The graduation of NEOC 61 rounds off an exceptionally busy year for the Royal Australian Naval College, with a record 297 new officers graduating in 2019.
The 134 Australian and five international graduates marched proudly on to the Parade Ground, wearing their ceremonial uniforms in front of family and friends.
Commanding Officer of HMAS Creswell, Captain Warren Bairstow said their training would soon be tested after they complete their application courses and become junior leaders throughout the Fleet.
“The men and women of NEOC 61 have gone from being civilians, and in some cases junior sailors, just a few short months ago to officers and leaders ready to serve at sea,” Captain Bairstow said.
“We’ve challenged and developed their mental aptitude, physical fitness and strength of character and they leave us equipped with the skills and attitudes of effective junior naval officers.”
“They will soon represent Australia on operations and exercises around the world and be responsible for protecting Australia and its interests in a Fighting Navy and a cutting-edge Fleet.”
Graduating Midshipman George Capelas said NEOC had been one of the most challenging events of his life.
“It has been incredibly satisfying to see myself and my fellow trainees develop into young naval officers eager to step out into the fleet with pride and meet the next challenge,” Midshipman Capelas said.
Fellow graduate Sub Lieutenant Alessandro Zanda said the five month course had been testing.
“It has pushed my endurance further than expected.
“Throughout the course I have developed professionally, personally, and I have experienced opportunities and that I would never have otherwise been given,” Sub Lieutenant Zanda said.
Imagery is available on the Navy Image Gallery: http://images.navy.gov.au/S20193141.