Hundreds of new trainees have secured officer accreditation in the Royal Australian Navy, joining the largest cohort to enter the service in a calendar year since the 1950s.
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A cohort of 125 new graduate officers have completed the New Entry Officers’ Course (NEOC) at the Royal Australian Naval College in Jervis Bay.
This is in addition to 173 officers who were welcomed into the RAN over the first half of 2021, representing the largest cohort of new officers to graduate in a single year since the 1950s.
During NEOC, trainees honed the skills across a range of fields, including practical leadership exercises, sea survivability, first aid, firefighting, laws of armed conflict and basic mariner skills.
The new Navy officers include high-school leavers and professionals looking to transition into a new career.
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan reflected on the diversity of the new group.
“These officers will be the future leaders of a Navy that will look vastly different to the one I joined,” VADM Noonan said.
“Our Navy is growing to operate and maintain the new and more complex ships and systems that will enter service over the coming years. Our people will be highly specialised, working with cutting-edge technology including robotics, autonomous systems and artificial intelligence.”
VADM Noonan said the new cohort would be offered a range of opportunities across the Navy’s expanding fleet, including the future frigates and nuclear-powered submarines promised under the AUKUS partnership.
“Among the graduates here today, we will have future warship and submarine commanders, medical officers, and capability leaders,” he added.