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Portsmouth News: RN Officer Makes History After Being Named Top Naval Student On Germany's Most Prestigious Course

soleil

War Hero
"A Royal Navy officer has made history after being named the top naval student on Germany’s most prestigious course training the leaders of tomorrow.

Lieutenant Commander David Roberts stood out from more than 120 German and overseas military personnel attending two years of demanding learning in Hamburg.

It’s the second time the 37-year-old has demonstrated his language skills on a long-term exchange with one of the UK’s closest allies.

Back in 2014, he served aboard French flagship FS Charles de Gaulle as a fighter controller, directing the actions of Rafale and Super Étendard jets.

A few years later and David was selected for the mentally-challenging German Advanced Staff Course at the Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr, the German armed forces command and staff college – roughly the equivalent of the UK’s Staff College in Shrivenham.

Around 120 German military personnel attend the two-year course in the Hamburg suburb of Blankenese, plus Nato and European allies.

Apart from presentations towards the end when students must demonstrate their English-speaking ability to work in multinational staffs, the course is taught entirely in German.

The six Britons underwent 12 months of intensive German language training at Shrivenham to undertake the demanding military course.

Lt Cdr Roberts said it had been a ‘challenging and draining’ experience, adding: ‘The pace and breadth of subjects covered in the course does take a bit of time to ease into.’

After two years’ study he was named both the best naval student, the first non-German officer ever to receive this honour, and best international student on the course.

He now moves on to a job with Nato’s Maritime Command headquarters at Northwood in northwest London."

 

soleil

War Hero
Lieutenant Commander David Roberts (right) receives the top naval student award from the Commander of the German Navy's Baltic forces, Flotillenadmiral (Commodore) Christian Bock

HamburgStudent.jpg
 
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soleil

War Hero
David Roberts pictured as a Fighter Controller in the ops room of French aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle in 2014

DavidRoberts.jpg
 
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Disappointingly, he's a really nice bloke as well.
 
Tomorrow belongs to him

It most certainly does, he is only going onwards and upwards - respect to him, I know someone who has done the course and it ain't easy.

On the requisite language skills: I had a transient SSGT pointed in my direction when I was at JHQ, he had attended the German language course, but needed some more down to earth practical experience - squaddie language rather than nice courteous, correct course language. He was to attend a specialist, almost 1 year long, Bundeswehr course where only German was the working language. A chap from the same Regt had been RTU'd on the previous course for not being able to communicate effectively. My point being; if the course is in German they expect you to speak German, no mercy is given - so, yeah, the future admiral LtCdr done good.
 
I always found the reading matter of my youth helpful when conducting business meetings with Germans. Strangely they never had Victor,Warlord or Commando. got ent hemmel! As I used to say
 

philc

LE
Disappointingly, he's a really nice bloke as well.

Feck off, I am having him down as a loafer, dodging sea time just because he can speak a bit of the Eric and knows how to order Snails.
 
Disappointingly, he's a really nice bloke as well.
He looks feck all like Alan Partridge either - he's barking up the wrong tree as far as the RN goes - he's reached his ceiling.
 

JJWRacing

Clanker
Well done Sir, but three years out of his normal line number, was it worth it for the Navy and the blokes who picked up his slack, hmmmm?
 

lert

LE
I think the really important question we're all missing is "What are the brasses down the Reeperbahn like these days?"
 
He looks feck all like Alan Partridge either - he's barking up the wrong tree as far as the RN goes - he's reached his ceiling.
He's probably not bothered, with his back ground CV and the RN paying for intensive language courses and the experience on the course it will probably set him up nicely for a well paid job in civy street, although this Covid buisness might put the dampers on it.
 

Daxx

MIA
Book Reviewer
All he has to do now is not get caught fiddling his expenses. Didier Lombard stylie.
 

CC_TA

LE
Well done Sir, but three years out of his normal line number, was it worth it for the Navy and the blokes who picked up his slack, hmmmm?

Bloke with good prospects, putting the navy in an awesome light, best student on a course where the lingo is gibberish?

Do you really think there is an office\bunk empty with paperwork piled up? Do you actually believe there are not buckshee fish-head officers that already don't do much that can easily step up or across?
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
All he has to do now is not get caught fiddling his expenses. Didier Lombard stylie.
Didn't do his subsequent career any harm...
 
Well done Sir, but three years out of his normal line number, was it worth it for the Navy and the blokes who picked up his slack, hmmmm?

Given that the courses are established line numbers, and frankly trying to get on a Staff Course is hard enough work, I'd say well done him. My Shriv DS was from the German Staff College and laughed in our general direction at the "intellectual rigour" we had to go through.

I'd have loved to have done it, but alas, domestics precluded.
 

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