Bizarre animals like a t-rex crossed with a deer and white sand beaches consumed the daydreams of Able Seaman Brittany Alexander during freezing Canadian winters.
CAPTION: Able Seaman Brittany Alexander transferred from the Canadian Navy to the Royal Australian Navy in 2015. Photo by Chief Petty Officer Cameron Martin.
“During my time posted to Her Majesty’s Canadian Submarine Chicoutimi we had a RAN exchange officer with us,” Able Seaman Alexander said.
“Everyone who had been to Australia talked about the warm weather and weird animals.”
Born and raised in Windsor, Ontario, Able Seaman Alexander said she always longed for adventure.
Her first step was joining the Canadian Navy in 2006, before transferring to the submarine fleet five years later.
When she heard the Royal Australian Navy was looking at expanding its submarine fleet, Able Seaman Alexander said she was keen to be part of cutting-edge technology.
“I thought ‘geez I want to be a part of that’,” she said.
“My dad was all for it. He knew I always wanted an adventure and was like, ‘go for it’.”
In 2014 Able Seaman Alexander started her 12-month journey to laterally transfer, making it official when she became an Australian citizen in January 2015.
“It took me about two years to qualify after transferring to the RAN.
“I did the lateral training and then had to re-do seamanship and weapons before getting to HMAS Stirling to commence at Submarine Training School,” she said.
“My training for submarines took me about eight months and I qualified while posted to HMAS Waller.”
Only a 20-minute drive from the white sand beaches she dreamed of, Able Seaman Alexander is posted to HMAS Albatross on the NSW South Coast.
Now as a mum to a one-year-old, Conner, she said she was loving life in Australia and the Navy.
“The number one thing about the Australian Navy is we focus on our members as people and not just a number,” Able Seaman Alexander said
“This Navy is doing it right.”