The Australian Defence Force Gap Year – Navy is an opportunity for young Australians to experience military training, service and lifestyle through a year-long program, with no further obligations on the participant to continue to serve.
The program allows people to experience Navy life as a ‘try before you buy’ scheme during which every opportunity is given to participants to apply for transfer to Permanent Navy workforce categories, subject to sustainability and vacancies.
The program targets individuals aged between 17 and 24 years of age who have completed their Year 12 (or equivalent) education.
For the sea training component this year, 25 participants were given an opportunity to join amphibious assault ship, HMAS Adelaide leading a Task Group for a deployment throughout Asia.
Seaman General Duties Rosalie Smith was one of the group and said she was initially drawn to the Navy because of the opportunity to travel, to challenge herself, and “to gain lifelong friendship and skills”.
“In my first four days at sea, I worked with the Aviation and Executive Departments; where I got to participate with the Aviation Handlers working with MRH90 helicopters as well as with a United States Marine MV22 Osprey,” she said.
“Whilst with the Boatswains, I got to help out with a replenishment with HMAS Sirius.
“I have had quite an experience so far and look forward to what opportunities that may arise in future during my time onboard Adelaide.”
Seaman General Duties Emma Davies said the entire experience had impressed her.
“It has definitely been a lot better than I had expected,” she said.
“I found myself interested in the Maritime Logistics – Chef branch. Before I joined the program, I completed a Certificate Three in Commercial Cookery.
“Whilst I was working in the galley I was able to help with the preparation and serving of meals to the ship’s company.
“All the galley staff was friendly and willing to help when needed.
“I found that the work extremely hard onboard but it seems like a very rewarding job.
“My time onboard Adelaide has made my choice about joining the Navy permanently a very easy one. I have decided to become a Navy Chef, so now I am excited what career the Navy will offer,” she said.
The experience continues with a scheduled visit to various shore establishments that exposes members to a range of Navy establishments including those specific areas involved with officer training and submarine service opportunities. LCDR Lucito Irlandez (author), ABIS Steven Thomson (photographer).