There must be something in the water at Russell with three siblings in the George whanau all joining the navy.

After turning 18 siblings Mikayla, Lukas and Quade have one after the other arrived at the Devonport Naval Base gates with a large suitcase, ready to start basic common training and embrace a life at sea.

The eldest Mikayla, now 22 and an Able Weapons Technician, was the first.

"We are a close-knit family, so it's been great to be around to support each other and share our experiences of being in the navy," Mikayla said.


There is an even stronger family connection, with some of their cousins from Russell and an aunt and uncle all serving in the navy.

"I joined the navy straight from school. My aunt, who was already in the navy, suggested it to me because it offered a good career," Mikayla said.

"Moving to Auckland was quite scary at first, going from a small town where I knew everyone to a massive city I'd not seen before."

She completed basic training in 2016 and was glad of the insights from a cousin, who was in the intake before her.

"She said, 'If I can do it, you can do it', so that gave me some confidence."

"I went into it very fit from the sport I was playing, 7s rugby, touch and netball, plus I knew a bit about what to expect and that helped."

After basic training she did electronic technician training, learning the basics of the trade, and then specialised as a weapons technician, because she preferred the more hands-on work with weapons.

"I travelled on HMNZS Te Kaha in New Zealand waters and as far as Hawaii during her delivery voyage to Canada for her weapons systems upgrade."


Brother Lukas, 20, joined the navy in 2018 and is now a marine technician.

"I had attended my sister's basic common training graduation and visited the base several times and enjoyed what I saw, so that, plus the fact I was keen to travel and serve on a ship, pushed me towards a military career," he said.

"It was good having my sister here because I came to Auckland not knowing many people. Coming from a small town it was great having family in the navy."

Lucas was posted to his first ship, HMNZS Manawanui, in August last year and is looking forward to plenty of overseas travel this year.

Their brother Quade, who completed basic training in December, will also train as a marine technician.

The siblings' mother Nicole George said it wasn't planned for all three to join the navy.

"They were keen to get a trade and they have already made some great friends for life," she said.

"We're very proud of them. They seem to have grown up very quickly in the navy and become more independent and a lot more confident.

"When they come home we go to the local RSA, where lots of the locals know and appreciate that they are serving in the navy."