August 1st 2013

‘HMS Sherwood has given me an opportunity to see the world’

A female Reservist from Nottingham’s only Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) unit, HMS Sherwood, has spoken of her passion for travel and how her military role has given her an opportunity to explore countries overseas.

Able Seaman Natasha Rook, aged 24, from Nottingham, joined the RNR four years ago to gain an insight into the military world, before deciding if she wanted to be a regular full-time sailor.
Natasha, who works as a Supervisor at a local Midlands Co-op store on a day-to-day basis, has now completed three military training exercises in Cyprus – arriving home from her most recent trip in July this year.
 Natasha said: “Travelling has always been a passion of mine, so being able to do this alongside my role as a Reservist is great. It’s been an enjoyable experience having visited Cyprus three times in the last four years to put my military training into practice under physically challenging conditions and high temperatures, very similar to those we would experience if on mobilized service. Originally, I was unsure if I wanted to join the Royal Navy full time but I’ve now decided that balancing my civilian role in customer service and my part-time military career is a much better option for me.
“My recent training in Cyprus took place in the south east of the island at a RAF base called Akrotiri that is also used for regular military work. The two-week course was mainly focused around military training at sea and upper deck security duties for ships, as this is an area I am specialising in. We took part in a range of exercises that were designed to prepare us for real-life scenarios such as dealing with threats to security and helping casualties.
“If you enjoy a challenge and are happy to be pushed outside your comfort zone to achieve training targets from time to time, being a Royal Naval Reservist could be for you. I’ve made some great friends; have improved my leadership skills, which has benefited my civilian job, and have taken part in fantastic training courses that I would never have had the opportunity to do otherwise.”
Around 100 Reservists from across the country took part in the most recent training Natasha was involved in, including two Reservists from Nottingham.
If you would like to find out more about HMS Sherwood or are interested in joining the unit as a Reservist please email or call 0115 929 6373.