Trafalgar Division – MID Hillier, Divisional Midshipman

Trafalgar division started its term with a revamp of personnel from a strong recruitment drive at the university Freshers Fayres, along with the return of an old standing member to take the reigns as Trafalgar’s Divisional Midshipman.

The initial divisional periods consisted of familiarisation to the URNU and how it runs, as well as ice-breakers and team bonding activities. These periods are also used for the Div Mid to check up on the personnel and how they are enjoying and adapting to the URNU experience. As the cadets become more used to the system, they are still put in unfamiliar positions, such as taking drill, to push their confidence further. The division is now halfway through the year and has built a good rapport. Future divisional periods will further develop each individual’s confidence, teamwork and knowledge of the Royal Navy.

Martinique Division – OC Newton, Divisional Midshipman

Martinique division was somewhat depleted at the start of this academic year following the departure of some rather big faces within the Unit. We wish these individuals all the best for their future, and welcome our new intake with open arms, following a successful recruitment drive.

Martinique’s first task was to get the New Entry into shape, so along with their Sea Aunties and Uncles, fuelled by pizza and armed with irons and polish, all the sprogs made a good turnout in their newly issued kit on their first uniform inspection. The majority of Martinique Division, many for the first time, made an appearance at HMS CAMBRIA’s annual Trafalgar Night Dinner, which, as always, was an evening to remember, full of the finest traditions of the Royal Navy.

Primarily, the start of the year is usually extremely busy for Wales URNU freshers, but also for a number of the Martinique senior students who volunteered at the New Entry Weekend held at HMS CAMBRIA and FLYING FOX. They spent time helping to train the New Entry to WURNU’s finest standards. On this weekend the recruits spent time aboard HMS EXPRESS, carrying out PLTs saving Bristol from nuclear contamination (congratulations A/OC Katz!), learning about the URNU structure, and finally everyone’s favourite: drill. The final task really showed its dividends when all of Martinique’s cadets, regardless of year, marched at Remembrance Sunday parades across Wales.

Throughout Martinique’s Divisional periods, run by myself and my deputy, OC Myrans, the cadets have gained an insight into the RN’s divisional system and how it works, participated in naval themed quizzes (reigning champion A/OC Withers, the boy will actually learn if chocolate is involved!), theatrical performances of the Battle of Trafalgar, to the Colours ceremony performed on all commissioned ships of the fleet.

Despite the short amount of time since the start of the year, a handful of Martinique’s cadets have managed some meritorious achievements both in and outside of the unit. A/OC Louis Katz has been appointed Captain of Rowing at Cardiff Metropolitan University, A/OC Tom Smart received his Private Pilot’s Licence Scholarship from the Honourable Company of Air Pilots, and OC Lottie Myrans completed her Officer Cadet Taskbook to achieve her substantive rank, as well as her selection for the initial 29 person squad for the United Kingdom Armed Forces Rugby Union Women’s Rugby side, narrowly missing out on final selection but receiving high commendation on the Navy Rugby Union Website.

Martinique is looking forward to the extremely busy, New Year and hosting the Twenty-Second Annual Martinique Mess Dinner, preparations for which are well underway.

Dunkirk Division – A/OC James

As we approach the end of the first term we look back at the achievements of Dunkirk division, who have welcomed ten new recruits who are now all valuable members of the team. Since the start of term the division has seen an improvement in everyone’s drill and uniform, and many of the second years’ leadership abilities have improved over this term.

During divisional periods, we have covered mess etiquette and ranks and rates. All of the fresher’s have thrown themselves into the URNU life with many of them joining the sports teams, taking part in unit acquaints, and adventurous training. On Remembrance Sunday, A/OC Rhys Pugh-Evans even laid the wreath from Wales URNU and HMS Express at the memorial service in his home town of Aberystwyth.

Some other notable achievements within the division include: A/OC James Gower, who has become a Special Police Constable in the British Transport Police, and OC Eve Ashton who has completed her Officer Cadet taskbook to become an Officer Cadet. Congratulations to the both of them.

We look forward to what the next term will brings us and preparing for Dunkirk’s annual event: Leaver’s Divisions, at the end of the summer term.