Honour for Olney chief petty officer

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A CHIEF Petty Officer (CPO) from Olney has been commended by his Commanding Officer for his commitment and dedication to training the Royal Navy’s new recruits at HMS Raleigh.

CPO Scott Harding joined the Royal Navy in 1992. The 37-year-old took up his post at the Royal Navy training base in Cornwall in April 2010. He works within the Initial Naval Training School responsible for coaching, leadership and development training for both staff and recruits. CPO Harding also manages the establishment’s high ropes training apparatus which stands 13 metres high and requires the recruits to operate as a team to overcome a range of challenges. In addition his role encompasses looking after the welfare and training needs of recruits who have suffered an injury or illness to prepare them for return to full training.

Presented with his award by the Commanding Officer of HMS Raleigh, Captain Steve Murdoch, CPO Harding’s citation reads: “His commitment and determination to support training stands out as ‘above and beyond’ that expected and his flexibility and drive epitomizes the ideal qualities of an instructor who is very much at the top of his game.”

CPO Harding said: “I have had a great life in the Royal Navy. My specialisation as an aircraft handler has given me 20 years of highlights. Achievements are not realised alone; the support I have received from my team be it my peers, superiors or those who work for me has been second to none. That’s the Royal Navy way and I am proud to be part of it.”

The former pupil of Cedars Upper School has previously served on HMS Invincible and HMS Illustrious taking part in operations in the Adriatic, the Gulf and the Indian Ocean. He has also served on the Falklands patrol ship HMS Clyde. He was promoted to his current rank this year and is due to start training at Britannia Royal Navy College, Dartmouth, next year having been selected for promotion to the Officer Corps. Prior to joining the Royal Navy he worked as a delivery driver for a company based in Milton Keynes.