Chief of Navy Speeches: GE 337 Emms Division Recruit School Graduation Ceremony - Reviewing Officer's address

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26 October 2015

Captain Bowater, Commander Clelland, Recruit School instructors and staff, ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys.

I am very pleased to review the graduation parade of General Entry 337, Emms Division. I extend a warm welcome to the families and friends of those on parade.

Today will live long in the memories of the members of General Entry 337. It marks the end of the ‘initial entry’ training phase of their service in the Navy.

It is also the day that they are formally recognised as trained members and it is the day that I know they have been looking forward to for the past 11 weeks.

It is also a day for you – the families and friends – to remember. Many of you have travelled great distances to be here this evening. You can take great satisfaction in the achievement of your member on parade.

Your support for them has no doubt been essential in their success. Your personal transition, while here is also a product of the guidance, occasional ‘tough love’, and - above all - absolute professionalism, of the staff of the RAN Recruit School, and particularly the staff of Emms division. I thank them for their dedication to their very important duties.

To the members of General Entry 337.

By successfully completing recruit training you have reached the first milestone in your naval career.

I can tell you with absolute certainty that there has never been a better time to be joining the Navy than now in 2015. You are riding the front edge of a wave of change.

During your career new ships will be launched and commissioned every year and the fleet in which you serve will be transformed.

Our future fleet will be bigger. Our ships will continue to range through our region and far beyond it. We are a global Navy with global responsibilities. Our mission is to fight and win at sea.

Our future fleet will be designed to be available, operational and normally at sea. That is where our ships should be. That is where you will be too!

The new Landing Helicopter Dock ships Canberra and Adelaide will be at the core of our future Task Force. They are the largest vessels the RAN has ever operated.

For those who will become Aviation Technicians the Fleet Air Arm is bringing into service 24 Seahawk Romeos the most advance naval combat helicopter in the world.

The first of our new Hobart Class Air Warfare destroyers is afloat and fitting out. Brisbane and Sydney will follow Hobart into the fleet and they will each provide a powerful capability for our Task Force.

For those who will be training as submariners, when you earn your dolphins, you will have our six revitalised Collins Class boats to serve in, and later in your career a larger number of the future submarines which will replace them.

Many of you will serve in a new class of Off Shore Patrol Vessels which will replace our Armidale Class Patrol Boats, and later in the Future Frigates which will replace our Anzac Class. We are cutting steel from 2018 on for these future ships.

Now you can see why I believe that you are joining the Navy at the best time possible! A new fleet is being built for you to serve in!

These smart ships and aircraft require smart people to operate them. You are those smart people. I want you to use your knowledge and training imaginatively. Be innovative.

Work together in effective teams.

You have developed self-discipline while under training, and you now understand the importance of teamwork. It is no coincidence that the motto in Navy’s recruiting material is ‘the team works.’

You will continue the learning journey that began 11 weeks ago, and you will never stop learning throughout your naval careers.

Learn from your mentors and seniors. Apply yourself to your education and training which will give your branch qualification. That is your next challenge.

Before I conclude, I leave you with three key messages.

Firstly, do your best, no matter what the task is. The work that we do in the Navy, at sea and ashore, is rarely easy, often demanding, and potentially dangerous.

You will be well-trained and well-prepared to meet all challenges, but to achieve success in any mission you will need to dig deep and display determination and endurance.

Secondly, enjoy yourselves. You have just begun the journey of a lifetime.

You will have experiences that you never dreamed of; you will learn new things about yourself every day.

Sooner than you think you may have the privilege of taking charge of junior sailors. They will depend on you to be a leader so learn how to be one from the best leaders you meet.

Thirdly, be proud of the important work you do. Our Navy has provided over 100 years of loyal service to this country in peace and war; and it has an international reputation for professionalism, effectiveness and reliability.

Today you become part of Australia's history and its future. Today you stop being a recruit and you become a sailor.

But before you graduate, you need commit yourself, in front of your families, your instructors, each other and me, to Navy’s values.

Your shipmates, your family, your Commanding Officer and I expect you to live out these values every day and everywhere, on duty and off duty.

Repeat after me:

I will live by Navy’s Values: honour, honesty, courage, integrity, loyalty.

Bravo Zulu Well Done. Emms Division, and WELCOME ABOARD!