New trainee officers ring in changes

THE 50th New Entry Officers’ Course (NEOC) that started at HMAS Creswell earlier last month has seen a significant change in tradition, with new names for the divisions to which the officer trainees belong during their training.

Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Ray Griggs dedicated the new names, which replace those of Cook, Flinders, Bass, Jervis, Hunter and Phillip – men significant to Australia’s history but not members of the Royal Australian Navy.

“With 113 years of service to Australia, through world wars, regional conflicts, peacekeeping and border protection operations, and all manner of humanitarian response, disaster relief and rescue actions, I believe there are many examples from the history of the RAN to which we can aspire,” Admiral Griggs said.

The five RAN College divisions will be named Waller, Rankin, Moran, Getting and Clarkson.

Waller Division is named after Captain Hector MacDonald Laws Waller, in HMAS Stuart and HMAS Perth.

Getting Division is named after Captain Frank Edmund Getting, a qualified submariner, for his deeds in HMAS Canberra.

Moran Division is named after Commander William Thomas Alldis Moran in HMAS Vampire.

Rankin Division is named after Lieutenant Commander Robert William Rankin in HMAS Yarra.

Clarkson Division is named after Vice Admiral Sir William Clarkson, an engineer who oversaw the formation of the Royal Australian Navy from its colonial beginnings.

Referring to the naming of Clarkson Division, Admiral Griggs acknowledged that it took more than a great seafaring captain to enact the navy’s mission to “fight and win at sea”.

“We need the engineers who ensure our ships and systems are working and we need the logisticians who make sure we are supplied for the activities a ship must undertake – these are war-fighting functions, just as surely as the war cries for the firing of a weapon,” he said.

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