The Royal Navy has appointed the first Indian origin Honorary Lieutenant Commander.

Raj Aggarwal OBE DL, a prominent businessman and public health expert, was appointed by Admiral Sir Phillip Jones KCB ADC following approval from Her Majesty The Queen.

The historic appointment was formalised on Sunday 16 September at an inauguration ceremony held at HMS Cambria, Wales’ only Royal Navy base.

The event was styled as a Royal Naval Mela, the Hindu term for festival, and invited a mixture of civilian and military guests.

Honorary military positions are given to people who can use their influence and life experiences to contribute to the Armed Forces community.

Brigadier Jock Fraser MBE RM, the Naval Regional Commander for Wales and Western England, said: “Raj is a great friend and advocate of the Naval service and his appointment will deepen the relationship between the community and the Royal Navy.

“Your Armed Forces are inclusive employers; we recognise the value of diversity and proudly serve all members of our communities at home and overseas.”

Through his appointment as Honorary Lieutenant Commander, Raj will be affiliated to HMS Dragon, the Portsmouth-based Type 45 air defence destroyer which is currently undergoing operational sea training in preparation for front line operations.

Raj moved to Wales from Kenya in 1967 and studied at Cardiff University. He now enjoys a successful career in pharmacy and is well known in the Welsh business community, currently as chairman of RK Aggarwal Ltd and Vice President of the Cardiff Business Club.

In the past, Raj has worked as a senior executive for Boots and played an influential role in changing the opt-out law for organ donations in Wales.

The Royal Navy welcomes diversity and offers amazing careers with first rate skills. There are opportunities to serve your country, see the world and deliver humanitarian aid. Interested in joining the Royal Navy? CLICK HERE for more information.

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