Warrant Officer of the Naval Service Nick Sharland is the most senior warrant officer of the Royal Navy. Nick is a Marine Engineering Technician with over 30 years’ service which includes experience in Type 22 and 23 Frigates, as well as a Minehunter and two tours with FOST (South).
Born in Hereford, Nick was truly made in the Royal Navy. Joining HMS RALEIGH as an Artificer Apprentice in 1986, he passed out of HMS SULTAN as an LMEA (EL) in 1989 and immediately joined the Type 22 frigate HMS CUMBERLAND. Serving as part of a MEA training trial, he remained on this platform for over four years until fully qualified as a CPOMEA. A ‘journeyman’s’ appointment to CFM Devonport followed in 1994 until 1996, when Nick once again became part of a trial as he was assigned as the Head of the newly named M2 section on HMS ARGYLL, a tour which included a successful, unsupported ten month deployment.
During the latter part of this draft he passed his Fleetboard for Charge Chief Artificer and, in 1998, returned to Devonport as the Head of an Electrical Afloat Support team. There followed a challenging, eventful and enjoyable sea appointment as the MEO of the Clyde based Minehunter HMS BRIDPORT; including several MCM operational deployments and Op FRESCO. This culminated in Nick becoming the last serving member of the vessel before its de-commissioning in 2003. Subsequently returning to Devonport, he was appointed as the leader of an afloat repair team which was manned by Service and civilian personnel.
Soon after the transition to WO2 in 2004, Nick was appointed to FOST Devonport as a MESRI and following selection to WO1 in 2006, he was then given a further two year appointment there. Moving to West Battery as part of a small team analysing personnel data to inform Naval Service Branch Management, in 2010, Nick returned to SFM Devonport in the role of Staff Warrant Officer (responsible for all Naval Service manpower within the organisation). More recently he has served as ASMEO to DevFlot, providing engineering assurance and FGen advice to Type 23 frigates. In February 2014, he was interviewed and selected for the post of Naval Engineer Warrant Officer (NEWO); providing the Chief Naval Engineer Officer and the Naval Engineering Board with an understanding of the issues that affect engineering ratings across the whole of the Naval Service. During this appointment, in order to gain deeper understanding of wider Defence, he also completed ICSC(M) at JSCSC Shrivenham.
In October 2016, he was interviewed and shortlisted by the Fleet Commander and Mrs Mary Hardy (a non-executive Navy Board member), for the position of Warrant Officer of the Naval Service and was subsequently selected by the First Sea Lord, taking up the post on 17 March 2017.
Nick is married to Louise, who he met in Canada while on deployment in 1991 and who is now a Careers Counsellor for Crisis UK. They have two grown children and live in Plymouth. He spends his free time admiring and maintaining, or occasionally riding, his motorcycle, or playing the electric guitar (badly).