Lord High Admiral’s Divisions has taken place at Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) on Thursday 1 May, marking the formal commissioning of 96 new Naval Officers.
The parade was the culmination of 30 intensive weeks training for the Officers on parade, who stood proudly, watched by their families and friends, despite the rain.
Among them were two Officers from the Republic of Singapore Navy, as well as 16 Royal Navy Officers who had been promoted from the ranks and nine new recruits to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.
Guest of honour this year was General Sir Richard Barrons, the Head of Joint Forces Command, who was representing the Lord High Admiral, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.
General Barrons inspected the parade and took the salute during the march pass. He also presented prizes, awarded annually, to six Officers recognising significant achievements during training.
Captain Henry Duffy, the Commanding Officer of BRNC, said: “Today is a very special day for these 96 Naval Officers who have worked incredibly hard to get to this point. The course is intensely physically and mentally challenging. We test their command, leadership and management ability, and we test their grit.
“As a training team we need to be convinced that they’ve got the mettle and grit to be able to serve their country and protect the UK’s interests when then get to frontline operations. These Officers have met the very high standards, which I would argue are the highest standards of any Navy in the world, so they should be very proud of their achievements.”
Lord High Admiral’s Divisions is the most prestigious parade of the BRNC calendar. The newly commissioned Officers were joined by Cadets at various stages of their training, bringing the total number on parade to 256. The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Plymouth provided the musical accompaniment.
The title Lord High Admiral dates back to the 14th Century and was conferred to The Duke of Edinburgh by Her Majesty The Queen on the occasion of his 90th birthday in 2011.
The Joint Forces Command manages allocated joint capabilities from the three Armed Services. General Barrons reports to the Chief of Defence Staff and is accountable to the Permanent Under Secretary of the Ministry of Defence as a top level budget holder.
Press Release, May 5, 2014; Image: Royal Navy