Navy tech turns his back on the civvie world to re-join

Published on Mrs Rachael Reynolds (author), LSIS Nicolas Gonzalez (photographer)

Location(s): Garden Island, Sydney

Topic(s): Fleet Support Unit - South East, Rejoining Navy

Petty Officer Brad Barr chose returning to Navy over a senior Defence industry role. (photo: LSIS Nicolas Gonzalez)
Petty Officer Brad Barr chose returning to Navy over a senior Defence industry role.

Like many others before him, Petty Officer Brad Barr found re-entry to active Navy service to be a reasonably straightforward process, with a smooth transition back into the team.

“It is like I haven’t left, honestly,” he said.

“I have many friends still in the RAN and we all support each other as required.

“This is one of the best advantages of serving in Navy; you make life-long friends.”

PO Barr’s exit from Navy took a slightly different path to many before him, as he transitioned to run his own company within Defence Industry.

“I found my Navy skills built the foundation needed to be able to acquire work through places like BAE and Thales.”

He also attributes his 11 years of Naval technical knowledge as the direct result of him landing the position of Lead Technician for the recently stood up repair facility in Brisbane, the $350 million LAND 53 Enhanced Night Fighting contract won by L3 Technologies.

Despite the offer of the L3 Technologies job, PO Barr felt that he wanted to once again serve his country and decided the flexibility and security the RAN offered was where he wanted to be.

“In my experience I found that the RAN has a diverse amount of opportunity which can be accessed by each member.

“The ability to travel, teach, protect and work with military specific equipment is exciting and to have the ability to diversify your career is a large incentive for me.

The Navy offers many challenges that you will not be able to see and experience when you’re separated,” PO Barr said.

“While I was in the civilian world, I found that it is very easy to be boxed into one job for an extended period of time without the opportunity to differentiate yourself to grow your professional career.”

Over the last five years, almost 240 members have transferred back to full-time service, 80 of whom have been technical sailors. Job security, conditions of service and simply missing the Navy ‘family’ are common reasons of members returning to active service.