Officer celebrates his promotion with parade

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A ROYAL Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) officer has celebrated his promotion with a parade in front of his family and friends.

Third Officer Andrew Bland, 34, from Stubbington, joined the RFA as a communications rating in 2006.

He was then promoted to Leading Hand Helicopter Controller before being selected as an officer.

To mark the end of his officer’s training course at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, 3/O Bland marched out on to the parade ground and was inspected by Captain Duncan Lamb, the Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff Afloat Support Strategic Development.

‘I originally joined the RFA for a challenging and rewarding career at sea, with a varied working life and the opportunity to travel,’ said 3/O Bland.

‘This course has given me a terrific grounding in naval skills, values and traditions, which will serve me well throughout my career.’

The 34-year-old is a former pupil of Cowplain School and studied at Bournemouth University.

The RFA is a civilian-manned fleet, owned by the MoD, which supports navy ships around the world by supplying warships with fuel, ammunition and supplies.

Its training course for officers teaches core maritime skills, fitness sessions and leadership training.