Page 12 - Chiron Spring/Summer 2023
P. 12

 From civvi
RVN to an
Army RVN
by Pte Baddick
Hi, I’m Pte Baddick. I joined at the end of 2022, aspiring to become part of the RAVC as
a Veterinary Technician. I attended ATR Winchester in November, where I completed the 14-week basic training.
I come from a small village in North Devon, where I have lived my entire life with my family.
After getting my A-Levels, I
started my process of becoming a Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN). Since the age of 18, I have worked in a few small and mixed animal practices based in North Devon as full-time staff and as a locum.
In 2019, I qualified as an RVN after three years of study at Bicton College in South Devon.This consisted of an apprenticeship-styled course where I spent one day a week at college learning theory and the rest of the week working and gaining hands-on experience in an RCVS-approved practice, Argyll Veterinary Clinics – a small animal
Pte Biddick being presented as best student on course 03 Mar 23 by Col Mark Morrison CVRO
  vets. I really enjoyed these three years.
At times they were hugely challenging mentally and physically (chihuahuas are stronger than they look), but mostly, I am proud of what
massively pushed me out of my comfort zone by encouraging me to learn the differences and challenges associated with nursing horses. It was at this point that I decided in my future career, I would like to attain my Equine Nursing qualification.
After 4 years of working in practice, I
search dogs to sick cavalry horses. You could be preparing an operating theatre one day, and nursing hospitalized animals the next. It’s a great experience that can help you get valuable qualifications and a job if you return to civilian life. When you’re not building your skills and career, you’ll have time to enjoy sports and make amazing friends.’
After reading that on the Army website, I sent in my application
in instantly. After a year and a half of a bumpy application process, originally getting my application declined on medical grounds and 2 appeal letters later, I finally got my joining instructions.
I found basic training to be challenging at times. The pace of learning new things, for example, weapon handling, was very fast- paced. Other aspects like kit inspections and timekeeping didn’t tend to stress me as much, probably because of it being instilled in me from my previous employment. My fitness at the start was very average, but after 14 weeks, I definitely noticed a huge improvement, knocking off minutes on my 2k
best effort. I learnt to enjoy the PT sessions as they are only a reflection
 “Joining the British Army had always been
a thought in the back of my mind since leaving secondary school but due to the lack of confidence,
it meant that I never followed through”
wanted a change. Not of career, just lifestyle and place of work. Joining the British Army had always been a thought
in the back of my mind since leaving secondary
 I achieved and
that I came out with an accredited profession.
In 2020, I spent a few months working in an Equine and Farm practice, Torch Vets. I really enjoyed this new aspect of nursing. Before this, I had never had any equine experience apart from the occasional horse-riding lessons when I was much younger. This
school but due to the lack of confidence, it meant that I never followed through. But at the
age of 21 and after doing some research into my options, the Army route cropped up once again, and the Vet Tech role seemed pretty much perfect.
‘You work all over the world and deal with everything from injured
10 / Chiron Calling

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