More than 500 family and a friends proudly watched as 95 of Navy’s newest Recruits formally completed 11 weeks of initial training at the Royal Australian Navy’s Recruit School at HMAS Cerberus.
The graduates were honoured to commence their service as General Entry 323 Shipp Division and graduated before Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer, CSC and BAR, RAN and Mrs Gloria Shipp.
Shipp Division was named after Leading Aircrewman Noel Ervin Shipp, who joined the Royal Australian Navy in January 1963 as an Underwater Control Rating, later transferring to the Aircrewman category.
Leading Aircrewman Shipp was killed in action on 31 May 1969 and in honour of his brave and selfless service, Divisions of sailors commencing their careers will continue to graduate under his name along with three other sailors whose service epitomises Navy’s values.
The Reviewing Officer, Rear Admiral Mayer extended a warm welcome to the family and friends attending the parade noting the significance they play in the paths the Navy’s newest sailors have chosen.
“In a very real sense, it is you also that have joined us in Navy today,” Rear Admiral Mayer said.
“We look at the young men and women on parade today and the future they have ahead. The one promise I remember from my beginnings was that you will never know where your naval career will take you, but you will know that it’s going to be important, it’s going to be exciting and you are going to enjoy the journey.”
Rear Admiral Mayer remarked that the day was a significant one that would live in the memories of all those graduating, marking the end of their initial training and the next step on their journey in the Royal Australian Navy and the Australian Defence Force.
Graduates were reminded of the importance of living Navy’s Values of Honour, Honesty, Courage, Integrity and Loyalty.
They were urged to ask themselves from time to time if they were meeting those goals and making their shipmates, the Navy and the Australian people proud.
Commemorating Leading Aircrewman Shipp and honouring his widow, Mrs Gloria Shipp, one Bell 429 helicopter and two AS350BA Squirrel helicopters from 723 Squadron conducted a fly past during the graduation parade.
Press Release, August 1, 2014; Image: Australian Navy