'Dit On' is a podcast run by The Royal Naval Association (RNA) for members, associates and the wider Royal Navy family. Guests will include veterans from various Naval operations, currently serving Naval personnel, family members of Naval personnel, and the odd celebrity. Our host, Jenna Brodie, is a naval veteran with 12 years of service under her belt. She now works for Barclay's, after leaving the Navy in 2018. This podcast will enable naval veterans to stay connected with the Royal Navy, their peers and their successors despite the physical restrictions and isolation of Covid-19. We hope this podcast will bring comforting and informative stories from multiple generations with a common interest (life in the Royal Navy) into their homes.
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day and we are thrilled to have had two representatives from Samaritans sit down with Jenna (who herself is a listening volunteer for the charity) and discuss the importance of this awareness day and what the Samaritans do to support people in need. Norman Holmes is the Branch Director of the Plymouth Samaritans Branch and Joe Walcott is the charity's national Military Programme Project Manager.Over the coming months, Samaritans will be launching a special app for veteran's and military personnel who are transitioning into the civilian world. We will be working with Samaritans to offer feedback and support in the development of the app, alongside a multitude of other charity partners. Any feedback you may have will be incredibly helpful for us all, so please get in touch once the app launches and let us know your thoughts.If you're struggling emotionally and would like to talk to someone with no judgement, the Samaritans can be contacted 24/7 on 116 123. They really are there to help.
On July 7th 2002, HMS Nottingham ran aground on Wolf Rock, making headline news all over the world. Richard Farrington CBE, the Commanding Officer, was the man in charge of the ship and its 270+ Ships Company, and there is much speculation about his whereabouts when the accident occurred. This week, Jenna sits down with Richard to clear up the speculation and hear his emotional, first hand account of every second, from the moment the ship hit the ground, through the aftermath.This is an incredibly moving account of what was a very stressful and frightening period of time for everyone involved. I'm sure you'll agree that what comes across the strongest is Richard's absolute adoration and respect for every member of his Ships Company and their professionalism in the face of serious adversity.Growing up by the water, Richard started out in lobster boats from the age of four and started sailing when he was ten. A career afloat was inevitable and he joined the Royal Navy in 1980 as a Seaman Officer. Armed with a degree from Durham University he went on to serve in minehunters, fishery protection vessels, fast patrol boats, frigates, destroyers, amphibious ships and aircraft carriers around the globe.Specialising in communications and electronic warfare, he was appointed OBE in 2000 for work in counter narcotics and promoted CBE in 2010 for work in counter-piracy - he was instrumental in setting up the EU's Operation Atalanta, the Internationally Recognised Transit Corridor in the Gulf of Aden, the Shared Awareness and Deconfliction Group in the Gulf, The Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa, and the Mercury international communications system.He undertook several Command appointments, ran the Navy's tactical development school, served in the Ministry of Defence in London, Northwood and Portsmouth and his last job in the Navy was the Commander, Devonport Flotilla, with over twenty ships and submarines and 4000 men and women under his command.Richard left the Royal Navy in 2015 after 36 years of service and now focuses on running his own consultancy, RF Marine Consultancy and Surveys, allowing him to continue to serve the maritime industry.
Richard Gwilliam spent 28 years in the Royal Navy, with successful careers as an aircraft engineer rating and later as an intelligence officer, travelling the world three times over. In this episode, he and Jenna discuss the highs and lows of life in the services; the personal impacts and the career opportunities, the losses and the gains, and the transition from military to civilian life.Since leaving the Navy, Richard has cofounded Geollect, a successful geospatial intelligence technology start-up which is going from strength to strength. It's a business area that he found a niche for himself in, combining a wealth of skills he had learned in various roles during his Naval service.
This week, Jenna sits down with her boss, Gus MacFarlane, to discuss tips and techniques that might help you when you leave the military and look for a job on 'civvie street'. Gus is a former Army Ops Officer with the Royal Scots, who has gone on to work for multinational businesses such as Sky, Experian and now Barclays. He is currently a managing director at Barclays and is also involved in the development and success of the Barclays' Military Talent Scheme which is open to any service leaver (of any rank) within their final 6 months of resettlement.
