He joined the Royal Navy as a fresh-faced 16-year-old because he wanted to travel the world.
And after completing 33 years service and visiting more than 30 countries, Leading Logistician John Wicking is proud to have made history by notching up an incredible 5,100 days at sea, believed to be an Armed Forces record.
His remarkable achievement was recognised in a personal letter from the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope.
He wrote: ‘I have been advised that you have just accrued 5,000 days LSA the highest amount amassed by anyone within our Service.
‘I would not be surprised if you held the record for all the Armed Forces. My very many congratulations on this remarkable achievement which is such an impressive testament to your character in continually opting for sea assignments rather than time ashore.
‘I am immensely grateful for the service you have given the Royal Navy in both the Submarine and surface flotillas.’
Father-of-three Mr Wicking, 49, said: ‘I will have spent 33 years in the Navy in July. I was 16 when I first joined.
‘I’ve only ever had one job and only ever applied for one job.
‘I decided to join because I wanted to travel the world and I thought it would be a good life – so my family were happy for me.