Commander Harper awarded Maritime Chartership

A member of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s ship’s company has become the first Royal Navy officer to be awarded the prestigious status of Chartered Master Mariner.

Commander Philip Harper received his chartership from Second Sea Lord Vice-Admiral Tony Radakin at a ceremony onboard HQS Wellington, home of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners.

The award, which last year was bestowed on Commodore Duncan Lamb, head of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, 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.

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.

Admiral Radakin

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 and honouring the efforts of those who have not only benefitted the maritime industry but have also improved their own professional capability and demonstrated a willingness to help others.”

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.