The captain, britannia royal naval college

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Socks. There are hundreds of commercially available socks to tackle blisters. You will be issued with thick wool socks but a pair of cotton undersocks with as few seems as possible will add another friction layer and reduce the risk of blisters forming. Bridgedale are one manufacturer of such socks, but others are available.

      1. Hygiene. The above measures are useless if you do not regularly change your socks. One pair per day is not enough when wearing boots. You will be taught about changing clothes on Exercise but in short, if your socks are wet, get them changed.

      1. Insoles and Footscan. If your footwear is too deep, the issued insole should be sufficient, but if you are need of more tailored support, your feet will be assessed by the Medical Centre staff. In order to reduce the number of lower limb injuries, BRNC is involved in pioneering research with D3D Footscan. Do not spend money on seeing a potentially expensive podiatrist.

      1. Blister treatment. The Medical Centre will supply blister treatment kits allowing you to self administer according to the following levels:

Level one. Prevention.

Level 2. Hotspot protection. Zinc Oxide tape (or similar) used to reduce friction.

Level 3. Granuflex (or similar) and Zinc Oxide tape (or similar) used to cover a blister. Do not pull off the skin.

Level 4. If a particularly large amount of fluid has collected the Medical staff may drain the blister and apply Level 3 care.

Level 5. Occasionally blisters become infected. Antibiotics and a temporary change in footwear is required.

      1. Myths. A number of myths exist which are untrue in almost every case:

Boot allergies cause blisters, taping the whole of a foot with Zinc Oxide prevents blisters, talcum powder prevents blisters, and skin can be hardened with alcohol, surgical spirit or llama fat.

Kit List

  1. A recommended kit list is at Annex A to this Chapter. There is limited storage space available during Initial Naval Training, replicated from life onboard Ship, therefore do not bring excess clothing or kit with you. The kit list will be more than sufficient.

Pre-joining fitness

  1. Introduction. Be under no illusion that you are joining a military service and as such we will expect you to be fit and active. Do not underestimate the level of fitness that you require during training, but more pertinently your level of fitness on joining. You need to be well above the standard detailed in the fitness programme; if you are not, you will struggle. We expect you to be able to run a mile and half upon arrival within your allotted time; this is the absolute minimum and you must strive to do better than this throughout your training. You should be able to run from getting off the bus, do not expect to arrive unfit and for BRNC to correct that; you should arrive fit and we will help to develop you.

  1. You should now prepare yourself in the knowledge that the course will be both physically demanding and yet achievable. To help you successfully complete your training at BRNC, it is essential that you start to prepare yourself NOW.

  1. Your personal motivation towards physical exertion is a very strong indicator of your ability to motivate the men and women that you will lead in the future. From the outset it will be an indicator of your commitment to your training; an obvious conclusion may be drawn if you arrive unfit.

  1. One of the key tests that you will face will be a leadership exercise held on Dartmoor. You will be required to be able to walk up to 45kms (up to 15kms a day) in arduous conditions whilst carrying a heavy pack.

  1. Standards Required. Within your first week at BRNC you will be expected to pass the following tests:

The Royal Navy Fitness Test is a 2.4 km run (maximum effort).


Under 25

Under 30

Under 35

Under 40


11 mins 9 secs

11 mins 33 secs

11 mins 58 secs

12 mins 23 secs


13 mins 10 secs

13 mins 37 secs

14 mins 5 secs

14 mins 33 secs

The Strength Test is a 4 x 15m shuttle run while carrying 2 x 20kg powerbags, simulating the carrying of AFFF Drums through compartments of a Ship.

The Body Composition Measurement is a height, weight and waist circumference measurement.
You are required to pass this prior to attending the Basic Sea Safety Course and prior to deploying on Initial Fleet Training.

The test is completed wearing overalls, within 4 minutes and consists of:

Entering the water at the deep end.

Treading water for 2 mins.

Swimming for 55 metres without touching the sides or the bottom of the pool.

Climbing out of the pool unassisted (pool side height is approximately 18 inches).

  1. These tests mark the minimum acceptable standard. If you cannot already achieve these standards you should commence your physical preparation NOW.

  1. You will require one pair of good quality training shoes for personal physical activity, but will wear issued shoes during core training.

  1. The physical demands faced at BRNC are taxing yet achievable. If correctly prepared they can be fun!

Use of issued boots

  1. You will be issued a pair of combat boots on arrival at BRNC and will be required to wear these daily for the first 7 weeks of training. The likelihood is that you do not wear heavy leather boots in your civilian life and your feet are probably more used to the comfort and ease of a trainer. If you have a pair of leather boots at home it would be sensible for you to try to harden the soles of your feet a little; this is best achieved by walking around in boots for a couple of hours each day.

