Royal Navy trainee honoured in submariner’s memory

Rookie Callum Jackson received an award in memory of murdered submariner Ian Molyneux as he completed his transition from civilian to sailor.

The weapon engineer was singled out as the best trainee on one of the world’s most technically-challenging military training course, the Submarine Qualifying Course.

The course demands that a trainee learn how to operate more than 30 complex engineering systems on board – so that they can react in an instant in an emergency alongside their shipmates, whether on a hunter-killer Trafalgar-class or Astute-class boat or serving in a Vanguard-class submarine carrying the nation’s nuclear deterrent.

After weeks of training, his positivity and “eagerness to understand” all he was taught by instructors led to him standing out from the 39 other would-be ‘deeps’ eager to join the Silent Service – and earned him the Molyneux Prize.

It is an honour for me as a junior rating in the weapons engineering branch to receive this award in memory of Lieutenant Commander Molyneux

LET Callum Jackson

It is named in honour of Lieutenant Commander Ian Molyneux – a fellow weapons engineer who was posthumously awarded the George Medal for sacrificing his life attempting to stop an armed shipmate running amok aboard HMS Astute in 2011.

The prize was presented to the junior submariner by Midshipman Jamie Molyneux RNR – Lt Cdr Molyneux’s son.

“It is an honour for me as a junior rating in the weapons engineering branch to receive this award in memory of Lieutenant Commander Molyneux – and humbling that his son was able to come and present it to me today,” said Callum.

“The Submarine Qualifying Course was challenging but enjoyable. It has been a great foundation for the rest of my submarine training, and I am very proud to have finally completed this important phase of my career.”

His instructor, Warrant Officer Jeff Crawford, said not only had Callum excelled on the course, but also spurred on his 39 colleagues.

“He took charge of the class ensuring everyone knew where to be and ensured study groups took place. His continued drive for knowledge continued throughout the course culminating in a course average of 97.9 per cent,” WO Crawford added.

“Considering he had only been in the Royal Navy for ten weeks, LET Jackson joined with a very positive approach to learning and eagerness to understand all course content.

“These attributes helped him demonstrate to the training staff that he had a complete grasp of all onboard systems, which was well above the standard required at this stage of his training.”

Originally from Plymouth, Callum joined the Royal Navy under its Undergraduate Apprenticeship Scheme – an accelerated initiative to become a nuclear or weapon engineer.

Participants are paid to study for a BEng (Hons) degree, gaining practical skills, and spending time in active service on boats either as a marine engineer or weapon engineer.