This week marks 81 years since the successful evacuation of British Expeditionary Forces from Belgium and Northern France, through the port of Dunkirk. The Dunkirk evacuation is otherwise known as Operation Dynamo. In this episode Jenna is taken through the context and details of Op Dynamo with Naval Historian, Mike Pearce.Mike worked for the Ministry of Defence (Navy) for nearly 40 years and was on the staff of the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth for 12 years. Closely involved with the Royal Navy throughout his career, he held management and planning roles within many different fields of MoD activity and on numerous projects for the Royal Navy in London, Hampshire and at the Naval Base at Devonport in addition to BRNC. As a naval historian, he has been a trustee of the Britannia Museum since its inception in 2008 and is a series editor for the Britannia Naval Histories of World War II; in 2012 he co-authored, with Dr Richard Porter, the introduction to Fight for the Fjords, and in 2013 wrote the introduction to Between Hostile Shores, Mediterranean Convoy Battles 1941-42, both in the series.His book on Op Dynamo is available here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dunkirk-Operation-Dynamo-26th-Gallantry-ebook/dp/B0888T89RY
In this episode, Jenna chats to John Livesey about his extension career in the Royal Navy Submarine Service (1993 - 2019) and life on civvie street after 26 years of service.From his first submarine, HMS Vanguard, John climbed through the officer ranks to hold coveted roles, being the Commanding Officer of both HMS Victorious and HMS Vigilant, an instructor of Perisher Course, the project officer of the submarine service move to Faslane, and finally as the Base Executive Officer of Faslane.John left the Navy in 2019 and joined Barclay's, through their AFTER programme - an initiative that supports thousands of servicemen and women with their transition into civilian employment after serving in the Armed Forces.
This week Jenna is joined by Dr Jane Harrold, a historian and lecturer in strategic studies at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth. She takes Jenna on a whistle-stop tour of the history and historic dits from BRNC, from the very foundations of the college in the 1800s all the way to present day.*Note, this episode was recorded before the sad passing of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh
This week we welcome Jonty Powis, the navigator of HMS Conqueror during the Falklands War, who talks us through the days before, during and after the sinking of the Belgrano in the South Atlantic. A Royal Navy veteran with 32 years of service, much of which was spent on submarines, Jonty left the Navy in 2006 as a Commander. 39 years on from the conflict, his account reflects upon the emotional toll of being on submarine patrol, knowing this patrol would take you into active combat, and the various ways people responded to such circumstances.
Jenna Brodie sits down with her old oppo, Lee Maddin, a fellow Royal Navy veteran. Jenna and Lee met as they joined their first ever ship together in 2006, HMS Somerset, and embarked on their exciting careers together. In this episode, they reminisce about those early days...
In this episode, Jenna Brodie talks to Jane Lancaster - one of the first women to go to sea in the Royal Navy. Jane was part of the Women's Royal Naval Service, better known as the Wrens, joining the senior service in 1989 aged 18. Jane joined HMS Brilliant on a Sunday evening - the first Royal Navy ship to carry women as part of its ships company. She talks about her experience joining the ship, the reception from the male crew members and the sadness of being taken sick at one of the most pivotal times in her early career.With a draft to HMS Brilliant short-lived, she was lucky enough to join HMS Invincible, and within her first three years in the service she had visited America, the Mediterranean, Norway and the Far East - half way round the world.
If there is one thing our General Secretary loves more than anything else, it's spinning dits, and here he's been given a platform to do just that! Tune into this week's episode to hear all about Captain Bill Oliphant's time in the Navy, from his numerous drafts, to a sticky situation in Naples (which you won't want to miss), to the end of his 37 years of service.Unsurprisingly (to those who know him), he talked so much that we've had to split his interview into two parts. Part two inbound soon...
This week, Jenna Brodie talks to her mates Kerry and Julian Lee, a veteran couple with a combined 46 years of service in the Royal Navy. They discuss everything from the highlights and lowlights of their Naval careers, the challenges of a relationship when you're both in the military, the realities of leaving the Armed Forces for a career on civvie-street, and being locked down under the same roof after you've spent years apart.
This is a short episode to introduce our podcast host, Jenna Brodie, and her occasional co-host, Jim (her Dad!). Jenna is a Royal Navy veteran, with 12 years of RN service under her belt. She joined the Navy in 2006, aged 19, as an OMC, before transferring to the Logistics branchHer career took her through the ranks and around the world, including the Middle East, the Far East and the Mediterranean. Her most 'real' time in the Navy was on board HMS Enterprise during the migrant crisis, where she was part of a Ships Company who rescued over 9,000 migrants from the sea, over 18 months. She left the Navy in 2018 and is now enjoying a successful second career with Barclay's and is an active member of the Barclay's Military Network.