The captain, britannia royal naval college

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  1. There will be a number of occasions throughout training when you are actively encouraged to bring guests to the College, these include Families’ Weekend, Passing Out Parade and Balls. Permission for all personal visitors must be obtained in advance from your Divisional Officer. Visitors may attend Church if permission has been obtained.


  1. To allow for the distribution of mail within the College, the address on all correspondence must state the name of the your Division; the full address is as follows:

Officer Cadet AB Name Royal Navy

[ ] Division

Britannia Royal Naval College

College Way



  1. The number for very important telephone messages is (01803) 677244.

Church and chaplaincy

  1. Church services of all 3 major UK denominations: Anglican, Catholic and Church of Scotland and Free Churches take place on Sunday mornings in the 3 College Chapels. The College has a full-time Naval Chaplain associated to each Church and there is also a Mosque and an All-Faiths’ Prayer Room available. A duty Chaplain is on call 24 hours a day to provide general pastoral care.

Pay and cash

  1. Payment will be made on a monthly basis to your bank account on the last working day of the month. If you do not already have a current account with a bank or building society, you should open one before arrival. It may be up to 5 weeks before your first payment so you should arrange access to some money during this time. The convenience shop does have a cash machine and arrangements are in place to cash cheques. Do not bring too large an amount of cash and certainly no more than £100.


  1. Complaints of any nature should initially be referred to a Cadet’s Divisional Officer. If the complaint is directed at the Divisional Officer, the complaint should be made to the appropriate SSO. Out of hours, the Officer of the Day may be contacted via the Main Office on 7244.

Bullying and harassment

  1. As with drugs, the RN has a policy on zero tolerance to bullying or harassment. Any trainee who has questions or concerns regarding bullying or harassment is to, in the first instance, refer it to the Diversity and Inclusion Advisor via their Divisional Officer. If the individual feels uncomfortable with this approach they are to speak to one of the Duty of Care staff.

Chapter 5 - English assignment

  1. Prior to joining you are required to write an article about yourself and send it to the College with the enclosed Joining Proforma prior to your arrival, also bringing a copy with you to be given to your Divisional Officer (DO) at your joining interview.

  1. The title of the article is:


  1. You should aim for 450 to 650 words and this article should be handwritten on A4 paper.

  1. This article serves 2 purposes: It will give the DO and Squadron Senior Officer an opportunity to learn something about you and allow you to make an early assessment of the standard of your own written English.

  1. The article is to be as informative as possible about yourself and include what led you to join the RN. Remember this is a formal essay which should show evidence of academic rigour i.e. use of grammar, punctuation and vocabulary should be to your highest standard. Formal writing skills are very important in the Royal Navy and to this end Cadets will be required to produce a number of articles during the various stages of training. As previously mentioned, first impressions count for a great deal, so OCs should attempt to show themselves in the best light, both in terms of the format of the article and the content.

  1. How should the article be written? It is worth taking some time over your thought process. Cadets should think, make notes and choose an approach that interests them before writing.

  1. A simple list of the bare facts of your life in chronological order will be boring for you to write and boring for the reader. It will also probably end up being too long.

  1. One alternative to this would be for you to ask yourself if there have been particular “themes” in your life that they could write about, using facts to exemplify these deeper insights. Alternatively, you might for example consider whether coming to BRNC represents a natural progression for you in some way, or whether it is a radical departure from the general pattern of your life so far.

  1. The title gives you a great deal of freedom: you should make the most of it.

  1. Write. As this is a personal piece of writing, the use of the first person “I” is appropriate. Aim to produce a draft version first of all. As you write, you will probably get new ideas and want to make changes to the original plan. You should leave space to make revisions to this draft copy (eg by writing on every other line or by writing on one page and leaving the facing page blank).

  1. Revise. You need to make sure you are happy with the content of the article. It is advised that you re-arrange things, if they have to, but then must be careful that it still flows logically.

  1. Edit. You must proof-read carefully. If you know your spelling is weak, you should make use of a good dictionary. You are to produce a neat final version, bearing in mind that presentation is important. Essays are to be handwritten with a fountain pen, you will be doing several handwritten articles and throughout your career signing a significant amount of paperwork; purchase of a good fountain pen may be a worthwhile investment.

  1. Monitoring writing. You should use this first article to assess your own writing ability. Did you find it easy? Are there particular things with which you are struggling, e.g. spelling, use of paragraphs, or quite simply what to write in the first place? You will get practice writing articles during Initial Naval Training, but, as with everything else, time is short. If you know from the outset what you need to concentrate on, you will be able to make the best use of your own time and the help that is available; particularly from the English Language department.

