The 49th New Entry Officers’ Course has graduated from the Royal Australian Naval College, at HMAS Creswell.
It was just last week that the graduating officers were completing a four-day leadership exercise in the field, demanding fitness, decision-making and command skills, but it will seem like a lifetime ago for the 61 men and women marching proudly on parade today in their ceremonial best.
Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, reviewed the parade, as a guest of the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs.
It was a rare honour for the graduates, and a sign of things to come as Navy and Army will forge closer bonds in Navy’s Landing Helicopter Dock ships that come into service from 2014 - when Army personnel and helicopters will be permanently posted to Navy ships.
Commanding Officer of Creswell and Navy’s head of initial training for officers and sailors, Captain Brett Chandler, said the 19 weeks of training had challenged many of the graduates.
“Some have joined straight from school, others are looking for a second or third career, but each has been tested mentally, emotionally and physically on the course,” Captain Chandler said.
“While ships and technology have changed significantly in the past 100 years, the main tenets of effective leadership taught here at Creswell have stood the test of time.”
HMAS Creswell, situated on the shores of Jervis Bay, was first utilised for naval officer training almost a century ago. The establishment conducts initial training for reserve and full-time officers, and ongoing professional development for officers and senior sailors.
New Entry Officers’ Course 49 Awards
NAVAL HISTORICAL SOCIETY PRIZE
Awarded for the best researched naval history assignment presented by a course member.
Sub Lieutenant Garry Bateman - Sydney, NSW
COMMANDER (E) ROBERT GRAY PERPETUAL CUP
Awarded conjointly to both the male and female officers who demonstrated outstanding individual athletic accomplishment and resolve while on course.
Midshipman Gerard Vejrych - Perth, WA and Sub Lieutenant Tracy Sheddan - Tooradin, Vic
WH HARRINGTON MEMORIAL PRIZE
Awarded to the officer whose participation, support and fellowship was outstanding throughout all components of NEOC.
Sub Lieutenant David Coit - Narangba, Qld
COMMODORE SIR JAMES RAMSAY PRIZE
Awarded for the best academic performance by an officer while on course.
Sub Lieutenant Ryan Penrose - Shelley, WA
ERIC ELTON MAYO MEMORIAL PRIZE
To the officer who has demonstrated the highest levels of perseverance and dedication, and shown the most improvement in their self discipline and power of command.
Midshipman Laura Maynard - Cape Woolamai, Vic
ES CUNNINGHAM CUP
Awarded to the NEOC demonstrating outstanding leadership, officer like qualities, and good influence amongst colleagues while on course. Diligent application and success in studies is also considered.
Sub Lieutenant Melissa Vaarwerk - Sydney, NSW
Awarded to the officer who demonstrates ability, teamwork and outstanding sportsmanship whilst on course.
Midshipman Gabrielle Anastasio - Tranmere, Tas
AUSTRALIAN NAVAL INSTITUTE SEA TRAINING DEPLOYMENT PRIZE
Awarded to the officer who demonstrates the most outstanding officer like qualities, leadership, peerless good influence and diligent application to task book, journal work and other specific tasks and assignments while on Sea Training Deployment.
Midshipman Thomas Kennedy - Brisbane, Qld
AUSTRALIAN NAVAL INSTITUTE RANC PRIZE
Awarded to the NEOC graduate who demonstrates the most outstanding officer like qualities, exhibits exceptional leadership, exerts peerless good influence, and demonstrates outstanding dedication to the naval values of honour, honesty, courage, integrity and loyalty while on course. Diligent application and success in studies is also considered.
Midshipman Matthew Bailey - Oakville, NSW
REAR ADMIRAL HAMMOND MEMORIAL SWORD
Awarded to the NEOC graduate who has been distinguished by self-discipline, resolution, undeviating application and good influence among his or her peers.
Sub Lieutenant Paul Connor - Wishart, Qld
NAVAL OFFICERS’ CLUB PRIZE
Awarded to the Reserve Entry Officers’ Course member who has been distinguished by course results as well as self-discipline, resolution, undeviating application and good influence among his or her peers.
Lieutenant Mark McCarthy - Cairns, Qld
Imagery is available on the Australian Defence Image Library at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20132356.