FAA Warrant Officer appointed as Warrant Officer of the Naval Service
Royal Navy Warrant Officer First Class, Steve Cass from Porthleven in Cornwall has reached the top rung of the ladder in the Senior Service. The Out-going First Sea Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, GCB, OBE, ADC, approved Steve’s appointment as the new Warrant Officer of the Naval Service (WONS) in December 2013. This will be the first time any Engineer and member of the Fleet Air Arm has reached such an influential position.
Having completed 27 years in Naval uniform, Steve is both honoured and excited to be chosen from all the other Royal Navy Warrant Officers and looking forward to putting his own stamp of authority in to such a prominent job, working alongside the Senior decision makers in the Royal Navy.
“It’s a demanding position and I’m looking forward to speaking to Royal Marines, Submariners, Sailors and Airmen wherever they serve over the next 3 years and the influence the position has regarding their issues”, said Steve. “We are going through some very exciting times in the Royal Navy. Afghanistan operations are drawing to a close and the new Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carriers will be entering service soon, there are a lot of challenges ahead and I am convinced we have the right quality of personnel to cope with them and succeed wherever we operate.”
WONS is the most prestigious role for a Warrant Officer in the Royal Navy. His primary responsibility is to act as a channel between the non commissioned ranks and most Senior Naval officers, ensuring top level policy messages are understood and comprehensive honest feedback is provided in return. Steve will also carry around a remarkable badge of office; a “Ceremonial Cane” which goes with the job is made out of wood from the oldest still commissioned ship in the world, HMS Victory.
Steve joined the Royal Navy 1n 1986 as an Air Engineering Mechanic Second Class spending his early years with 820 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Culdrose and onboard HMS Ark Royal on operational service east of Suez. He was selected for Artificer Course which commenced in 1991 and gained a certificate of competence to supervise aircraft maintenance in 1994 whilst on 771 NAS. After promotion to WO Second Class in 2005 he became the Senior Maintenance Rating on 700M NAS, the Operational Evaluation Squadron for the Merlin helicopter and supported numerous trials at Sea and on land ensuring the smooth transition into service and operational development of the New Helicopter.
Promoted to WO first class in 2009, Steve worked with Agusta Westlands in Yeovil as the Structural Integrity Engineering Authority responsible for the Safety and Airworthiness of all Merlin’s across the MOD and around the world. Returning to Culdrose in 2011 he assumed the role of Base Warrant Officer and President of the Warrant Officers and Senior Rates Mess.
WO1 Cass is a proud Cornishman who is married to Alison who is an equally proud Yorkshire woman. They have three daughters aged 18, 14 and 6. His interests include walking their energetic spaniel across the Cornish cliffs, pilot gig rowing and working with local schools to support children of Service personnel who are deployed.
“I would never have imagined that as a lad growing up in Porthleven, and coming to Culdrose Air Day each year, I would join the Navy as an Air Mechanic and one day be the most senior Warrant Officer of the Naval Service; It all seems a lifetime ago now but I have genuinely loved every minute of my career.”