Royal Navy first class for former postie Gary

Gary Carswell
Gary Carswell

A ROYAL Navy recruit from Bearsden is now one step closer to a career at sea after becoming one of the first to undergo a newly enhanced basic training course at HMS Raleigh in Cornwall.

Trainee Medical Assistant (Submariner) Gary Carswell (19) embarked on his naval career in May.

He has now completed 10 weeks of intensive training designed to transform him from a civilian - he previously worked as a postman - into a sailor.

The course culminates in the passing-out-parade attended by families and friends.

Gary, a former Boclair Academy pupil, said: “I joined the Royal Navy to give myself the chance to work in parts of the world I have never been before, with a group of highly-trained comrades.

“Seamanship training, learning to navigate as a team in a maritime environment was one of my highlights of the course. I also enjoyed Dartmoor, where we were challenged individually both physically and mentally.


“My ambition now is to take my training into the Fleet and hopefully progress as far as I can. I want to contribute to the team that is the Royal Navy.”

With the first phase of his training complete, Gary’s next port of call is the Defence Medical Services Training Centre in Aldershot.

There he will study first aid, medicine, clinical service, administration and pharmacy.

At the end of this phase of his training, he will be awarded the distinctive Red Geneva Cross.

As well as providing day-to-day healthcare on board the submarine, Gary will also be responsible for carrying out vital safety checks, such as monitoring air and water supplies. He will be trained to carry out these tasks at HMS Sultan in Hampshire.

The Royal Navy’s new Initial Naval Training course was introduced in May and 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, learn about navigation and are given the chance to take the helm of their own medium sized inflatable boat during a waterborne orienteering exercise. With Royal Navy personnel playing a vital role in Afghanistan and other land-based operations, recruits undergo training in basic combat skills which includes survival in the field.

Fitness is a key component of the training and is delivered using a disciplined method of military fitness which focuses on developing co-ordination and individual physical strength and endurance.

As the course progresses the recruits take part in three extended exercises to test their skills and understanding of the principles they have been taught.

Details of career opportunities within the Royal Navy are available online at or by calling 08456 07 55 55.