Former Saffron Walden County High school pupil charts course for the Royal Navy

Robert Hutchinson, from Saffron Walden, has completed his basic training at Britannia Royal Naval Co

Robert Hutchinson, from Saffron Walden, has completed his basic training at Britannia Royal Naval College. - Credit: Archant

A 26-year-old from Saffron Walden has celebrated his formal commissioning as a Royal Navy Officer on parade at Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC).

Midshipman Robert Hutchinson was one of around 130 Officer Cadets who took part in the parade, watched by their families, friends and distinguished guests, including the Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral David Steel, who was the VIP inspecting officer.

To earn his place on the parade ground, Robert completed an intensive 30-week training course, which was split into three distinct 10 week phases. While the first two took place predominately at the world renowned College in Devon, Robert spent the final phase of his training assigned to the Helicopter Carrier HMS Ocean, operating in UK waters.

Robert said: “The highlights of my training so far have been successfully completing the leadership exercises on Dartmoor, where we lived under canvas, and on the River Dart, operating as a task force in a small motor boat.

“I also enjoyed visiting the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines and HMS Scott, the Royal Navy’s only deep-water ocean survey vessel.”

He added: “Participating in the intercollegiate games against the Army was another highlight of my training along with representing the Navy at the Dartmouth Royal Regatta 2014.

“Overall the course has been challenging yet enjoyable and I am looking forward to moving onto specialised warfare training in the new year. I hope to have a broad career which allows me to work alongside the many different branches of the British Military.”

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A former pupil of Saffron Walden County High School, Robert continued his education at Bangor University graduating in 2011 with a degree in Sports Science and Outdoor Activities (BSc). Prior to joining the Navy, Robert was employed as an apprentice engineer.

Speaking of why he joined the Royal Navy, Robert said: “I wanted to join a professional organisation that would give me unique opportunities, allow me to visit new places and become part of a team that tackles new and exciting problems on a day to day basis.”

With the first phase of his training complete Robert will remain at BRNC to begin his specialist course.