In an historic development for the Royal Australian Navy Band, the Director of Music – Navy position has been upgraded to the rank of commander.
CAPTION: Newly promoted Director of Music–Navy Commander Cassandra Mohapp at the Garden Island Defence Precinct. Story by Leading Seaman Jonathan Rendell. Photo by Leading Seaman Matthew Lyall.
Having been officially appointed as Head of Professional Requirements for Musician and Band in August, Cassandra Joy Mohapp, the eleventh Director of Music – Navy, was promoted to the rank of commander on October 4.
“This significant development in the Navy Band officer workgroup now provides a sustainable and aspirational career progression for all Navy musicians,” Commander Mohapp said.
While the RAN Band was previously directed by two commanders, the rank is now assigned to the position, not the member, and sees Navy’s director of music equivalently ranked with other service and international counterparts.
“I recognise the outstanding achievements of those directors before me and am confident the Navy Band will continue to evolve into one of Navy’s most unique strategic assets in shaping and influencing domestic and international opinion,” Commander Mohapp said.
“I am also confident that the world-class musicians in today’s Navy represent the calibre of sailor and officer we solicit from our communities.
“It is an exciting time to be part of this extraordinary workforce and it is my privilege to lead the Navy Band at this pivotal time.”
The development also sees the officer-in-charge positions at RAN Band Sydney and Melbourne upgraded to the rank of lieutenant commander, and stimulates the generation of two lieutenant divisional officer positions in these bands.
As a result, exciting new opportunities are now emerging across the musician category, including career and broader naval leadership development through engagement with the Maritime Personnel Community.
A number of musicians within the Navy Band will now undergo selection and commission to band officer, generating a ripple effect that will lead to the Navy Band engaging in a recruitment drive over the coming years.
The band’s most recently commissioned officer, Sub Lieutenant Daniel McIlvride said the changes for RAN Band will have a positive impact on the corps for years to come.
“The expansion of our officer cohort will further enhance our ability to manage our people,” Sub Lieutenant McIlvride said.
“It opens up many other organisational and career management opportunities that will ultimately allow us to carry out our mission much more effectively.
“I am so excited to be a part of our growth now and I am sincerely looking forward to the opportunities and challenges that we will be presented with in the future.”