Dolphins demand dedication to duty

Published on LEUT Anthony Martin (author), LSIS Richard Cordell (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Stirling

Topic(s): HMAS Stirling, Submarines (SSG)

Able Seaman Electronic Warfare Submarines Ding Lim, Able Seaman Acoustic Warfare Analyst Submarines Allan Cashion and Able Seaman Marine Technician Submarines Samantha Hawes proudly display their ‘Dolphins’ in front of the Submarine Training and Systems Centre, HMAS Stirling. (photo: LSIS Richard Cordell)
Able Seaman Electronic Warfare Submarines Ding Lim, Able Seaman Acoustic Warfare Analyst Submarines Allan Cashion and Able Seaman Marine Technician Submarines Samantha Hawes proudly display their ‘Dolphins’ in front of the Submarine Training and Systems Centre, HMAS Stirling.

Not everyone in the Navy gets the honour of wearing the Submariner Dolphin badge. The Navy’s ‘Silent Service’ has a proud tradition of selecting the best personnel from candidates who volunteer to serve in this complex specialisation.

Potential submariners are required to complete more training than those serving on surface ships. Additional training is required in many facets of the platform from systems and services to damage control and escape. Upon selection as a submariner, members complete an Initial Collins Class Course at the Submarine Training and Systems Centre at HMAS Stirling followed by Submarine Specific Category training in their chosen trade.

This complex training is then put into a practical assessment on board a submarine and all members must complete a Basic Submarine Qualification Task Book (commonly known as the Part 3). 

The compilation of the Task Book requires each task to be assessed by the Deputy Head of the applicable trades department and a theoretical qualification board. After initial training and specific category training, which can vary significantly, the Task Book is usually completed within a further 16-week period.

All applicants are thoroughly screened for submarine service suitability during the application process, however anyone can apply. Upon successful completion of training requirements, sailors who have earned their 'Dolphins' can proudly wear the badge that signifies they are now qualified submariners.

For Able Seaman Samantha Hawes it was a challenge she was proud to complete. "It wasn’t an easy process but the final outcome is very rewarding." said AB Hawes.

For newly qualified Submariners, an exciting and varied career awaits them in the 'Silent Service'.