Gap years gain sea legs

Published on MIDN Lloyd Skinner and MIDN Jack Meadows (author)

Topic(s): HMAS Adelaide (L01), Navy Gap Year

L-R: Midshipman (MIDN) James Thompson, MIDN Harrison MacNeill, Seaman John Roberts, MIDN Lloyd Skinner, MIDN Anna Roberts and MIDN Lane Wilson on HMAS Adelaide's flight deck as the ship returned to Garden Island after three weeks at sea. (photo: Unknown)
L-R: Midshipman (MIDN) James Thompson, MIDN Harrison MacNeill, Seaman John Roberts, MIDN Lloyd Skinner, MIDN Anna Roberts and MIDN Lane Wilson on HMAS Adelaide's flight deck as the ship returned to Garden Island after three weeks at sea.

Navy Gap Year Sailors and Officers recently had their first sea-time experience aboard the RAN’s largest ship, HMAS Adelaide.

The six Gap Year members joined ship’s company in setting sail from Fleet Base East for de-ammunitioning in Eden, and patrol exercises conducted in Bass Strait.

Officer Gap Year Midshipman Harrison MacNeill has been working aboard HMAS Kuttabul since finishing the New Officers’ Entry Course in June, and was eager to taste life aboard a ship.

“It was an experience I’ll never forget”, Midshipman MacNeill said.

“Being part of ship’s company and working aside my mates on a state-of-the-art warship is an involvement you simply can’t find outside of Navy.

“I just wish the trip was longer. That said, I know I’ll have plenty more sea-time opportunities moving forward,” he said.

The Gap Year members worked side by side with ship’s company of Adelaide and participated in a number of activities including a firing of the ship’s .50 calibre Mini-Typhoon, Replenishment at Sea, and enjoyed role-playing as casualties during damage control exercises.

Each member integrated into the ship’s routine by participating in physical fitness training daily, and completed departmental rotations that provided insight into the different roles at sea.

More importantly, the Gap Year Officers and Sailors received meaningful exposure to their preference of category and primary qualifications should they take their carreer in the Navy further.

Aspiring Maritime Warfare Officers were given opportunities to spend time on the bridge with the Officer of the Watch, and Logistics Officers were afforded the chance to experience the many roles with the ship’s qualified logistics personnel.

Officer Gap Year Midshipman Anna Roberts remarked how the ship’s company made her time at sea very memorable.

“It was great to live and work with other Officers and Sailors who integrated us into their day to day routines”, Midshipman Roberts said.

“It was inspiring to hear stories of their experiences and the carreer opportunities they have achieved.

“My time aboard Adelaide has reaffirmed my intentions of continuing my career in the RAN,” she said.

The Navy Gap Year, for Officers and Sailors alike, provides an excellent opportunity for individuals seeking to experience a career in the Navy with a relatively short Initial Minimum Time and Return of Service Obligation.

The six Gap Year members felt their time aboard Adelaide has contributed to their professional development and personal growth.

They recommend that any school leaver still undecided on their future, and who have an interest in defence, should consider the Gap Year program.

For more information on the Navy Gap Year program, visit the Defence Jobs website:
https://navy.defencejobs.gov.au/students-and-education/gap-year.