Old salt never says never
As HMAS Sirius undertakes her last operational deployment during Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2021 (IPE21), it could also be the end of the seagoing career of Lieutenant Commander Ric Mingramm.
CAPTION: Lieutenant Commander Richard Mingramm looks out from the starboard bridge wing of HMAS Sirius, as the ship departs Cam Rah Bay, Vietnam, during Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2021. Story by Captain Peter March. Photo by Leading Seaman Sittichai Sakonpoonpol.
At age 60, Sirius’ maritime logistics officer is content knowing his seafaring days might be over, but is open to the chance to sail again, should the opportunity arise.
“I have an extension to work until 65, so I have another five years to serve, and I’ve made it clear that, in that time, I want to work operational jobs or go overseas, but we’ll see,” Lieutenant Commander Mingramm said.
Initially joining the Army in 1978, Lieutenant Commander Mingramm transferred to the Navy as a logistics officer in 1980, but left seven years later to pursue a career in the private sector.
“I worked my first sales job for 12 months, then a manager’s position came up, and my experience with Navy helped me to land that, then things just took off from there, running big teams for national and international companies,” Lieutenant Commander Mingramm said.
“I found working in sales really satisfying, but it was not dissimilar to the services.
“I only ever found myself in one position every two or so years, so, it was just like the posting cycle.”
After a 30-year hiatus, Lieutenant Commander Mingramm went back to Navy, motivated by the hope of carrying out his trade as a logistics officer at sea.
“I loved my time in the Navy, being at sea and doing my job, and that’s why I came back,” Lieutenant Commander Mingramm said.
Commanding Officer Sirius Commander Christopher Doherty said he was happy to have Lieutenant Commander Mingramm as part of the crew.
“Ric is a pleasure to work with. He is enthusiastic and so much fun to have around, but his technical knowledge of the supply system ensures we get everything we need to achieve our mission,” Commander Doherty said.
“He is a very wise man who worked in several industries before he came back to Navy, and that shows in his day-to-day interaction with members of the crew.”
During his career, Lieutenant Commander Mingramm has worked as an honorary Aide de Camp to the Administrator of the Northern Territory, Vicky Halloran, during Prince Charles’ visit.
He also served as an ADF chaperone to the Western Front tour on the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, reading the ode at the Menin Gate.
But he lists working as Sirius’ head of the ship’s logistics department as one of the highlights of his career.
“I’m finally doing what I was trained to do, and it’s really satisfying to know that it is enabling the capability of the ship,” Lieutenant Commander Mingramm said.