Andrew Bowie always thought he would serve 22 years in the Royal Navy, like his granddad.
Following in his footsteps, the new Conservative MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine joined straight from school aged 19 as a mid-shipman.
He went on to become a sub-lieutenant and has served around the world, including off the coast of Iraq.
But after taking time out for university, his interest in politics grew, particularly during the independence referendum campaign.
Mr Bowie, who is from Inverurie, says he “never for one minute” questioned how he should vote and insists protecting the Union remains his top priority.
The 30-year-old told the Press and Journal: “What drives me ultimately, obviously number one is the Union.
“I have always been patriotic and I think for me serving under the Union Jack actually meant a lot.
“When you are on a tin can in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by nothing but sea, and you are on a boat with people from Wales, Northern Ireland, all over England, all over Scotland, you realise how much you have got in common. You are all fighting for the same goal.
“It genuinely means a lot to have been prepared to lay down your life for something.
“So the idea that that thing you were prepared to die for might be broken up … that’s probably the reason I care so much.”
He, like the other 11 new Scottish Tories, is finding his way at Westminster having ousted the SNP’s Stuart Donaldson on June 8.
He won 24,704 votes (47.9%), giving him a majority of nearly 8,000.
Before being elected, Mr Bowie, who got married in 2015, was head of office for Conservative MSP Liam Kerr.
He has also worked with newly appointed Scotland Office minister Ian Duncan in the European Parliament and done a stint as the Tory party’s north Scotland campaign manager.
The issues he would like to focus on include securing a good Brexit deal for farmers and making sure the UK Government “doesn’t take its eye off the ball” regarding the oil and gas sector.
He also warns against complacency in the battle to defend the Union, rejecting the suggestion the independence cause is dead in the water after the SNP lost seats earlier this month.
“I think we think that at our peril,” he said. “I think that it’s very dangerous to think that fight is over.
“There’s a danger we could get complacent.
“They will be looking for every single chink in our armour and at every opportunity will be working to advance the case for independence so I think we need to be very mindful of that.”