Case study: Katie Stone, Able rating/Leading hand/Steward – Royal Navy

Katie Stone has travelled the world with the Royal Navy
Meet Katie Stone who has travelled the world and gained professional qualifications with the Royal Navy.

Katie Stone joined the RN four years ago as a Rating, she finished her GCSEs at school and then attended college to take a BTEC in Travel and Tourism.

After completing her 10 weeks basic training at HMS Raleigh she was then taught her hospitality (steward) role over the following 14 weeks. Once complete she joined HMS St Albans, where she was front of house at VIP events working with defence engagement on deployments all over the world, entertaining VIP nationals and foreign dignitaries at all kinds of events from dinners to lunches to cocktail parties and much more.

HMS St Albans is a type 23 frigate with a crew of 200 men and women, she’s a versatile ship capable of handling almost any mission around the world.   Currently acting as the Fleet Ready Escort, HMS St Albans is tasked with protecting the integrity of UK waters, and in this role, would be the very first ship to respond to any intruders, threats of terrorism or reports of smuggling of arms, narcotics etc.

As a rating, Katie is learning ‘on the job’, and gaining professional qualifications while travelling the world. She has chosen to join the Logistics branch of the Navy which is vital to the service.  It helps to provide everything that the 30,000 people around the world in all the other branches, rely on to do their jobs –  from food to essential supplies, to HR support and hospitality services.

Alongside her hospitality role, Katie is also a first aid responder, providing 24/7 cover, should there be a casualty anywhere onboard. She is also fully trained in the use of the SA80 rifle and as a quick response fire fighter and damage repair party member.

It’s a mix of working, adventure training, professional learning with some exciting travel opportunities thrown in too

Katie says that she didn’t know what she wanted to do when she was younger, none of her family had been in the Royal Navy or Merchant Navy, and she lived in Burton-on-Trent – just about as far away from the sea as its possible to get.  Joining the Navy was a big decision but she really wanted to do something different to get away from her home surroundings, the opportunity to travel was really important and she could see a way to build an exciting career in the service.

She has now completed three and a half years working on the ship and has just been promoted from Able Rating to Leading Hand and is now working with the Royal Navy’s recruitment team talking to young people like herself, about everything a career in the Navy could offer.

Her time in the RN to date has been a mix of working, adventure training, professional learning with some exciting travel opportunities thrown in too.  In each location the ship has visited, she’s been able to take time to explore, she’s been to Norway and Iceland, to the British Embassy in Dubai, she’s watched ice hockey in Canada, and visited Jordan where they had time to explore the rose city of Petra and visit the Dead Sea, to mention just a few. She is currently preparing to go to the Atlas Mountains with her Naval friends for a hiking expedition and is considering learning to ski in Bavaria next year.

Katie says that in a relatively short space of time she has made lifelong friends, and every day has been interesting and different. She’s hoping to work with Royalty in the near future, and ideally would like to work in the prime minister’s residence at Chequers before returning to sea. In time she hopes to move up the ranks and take on more responsibility and she’s certainly planning on completing her full career – 22 years – with the service.

Asked if she would recommend the service to a school leaver, she says yes without hesitation, in fact she wishes that she joined before going to college because there are so much more opportunities for fun and adventure and the Navy actually pay you whilst you gain your qualifications unlike college. She says that the time she fully appreciates her career is after looking at her friends from school, in their straightforward 9-5 jobs. The Royal Navy is all about ‘work hard and play hard ‘and you can learn so much and grow with people your own age. In fact, the scope and opportunities are almost unlimited.

Click here to download further information about a career in the UK maritime sector.