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Sword of Honour Graduate Bound For Chile

19 December 2013

Sword of Honour Graduate Bound For Chile

Sword of Honour recipient Sanjay Prakash will leave on a naval exchange to Chile early next year armed with enough Spanish phrases “to get by”.

Minister of Defence Hon Jonathan Coleman presented the Sword of Honour to Sub Lieutenant (SLT) Prakash after he achieved the highest overall results during of the latest 22-week Junior Officer Common Training course at Devonport Naval Base.

“I was pretty nervous about it but the whole course went really well, particularly the leadership aspects, so I was very happy to be awarded the Sword of Honour,” SLT Prakash said.

Adjusting to military life was no challenge for SLT Prakash who had previously spent three years in the Army Reserves based in Burnham.

The 24-year-old was one of 117 sailors and officers who graduated from their initial training on December 6.

“For me, a course highlight was travelling to Sydney in October aboard the Spirit of New Zealand for the International Fleet Review,” he said.

Experience aboard a tall ship is exactly what the former Burnside High student needs when he leaves for a naval exchange to Chile in February where he will board the Esmeralda—one of the largest Tall Ships in the world at 113 metres long.

“We’ll be travelling around Cape Horn, with a number of days spent in ports in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile.”

SLT Prakash said the exchange was an opportunity to represent the RNZN abroad and strengthen ties with the Chilean Navy.

“It’s going to be an incredible experience and I’m really looking forward to the challenges and opportunities it will bring.”

Since graduating, SLT Prakash has spent a week sailing around the north-east of New Zealand aboard inshore patrol vessel HMNZS HAWEA conducting Customs patrols.

“I was mainly observing officer of the watch duties which is something I will be training in early next year. I also spent time with the ship’s company shadowing them and learning about each of their roles onboard.”

Beyond his exchange to South America the 24-year-old has his sights set on qualifying as a Lieutenant as quickly as possible.

He also has ambitious career-based goals including working in a United Nations observer role and deployments to regions such as the Korean Peninsula and the Sinai.


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