Warrant Officer retires after 43 years service

Published on LEUT Andrew Ragless (author), ABIS Craig Walton (photographer)

Warrant Officer Boatswain Andrew Freame stands in front of HMAS Hobart reminiscing of his times served on HMAS Hobart (II), before retiring 11 May 2018, following 43 years of service.   (photo: ABIS Craig Walton)
Warrant Officer Boatswain Andrew Freame stands in front of HMAS Hobart reminiscing of his times served on HMAS Hobart (II), before retiring 11 May 2018, following 43 years of service.

Warrant Officer Andrew Freame has retired from the Permanent Navy after 43 and a half years of diligent service.

Reflecting on his time in service, he said the occasion instilled a tremendous sense of pride.

"It's a time of thanks," he said.

"I joined a great line of boys who entered the RAN as Junior Recruits at HMAS Leeuwin

"We commenced the study of our profession of arms and began forging the friendships that have sustained me ever since. 

"Granted, it wasn't all tries and conversions, as anyone in uniform can attest.

"I remember standing watch in the rain, cold, or during 30 foot seas in the early hours of the morning before dawn." 

WO Freame joined the Navy from Hobart in 1974 and after category training he posted to HMA Ships Swan and Stuart where he had his first experience at sea in River Class Destroyer Escorts.

"I remember the excitement I felt when I saw my first ship, HMAS Swan, and getting underway and sailing out through Sydney Heads."

In 1978, WO Freame was posted to HMAS Stirling where he fulfilled the role of Bosuns Party and Lancelin Gunnery Range watchkeeper, and in 1980 he posted to the Hydrographic Ship HMAS Moresby where he was promoted to Leading Seaman in 1983.

Promotion to Petty Officer was awarded in 1986 and Chief Petty Officer in 1989 where he undertook the position of Executive Officer regulator in HMA Ships Hobart and Brisbane

In 2007 he was awarded an OAM for meritorious service as Junior Officers' Warfare Course Divisional Officer, Staff Officer for Boatswains Mates, Category Sponsor and President of the Senior Sailors Mess at HMAS Watson.

"Throughout my career I have been blessed by the duty and the people I have worked with," he said.

"It was just something different, a job that allowed me to go places, do things and meet all sorts of different people.

"Our Navy has been through a number of transformations and as we look forward, we are leaps and bounds ahead of where were just ten years ago.

"Be proud to serve in our Navy. Know that what you do is important, no matter how mundane or boring it may seem at the time. Learn your jobs; listen to your Senior Sailors. Learn from everyone. Develop your character and your leadership style.

"I wish you all Fair Wind and Following Seas."