A 22-year-old recruit from Devizes is setting sail on a new career after completing his Royal Navy basic training at HMS Raleigh in Cornwall.
Trainee diver Michael Baller arrived at the Royal Navy training base in September. During a ten-week course he has been given a thorough induction into the Royal Navy, learning skills that he will rely upon throughout their time in the Service. The course culminates with the passing-out-parade attended by families and friends.
Before embarking on his naval career, Michael worked in the manufacturing industry. He said: “I joined the Royal Navy for a challenging career and to see and learn new things. I’ve enjoyed all of my training so far and it’s been good making so many new friends. To complete the course feels like a huge achievement. I’m now looking forward to my diving course and improving my fitness further.”
With the first phase of his training complete, Michael’s next port of call is HMS Collingwood in Hampshire. There he will undergo his specialist training to qualify as a diver. Royal Navy divers can be called upon to perform a variety of tasks from identifying and destroying mines or other explosives that pose a danger to a warship, to disposing of Second World War weaponry dragged up in a trawler's net and carrying our major engineering jobs on the ship's propeller or hull if needed.
The Royal Navy's Initial Naval Training course is underpinned by nine Core Maritime Skills that are the foundations of naval life and underpin operational effectiveness. Recruits are taught the basics of Naval discipline and customs. They learn about navigation and are given the chance to take the helm of their own medium sized inflatable boat during a waterborne orienteering exercise. With Royal Navy personnel playing a vital role in Afghanistan and other land-based operations, recruits undergo training in basic combat skills which includes survival in the field. Fitness is a key component of the training and is delivered using a disciplined method of military fitness which focuses on developing co-ordination and individual physical strength and endurance. As the course progresses the recruits take part in three extended exercises to test their skills and understanding of the principles they have been taught.
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.