Former railway engineer from Westgate receives Captain’s Prize as top recruit in Navy basic training

James Warner is now looking forward to joining the Navy Fleet

A former railway engineer from Westgate who changed path to sign up for the Royal Navy has just taken part in his Passing Out parade and earned the Captain’s Prize and Medal for best overall recruit during phase one training.

James Warner, 24 completed his Phase one basic training in the Royal Navy yesterday (January 19) followed by the Passing Out in front of his family and friends at HMS Raleigh, Torpoint Cornwall.

Having previously studied and worked in the engineering field, his academic qualifications were recognised by the Royal Navy and he was granted entry in the rate of Accelerated Apprentice (Marine Engineer).

James said: “I started an apprenticeship in multi-skilled maintenance engineering when I was 16 years old and worked up to receiving a BTEC Level 3 in Maintenance and Operations engineering.

“This led to various NVQs and when I was at Southeastern railway I would lead small maintenance teams and, on occasion, go to call-outs on the lines.”

Reflecting on what attracted him to the Royal Navy he said, “The opportunity to be in a leadership role in a shorter timeframe is what appealed to me most, and also just to be given world-class military leadership training was a massive incentive too.”

James initially joined the Armed Forces as a Royal Marine but transferred. He said: “I was in Commando training but decided it wasn’t for me and asked for a transfer to the Navy in an engineering role. I was then offered this opportunity after having an interview and two weeks after accepting the offer I was at HMS Raleigh.

“(Training) was a challenging but very positive experience. I’ve already made great friends and have had some experience of being in a leadership role as Class Leader, where I was able to identify the strengths of my shipmates and utilise them to the best effect of the team.”

James is now looking forward to a long career and future world-wide travel. He will now go to HMS Sultan in Gosport, Hampshire, the Royal Navy’s Engineering School, for further professional training before embarking in his first ship and starting his global adventure.