Royal Navy officer makes history being named top student at German military course
A ROYAL Navy officer has made history after being named the top naval student on Germany’s most prestigious course training the leaders of tomorrow.
Lieutenant Commander David Roberts stood out from more than 120 German and overseas military personnel attending two years of demanding learning in Hamburg.
It’s the second time the 37-year-old has demonstrated his language skills on a long-term exchange with one of the UK’s closest allies.
Back in 2014, he served aboard French flagship FS Charles de Gaulle as a fighter controller, directing the actions of Rafale and Super Étendard jets.
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A few years later and David was selected for the mentally-challenging German Advanced Staff Course at the Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr, the German armed forces command and staff college – roughly the equivalent of the UK’s Staff College in Shrivenham.
Around 120 German military personnel attend the two-year course in the Hamburg suburb of Blankenese, plus Nato and European allies.
Apart from presentations towards the end when students must demonstrate their English-speaking ability to work in multinational staffs, the course is taught entirely in German.
The six Britons underwent 12 months of intensive German language training at Shrivenham to undertake the demanding military course.
Lt Cdr Roberts said it had been a ‘challenging and draining’ experience, adding: ‘The pace and breadth of subjects covered in the course does take a bit of time to ease into.’
After two years’ study he was named both the best naval student, the first non-German officer ever to receive this honour, and best international student on the course.
He now moves on to a job with Nato’s Maritime Command headquarters at Northwood in northwest London.