What is a Matelot? A matelot is someone who joins the forces for many reasons be it financial, emotional or following family tradition.
Once a matelot takes the Queen’s shilling; he or she becomes a member of an elite group of people.
A matelot will suffer hardship both physically and mentally so their fellow countrymen don’t have to. Make a matelot your friend and they will be a friend forever, make them your enemy and they will never forget.
To the general public, many believe a matelot is a cold-hearted, loud-mouthed thug in a uniform, but a matelot is actually, quite intelligent and has feelings and emotions like everybody else.
A matelot lives life to the full because at any time they could be touched by death.
A matelot will take the mickey and make jokes about any other armed forces they come into contact with but if these same forces require their help they will give it an 110%.
So to sum it up, matelots are loud-mouthed, arrogant, mickey taking, beer swilling, party-loving fools but they are also a friend, mate, mucker, comrade and brother and … I AM PROUD TO BE A MATELOT AND FRIEND AND BROTHER TO COUNTLESS MATELOTS …. ONCE A SAILOR ALWAYS A SAILOR……
To all those who ask “What’s it like in the Navy?
I left home before I was legally able to drive, I left my friends and family behind. I was greeted by screaming drill instructors at Ganges. I wrote my own will before I was legally able to drink. I learnt how to run, march, shoot, take another mans life, save another mans life and run some more! I stood in the canteen at meal times eating food as fast as it was out on my plate cause we had very little time to eat. Too tired even to think how bad the food was. I kept going, every day waking at 0600 hrs for the hard day ahead. I did PT everyday and ached in places I never knew I had.
I watched videos of people with shrapnel wounds and body parts missing! I made friends like you wouldn’t believe. I have laughed, cried and been in scrapes with these people. I have lost friends in conflicts in places that I didn’t even know existed. We didn’t get much sleep and even less pay.
We fight! We fight not only for our friends and family but for our comrade next to us!
So if you want to burn this nations great flag try putting yourselves in our shoes. Try defending it before you disgrace the men and women who defend not only the flag, but you and everyone else in this country. When I deployed I didn’t know if I would be coming back. What I did know is that I was proud to wear the uniform of this great country, and I, if given the chance, know that along with thousands of others, we would stand tall and shoulder to shoulder to defend this great country.
Question is,would I do it again if given the chance?, Absolutely yes, yes I bloody would, not for the medals or the pay, but for having stood next to heroes and called them brother.