The 49th New Entry Officers’ Course has graduated from the Royal Australian Naval College, at HMAS Creswell.
It was just last week that the graduating officers were completing a four-day leadership exercise in the field, demanding fitness, decision-making and command skills, but it will seem like a lifetime ago for the 61 men and women marching proudly on parade today in their ceremonial best.
Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, reviewed the parade, as a guest of the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs.
It was a rare honour for the graduates, and a sign of things to come as Navy and Army will forge closer bonds in Navy’s Landing Helicopter Dock ships that come into service from 2014 – when Army personnel and helicopters will be permanently posted to Navy ships.
Commanding Officer of Creswell and Navy’s head of initial training for officers and sailors, Captain Brett Chandler, said the 19 weeks of training had challenged many of the graduates.
“Some have joined straight from school, others are looking for a second or third career, but each has been tested mentally, emotionally and physically on the course,” Captain Chandler said.
“While ships and technology have changed significantly in the past 100 years, the main tenets of effective leadership taught here at Creswell have stood the test of time.”
HMAS Creswell, situated on the shores of Jervis Bay, was first utilised for naval officer training almost a century ago. The establishment conducts initial training for reserve and full-time officers, and ongoing professional development for officers and senior sailors.
Press Release, November 29, 2013; Image: Royal Australian Navy