Last Rankin Division Graduation

Published on SBLT Kat Mulheron (author), LSIS Paul McCallum (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Cerberus, Vic

Topic(s): HMAS Cerberus, Recruit School

Graduating recruits of General Entry 312 Rankin Division celebrate passing out of Recruit School by throwing their caps in the air. (photo: LSIS Paul McCallum)
Graduating recruits of General Entry 312 Rankin Division celebrate passing out of Recruit School by throwing their caps in the air.

Seventy seven recruits from Rankin Division, General Entry intake 312 (GE 312), made Australian Naval history on 28 June 2013, when they marched onto the RAN Recruit School Parade Ground. Their Graduation Parade will be remembered as the last Rankin Division to graduate from the RAN Recruit School at HMAS Cerberus.

Around 400 proud family members and friends of the graduates gathered to watch as some of Navy’s newest sailors made their first career transition from Recruit to Seaman.

Deputy Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Michael van Balen, RAN, was the Reviewing Officer for the parade and warmly congratulated the graduates of GE312.

“This will be a day that the men and women of GE312, Rankin Division, will always remember. You have reached the first milestone of your Naval career,” RADM van Balen said.

“The RAN has provided over 100 yeas of loyal service to this country. Today you become a part of that history. You stop being a recruit and you become a sailor.”

Rankin Division was established over fifty years ago in honour of LCDR Robert William Rankin, RAN, for courage displayed against the enemy. LCDR Rankin went down with his ship HMAS Yarra (II) on the 4th of March 1942, during a battle with a Japanese squadron of three cruisers and two destroyers. He and his crew were lost in that final engagement.

Rankin Division will be succeeded by ‘Taylor Division’ in honour of Leading Seaman Ron Taylor, who served under LCDR Rankin onboard HMAS Yarra (II) during its final conflict. LS Taylor ignored the order to abandon ship, choosing to stay at his gun alone and still firing, slowly and defiantly, until he was killed shortly before the ship went down.

Imagery is available on the Royal Australian Navy Media Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20130548.