In 1967 The Monkees were at the top of the charts, The Dirty Dozen was in cinemas, and teenager Mark Mobley from Blacktown joined the Royal Australian Navy for a career that would span over 50 years.
Now a Chief Petty Officer, Mark received his third Federation Star from Commander Australian Fleet Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead last week in front of his family and colleagues in recognition of five decades of service.
Chief Mobley said the compelling urge to put on a uniform and represent Australian remained strong.
“Every day I come to work is a career highlight. I still, after all this time, get a kick when I pull on my shirt and see the name of my country on the shoulder,” he said.
“I was extremely gratified to have my years of service recognised in the company of members of my family and my shipmates.”
“A professional highlight was enlisting my younger son Alex as a sailor in 1996.”
After his initial training at HMAS Leeuwin and first sea posting to HMAS Vendetta in 1968 as a Junior Recruit Writer, CPO Mobley undertook Initial Employment Training at HMAS Cerberus in 1969 and returned to Nirimba for consolidation training.
He posted to HMAS Stalwart (II) in November 1969 for 14 months then spent two years on the Fleet Writer Team, moving around the fleet, including to HMA Ships Sydney (III), Melbourne (II), Anzac (II), Yarra (III) and Swan (III).
CPO Mobley returned to Nirimba throughout the 1970s between postings to the Destroyer HMAS Vampire and the Oceanographic Research vessel HMAS Kimbla before transferring to the Naval Police branch in 1977.
After so long many years as a sailor, CPO Mobley believes understanding Navy culture is useful for new Recruits.
“My advice to new sailors starting their careers would be to learn the history of the Royal Australian Navy, learn the traditions and absorb the culture,” he said.
CPO Mobley became a reservist in 1988 and has undertaken reserve service, often completing full-time stints of up to six years supporting Recruiting, New Generation Navy initiatives and Navy’s Technical Training Unit.
He was also the penultimate Commanding Officer of the Naval Cadet Training Ship Campbelltown at Ingleburn.
CPO Mobley retained an affiliation with the Australian Defence Force in his civilian work as an Assistant Curator at the Naval Historical Collection and as Assistant Manager of the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park.