Freshers all aboard at Dartmouth to commence their URNU journey


The brand new batch of Officer Cadets at Yorkshire Universities Royal Naval Unit set off on a cross-country journey for a new entry acquaint weekend at Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. Alongside other units, including Devon, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow, the cadets were given a crash course in the life of a trainee Royal Naval Officer, enabling them to proceed into URNU life with basic seamanship, drill and leadership skills.

On the weekend of the 3-5th November, students travelled down from Leeds, Sheffield and Hull universities to the illustrious college, which holds the job of preparing world-class future Officers for our Royal Navy. The first morning was opened with being thrown in the deep end (quite literally) with the military swim test. This involves treading water for 2 minutes, then swimming to the far end and back before clambering out the Victorian pool’s platform edge, all in heavy overalls. The cadets were then taught basic drill on the infamous parade ground, to an impressive level of success, despite the initial ‘tick-tocking’ moments.

The afternoon was then spent learning the art of Practical Leadership Tasks, recovering jerry can IEDs and building rope bridges. The cadets also got the opportunity to get behind the wheel in the Bridge Simulator, used to train young Warfare Officers beginning their specialised training. The day was rounded off by a drink in the Pavilion with a handful of Dartmouth’s current Officer Cadets.

The second day was spent learning basic navigational skills on the picket boats on the River Dart before being seen off back home by a Sunday roast in the prestigious mess hall. Emma Gough, one of the participating students, said “I didn’t know much at all about the Royal Navy before joining the URNU. Coming down to Dartmouth and seeing how it all works has been extremely beneficial, and I can’t wait to get stuck into all the opportunities they provide over the next three years.”

The weekend was vital in acquainting the young students with the Navy’s traditions, regulations, skills and purpose. This is essential for the basic training which will be carried out during drill nights and weekends at Yorkshire’s unit in Leeds. It will prepare and train them for deployments on YURNU’s assigned Archer-class patrol vessel, HMS Explorer, in the upcoming months around the U.K. and in the Baltic.

Pictured: Yorkshire URNU students on BRNC parade ground with the unit cox’n Chief Petty Officer Lea Untulis

Article and photo provided by Officer Cadet Katie Emm

To learn more about the Yorkshire Universities Royal Naval Unit including how to enrol please click here

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