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Progression success for Armed Forces Prep students

Three students about to graduate from Gower College Swansea’s Armed Forces Preparation course are heading off for pastures new after being successful in their applications to the Royal Navy.

Hamish Fleming, Matthew Milner and John Sanderson all agree that the 18-week course at the Tycoch campus helped prepare them mentally and physically for the challenges ahead.

“Hamish is due to begin his training as a Communications Technician in October,” says lecturer Greg Morgan. “Matthew starts his recruit training for the Royal Marines on his 17th birthday and John is headed for initial training on HMS Raleigh. All three are shining examples of dedication and commitment and I’m sure they have wonderful careers in public service ahead of them.”

The Armed Forces Preparation course includes an initial five week period that tests students’ potential. Standards are rigorous - students are expected to shave every morning and, if they fail to do so, they are given press ups to complete. There is also a kit and personal inspection every morning.

Physical activity includes swimming, fitness sessions and outdoor activities such as surfing, orienteering and map work, canoeing, climbing and abseiling and pontoon building.

“The course taught me that you only get out what you put in, in terms of effort,” says Matthew. “I’ve always been a well disciplined and respectful person but this course has taken my standards to a new level. My understanding of the military and lifestyle in the Forces has vastly improved and this was imperative to me in successfully passing my Potential Royal Marines Course. When I was handed my certificate for passing, it was the proudest achievement of my life so far.”

John Sanderson, who heard about the Armed Forces Preparation course from his elder brother who had previously completed it at college, recently took the Pre-Royal Navy Course and successfully completed swimming and physical tests.

“I’m counting the days before I leave for HMS Raleigh,” says John. “I have everything packed, and I am thankful for all the support I am getting from family and friends.”