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Christchurch Man Shines in Navy's Basic Training

OET Connor Robertson receives his cup from Captain Andrew Nuttall, the parade Reviewing Officer.
OET Connor Robertson receives his cup from Captain Andrew Nuttall, the parade Reviewing Officer.

9 January 2017


One of the Royal New Zealand Navy’s newest sailors, Ordinary Electronic Technician (OET) Connor Robertson, of Shirley, Christchurch, has made an impressive start to his naval career – he was named Most Improved Trainee of his Basic Common Training (BCT) course.

He received the award at a formal graduation parade held at the Devonport Naval Base in Auckland at the end of last year.

The award topped off a busy 18 weeks for the 17-year-old. BCT introduces recruits to all aspects of naval life, and moulds them into capable, self-reliant sailors.

OET Robertson joined the Navy last  August.

“I joined the Navy to have a not-so-average career – to travel the world, gain world-class experience, and to do things you don’t get to do in Civvy Street,” he says.

For his dedication during training, he was awarded the Stoker First Class William Dale Cup for the Most Improved Trainee. William Dale was involved in the rescue of shipmates from a fuel tank fire on board HMNZS Achilles in 1943.

OET Robertson said he enjoyed the BCT course. One of the highlights for him was the weapons training.

“I enjoy shooting weapons, so it’s awesome when we get to have a go. I also love keeping fit, and so a career in the Navy is perfect for me – maintaining fitness is vital in this career.”

He’s less than six months into his career in the Navy, but he would already recommend it to others.

“It is one of the coolest things you can ever do - your day-to-day activities are always changing, and you get paid to keep fit, and to travel the world helping people,” he says.


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