Possibly the youngest ever Commanding Officer of Britannia Royal Naval College, Captain Andrew Bray, watched proudly as the latest cohort of Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary officers passed out.

Captain Bray was just 39 when he took over from Captain Sarah Oakley in December and has now just turned 40.

At the event 139 officers were commissioned with over 200 on parade and were inspected by the guest of honour Vice Admiral Andy Kyte CB FCILT.

Captain Bray said: “I was only 19 years old when I passed through the doors in August 2003.

“I remember feeling a bit anxious, very proud, excited, my family were here, my then to be wife was there so I hope every cadet feels exactly the way I did which was the immense pride you get from realising you’ve committed yourself to something, you’ve met those challenges and now it’s time to move on to the next part of this exciting journey in the Navy.”

Captain Bray described the effort needed: “It’s the commitment of the cadets but also my staff to get them from a civilian to a Naval Officer in 29 weeks is no mean feet.

“They do everything from physical exercise, resilience, militarisation but then we take them on to be mariners, everything they need to start their journey to be a Naval officer, whichever branch they choose to go to.

‘We know that every officer has done the same training, is commissioned in the same way and I think that’s what makes the Navy a brilliant thing.”

This cohort were British but the next in the summer will include 21 cadets from 12 countries and there will also be a large international contingent in the group starting in September.

Finally Captain Bray paid tribute to Dartmouth: “I always tell people that Dartmouth is my third member of staff.

The cadets on parade
The cadets on parade (Richard Harding)

“I couldn’t train my cadets without them and the town look after the cadets term after term after term.”

Playing a major role in the ceremony as always was the Band of the Royal Marines and there was a flypast by a plane from the Royal Navy Wings.