A 27-year- old from Stonehaven has completed her transformation from a civilian into a Royal Navy sailor and is now one step closer to a career at sea.
Dental Nurse Kiera Gavan arrived at HMS Raleigh, the Royal Navy’s training base in Cornwall, in May. During a ten-week course she has been given a thorough induction into the Royal Navy, learning skills that she will rely upon throughout her time in the Service.
The course culminates with the passing-out-parade attended by families and friends.
The former pupil of Mackie Academy said: “I always wanted to join the Royal Navy, but I didn’t have the confidence.
“I managed to turn my life around by losing weight and qualify as a dental nurse.
“Being in the Service is what I have always dreamed about. The main highlight of being at HMS Raleigh is making so many friends. I see them as family and I know we will all keep in touch.
“The other highlight is how much I have surprised myself. I never knew that I could be so determined and get through everything. I have loved every second of being here.
“We have bonded so well as a team and I could not be prouder of everyone and myself.”
With basic training complete, Kiera is ready to put her skills as a dental nurse into practice at Arbroath in Scotland working with the Royal Marines of 45 Commando.
The Royal Navy’s Initial Naval Training course is underpinned by nine Core Maritime Skills that are the foundations of naval life and underpin operational effectiveness.
Recruits are taught the basics of Naval discipline and customs.
They learn about navigation and are given the chance to take the helm of their own medium-sized inflatable boat during a waterborne orienteering exercise.
Royal Navy personnel can also be called upon to play a vital role in land-based operations, so recruits undergo training in basic combat skills which includes survival in the field.