Ahead of Armed Forces Day, a Leckford student has proved he’s ship shape as he passed the first stage of his naval training with flying colours.

Joel Wade signed up to the Royal Navy in March this year, and since then has undertaken his basic training ahead of beginning his service in the armed forces.

The 20-year-old said that the training had inspired him to push his way up the ranks, saying: “Training has been the toughest time of my life but by far the most rewarding. It feels amazing to have pushed and motivated myself through phase one of training.

“In my future career, I want to travel the world as well as progress myself up the ranks in the Royal Navy.”

Joel studied public services at college, a course which involves physical and mental training in a variety of areas, including expeditions, to prepare students for joining uniformed services. He worked briefly as a sales assistant before deciding to follow in the footsteps of his cousin, who serves as a Warrant Officer, after being inspired by his course.

“I had two lecturers who had served in the Royal Navy and they told me about their experiences which increased my interest in the service,” he said.

After signing up on March 22, he entered basic training, a ten week course that sees recruits trained in a variety of skills including discipline, teamwork and weapon handling. Joel undertook his training at HMS Collingwood, near Fareham.

Reflecting on his training so far, Joel said: “The highlights for me have been creating new bonds and friendships, alongside developing myself further mentally and physically.”

The initial naval training course is designed to encompass training on land as well as sea, with recruits undergoing training in basic combat skills which includes survival in the field. This is complemented by specific aquatic skills such as waterborne orienteering.

Now an Able Seaman Second Class, Joel will undergo further training as a warfare specialist, a role which identifies targets and threats during combat. Once this is complete, he will be able to work on ships across the globe.