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Navy offers Whangarei teen a dream opportunity

Whangarei’s Brock Longworth may have found his dream job, which combines his loves of engineering and the sea.

13 January, 2022

Less than a year after leaving school, the 18-year-old has completed the six-month Junior Officer Common Training (JOCT) with the Royal New Zealand Navy and will now start a four-year  Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (with honours) degree to become a marine engineer. 

The degree is through the Salary (Tangaroa) Scheme, where junior officers are paid to study on a ‘year for a year’ return of service basis.

Midshipman Longworth said he was always fascinated by the ocean and loved spending time in and around it, and also loved physics and calculus. 

“The Navy was the perfect way to marry these two interests of mine. I also hate the idea of a boring office job and love the opportunities that the Navy offers. “

He was also following his older brother, who enlisted in the Navy in 2020.

The highlight of training was Exercise Squall, a week-long scenario in the field on Whangaparaōa Peninsula, playing a Navy reconstruction team in a problematic Pacific Island nation.

“I absolutely loved this and learnt so much about myself and how I lead especially in stressful situations. It was an experience I will carry boldly for many years to come.” 

But it wasn’t all plain sailing. Auckland’s lockdown meant he wasn’t able to go on leave for six months.

“It was very challenging not being able to see any friends or family for so long. Yet we still managed to carry out the whole course by prioritising safety within Covid guidelines. That was an amazing feat.” 

However, now he is looking forward to the next chapter.

“I expect to really enjoy myself throughout my degree. I am also excited at the prospect of doing some naval courses in between semesters to widen my service knowledge and experience. 

“I’d love to join some of the Navy sports teams like golf and volleyball and represent the RNZN on the sports field. I’d also love be an engineer aboard HMNZS Aotearoa when she sails down to Antarctica.”