A new generation of sailors have passed-out at HMS Raleigh in front of families and friends for the first time in over a year.

The 46 recruits, who were marking the formal end of their nine-week initial naval training course, were each allowed to invite two guests to attend the passing-out-parade.

While HMS Raleigh has continued to deliver training throughout the pandemic ensuring that the Royal Navy could maintain its operational commitments, family attendance at passing-out-parades was suspended owing to the national lockdowns and to protect the establishment’s output.

Captain Suzi Nielsen OBE, the Commanding Officer of HMS Raleigh, said: “It is wonderful to see friends and families of our recruits once again attending the passing out parade. The completion of Phase 1 training is a momentous occasion for all recruits and their families, and we are gladly able to once again share this event in person. Thanks to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, we have been able to live-stream the event, so families and friends could watch the parade virtually, and this will continue until we return to full attendance in the future.”


Among those passing-out was Recruit Craig Kilcar, aged 17, whose parents travelled from Glasgow to be at the parade. He said: “When I started training I was hoping that my parents would be able to attend my passing-out-parade, but up until last week we didn’t know. Everyone was very happy when we found out.  The course has been good, especially the sinking ship simulator, the assault course and the obstacle course.  I can definitely see myself being in the Royal Navy for a long time.”

Naomi Ibbs from Plymouth came to Raleigh to see her son Issac Dash complete training.  She said:  “It feels fabulous to be here.  We had so many weeks, where we were checking to see what was going to happen for that Division that was passing-out and every week it was live-streaming.  When we got the letter to say that we were going to be allowed in, it was amazing feeling.  I feel so lucky.  Issac has waited for so long to do something that he really loves and I am hugely proud of my son.” 

Commodore Rob Bellfield CBE ADC, Navy Regional Commander East England, was the VIP inspecting officer for the parade.  Cdre Bellfield is a former Commanding Officer of HMS Raleigh. He was at the helm of the training base in Torpoint for two years between 2014 and 2016.


I can definitely see myself being in the Royal Navy for a long time

Recruit Craig Kilcar