At just 5 feet 3 inches, the petite Nicole Duncan is standing tall after being awarded the prestigious UK Navy Sapphire trophy.
The Vincentian who hails from Coull’s Hill, was presented with the trophy on May 31st and was the only female among 58 males until the seventh week of the 10 week recruit training.
The award is bestowed upon new recruits like Duncan who exhibit determination, respect for others, courage, loyalty, integrity, discipline and overall improvement.
The sailor confessed that the 20 kilometre walk and rope climb were some of the most challenging in her training but said she was thrilled to learn aspects such as marching in formation, firing live rounds and navigation.
The 30-year old expressed gratitude to the UK Navy programme, her fellow recruits and tutors aboard HMS Raleigh but believed that it was her faith in God that has been propelling her. The mother of two young boys Gaizka and Vishwa also credits them, her family, fiancé Andrew as well as Beverly Delpleche for encouraging her.
The former graduate of the Troumaca Ontario Secondary School and the St. Vincent School of Nursing admitted that it was never really her intention to join the military, as she was initially pursuing a career in nursing.
Duncan explained that she waited for years to get a placement from the Ministry of Health as a nurse but after receiving no response, she used her disappointment as a sign that she should enroll in the UK military.
After the completion of her 10 week basic training, Duncan is now currently enrolled as a chef and is attending the UK military culinary school. She said made the decision to sign up as chef based on the high demand for persons in that unit and because she had always enjoyed cooking.
Duncan advises persons desiring to improve their lives to look into a career in the UK navy as there are many opportunities to advance and build a career.