A member of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s ship’s company has been awarded a prestigious status by a senior admiral in the Royal Navy.
Commander Philip Harper received his Chartered Master Mariner status during a ceremony on-board HQS Wellington.
He has become the first Royal Navy officer to be awarded the chartership which serves to recognise Master Mariners who have not only benefited the industry but have also improved their own professional capability and demonstrated a willingness to help others.
Cdr Harper was awarded the prestigious status by Second Sea Lord Vice-Admiral Tony Radakin at a ceremony on HQS Wellington, which is home of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners.
Maritime Chartership has only been available since 2013.
Previously, under international law, the highest qualification available to any seafarer was the Class 1 (Unlimited) Certificate – known as ‘Master Mariner’.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Master Mariner Captain Robert Booth said: ‘Chartership sets a new and higher goal for senior mariners by recognising individual achievement.’
Cdr Harper commanded the Hydrographic Survey ship HMS Enterprise from November 2016 until November 2018.
HMS Enterprise is the flagship of NATO’s standing mine countermeasure group and, as such, Cdr Harper was the Flag Captain for the group of six mine-countermeasure ships.
Cdr Harper is now the Commander Navigation for HMS Queen Elizabeth. Heavily involved in naval training, he is recognised as something of a specialist in naval technical and ship warfare disciplines.
Admiral Radakin said: ‘Candidates have satisfied the demanding criteria for chartered status and it is a privilege, both personally and professionally for the Royal Navy, to be asked to present the certificates for this most prestigious award.'
Under his own initiative Cdr Harper has striven to align RN qualifications with the Merchant Navy.
His capacity for developing and implementing commercially-sensible polices is having an impact on naval thinking and development.