Ever wondered what it takes to be the Commander of a nuclear submarine in the Royal Navy? Our talk this week was with cccc Mike Davis-Marks, who explained his journey, from "unimpressive" Sea Scout, to the role of commander in the Royal Navy submarine service. Inspiration and Guidance for any budding submariner!
Mike started by describing his journey through training, including University, up to the decision to join the submarine service. Mike explained that he chose the submarine service because he was attracted by "The highest level of camaraderie" from amongst all the services - a proud claim to make in the military community. But very understandable when the conditions that these service people work in are considered.
During his talk, it became clear that the service is built on a proud but understated professionalism.
Mike let us have his view of the role of a submarine commander, placing the highest emphasis on people. Recognising the importance of people and teamwork was clearly Mikes driving force. And, his personal attributes clearly demonstrated his ability to communicate, leaving all of feeling comfortable that this calibre of person is commanding our nuclear submarines.
After his time at sea was completed Mike moved into higher level management roles within the Navy, including PR and Recruitment - hence he finished his talk with a promtional video from "force of habit".
Following Mikes talk, the Club raised a whole range of questions (all within the limits of the Official Secrets At!) which Mike happily addressed. From favourite submarine film, to living with unwashed sub-mariners for three months.
Jerry completed the evening with our vote of thanks and, after Mike left, we all agreed it would be great to hear again from Mike - perhaps to learn some of his governmental experiences and more about his good works in and around Portsmouith, since retiring from the Navy?
Portsmouth, home to the Royal Navy, has a significant community of submariners, whose work goes completely unnoticed, by design. Nevertheless, we appreciate and applaud this vital role, at which we are the best in the world (according to the person who has the experience to validate this claim).