EXCITED Able Seaman Talia Reed has her eyes set on her first deployment after three years of hard graft.
The 19-year-old joined the Royal Navy Reserve while she was still studying at St Vincent College, Gosport.
But despite studying for a BTEC in applied science and an A-Level in English language, she still managed to find the time to attend regular training nights at HMS King Alfred – the reserve training base on Whale Island in Portsmouth.
She said: ‘My weekends used to be so different from my college mates’ – normally they would be out partying and I would have been doing some seamanship training or weapons training. It was a totally different world.
‘It wasn’t that hard to balance my navy training with my college work, I just had to be organised.
‘To be honest, being in the navy was a breath of fresh air from college.’
Talia passed out of her naval training in November 2017 and is now eyeing up her first deployment, which she hopes to do in 2021.
‘I’m looking to get mobilised and get a taste of navy life,’ she said. ‘I would love to be on an offshore patrol vessel.’
She urged others to follow in her footsteps.
‘Being in the Royal Navy Reserves has been great,’ she added. ‘Everyone has been so welcoming. I’ve made friends from all walks of life.’