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Navy welcomes new sailors as ranks grow

HMAS Melbourne sailors march past the onlookers at the decommissioning of HMAS Melbourne at Fleet Base East, Garden Island, NSW on 26 October 2019 (Source Dept of Defence)

The Royal Australian Navy’s ambitious growth and retention program has proven a success, with the Navy growing by more than 1,000 members in under two years.

The Royal Australian Navy’s ambitious growth and retention program has proven a success, with the Navy growing by more than 1,000 members in under two years.

This recruit growth represents an 8 percent increase since January 2018 and is a result of flexible workplace arrangements, financial incentives and industry placements.


Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said the retention program is attracting a diverse group of talent and experience, and is ensuring the Navy has highly trained and skilled individuals.

“The Navy has been an integral part of the nation it has served for over a century. Key to delivering the Morrison government’s $90 billion Naval Shipbuilding Plan is a strong workforce, which is why retention programs such as this are so important,” Minister Reynolds explained. 

Navy is currently rolling out 45 retention initiatives, including financial bonuses for key sailor and officer categories, flexible workplace arrangements for uniformed members as well as outplacement programs to improve professional development for technical sailors.

These measures are the result of a Navy-wide consultation program, which resulted in 600 suggestions from members of every rank.

Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester said the unique nature of military service required distinct pay and conditions to recruit and retain the people needed for Australia’s current and future Defence capability.


“We rely heavily on the personal and professional sacrifices made by our service men and women and their families, and the Australian community expects that the ADF’s conditions meet the demands of service life,” Minister Chester said.

Navy welcomes new sailors as ranks grow
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