Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett has presented a second Federation Star to a Navy officer who has undertaken over 45 years of service in the Royal Australian Navy.
Lieutenant Commander Alan Willmore joined the Navy as a Junior Recruit in January 1970. Serving as a Quarter Master Gunner and then Boatswain through to the rank of Chief Petty Officer in HMA Ships Melbourne (Australia's last aircraft carrier), Stalwart (destroyer tender), Supply (fleet oiler), Stuart and Swan (destroyer escorts), Buccaneer (Attack class patrol boat), and Geraldton (Fremantle class patrol boat).
He enjoyed shore service at HMA Ships Cerberus (in the mid-80s) as a Recruit School Instructor then later as the Senior Instructor. He returned to Cerberus in 1992 where he instructed the last Advanced Quarter Master Gunner course prior to the category transferring to Boatswain. Other shore postings included HMA Ships Creswell, Waterhen and Cairns, Directorate of Sailors' Career Management in Canberra and Patrol Boat Headquarters, Darwin.
One of the standout postings for LCDR Willmore was in the rank of Chief Petty Officer when he was Officer in Charge of the Torpedo Recovery Vessel Tuna based out of Creswell from 1987 to 1992. For his service in Tuna he was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross.
As Executive Officer of landing craft, HMAS Betano, he received his Commission in 2000. Command followed in 2004-05 in landing craft, HMAS Tarakan, then Gunnery Officer in Minor War Vessel Sea Training Group and Executive Officer of a Hydrographic crew.
More recently, Lieutenant Commander Willmore has returned from four years as the Maritime Surveillance Adviser to the Republic of Palau to serve in Canberra as Staff Officer Pacific Patrol Boat Program.
"Where else could you get a job as diverse as Defence, particularly the Navy," he said.
"Every two to three years you can change tack and head in a different direction and Navy provides the waypoints to your new destination.
"Navy has kept me interested for the past 45 years and I don't see myself anywhere else!"