From property to port

Published on LEUT Will Singer (author), CPOIS Damian Pawlenko (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Stirling

Topic(s): HMAS Stirling

Seaman James Jenkins is training to be a Combat Systems Operator at HMAS Stirling, Western Australia. (photo: CPOIS Damian Pawlenko)
Seaman James Jenkins is training to be a Combat Systems Operator at HMAS Stirling, Western Australia.

Photographing houses for a living to manning a ship’s operations room is a massive career leap, and has been achieved through chasing a career with multiple opportunities.

With a longing for travel and building life-long friendships, Seaman James Jenkins joined the Navy after working part-time as a real estate photographer in the Hunter Valley.

He is on-track to obtaining his combat systems operator rate badge once he completes his basic course at School of Maritime Warfare-West in HMAS Stirling.

He was expecting to commence Navy training in 2018 but received an early call to duty.

“I realised that the Navy was a unique working environment wherein I could accomplish more than I could as a civilian,” Seaman James Jenkins said.

“I enjoy the idea that my role within the Navy is a critical position, like preventing a maritime collision, and requires me to challenge myself daily.

“The ability for me to travel on some of the newest war vessels is something I truly look forward to in my future career.

“My future job in the fleet is to maintain surface picture and identify contacts, ensure awareness of all maritime surrounding and identifying contacts around the ships current position while assisting command in making decisions regarding navigation.

“It’s not all plain sailing because we have to learn a large amount of content and retain that information for further use – often quite challenging.

“The understanding of how everything works, how the application of my knowledge in practical form is something that I will need to progress into the future.

“Staying fit by playing soccer and making most of the fitness facilities as well as my photography hobby and spending time with friends rounds up my lifestyle here at Stirling.

“I wish to serve in the Royal Australian Navy for many years and continue to progress my learning into the future. 

“I want to adapt and evolve as I am faced with challenges throughout my career,” he said.