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Jack Speak is written by real service men and women in the Royal Navy.

  • Penny Clark

    Photo of Penny Clark

    Penny grew up in Wombourne in the West Midlands before joining the Royal Navy in 1993 as a University Cadet Entry Officer.   Her first appointment was as the Deputy Marine Engineer Officer of HMS MANCHESTER in which she deployed to the West Indies before entering refit.  Other appointments have included Engineer Officer Training Officer, Future Technologies Officer and a return to University to gain a MSc in Marine Engineering.  In October 2006 Penny took a 2 year career break to pursue her goal of representing Great Britain at the 2008 Olympic Games.

  • Peter Reed

    Photo of Peter Reed

    I was raised in a rural town in the Cotswolds, playing in fields, running about and climbing trees. I successfully passed my GCSEs and then I went on to study A’Levels in Maths, Physics, Psychology and Art in the neighbouring Cirencester College.
    I decided that I wanted to join the armed service at the age of seventeen and started researching the Royal Navy and the numerous ways in which I could join. Finding the most suitable option for me was the hardest part.
    I decided to apply to join as a Marine Engineer Officer.

  • Andy Cheal

    Photo of Andy Cheal

    My name is  Andy Cheal and I am a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy. Born June 1979 in Watford and went to Watford Grammar School and Royal Holloway University, London where I studied for a Degree in Politics. I completed the Royal Marines Commando Course in 2007 and am now serving as Education, Resettlement and Media Ops Officer at Commando Logistic Regiment, Chivenor, North Devon. My interests are:Reading, Cinema, Gym. I live in Exeter.

  • Richard Hargreaves

    Photo of Richard Hargreaves

    For the past five years I've been the assistant editor of Navy News, responsible for writing and designing the official newspaper of the Royal Navy. I'm also responsible for some truly atrocious puns. And the odd historical feature. I became a journalist to avoid spending all day in a grim office staring at a computer... and spend all day in a grim office staring at a computer. Actually, that's not strictly true as working for Navy News allows me to travel around the world reporting first-hand on what sailors and Royal Marines are doing. Sometimes they even let me go to places which aren't in the Gulf.

  • Jay Picton

    Photo of Jay Picton

    Jay has been in the Royal Navy for the past 7 and a half years, including service on many of the country's finest war ships. He was involved in the Afghanistan conflict in the Gulf of Oman in 2001 as well as covering the nation’s fire strikes in 2003. He can also sing and with encouragement from close friends, Jay decided to pursue music more seriously and began writing. It was whilst serving time away on detachment that both he and his music matured. Jay slowly learnt how to capture his emotions, transferring them to music. On return from operations he was discovered by Producer Clyde Ward from Worldward Productions. The reputable producer had Jay recording in his studio in a matter of weeks.

  • Alastair Bancroft

    Photo of Alastair Bancroft

    What can I say about myself? Alastair Bancroft is my name, most people know me as Al. I have graced this planet since 1971. I am a Chief Petty Officer Marine Engineering Technician in the Royal Navy, currently serving on board HMS Daring.

  • Admiral Sir Jonathon Band GCB ADC

    Photo of Admiral Sir Jonathon Band GCB ADC

    Jonathon Band was promoted Rear Admiral in May 1997, he returned to the Ministry of Defence as Assistant Chief of Naval Staff. He became the Deputy Commander-in-Chief Fleet in May 2001.  He was promoted Admiral on 2 August 2002 and this period in Command saw the Iraq Campaign. He was appointed First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff in February 2006.

  • Matt Brown

    Photo of Matt Brown

    Hello, my name’s Matt Brown and I’m a Leading Physical Trainer in the Royal Navy.  I’m 28 and I live in Plymouth.  At the moment I’m serving on HMS SOMERSET on operations with NATO out in the Mediterranean…  Welcome to my world. :-)


  • Sid Lawrence

    Photo of Sid Lawrence

    Rank: Acting CPO (D)  (In English: Diver)

    First Name: Timothy

    Known as: Sid

    Age: 42

    Claim to Fame: Great Britain Skeleton Team Manager and assistant coach

    Born and bred in Orpington, Kent.  I joined the Royal Navy at 16 ½ years old as a Seaman Operator (Gunnery Branch).  I transfered to Clearance Diver when I then started to chase another dream that involved a sport I had seen on television, to race down a bobsleigh track....

  • Bryony Pointon

    Photo of Bryony Pointon

    My name is Bryony Pointon and I have recently left the RN Ice Patrol ship HMS Endurance. I am a GP and have been in the Navy for 5 years where I finished my training as well as serving on HMS Cumberland and I was Deputy Principle Medical Officer at RNAS Yeovilton. Joining Endurance was a dream of mine since I joined the Navy and going to Antarctica is was an amazing opportunity. I am now doing a varity of GP jobs for the next few months before taking a career break.

  • Emma Arkless

    Photo of Emma Arkless

    My name is Emma, I’m 24 and have been a Marine Engineer in the Royal Navy for almost 3 years. My naval birthday is 20/03/2006.
    I am currently serving onboard HMS Endurance in the Antarctic Circle – which is by far the most amazing place I have been so far!

  • Sarah Burns

    Photo of Sarah Burns

    My name is Sarah Burns and I joined the Royal Navy as an AB(HM) in May 2007. I wanted to join the forces from the age of 13, I was influenced by time in the cadets and my interest in sailing and being at sea led me to the Royal Navy.

  • Paul Bennett

    Photo of Paul Bennett

    My name is Captain Paul Bennett, I joined the Royal Navy in September 1985 and spent the first 15 years my career in sea-going appointments.  Ashore, I have served in the rank of commander as the Fleet Operations Officer and as the maritime desk officer to the Director of Operational Capability in the MOD.  I assumed command of HMS Daring, the first T45 destroyer, in May 08.
    When not kept busy by my family, I maintain ‘enthusiastic amateur status’ in my sporting interests of running, mountain-biking, sailing and rowing. 

