January 7th 2014


A Reservist from Chesterfield can hold his head up high after completing a leadership course ‘with merit’ as part of his training programme at HMS Sherwood, Nottinghamshire’s only Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) unit.

Known as ‘Buster’ to his Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) colleagues, Able Seaman Jonathan Browne, aged 41, is a prime example of the fact that it’s never too late to join the RNR. He admits to being a late starter, joining the RNR only two years ago, but he is hopeful that being a Reservist will help him fulfil some long-held ambitions of serving his country as well as help him to get fit and stay healthy.

In the past two years Jonathan has managed to complete both his recruit and basic specialisation training, go to sea aboard HMS Mersey, visit Cyprus on exercise and now successfully complete his Leading Rates Leadership Course in Hampshire.

Specialising as a Seamen, Jonathan has been trained to carry out ship’s protection duties on both Naval and merchant vessels. This responsible role includes operating rifles and looking after the safety and security of both the ship and his shipmates. The role requires professionalism and excellent judgement of a situation in order to identify and respond appropriately to any security threat.

Jonathan Browne said: “I’ve worked hard over the last year to progress quickly through my branch training matrix. You start to develop your skills as the weeks go by, with a little study at home too.

“You get to know your new shipmates and you develop a strong sense of unit and camaraderie with your fellow recruits.”

Passing the Leading Rates course with merit required all candidates to communicate effectively, act as a leader, a member of a team as well as being able to prepare and execute a plan to achieve a given task.

Jonathan continued: “Because I am progressing quickly through my branch training matrix it’s been tough to facilitate this swift climb sometimes, when courses have clashed with family commitments, but my partner and family have been fantastic.

“The Leading Rates Leadership Course  tested me physically and mentally over  the 12 days, but I totally enjoyed the experience especially the Dynamic Leadership Exercise testing my navigation skills to the max with over 44km navigated in 48 hours of the exercise, all carrying a bergan weighing in, in excess of 55 pounds.”

Unit Commanding Officer, Commander Martin Clegg, of HMS Sherwood said: “Jonathan is showing good confidence as a leader and has achieved some great results since he joined the unit. I’ve been impressed with his hard work so far and believe it just goes to show what can be achieved with determination and a positive attitude.”

To find out more about joining HMS Sherwood call 0115 929 6373 or email