Logistics sailor credits gap year for providing career direction

Published on LEUT Geoff Long (author), LSIS Shane Cameron (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Choules (L100), Navy Gap Year, Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST

Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Personnel Jayden Mansfield onboard HMAS Choules during Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST 19-20. (photo: LSIS Shane Cameron)
Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Personnel Jayden Mansfield onboard HMAS Choules during Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST 19-20.

Twelve months in the Australian Defence Force Gap Year Program provided the career direction that Able Seaman Maritime Logistics Personnel Operations Jayden Mansfield was seeking.

However, it was the TV series Sea Patrol that first inspired the then Hobart schoolboy to consider joining the Royal Australian Navy in 2017.

Currently on his first deployment with HMAS Choules, Able Seaman Mansfield said that his experiences to date had confirmed that his career choice had been the right one.

“I would have been seven or eight years old when I first saw Sea Patrol but it ignited something in me and I’ve been interested in Defence ever since.

“Then when I got the chance to join the ADF Gap Year Program it allowed me to test if it was for me and to look at the different jobs, which is when I realised I’d be suited to Maritime Logistics,” Able Seaman Mansfield said.

As a schoolboy in the Hobart suburb of Glenorchy, he also took advantage of the ADF Work Experience program and a Certificate 1 in Defence Force Cadets from Claremont College.

The Certificate 1 Vocational and Education Training course is designed specifically for students to learn more about the ADF and is operated through a relationship between Claremont College and Anglesea Barracks in Hobart.

Meanwhile, the Australian Defence Force Gap Year Program allowed him to cycle through different elements of the Navy, starting with Recruit School and then touring ships and establishments around Australia to get a taste of the different jobs.

Able Seaman Mansfield’s first posting was to HMAS Harman as a Personnel Administrator in 2018, which was followed by his first sea posting, to Choules, in October last year.

The ship’s company of Choules got called up to deploy for Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST 2019-20 on New Year’s Eve and it is this experience that Able Seaman Mansfield nominates as his career highpoint to date.

He was tasked with processing passengers as they boarded Choules as part of the evacuation from the bushfire-devastated town of Mallacoota in East Gippsland back to Melbourne.

“Being involved in the evacuation of people and seeing the relief on their faces and hearing their words of appreciation was something that will remain with me for a very long time.

“We train for these situations on a day-to-day basis but there’s nothing like seeing it all come together in real life,” Able Seaman Mansfield said.

Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST 19-20 imagery is available on the Defence Image Gallery: