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On BRNC, and other stuff...

For a variety of reasons, I've been privileged enough to spend time at BRNC recently. I thought I might pop down some random thoughts after the experience...

1. Be fit. Seriously, being fit the day you turn up will make the first term so much easier. As a headmark, you need to realise 6-7 weeks after joining you'll be on Dartmoor, carrying load and being assessed on your leadership. Being fit just makes that entire process a little less difficult.

I'm not a PTI, nor am I going to give specific requirements - all I'd suggest is that are you confident enough your level of fitness is the best it could be?

2. Have heart. In passing the AIB you're good enough to become an Officer. If you're waiting for an entry date, note the above, and be ready to go. There may be occasions when you don't get much notice to join - be prepared to move at short notice.

3. Think hard about what you think being an officer is about.

4. Think hard about your branch before you go. In particular if you want to be a submariner or a pilot. For the former, try and get on an SM acquaint; try not to be seduced by Cold War memoirs of what they used to do. What they do now is great, but it's not the same.

For pilots (and wider Warfare Officers) have a think about being an Observer. Their role is poorly explained (to my mind) but is hugely demanding and rewarding.

Finally. Across every individual I met at BRNC, I was impressed by their capability and enthusiasm. Be ready to be a part of that. Think about how you're going to contribute to the team.

Sound advice…I’d offer that in general, the initial phase is all about perception: whether from classmates or staff…get a bad rep for being a slacker in PT, or not pulling you weight with getting through class activity (mess cleaning, being on time etc) you’re unlikely to make it, or will be marked out by either protagonists. If you want to be there, own it and take charge of yourself !

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