New recruits find their feet

Published on LEUT Melissa Cowling (author), ABML-C Daniel Hancock (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Cerberus, VIC

Topic(s): Recruit School, HMAS Cerberus, Values and Behaviours

The first group of recruits for Shipp Division arrive at Recruit School, HMAS Cerberus.  (photo: ABML-C Daniel Hancock)
The first group of recruits for Shipp Division arrive at Recruit School, HMAS Cerberus.

On the 3 February, 90 brand new recruits joined the Navy. They arrived at the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Recruit School, at HMAS Cerberus, from Darwin, Hobart, Sydney, Perth and everywhere in between to begin an 11-week journey to become sailors.

In the next few months they will be inducted into the Navy and taught to think for themselves and demonstrate initiative, to work with each other as a team and, in doing so, they will develop the knowledge and necessary skills to progress to a specialised career in the Navy.

Self discipline and professionalism are the key attributes expected of the recruits and will assist them in achieving the key components of the course, which include physical training, survival at sea, fire fighting, first aid training, life at sea exposure and weapons handling.

Recruits, like all members of the Navy, are expected to display in their behaviour and attitude the Navy Values of Honour, Honesty, Courage, Integrity and Loyalty.

This week the recruits were allocated to their Division. Each Division at Recruit School is named after a sailor who exemplifies the finest traditions of the Navy. One such sailor is Leading Aircrewman Noel Shipp, after whom Shipp Division was named. Shipp joined the RAN on 10 January 1963, as an Underwater Control rating. He then transferred to the Aircrewman category in July 1967, and the following year was posted to the RAN Helicopter Flight Vietnam (RANHFV).

Leading Aircrewman Shipp is remembered for determinedly engaging the enemy under heavy fire, while hanging out of the door of his aircraft with his M60 machine gun. Exposed to heavy automatic fire, the helicopter crash landed and Leading Seaman Shipp was seen continuing to fire at the enemy right until the moment of impact.