Studied: Level 3 Protective Services
Progression: AB2 Royal Navy seaman
By putting himself forward for special duties, Elliot Sutton has found himself representing the Royal Navy as part of a swim team in Gibraltar. He was also a Guard of Honour during the funeral for the late Queen Elizabeth II. Naturally he describes both opportunities as ‘a huge honour’, with the funeral being particularly ‘emotional’.
“I remember being there thinking that 12 months ago I was a college student, now here I am at the heart of this momentous occasion,” said Elliot.
“The whole experience was such a privilege. It shows what can be made possible when you ask to be involved in things.
“It’s what I’ve been doing from the moment I started my Royal Navy basic training. I’m always on the lookout for other things to experience or gain new skills in.”
After 10 weeks as a recruit, Elliot became an AB2, gaining sonar and radar-based qualifications.
As an AB1 on board a ship, he will then be able to take part in duties such as gangway watches. From here, he is prepared to continue training so he can be assigned firing and clearing duties.
“I’d always wanted to be in a role where I could challenge myself physically, work independently and in a team,” said Elliot. “The opportunities to travel with the Royal Navy stood out as well.
“There are commendations along the way for what you do, but the personal sense of achievement can be rewarding in itself.”
Looking back on his time at the college, Elliot appreciates the leadership and communication skills that lay the foundations of his career. He also started working on his physical fitness and endurance during the gym workouts that were part of his course timetables.
Other skills and experiences stand out from his college course too.
Elliot continued: “A field craft experience was memorable because it involved getting to grips with maps and compasses.
“And I remember a mud run which was fun. It was a great way for everyone to boost their confidence, especially the ones who hadn’t done anything like that before.”
“A protective services course is also beneficial because you’re learning from people who’ve been there and done it for real. Lecturers have all kinds of industry experiences to share with you.”