Commander Darin MacDonald

CMDR Darin MacDonald

Commander Darin MacDonald, RAN is a Principal Warfare Officer with a deep specialisation in anti-submarine warfare. He joined the Royal Australian Navy in 2009, having completed twelve years of service in the Royal Canadian Navy. He is a graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada, having obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Military and Strategic Studies in 2000.

After completing seamanship and navigation training, Commander MacDonald served in in HMC Ships Preserver and Montreal before being selected for an exchange position with the RAN. While on exchange from 2002-2003, Commander MacDonald served in HMAS Darwin, during which time he was deployed to the Middle East Region in support of Operations SLIPPER, BASTILLE and FALCONER.

Upon returning to Canada, MacDonald completed training as an Under Water Warfare Director in 2004. Serving as the Under Water Warfare Officer of HMCS St John’s over the period 2004-06 he gained significant experience in towed array sonar operations in the North Atlantic.

Since transferring to the RAN in 2009 and undergoing Principal Warfare Officer training in 2010, MacDonald has completed postings in HMA Ships Darwin, Newcastle and Melbourne as the Operations Officer and Torpedo and Anti-submarine Warfare officer, including an Operation SLIPPER deployment in HMAS Melbourne in 2012.

In 2015, MacDonald was selected to be Executive Officer HMAS Perth and served in that capacity during Perth’s Operation MANITOU deployment in 2016, and then as Executive Officer in HMAS Stuart in 2017 as that ship returned from extended maintenance.

Ashore, Commander MacDonald has served in a number of Under Water Warfare policy and tactical development roles at the Maritime Warfare Centre, as the Operations Officer within the Sea Combat Commander task group staff, and in Under Water Warfare training while serving as Fleet ASW Officer in Sea Training Group.

Commander MacDonald is a Distinguished Graduate of the Australian Command and Staff Course (Joint). He was awarded a Master’s degree in Defence and Strategic studies from the Australian National University in 2018, having completed the selective Art of War program, and received the Synnot Prize as the top RAN graduate. He was promoted to his current rank in December 2018 and has subsequently served as Deputy Director - Sea Combat at the Maritime Warfare Centre.

In June 2019, Commander MacDonald was selected for the role of Admiral’s Secretary and subsequently Chief of Staff to Commander Australian Fleet.

Commander MacDonald assumed Command of HMAS Toowoomba in December 2021.