Careers > The People
My name's Mark Toogood and I've been in the Royal Navy since 1991. I joined as a Chef and served on a number of ships - during my time on HMS Cumberland I was deployed to the Northern Arabian Gulf for nine months and served as part of the Ship's Boarding Party. This saw me working to identify and detain Iraqi embargo busters – which just shows that being a Chef in the Royal Navy is a lot more exciting than doing it anywhere else!
In 2000, I qualified as a Physical Training Instructor and since then have served on HMS Iron Duke and at The Royal Navy School of Physical Training, where I worked as a Staff Instructor.
In 2007, I decided I was ready to take my career to the next level and attended the Admiralty Interview Board to apply for Officer Training. I was selected and passed out of Britannia Naval College as a Logistics Officer this April.
I've always been a really keen cricketer and I went to Barbados on my first Royal Navy cricket tour in 1993. Since then I have toured South Africa and India and, I'm delighted to say, I'm still the current opening batsman for the Royal Navy.
Mark Toogood: in response to Question 1.
I am very keen on joining as an officer, at the moment im looking into warfare.
But i did work experience last year in logistics and it seemed that if you are not stationed on a ship there is not much work to be done, as in a week i did alot of sitting down just waiting around!
My options are still open but i wondered if you could give me a idea of what sort of roles a logistic officer has to take on when not on board a ship?
Hi Sophie, thanks for your question. Both branches will offer fantastic opportunities. I would imagine that the amount of time you spent sitting around during your work experience was due to the Logistics Officer being too busy to devote their time to you!! Sorry that you didn't have a great time on Work Experience, but trust me as a Logistics Officer you will be very busy; be it in an administrative role in an Admiral's outer office, working in core logistics to ensure that a ship's supplies arrive in the right place at the right time anywhere in the world, or managing your department's personnel. It's all challenging and exciting stuff. Good luck with your decision Sophie.
Mark Toogood: in response to Question 2.
Did any of your jobs over the course of your career become repetitive and/or boring, and if so did you have the option of changing jobs within the branch which you were working in.
Hello Philip, as with all jobs there will be mundane tasks that are essential to successful output; however, I would describe the overall package that the Navy offers as anything but boring! Changing jobs within the branch (i.e. from Store Chain to Personnel Logistician) is not guaranteed; however, within your chosen specialisation your role will change at very regular intervals. Thanks
Mark Toogood: in response to Question 3.
Hi Mark, I'm looking into joining the navy but I'm a bit unsure with which job I want to specialise at, So my question is if you could do it all again, What would you sign up to do in the RN?
Hi Garry, I regret none of the decisions I have made; however, if I were to join again as a rating I would have considered either Personnel Logistician or Air Engineering Technician. As an officer I wouldn't change from Logistics. Thanks
Mark Toogood: in response to Question 4.
Hey Mark, I have an interview on August 21st and would like to know how you find being a logistics officer? I have applied myself to be one, however I am currently finishing my law degree and would like to know if it would be possible to practise law in the Navy and how easy it would be to go about doing this. Thanks in advance
Hello Sion, Logistics is the way ahead! Hard, but ultimately rewarding - in a nutshell. With a law background, Logistics is definitely the way ahead for you; with your qualification you are likely to be streamed as a Barrister during your time as a Logs Officer. Good luck and I look forward to seeing you in the Fleet. Thanks
Mark Toogood: in response to Question 5.
I am 30 years old, and a supervisor at a local DC, I have been in the Navy before, and really want to join again, but i am worried that i will not pass the 8 weeks basic training as i know how bad things can be and dont want to lose everything but would be willing to if i knew i would defanatly pass. do you have any ideas?
Hi Stuart, thanks for your Email. As you will know from your first time in the Navy, ratings' Basic Training is selective - it has to be due to the nature of what we do. My advice would be to get as fit as you need to be, and mentally prepare yourself for a nine week blast of hard work. Adopt a state of mind that will not allow yourself to fail and then go for it! I look forward to seeing you in the Fleet.
Mark Toogood: in response to Question 6.
Hi Mark, my name is Sean and I am currently progressing through the application stages with a view of joining the Royal Marines as an officer. At present things are going very well, but I was wondering what to expect if I progress through to the AIB? If you could give me any pointers of words of advice it would be much appreciated.
Hi Sean, go to your local careers office and ask for 'Admiralty Interview Board - A guide for candidates' this will tell you all you need to know. The AIB is a mentally challenging couple of days that will need to be prepared for fully; attack it whole heartedly and concentrate for every second you are there (except when you are asleep!!). Get hold of Test your IQ books/CDs and work your way through them, read the Navy news (pay particular attention to the first couple of pages and (random, I know) find someone with a Nintendo DS and practise the 'Brain Training' game - it really does sharpen you up! Good luck Sean.
Mark Toogood: in response to Question 7.
Hi, I was wandering if it was common for people to join the Royal Marines Reserve while studying full time at university, How do all the exercises and training dates fit in with the academic studies? After finishing my degree could I easily relocate to a different RMR unit? Does the modular style of RMR training coincide with the university holidays?
Sorry Charlie, I am not a Royal Marine and dont know the answer to that. Call 08456 07 55 55 and speak to a Careers Advisor - they will be able to answer your question. Thanks
Mark Toogood: in response to Question 8.
Hey Mark! Just to let you know that you're 'journey' through the Royal Navy is nothing less than an inspiration to myself, so thanks for that alone.
Unfortunately, i was born allergic to nuts (with the exception of peanuts, hazelntus and almonds (also coconut, but i don't think that's technically a nut anyway)) and i know this stops me from joining the RAF and the Army. Does this small setback stop me from joining the Royal Marines Commandos and/or the Navy? I sincerely hope not, as a career in the Navy is somewhat of a dream for me!
I hope your career in the Royal Navy continues to be adventurous and rewarding = ]
Mike, 18, Birmingham
Hello Mike, thanks for your question and your kind words. I am afraid that I am not a recruiter and dont know the answer to that. Call 08456 07 55 55 and speak to a Careers Advisor - they will be able to answer your question. I sincerely hope that you are able to fulfill your dream and come and live a life without limits. All the best.
Mark Toogood: in response to Question 9.
Hi, I read in the last live chat about how the marines do not take anyone who needs contacts/glasses, like myself. What's the opinion on having corrective surgery, and are there any other options for someone in my position? Cheers.
Sorry Dan, I am not a Royal Marine and don't know the answer to that. Call 08456 07 55 55 and speak to a Careers Advisor - they will be able to answer your question. Thanks
Mark Toogood: in response to Question 10.
i've been thinking about joining as a Logistics Officer. What would you say are the best and worst aspects of this role?
Also, what other roles, aside from Logistics, might you be expected to do?
Where do I start... Being a Logistician is such a diverse and rewarding role, it can be described as the 'Art of the impossible'; no military campaigns have been successful without co-ordinated and effective logistics. Aside from core responsibilities, you could be employed as a Damage Control Officer in a Frigate or a Destroyer; the officer in charge of a boarding party in either the Northern Arabian Gulf or the West Indies; a plethora of 'out of branch' jobs (like my current post in a busy marketing department on the Captain of Naval Recruiting's staff). The world is your oyster!! Good luck.