A ROYAL NAVY sailor from Hillsborough is celebrating promotion just two years after opting for a career change.
Leading Logistician Melanie Birch originally joined the Navy in 2001 as a chef.
After nine years and one promotion, Melanie decided on a change, and returned to the Defence Maritime Logistics School at HMS Raleigh where she had undergone her original training.
The 41-year-old said: “I joined the Navy at the age of 30 and enjoyed my time as a chef. However, I wanted a change. So, at the age of 39, and having been promoted to Leading Chef, I found myself back at HMS Raleigh to undergo professional training for my second career.
“I was doing the same physical exercise as my class that had just passed out of their initial training at the peak of physical fitness, as well as attending classes to learn my new trade.”
With her training complete Melanie joined the other newly qualified supply chain specialists at the bottom of the promotion ladder.
She spent two years serving on the Amphibious Assault ship HMS Bulwark and was subsequently selected for promotion yet again!
With her time on HMS Bulwark complete, Melanie has again returned to HMS Raleigh where she is passing on her knowledge and experience to other recruits.
Melanie said: “Receiving promotion from the captain was a very proud moment.
“It’s been a hard couple of years getting used to receiving orders instead of giving them! But it has all been worth it. I am now looking forward to the challenge of becoming an instructor and imparting my knowledge and experience onto the trainees.”