wanted a new career path, Mid Passmore has joined the Royal Navy to become a pilot.

Mid Passmore said: “Completing the basic leadership development phase of training on Dartmoor in the winter storms of February was one of the highlights of the course.

"The physical aspect makes up a large majority of training, but has arguably been the most rewarding. The people you join with are certainly what get you through the course. Overall, I have overcome so many challenges in the last 29 weeks and will look back on my training with a huge sense of pride.

It has been an incredible start to what promises to be an amazing career in aviation.”

Sub Lieutenant (SLt) Howard Peplow, from Newton Abbot was one of the newly commissioned Officers promoted from the ranks. He originally joined the Royal Navy as an Operator Mechanic (Communications) and later transferred to become a Physical Training Instructor.

The 38-year-old said: “Passing out of the College was a proud moment and a boyhood dream of mine. The course has given me enough time to reflect and adjust prior to going out into the Fleet as a commissioned Officer.”

This was the second of BRNC’s three passing-out-parade this year.

Captain Jolyon Woodard ADC, the Commanding Officer of BRNC, said: “Over 29-weeks the direct entrant Officer Cadets have had to prove to their instructors that they have what it takes to commission into the Royal Navy as a leader.

"They have trained on Dartmoor, on the River Dart, and at sea on board an operational warship.

"Those promoted from the ranks already have many years of experience to bring to the Officer Corps and have undertaken a seven-week course to prepare them for their new role, while our Royal Fleet Auxiliary cadets have been tested over 10 weeks.

"All of those passing-out should be very proud of what they have achieved to earn their commission as an officer and a leader.”