Even as a citizen of Bangladesh, Mehdi of Jamalpur is a sailor of the British Navy


Mehdi Hasan of Jamalpur has become a sailor of the Royal Navy of United Kingdom while doing voluntary work . Running from one ocean to another in warships. Sajeeb Mia  heard the same story from Mehdi about how this Bangladeshi became a member of the British military despite being a foreigner.

HMS Trent has been floating in Spanish waters for some time after leaving the Straits of Gibraltar. And two days later, the military patrol ship is scheduled to arrive at an Italian port. In this way, the map of the sea has changed like the country. Mehdi Hasan, however, can not tell the difference! Just as you see the sun rising from the water in the Atlantic Ocean and sinking into the water at the end of the day, you also see it floating in the Mediterranean Sea. 

‘Is ship life so monotonous?’ 

Mehdi was talking like a calm sea. Hearing the question, his voice became shaky, ‘No, no. We have to abide by military rules here. Have to do routine work. Let’s chat ourselves. Little by little, the day passed with more and more work.’ 

HMS Trent’s own networking system used the sailors to communicate with the people of Dangar. However, internet speed is quite slow in most parts of the ship. The transmission is moving like talking when it comes to the ship’s administrative room. Mehdi was sitting there talking. 

 UK military ship Trent regularly patrols various destinations centered around Gibraltar. Mehdi joined this patrol ship on May 1. Before that, he went to Gibraltar by plane from the UK. Over the past couple of months, Trent has developed a crush on the half-hundred shipmates. After all, these sailors who leave their families in the far sea are each other’s own. Mehdi said, ‘We are going to Italy to attend an event. I will leave for Gibraltar again in a few days.’ 

Mehndi will spend 10 weeks on the ship to reach Gibraltar. According to British Navy rules, four weeks leave will be given after that. Then go back to the UK. 

‘Earlier I used to stay in the barracks when I got leave. If you get a holiday, you don’t have to stay. I got a house in the quarter,’ added Mehdi. 

Mehdi joined the Royal Navy in 2019 as a sailor in the catering and logistics department. After training worked at various bases. Stayed on the ship for some time. Besides cooking, he has to serve food on board. Mehdi said, ‘The issue of food on board is very sensitive. Keeping in mind the nutrition and health of everyone, the list of what posts will be served at what time is given. There is no opportunity to give food from one meal to another meal. So these regulations are more difficult than the trouble of cooking.’ Mehdi wants to hear the story of how he fell in love. 

Volunteering in the UK 

In 2018, Mehdi Hasan got an opportunity to go to the United States for the scout’s summer program. He was then a second year student in a private university in Dhaka. Get a chance to visit several US states for three months. He used to go around and spend time with the school children. He used to spread his experience of scout life among the children. It was then that a UK Scout program took volunteers. applied Before completing the US program, he was selected as a volunteer by the UK Scouts.

One year program. Under which school students will be given hands on adventures like hiking, climbing. After returning to Dhaka from the United States, Mehdi quickly boarded the flight to London. After three months of training, Mehdi started working as a trainer at a center outside the city.

The one year program lasts about 9 months. Mehdi thought that he would return home after completing his duties and focus on completing his B.Sc. Engineering. But before that, his inquisitive mind turned his life around, ‘I have a keen interest in knowing what is happening around. Even in the country, I used to visit the website of the government department. I tried to find out if there is any scholarship or fellowship opportunity. Due to this habit of digging, I used to visit the websites of various departments of the UK government. That’s how one day I got the notification of the Royal Navy.’

Recruitment to the UK Royal Navy is an ongoing process. They regularly take people. According to the rules, anyone who has lived in the UK for five years can apply to join as a seafarer. But Mehdi has only been gone for 9 months!

At that time the five-year residence rule for citizens of Commonwealth countries was changed. Apply online immediately to take advantage of this opportunity, said Mehdi.

Where will Mehndi be now?

The Royal Navy accepted Mehdi’s application. Verify necessary documents including passport. Go through all the tests step by step. All that remains is the four-day Pre-Royal Navy Course. Kellafte only if it passes. But then there was a problem.

Mehdi said, ‘The center where I do volunteer work, they made it clear that they will not give four days off. I thought, my visa is only valid for a month, take a risk. I quit the job.’

The four-day course consisted of physical tests including ironing and bed-making skills. Mehndi went down in everything. Finally he was told the date of joining – 21 July 2019.

But that is another 15 days. How many days will you stay in London? Don’t have money in your pocket to stay in a hotel. There is no one known, in whose house you can stay for two to ten days. The joy of getting a job could not do the same. Mehdi was saying, ‘I was forced to contact the Bangladesh High Commission in London. After hearing everything, they gave me financial support, arranged accommodation and food. With their help, I joined the Navy on July 21.’

After joining the service, Mehdi’s visa complications also went away. As a member of the military, his passport bears the seal of the country’s Ministry of Defense. Get residency privileges. And now Mehdi is also doing Masters at University of Lincoln while working.

Wanted to do something special

Mehedi Hasan visited the country last Eid-ul-Fitr on a Bangladeshi passport. His house is in Melandah Upazila of Jamalpur. Father Khalilur Rahman is an office assistant in a local school. Mother Suraiya Begum is a housewife. He is the elder of two brothers. Mehedi passed SSC in Melandhe and obtained diploma from Mymensingh Polytechnic Institute.

Mehdi was saying, ‘Since childhood, I thought how to bring change in our family. Dad used to say something exceptional. I used to think that nothing exceptional can be done just by studying. So I joined different organizations, got to know people.’

Mehdi did not have the opportunity to scout at school. He got that opportunity after getting admission in polytechnic. He also served as the president of the scout team of this organization. Since then the communication with different people increased. 

He came to Dhaka in 2016 and got admission in a private university. He also became the member secretary of the Asia-Pacific region of the International Committee of Bangladesh Scouts. Increase the practice of English. Keep in regular contact with foreign friends. This is how the opportunity to go to the United States through Japan, United Arab Emirates came. That opportunity took Mehdi to military life. 

Mehdi said, ‘I am enjoying this life very much. If I get nothing else in life, there will be no regrets.’

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