Chapter 6 - Glossary

  1. At BRNC, Cadets will learn many abbreviations (known as TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms)) and naval terms (known as ‘Jackspeak’). This list has been compiled to enable you to grasp some concepts before you join and prevent confusion over the first few days.


First Lieutenant (although actually a Lieutenant Commander). Responsible for the good running of the College, including discipline and routines.

5 Minute Rule

A key concept to Naval life, it requires everyone to be at a muster at least 5 minutes before it begins.


Assessed Basic Leadership Exercise. An assessment of your leadership skills on Dartmoor.


Basic Leadership Development. A precursor to ABLE where you will train and practice your leadership skills.


Basic Sea Safety Course. A week long course on Whale Island, Portsmouth.


Accommodation room. This can be single, double or multi person.




Coaching and Advisory Support Team.



The Cdr

The Commander: Second in Command, and in charge of the day-to-day running of the College.

Cdr T

Commander Training: the Cdr in charge of training at BRNC.


Chief Petty Officer.


A story, generally amusing.


Up to 30 people with 2 Divisions per intake in each Squadron.


Divisional Officer: Usually a Lieutenant who has a duty of care for you and your Division.


Discharged Unsuitable During Training.


Fleet Air Arm.


Rubbish. It is very important to empty the gash bin in the mornings and before rounds.




Initial Fleet Time. 9 weeks onboard an operational warship, gaining experience.


Junior Gun Room - your dining room for the militarisation phase.


Leading Hand.


Leading Physical Training Instructor - see PTI.



Lt Cdr

Lieutenant Commander.


Maritime Leadership Exercise: Final leadership assessment held on the river; takes place in the last few weeks before passing out.


A large cabin: this is another word for sleeping and living quarters but can be for up to 28 persons.


Maritime Leadership Development. A precursor to MARL where you will hone your leadership skills in a maritime environment.


Meeting: eg “Everyone muster on the Quarter Deck at 1800” means everyone meet on the Quarter Deck at 1800, or 1755 when applying the 5 minute rule.


Officer Cadet.


Officer Commanding Officer Training

Period Zero

Early morning sessions, usually PT and usually twice each week beginning at 0600.




Petty Officer.

Port / Stbd

Port and Starboard (Left and right).


Physical Training Instructor: Supervises physical training activities.


Go to sleep.


Royal Fleet Auxiliary.


Uniform Clothing: the various rigs will be explained more fully once kit has been issued. It is important to be dressed in the correct rig for each activity.


Inspections: happen at least once a day for the first 3 weeks. Cabins, kit, personal appearance and knowledge of what has been taught will be examined. Naming of kit for rounds is vital.



Sea Parent

A recently passed out officer who conducts initial rounds and monitors / aids your initial progress. A Sea Parent will be responsible for only 3 to 6 OCs.


Squadron Senior Chief: ensures Divisions, messes and behaviour are up to standard.


Squadron Senior Officer: a Lieutenant Commander in charge of each Squadron. CUNNINGHAM SSO is called CSO, St VINCENT SSO is called VSO


Breaktime. You will generally get one in the morning and one in the afternoon.


Senior Upper Yardman. A senior rating undergoing training to become an officer.


Upper Yardman. A rating (under 30 years old) undergoing training to become an officer.


Withdrawal From Training, prefixed by COM for Compulsorily or VOL for Voluntarily.


Warrant Officer. BRNC’s Executive WO (EWO) is the senior enlisted person on the College staff, responsible for husbandry and other duties.


Young Officer. Generic term for trainee officers until first complement assignment. Or a term for a newly passed out officer.

Chapter 7 - Contact Details
Useful Telephone Numbers

  1. Any Problems / Questions Before Arriving please phone the Unit Personnel Office:

    1. Ms Dianne Walton: 01803 677047.

    2. Mr Alex Chalmers: 01803 677048.

  1. Whilst under training, the following numbers may be useful:

    1. Officer of the day (OOD): Via Main Office: (01803 67) 7244

    1. Emergencies: (01803 67) 2222

    1. Sickbay: (01803 67) 7069 (Not 24hrs)

    1. Chaplains:

      1. Roman Catholic: (01803 67) 7116

      2. Church of England: (01803 67) 7115

      3. Church of Scotland and Free Churches: (01803 67) 7114

    1. SSAFA Forces Confidential Helpline: 9380 26282 or 0800 092 6282 (1030 – 1930)

  1. The following numbers should be given to your Next Of Kin:

    1. Naval Personnel and Family Service: Call the number attached to the region in which you live:

      1. Northern: 01436 672798 or 01436 674321* Ext. 4005

      2. Western: 01752 555041 or 01752 555220*

      3. Eastern: 023 9272 2712/3 or 023 9272 6159*

* Out of Hours emergencies

    1. Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre: For serious compassionate issues: 01452 519951

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