  1. There is no need to start doing any physical training whilst wearing boots, which may even cause injuries in a worst case scenario. The physical side of your training is structured specifically to be progressive, so we will not start you running in boots as soon as you arrive. This will be a gradual process to make sure any injuries are avoided.

Naval general knowledge

  1. It is important that you are aware of the history, capabilities and roles of the Royal Navy, therefore you should aim to build upon the knowledge gained for your AIB and continue to research the Ships, aircraft and weapons systems of the Royal Navy and its branches.

  1. You will be tested on your knowledge during rounds and a broader understanding of the Royal Navy will assist your training considerably.

  1. Inevitably, there are as many suggestions for reading lists as there are people, and hence no suggested reading list could be exhaustive and indeed there may be insufficient time to read the entire list. However, in order to prepare your mindset for joining the Royal Navy it is advisable to build general understanding by visiting your local library and noting key points from books similar to those listed at Annex C to this chapter. Additionally, ‘Jackspeak’ by Rick Jolly provides a light-hearted insight into the language used by the Royal Navy.

Annex A to

Chapter 2







(inc min 2x white bras (females))

2x pair Socks =

2x pair Socks (dark colour, no pattern)


Dressing Gown / Bath Robe

Flip Flops

Civilian Clothes

Smart Blazer (Sensible Colour) and tailored trousers (which you should arrive in)

Lounge Suit (OPTIONAL) (To arrive in if above not worn) #

2x Shirts (one of which you will arrive in)

Pair of Black or Brown Shoes


Polo Shirt



Sports Wear

Sports Shorts =

1x Tracksuit Trousers =

Polo shirt / t-shirt =

Trainers =

Swimming Attire

1x Sweatshirt

4x Sports Bra (females)

General Items

Permanent Markers *

2x Trouser Hangers *

5x Dry / Canoe bags +

Clothes Names Labels *

Small / Travel Towel +


2x Bath Towels

Flannel *

Hole Punch *

Toilet Bag and Toiletries *

Hands free / Bluetooth attachment for Mobile Phone

A4 Note Pad (a stationery pack will be issued on arrival)

Shoe Cleaning Kit *

Good Ironing Board

Lighter +

Sewing Kit *

Mobile Phone

Head Torch (with Red filter) +

10-12 x Wooden Coat Hangers *

Wristwatch with Stopwatch function

Trouser Twisties *+

Small Padlock (to secure personal drawer) *

Rule of the Road book@

Stain Removal Kit e.g. Vanish bar


Cufflinks *

Propelling pencils *

Scientific Calculator

Nail Brush *

Pens (blue/black) *

Scissors *

Clothes / Lint Brush *

# A lounge suit will not be required for the remainder of the term (you will wear either uniform or Dog Robbers (detailed later in this chapter)).

= For wearing in the evening when preparing kit (as well as for personal physical activity).

* Available from on-site convenience shop – however, supplies can run low in the first week.

+ Not required for first few weeks, however can be purchased if desired for use during Ex ABLE (these items can be purchased online following Ex BLD and delivered direct to the College).

@ See Note 12 below. You will be loaned a copy of A Seaman’s Guide to the Rule of the Road, but may wish to purchase your own copy of this or of A Seaman’s Guide Pocket Book of The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.


  1. UYs and Bursars will be issued with all necessary additional uniform upon arrival at BRNC.

  1. Sponsored Medics and Dentists, like all other Cadets, are NOT permitted to bring their own private car to BRNC upon joining and must adhere to the joining directive in the enclosed letter from Commander Training. There will be an opportunity for cars to be brought in during a leave weekend towards the end of the 15 week course if so required.

  1. In addition to the advised civilian kit list in this handbook Sponsored Medics and Dentists are required to bring their FULL Service kit issue received during time in BLAKE Squadron (only bring one set of No 1s and exclude the second set of No1s and your No2s). You will only be issued with the remainder of a standard kit issue when you arrive. Any worn or damaged kit may be exchanged one-for-one during the first few days.


  1. All kit will require naming during the first night at the College. Naming civilian kit before arrival will help save precious sleeping hours on the first night.

  1. Underwear. In Militarisation laundry is washed communally within 48 hours by a civilian company, and must be done everyday. Thus it is not necessary to bring a large quantity of underwear. Three pairs of thick socks, thin socks and sports socks will be issued. Sports bras are mandatory for females for physical training, during Exercises on Dartmoor and at the College. At least 4 will be required.

  1. Trouser Twisties. These are elasticated loops used to hold the ankles of uniform trousers up. They can be purchased from the College and will be explained upon arrival but they may be purchased before arrival from surplus type stores / online.

  1. Shoe cleaning kit. One soft brush to apply polish and one harder brush to remove the excess, along with one tin of normal black shoe polish will be required. There are several methods to polish or ‘bull’ issue shoes; you should bring cotton wool and a soft cloth / duster as these are required for the most common methods. Any other equipment is up to the individual. Kiwi is recommended but other brands of polish are also acceptable.

