As Naval personnel play their part in helping the government deal with the coronavirus, one Naval officer has made history at Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) by passing-out of training – on his own.
Sub Lieutenance (SLt) Matthew Poxon Royal Navy was unable to take part in the passing-out-parade with the rest of his entry held at the historic College on 2 April 2020 due to being in self-isolation. Instead a separate parade was organised, when SLt Poxon was inspected by the Commanding Officer of BRNC, Captain Roger Readwin Royal Navy, and as is tradition, marched up the steps from the parade ground and through the main College door.
Capt. Readwin said: “The passing-out-parade is a huge occasion for the Officer Cadets and their families. In these difficult times, families were not invited to the parade to comply with the Government’s directives to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. The current situation by no way undermines their great effort and determination to serve their nation as so many Naval Officers have done so before them. My staff and I thought it was important to recognise SLt Poxon’s achievement and afford him the same right of passage as his fellow Cadets. There is also an important lesson here for fellow Officer Cadets under training, in that good leadership is about looking after not only the team but also every single individual.”
In total more than 60 engineers, 50 warfare specialists, two Naval chaplains, five logistics experts and nine officers from the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, which supports the Royal Navy on its operations around the globe, passed out of the College. All have undergone a 29-week course to transform them from civilians into Naval Officers.
While some will move on to continue their specialist training, others have been put on standby to join the COVID Defence Force to help the local authorities and other government departments to deal with the coronavirus crisis.