Polish native from Sligo continues proud family tradition in the military

A young Polish-born man from Sligo town says he is proud to be one of 38 naval recruits ‘passing out’ today at a ceremony today at Haulbowline Naval Base in Cork.

Bartlomiej Kolalski is continuing a tradition of generations of his family’s involvement in the military.

The 38 young naval recruits ‘passing out’ today range in age from 18 to 26.

They began their training last April.

Today, the newly qualified ‘Ordinary Ratings’ will pass out after having been part of Recruit Class ‘Patrick Murphy’, members of which have just completed 20 weeks of intensive training.

The name of the class comes from a naval service tradition of naming each recruit class after an Irish maritime figure.

After today, the recruits will continue their training in specialist areas such as seamanship, gunnery, logistics, communications and mechanical/engineering.

Afterward, they will be posted to the Irish Navy’s fleet as ‘Able Rates.’

For Bartlomiej Kolalski, today is a very special day:

He also explained why he decided to join the Irish Defence Forces.

And he’s been telling us what he’ll be doing after today’s ‘passing out’ parade and the celebrations afterward: