The Navy Community Engagement Program - Victoria hosted the annual Naval Gazing Secondary Schools Boot Camp at HMAS Cerberus from 3-5 December 2013.
Thirty Year 10-12 students considering a career in Defence vied for and were selected to participate in the four day residential camp. The students came from across regional and south eastern Victoria, representing 27 colleges.
Camp activities reflected many of the mental and physical challenges Navy recruits face during their 11 weeks of basic training and typified the training all sailors in the Royal Australian Navy must complete.
Students were introduced to the discipline of a Navy career, the importance of Navy values, with an emphasis on team work and helping your shipmates. Boot Camp is wholly interactive, encouraging students to overcome personal challenges while learning to assist others and providing insight to life in the RAN.
Many of the activities required students to face difficult situations and environments, well outside their normal comfort zones. During the camp, students recognised their own personal strengths and weaknesses, developed trust and confidence in each other to work together as a team and successfully complete all activities.
HMAS Cerberus Ships Warrant Officer, Warrant Officer Sid Habens was pleased to present the graduation and awards certificates to the students on their last day of Boot Camp.
“As a Ships Warrant Officer I am responsible for the welfare of all sailors here at Cerberus. I educate them and guide them, provide advice, advocate for them, as well as pull them into line. I witness their struggles and watch them overcome personal and career challenges,” WO Habens said.
“These students jumped into the challenges during the camp. They can be just as proud as our sailors for adopting Navy values and learning to help each other through the tough times. It’s not all glamorous, but it’s one of the most rewarding experiences they’ll have.”
Boot Camp is wholly interactive, where participants must pass the RAN Swim Test, undergo Survival at Sea Training, and conduct Fire Fighting and Leak-Stop-Repairs under the supervision of qualified RAN instructors.