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Raw recruits to polished officers – the Navy way

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 10, 2012

Admiral The Lord Boyce inspecting the passing out parade at BRNC Dartmouth. The elite training establishment is the subject of a new TV documentary

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It is a revered Westcountry institution which has set the standards for the officers who command Britain's Naval fleet for more than a century.

Now a new television series is to offer a behind-the-scenes look at life at the Royal Navy's elite officer training programme at Dartmouth.

The four-part show, aired on the Military History Channel, follows the fortunes of a group of raw recruits as they have happy memories of civilian life drummed out by water exercises and gruelling yomps across nearby Dartmoor.

Cadets from a range of backgrounds – from Oxbridge graduates to City bankers and waitresses – are followed from their first day at Britannia Royal Naval College all the way through to a glittering passing out parade.

Officers and Gentlemen was filmed between September last year and April this year and will be shown from next Tuesday.

The first episode focuses on the harsh reality of militarisation, as the new arrivals face the shocking, regimented reality of military life.

A spokesman for the show said: "Our young hopefuls are put through a challenging regime of physical exercise, military drills, marching, constant ironing of their six different uniforms, lectures and homework.

"Rising before dawn and not bedding down until late into the night, they have very little time to rest or sleep."

The following three instalments see the group trek across nearby moorland carrying heavy packs, put out to sea for the first time and endure tough tests.

Elaborate staged situations are set up all along the Dart river to hone their skills: refugee rescues, ambushes and night-time stealth missions.

The successful cadets will enjoy a passing out parade with flamboyant sword drill presided over by senior naval officers

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