A Royal Navy Officer from Penzance has become the first woman appointed to the post of First Lieutenant at Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) in Dartmouth .

Lieutenant Commander Zoe Briant-Evans joined the Royal Navy in 1997 and in her new role is responsible for the day to day running of the College, which provides initial naval training to members of the Officer Corps. She was originally appointed to BRNC in 2011 and spent 19 months serving as a Squadron Officer, with direct responsibility for training Cadets, before taking on her new role.

She said: “It is a real honour to be the First Lieutenant at BRNC. Although we now have women in many roles within the RN, including in Command of warships, I am very proud to be the first female Officer to serve in this uniquely challenging position at the Naval College.”

The former pupil of Humphry Davy School chose a Service career following her experiences as a member of the Cambridge University Royal Naval Unit. She joined the unit during her final year at the Anglia Polytechnic University where she studied Geography.

Having sailed through her own initial training at BRNC, Lt Cdr Briant-Evans was awarded a College Sword on completion of her course in recognition of her achievements.

Her first ship was the Type 22 frigate HMS Campbeltown, taking part in deployments to the Baltic and Northern Russia and fulfilling the UK's commitment to the Standing Naval Force Atlantic.

Other highlights of Lt Cdr Briant-Evans' career include an appointment as the Flag Lieutenant to the Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces deployed to the Middle East, where she worked alongside the US 5th Fleet Headquarters during operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Following service as the Navigating Officer onboard HMS Cumberland, she was appointed the Commanding Officer of the Glasgow and Strathclyde University Royal Naval Unit and its training ship HMS Smiter.

In September 2007 Lt Cdr Briant-Evans served as the Regional Recruiting Officer for Greater London and the South East, in charge of one of the busiest recruiting regions in the UK.

Summing up her career so far the 36 year-old said: “I have been incredibly lucky during my 16 years in the RN. “I have been privileged to work with fantastic people, witness global events and travel the world.