Sailors in Navy’s Cape Class Patrol Boats are buoyed by the recent approval by Chief of Navy to replace their ‘Royal Australian Navy’, ‘HMA Patrol Boat’ and ‘Patrol Boat Group’ tally bands with their own ship’s name.
According to Director of the Sea Power Centre - Australia, Captain Sean Andrews, cap ribbons have been in use by naval fleets and merchant shipping lines for over 100 years, with the earliest recorded use by Australian naval forces during colonial times.
“Merchant fleets also adopted the practice and it was not uncommon for red-flagged merchant ships to have ribbons produced for sailors in their crews,” Captain Andrews said.
So when Lieutenant Commander Ken Brown, then Commanding Officer of ADV Cape Fourcroy (Port) formally posed the question of whether the practice could be adopted for all Cape Class Australian Defence Vessels, history was on his side.
“Esprit de corps is an important ingredient in any ship’s company irrespective of its commissioned or non-commissioned status,” Lieutenant Commander Brown said.
It was through this critical connection to their ship and shipmates that unanimous support amongst all Cape Class crews was found.
“It lets me show pride in all the work my shipmates and I do for the Navy by representing a ship that is very dear to all of us as a small boat community,” Able Seaman Boatswain Mate Emma Harper from ADV Cape Inscription said.
“Having our own boat’s tally band will give us a sense of our own uniqueness and individualism we feel in serving in this great ship.”
Reflecting on the Navy culture pillars Value our People and Instil a Sense of Purpose, Commanding Officer ADV Cape Inscription (Stbd) Lieutenant Commander Jess O’Brien was excited for what this initiative meant for her crew and all patrol boat sailors.
“It is a small but meaningful change to recognise the important role Cape Class Patrol Boat sailors have within Navy, conducting maritime operations alongside Armidale Class Patrol Boats and other Defence Elements in Australia’s northern waters,” Lieutenant Commander O’Brien said.
“We are pleased that ADVs Cape Inscription, Cape Fourcroy, and our future Capes will be represented on tally bands along with our DPNU (Disruptive Pattern Navy Uniform) ball caps and patches.
“ADV Inscription is our home away from home and we all take a great deal of pride serving in her.”
The new tally bands will soon be made available for wear by all Cape Class sailors.