When Dan Hobson joined the Royal Australian Navy, he had no idea that 23 years later he would go from being one of the Royal Australian Navy Band’s most experienced Senior Sailor Musicians to a Junior Officer in the field of Maritime Logistics.
Dan joined the Navy Band in October 1996 after studying music education at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
“Towards the completion of my degree I thought I would enjoy performing music more than teaching. Through [Defence Force] Recruiting I discovered the Navy Band, auditioned successfully, and haven’t regretted it since,” he said.
After initial training to become a Navy Musician, Dan posted to the Royal Australian Navy Band Sydney, where he stayed from the rank of Seaman through to Petty Officer.
In 1998, he left Australian shores for the first time on a sea deployment in HMAS Torrens.
In 2008, as a Petty Officer, Dan posted to the Directorate of Music - Navy as the Central Band Stores Controller, managing the instruments and equipment for the entire band.
In 2010, he was promoted to Chief Petty Officer and over the following four years was Bandmaster of the Royal Australian Navy Bands Tasmania and Sydney.
Dan’s last position in the band was back at the Directorate of Music - Navy as the Band Operations Officer.
“Initially I was a performer on clarinets and bari sax.
“Then I developed skills in Audio Engineering.
“As a Senior Sailor, I have been able to lead teams on various tasks such as operational and sea deployments, as well as a range of domestic tasks all over the country,” he said.
During his career Dan deployed a number of times, including the HMAS Torrens sea trip, operational deployments to the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste and multiple trips to the Middle East.
“I celebrated 20 years of service landing at Kabul on a New Zealand C-130,” he said.
Dan’s last performance with the band was during the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Sydney last year, as the Drum Major of the Royal Australian Navy component of the Australian Defence Force Combined Military Band.
He was promoted to Lieutenant Maritime Logistics Officer on 5 June 2020, and fondly farewelled by members of the band.
“I have thought of doing more with my Navy career for a number of years," he said when asked what prompted his change of career.
“I have achieved and experienced much of what a Navy Musician can.
“I think there are a number of commonalities between logistics and organising musicians.
“My positions as a Chief Petty Officer Musician have required the organisation of personnel and equipment in order to achieve band taskings. I think this has served as a good introduction to the role of a Maritime Logistics Officer,” he said.
“I’m very excited to learn new skills as an officer and logistician as the Navy takes on a range of new assets and capabilities.
"I look forward to being part of that,” the newly promoted Lieutenant Hobson said.