The COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak has led to increased demand and Royal Navy Initial Training at Dartmouth  is taking place for the first time ever.

History of Royal Navy Training

The Royal Navy was formally founded in 1546 by Henry VIII, although England had possessed less organised naval forces for centuries prior to this.

During the medieval period, fleets, mostly made up of merchant ships, were established or collected for specific campaigns or actions, and after the event the ships would then disperse.

The lack of an organised navy, when England was led by Ling John, led to the unopposed French landing landed at Sandwich in April 1216.during the Baron’s Revolt, when Dauphin Louis invaded England in support of northern barons.

In 1707, the United Kingdom was formed by the Act of Union, and the Scottish navy merged into the Royal Navy. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the Royal Navy was the largest and strongest maritime force in the world. The Royal Navy was superior to rival fleets in terms of financing, tactics, training, organisation, hygiene, logistical support and warship design.

Branches of the Royal Navy

Personnel are divided into a warfare branch, which includes Warfare Officers and Naval Aviators, as well other branches including the Royal Naval Engineers, Royal Navy Medical Branch, and Logistics Officers. Read more on Royal Navy Branches in this article (link)

The Royal Marines are specifically trained on amphibious warfare, Arctic warfare, mountain warfare, expeditionary warfare and commitment to the UK’s Rapid Reaction Force.

The Royal Marines are also the primary source of personnel for the Special Boat Service (SBS), who are the Royal Navy’s contribution to the United Kingdom Special Forces.

Combined Personnel andTraining Command

The Royal Navy was the first of the three armed forces to combine the personnel and training command, under the Principal Personnel Officer, with the operational and policy command, combining the Headquarters of the Commander-in-Chief, Fleet and Naval Home Command into a single organisation, Fleet Command, in 2005 and becoming Navy Command in 2008. Within the combined command, the Second Sea Lord continues to act as the Principal Personnel Officer.

Officer Training at Royal Naval Academy

Training for future Royal Navy officers takes place is Britannia Royal Naval College, located on a hill overlooking Dartmouth, Devon.

The Royal Naval Academy was a facility established in 1733 in Portsmouth Dockyard to train officers for the Royal Navy.

The shoreside facility was established in the dockyard for 40 recruits. The training consisted of a comprehensive syllabus including theoretical and practical experience in the dockyard and at sea.

Graduates of the Academy could spend two years of sea time as part of their studies and would be able to take the lieutenant’s examination after four years at sea rather than six.

The intention of the Royal Naval Academy was to provide an alternative means to recruit officers and to provide standardised training, education and admission.

In 1806 Royal Naval Academy was renamed the Royal Naval College and in 1816 became the Royal Naval College and combined the School for Naval Architecture.

However, there was a clear prejudice against the Royal Naval College graduates, and it was closed as a training establishment for officer entrants in 1837 which meant that everybody setting out on a naval career proceeded directly to sea.

Ratings Training at HMS Raleigh

Basic training for newly enlisted ratings takes place at the land based HMS Raleigh which is located at Torpoint in Cornwall, close to HMNB Devonport.

Key dates in the history of the current establishment are:

  • 1940 – HMS Raleigh is commissioned
  • 1944 – Raleigh becomes a D-Day embarkation centre for US Navy Forces.
  • 1959 – Raleigh becomes the new entry training establishment for all Ratings.
  • 1971 to 1978 – The establishment is completely is re-modernised.
  • 1981 – Womens Royal Navy Service basic training transfers from HMS Dauntless.
  • 1983 – The Royal Navy Supply School relocates from HMS Pembroke and basic training for Artificers transfers from HMS Fisgard.
  • 1990 – Basic training for males and females is integrated.
  • 1991 – The Royal Navy School of Seamanship is opened.
  • 1994 – The Royal Navy Cookery School relocates from Aldershot.
  • 2000 – The Royal Navy Submarine School transfers from Gosport.
  • 2001 – The Military Training School relocates from HMS Cambridge.

COVID-19 Forces Royal Navy Initial Training at Dartmouth

The Royal Navy has been forced to increase training capacity at Royal Navy Initial Training at Dartmouth to meet the demand caused by an increased interest in careers in the service during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ratings are now being trained at the Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth (BRNC) – usually reserved for the training of naval officers – for first time in history.

47 new recruits started their nine-week basic training course at the college last week. BRNC has been the home of Royal Navy officer training for over 100 years while new entry training for ratings is normally done at HMS Raleigh in Cornwall.

The course at BRNC is based on the tried and tested programme developed by HMS Raleigh. The course was mainly delivered by instructors with experience of the course, and called upon on the expertise of BRNC staff for specialist areas such as physical training, seamanship and navigation.

This was the first time that officer cadets and ratings trained together and was celebrated with a combined passing out parade at the end.

Whether you are going to receive your Royal Navy Basic training at HMS Raleigh or at the Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth (BRNC), make sure that you are fully prepared by purchasing your essential items at heavily discounted prices at Supply Drop.