Naval career a family first

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Simone Reid (author), LSIS Sarah Williams (photographer)

Location(s): Jervis Bay, ACT

(L-R) Chief of Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, AC, presents Midshipman Mollie Burns, RAN with The Commodore Sir James Ramsey Prize for the best academic performance by an officer while on course.  (photo: LSIS Sarah Williams)
(L-R) Chief of Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, AC, presents Midshipman Mollie Burns, RAN with The Commodore Sir James Ramsey Prize for the best academic performance by an officer while on course.

Joining the Royal Australian Navy, Midshipman Mollie Burns is sailing
her career through unchartered waters - with a good deal of early
success.

Midshipman Burns graduated from the New Entry Officers' Course at the
Royal Australian Naval College, HMAS Creswell, as the winner of the
Commodore Sir James Ramsey Prize for the best academic performance.

She said the course had confirmed her reasons for branching out and
signing up for the Navy - without precedent in her family.

"I joined because I liked the idea of being part of a team and being
able to contribute to a challenging and fulfilling service," she said.

"The course certainly gave us a sense of that. I would go to bed each
night exhausted knowing I had achieved something."

Trainee officers must complete the five month course at Jervis Bay, New
South Wales, before proceeding to the Fleet.

The 20-week course is held biannually and is an intense period of
practical and theoretical instruction designed to teach the skills and
attitudes needed to be an effective junior naval officer.

Subjects include drill and ceremonial, physical training, officer
development, oral and written communications, management and leadership,
Defence studies, character guidance, first aid, small arms training and
adventure training.

Midshipman Burns said the 14-day sea training deployment onboard
amphibious ship, HMAS Adelaide, was her favourite part of the course.

"The sea component was a stand-out for me because I was able to spend
time on the bridge - it was a small introduction to life on a warship,"
said Midshipman Burns, who hopes to drive one of Navy's largest vessels
as a Maritime Warfare Officer in the years to come.

The 104 graduating officers now continue to specialist training either
in the Fleet or at the Australian Defence Force Academy as warfare
officers, engineers, dentists, logisticians, chaplains and lawyers.

Midshipman Burns will begin her training at HMAS Watson in Sydney before
attending the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra to study a
Bachelor of Business next year.

Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, and Chief of
Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, along with many family and friends
attended the graduation parade on 16 June.