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Military service runs in the family of Invercargill sailor

For Ordinary Seamanship Combat Specialist Blair Thomas, it was his love of the ocean and the prospect of adventure that influenced his decision to join the Royal New Zealand Navy.

07 July, 2022

And with family members who have previously served in the Air Force and the Army, he now completes the military trifecta.

Ordinary Seamanship Combat Specialist Thomas, 20 and from Invercargill, was brought up with family stories of service and adventurous careers and always knew he wanted to follow in their footsteps. 

“Of the three Services, I always felt the Navy was the most active on deployments and that suited me just fine.”

The former Tauraroa Area School student has just graduated at Devonport Naval Base in Auckland and is looking forward to putting into practice what he has learned during the 16-week course. 

The training certainly had its fair share of challenges, he said.

“The rules and regulations were bit of a wake-up call and I also had to learn to control myself when being told to do something I didn’t particularly like.

“But the changes I have seen in myself, both mentally and physically, have been a real highlight. I have grown up hugely from who I was when I came through the gate at the start of this year.” 

He says he would advise anyone who is considering the Navy as a career to join with an open mind, have the will to learn and to make the most of everything that is on offer.

“Don’t ever be afraid to make mistakes. I’ve made a few during this course but every one of them has been a key learning experience. The instructors here want you to succeed and have been generous with their time and their explanations and that’s made me a better sailor.”

A keen rugby player, he is looking forward to playing for the Navy rugby side.

“I love being outside hunting, fishing and diving. And now I’m in the Navy, I am exactly where I need to be.”