  • Kevin Mcmorrow

    Photo of Kevin Mcmorrow

    I joined the Navy in 2005 and went straight through Dartmouth as an Air Traffic Controller. Having spent time holding over at HMS DRAKE I went on to complete the Joint Air Traffic Control Course (JATCC) and am now based at RNAS CULDROSE tower.

  • Mark Riley

    Photo of Mark Riley

    My name is Mark Riley,  I'm 17 from Southshields I am currently training to be a Logistician in the Royal Navy.  I joined the Royal Navy to learn to stand on my own 2 feet, learn new skills and to meet new people.  I am interested in travelling to new places and learning about new cultures and the RN will give me every opportunity to do this.

    I plan to stay in the RN for a full career and maybe one day transfer to the Submarine Service.  When I leave the service I would like to study to become a teacher.

    Through this blog I aim to give readers an insight into my training a first deployment with the RN.

  • James Smith

    Photo of James Smith

    My name is James Smith, I am a serving member of the Royal Navy and a Chief Petty Officer Medical Assistant.  I was born in 1972 and fast approaching 17 years served.  So as you can guess I have a lot of experience of Naval life.  During my spare time I am a Category 1 racing cyclist and am also the current South West champion. 

  • Joe Hole

    Photo of Joe Hole

    My name is Joe Hole I am a Weapons Engineering Officer in the Royal Navy.  I grew up in the countryside of Buckinghamshire and after questionable success with A-Levels but doing better with a Degree in Electronic and Computer Engineering, I joined the RN in April 2006. 

    I recently joined HMS Iron Duke as Deputy Weapon Engineer Officer in October 2008 after previous deployments to Eastern Africa and the West Indies.  


  • Gavin Furlong

    Photo of Gavin Furlong

    My name is Gavin Furlong and I am a Leading Aircrewman (ASW), I have been in the Royal Navy for just over eight years now even though it only seems like yesterday I was stood at the gate of HMS Raleigh.
    My career so far has given me the opportunity to see and do many things and as I have recently re-trained as an aircrewman, a new and more exciting chapter has been opened.

  • Paul Clark

    Photo of Paul Clark

    My name is Paul Clark and I am currently undertaking Royal Marine Reserve training with the Leeds detachment. I am also studying medicine at the University of Manchester. When I finish my studies I hope to rejoin full-time, this time as a Doctor serving with 3 Brigade. I definitely would not have expected to be in my present situation 5 years ago.

  • Deryk Hunter

    Photo of Deryk Hunter

    My name is Deryk Hunter and I am a Submarine Warfare Officer in the Royal Navy. I was raised in Glasgow and later attended Glasgow University from 2000 to 2004 gaining a BSc in Chemistry.  I joined the Royal Navy in 2006 and have just started my career in the Submarine Service.  I have just recieved my first appointment to HMS Trafalgar, based in Devonport.  I'll be living, working and playing in and around Plymouth for the next 18 months or so, which is good because I am really starting to like the place.

  • Lisa Martin

    Photo of Lisa Martin

    My name is Lisa Marin, I am a Medical Officer in the Royal Navy.  So far my career has taken me to many different countries.  I am just about to go back to sea as Medical Officer onboard HMS Richmond.  I will be embarking for a six month deployment to the Gulf. 

  • Chris Lewis

    Photo of Chris Lewis

    My name is Chris Lewis and I have been in the navy since June 2006. Having passed out from HMS Raleigh after eight weeks I began my training as an Air Engineering Technician ant HMS Sultan in Gosport. The training program consists mostly of classroom work covering such ranging from hydraulic principles to anti corrosion measures. The basic idea is to give you an understanding of basic engineering practices associated with working on Naval aircraft. The end of this training package is consolidated with two weeks of practical work on decommissioned  Sea King Mk6 helicopters. Having finished the final exam with an average of 86% I progressed to my next phase of training at 824 Naval Air Squadron where my training would be aircraft specific. 

  • Al Woodward

    Photo of Al Woodward

    My name is Al Woodward and I joined the Royal Navy in February 2006 as a pilot.  After nearly two and a half years, and having flown a number of aircraft including the Firefly and Squirrel, I find myself at 824 Naval Air Squadron carrying out my conversion to the Merlin- the RNs newest and most sophisticated helicopter. 

  • Ricky Fairlamb

    Photo of Ricky Fairlamb

    My name is Ricky Fairlamb, I am an Aircraft Engineering Technician (AET). I’m 28 years old and have been in the navy for 3 ½ years. I was born in Berwick-upon-Tweed, the English town who play Scottish football.

    I am now stationed at RNAS Culdrose at 820 Squadron. I’ve been on the Squadron for 2 years now and have gotten to some interesting places including, Norway, Estonia, Oman and Gibraltar. I have never looked back after joining the Royal Navy, I enjoy my job and the opportunities available to “Be all you can be”.

  • Alan Speed

    Photo of Alan Speed

    My Name is Alan Speed generally known as Speedy to my mates.  I work as a Leading Aircrewman on the Merlin helicopter, serving on 820 squadron at RNAS Culdrose situated down in sunny Cornwall.
    I joined the navy in 2001 as an Operator Mechanic, Mine Warfare specialist. This basically involved serving on small plastic mine counter-measure vessels, hunting for mines using the ships sophisticated sonar system. Once the sonar operator located a mine, we would then send a remotely operated underwater vehicle or a clearance diver down to detonate the mine using an explosive charge.