  1. Watertight bags. These will be used to waterproof kit when on Dartmoor during the Assessed Basic Leadership Exercise (ABLE). A range of sizes are required but predominantly about A4, for different clothing. Approximately 20 sealable food bags are sufficient per major exercise (therefore 80 in total, but the remaining 60 can be purchased after Ex BLD). Additionally, up to 5 canoe bags, available from most outdoor pursuit shops may be useful (after Ex BLD).

  1. Iron. Cadets will use their iron on a daily basis. Invest in a good one; steam irons are best and they need to be a decent weight. Do not bring a travel iron; it is not up to the job.

  1. Rule Of The Road book: All Cadets should start learning this NOW – you will be tested on your working knowledge of Rules one to 10 at the end of the second week and Rules one to 19 throughout Militarisation. If you will be joining the Warfare branch you will eventually need to know all the Rules verbatim. You will be leant a book when you arrive but learning early will make life much easier. It is advised that Cadets buy ‘A Seaman’s Guide Pocket Book of The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea’ Morgans Technical Books Limited ISBM 0-948254-06-8. Alternatively, free to use PDF versions are available on the internet.

Civilian clothing

  1. Storage space is limited; as is leave and therefore the opportunity to wear civilian attire. Do not bring excess civilian clothing. There will be leave opportunities in which you may retrieve further clothing as required.

    1. Female Clothing. Equivalent female civilian attire is difficult to define in summation due to the significant variation in dress available. The main thing to consider is the spirit of the rig ie if a jacket is defined for the male rig then a jacket should be worn for females. Whilst there is a considerable range of fashion open to you it is recommended to dress conservatively, overly bright colours or patterns, excessively short skirts or dresses or low cut or revealing tops would be incorrect. As there is limited opportunity to wear civilian clothing in your first term, a lounge suit, trousers or skirts (below the knee), plain blouses and fine knit jumper with a jacket and appropriate shoes or boots should suffice.

  1. Dog Robbers. Consists of a smart jacket or blazer with a shirt and trousers or chinos with a tie for males. Female equivalent is a smart jacket or a blazer with a smart, tailored pair of trousers or a skirt. Skirts should be no more than 5cm above the knee and splits and vents should not be revealing (finishing no more than 5cm above the knee). Jeans and denim are not permitted at BRNC.

  1. Planters. Dog robbers without a jacket for males. For females it consists of a blouse or shirt worn with a skirt or tailored trousers.

  1. Relaxed Dartmouth Rig. A minimum of a polo shirt with smart trousers for men and a blouse / shirt / polo shirt with skirt / trousers for women. Collars are required.

  1. Sports Wear. Logos are to be small (rough guide: a couple of square inches eg a university crest). Clothes are to be respectable. No surfing shorts. Females are to ensure their midriff is covered, sleeveless tops are not advised, no unnecessarily tight or revealing clothing, and no hot pants. Your sports kit will primarily be worn when preparing kit, but can be worn during personal physical activity.

  1. Swimming Attire. Males: short swimming shorts or trunks; no beach wear, must be above the knee and no glaring designs, prints etc. Females: one piece swimming costume; no fashionably revealing cut out sections permitted.

  1. Suit. If you choose to bring a suit to BRNC, remember that it will spend Militarisation in the baggage store so a good quality suit carrier is essential. If brought, a lounge suit must be smart, traditionally coloured, single-breasted jackets (up to 3 button fastenings) or double breasted (up to 6 button fastenings). All jackets, whether suit or blazer, should be of a traditional style and breast pocket crests should be avoided. Trousers are required to be tailored. A thin pullover may be worn between the shirt and jacket in cold weather. For females, either a tailored skirt- or trouser-suit of conservative colouring is recommended, if one is brought to BRNC.

  1. Shoes.

    1. Men. A standard pair of black or brown smart shoes is required for wearing with a jacket and tie or with smart trousers and a polo shirt.

    1. Women. One pair of court shoes will be required to be worn with uniform. These are to have no more than 1½ inch heels, are not to be stiletto or to have pointed toes. No stitching is permitted, nor shaping of the shoe, eg the toe must not be shaped in a V. Uniform shoes are to be as conservative as possible. Cadets may also bring a different pair of shoes to wear with their suit, but should be aware that they will be required to march a short distance from the coach to their accommodation once at the College; blisters have been a problem. Boots are not permitted to extend higher than the knee and should only be worn with trousers or skirts below the knee. Excessive platforms and heels are to be avoided; you must be able to walk in them.

  1. Polo Shirts. Logos must be small, for instance the manufacturer’s symbol. Football shirts and rugby jerseys etc are not permitted at the College.

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