After 19 weeks of intensive training, 79 naval officers from New Entry Officers’ Course 53 graduated today from the Royal Australian Naval College, at HMAS Creswell.
Friends and family were on hand to share the achievements of the 65 men and 14 women, who completed their initial officer training.
Deputy Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Michael van Balen reviewed the passing out parade, on his final visit to the college before retiring from permanent service.
Commanding Officer HMAS Creswell Captain Stephen Hussey said the class performed well during the intensive practical and theoretical instruction.
“The men and women of NEOC 53 have achieved first-class results,” he said.
“They have excelled in meeting the challenge of the course and are ready in all respects to pursue a fun and professionally rewarding career in the Royal Australian Navy.”
Students are introduced to the history and ethos of the Royal Australian Navy during training. They are also introduced to communications, logistics and naval systems and undergo weapons instruction, qualify in first aid, fire-fighting, ship damage repair and achieve qualifications in small-boat handling.
One of the graduating officers, Midshipman Nick Pretorius, said the comprehensive course had introduced him to many aspects of Navy operations.
“The most rewarding thing has been the variety of activities, from sailing through to leadership exercises,” Midshipman Pretorius said.
“I joined to work as a submariner. They have one of the most challenging and rewarding occupations.
“I can’t wait to get out there.”
The newly qualified officers will proceed to specialist training throughout the fleet, or undertake tertiary studies at the Australian Defence Force Academy.
The graduates intend to specialise in a wide range of fields, including logistics, warfare, medicine, dentistry and engineering.
HMAS Creswell trains more than 3600 personnel annually, including reserve and full-time officers, as well as providing further professional development for serving officers and senior sailors.