NATION

Navy career takes shape for Valentine

Two months ago, she worked in Telecom Fiji Limited’s engineering department. Give her another six weeks and Frances Valentine, 21, will be a fully-fledged navy personnel. She is one of
08 Apr 2018 12:01
Navy career takes shape for Valentine
Cadet Francis Valentine (left) and Mereseini Sokoilagi upon returning for 7 weeks of training at Togalevu Naval training base on April 07, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Two months ago, she worked in Telecom Fiji Limited’s engineering department.

Give her another six weeks and Frances Valentine, 21, will be a fully-fledged navy personnel.

She is one of the 26 female recruits chosen to bolster the women component of the Fijian Navy. By then, Ms Valentine would have been through 13 weeks of rigorous training in all facets of naval life.

Ms Valentine, the elder of two siblings, comes from Qamea Island, off Taveuni.

Yesterday morning, at the naval training base in Togalevu, outside Suva, Ms Valentine outlined what drove her to seek a career in the navy.

She has an aunt in the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) who Ms Valentine said was  one of her inspirations to join the defence force.

Cadet Frances Valentine 21 upon returning for 7 weeks of  training at Togalevu Naval training base on April 07, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Cadet Frances Valentine 21 upon returning for 7 weeks of training at Togalevu Naval training base on April 07, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Ms Valentine said she was always impressed by her aunt’s professional conduct and the way she went about doing her job.

“I thought of being a part of Fiji’s defence force. But my dream (joining the navy) would come true so early. I had never imagined that,” Ms Valentine said.

“I was always inspired to stand out and be strong and this navy recruitment was the best opportunity to do so.”

She said the seven weeks of trainings so far had flown even though the rules were strict and the physical training tough.

“The training (initially) was difficult but it was for the best for us,” Ms Valentine said.

“The first week when I joined the training, it was very tough. I did not know if I could make it through the 13 weeks.

“But the training has built my confidence and made me stronger mentally, physically and spiritually.

“We (her family) never had anyone join the navy .

“I am proud being the first in the family to join navy. My family is very supportive and proud of my achievement as well.’’

Her family were surprised when they learned of her recruitment but they are more proud of her as she has been able to overcome her fear, she said.

“The navy has been a male-dominated force. It is a proud moment for the family and me to be part of Fiji’s navy family,” Ms Valentine said.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback:  ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: