Armed Forces chief welcomes new naval officers during Easter passing out parade

The parade marked the end of initial training for more than 150 new officers including International Cadets from four nations.

Britain's most senior military figure has welcomed more than 150 new officers into the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth.

Chief of the Defence Staff Admiral Sir Tony Radakin took the salute of the Easter Passing Out Parade at the spiritual home of the Royal Navy's officer corps – 32 years after he graduated on the same parade ground.

The parade marked the end of initial training for 156 new Royal Navy Officers – including nearly three dozen promoted from the ranks as Senior Upper Yardmen and Warrant Officers and 12 new officers for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

Additionally, five International Cadets from four countries – Bahrain, Qatar, Fiji and Ukraine – also completed their training.

In his speech to cadets, families and dignitaries, Admiral Radakin told the successful Ukrainian officer: "We are full of admiration for your nation's heroic struggle.

"The values you are defending – sovereignty, democracy, self-determination, human rights – are universal.

"The United Kingdom was the first European country to recognise your independence in 1991 and our commitment to your continued liberty has not, and will not, waiver," he added.

The admiral was head of the Royal Navy as First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff from June 2019 until November 2021 when he took up the role of Chief of Defence Staff – the first sailor to hold the post in nearly two decades.

To those beginning their careers in the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, Admiral Radakin said: "Now you stand ready. Ready to wear this uniform. Ready to lead our Navy into the future. Ready to serve your country come what may.

"It's quite the transformation. And quite the commitment. Your families and friends should be proud. And they can be prouder still. Because this is just the start of your journey."