By Peter Mallet
The Royal Canadian Navy’s first set of recruits trained under a system designed to respect COVID-19 restrictions have recently graduated and are on their way to trades training.
Late last month, 34 sailor third class recruits (S3 (R)) on the West Coast graduated from De-centralized Basic Military Qualification (BMQ) training after spending 10 weeks inside a restricted access cohort to keep them healthy and safe in the current COVID-19 environment.
The recruits were presented their graduation certificates by Commander (Cdr) Annick Fortin, Naval Fleet School (Pacific) Commandant, in a physically distanced graduation ceremony at Work Point’s Nixon Building at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, B.C.
“I am very proud of all of the candidates, and the staff,” said Cdr Fortin. “All those involved in this qualification process did an excellent job.”
Since family and friends were not permitted to attend due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event was streamed live on Facebook.
De-centralized BMQs are an innovative measure designed to deliver Regular Force BMQ training for the Navy in a safe, carefully planned, deliberate manner abiding by directed protective health measures to guard against the spread of COVID-19.
BMQs are normally run through the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in St. Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. De-centralized BMQs were developed and conducted on the East and West Coasts under the leadership of Commander Naval Personnel and…