WARRANT Officer Terry Imms is the definition of an active reservist.
His more than 40 years of service to the Royal Australian Navy was recognised earlier this year when he was presented with the Federation Star.
Mr Imms served the RAN in a variety of positions for 34 years before becoming a member of the RAN Active Reserve for more than 10 years.
Members of the RAN Reserve serve alongside their permanent navy colleagues providing specialist skills needed for navy to ‘Fight and win at sea’.
Warrant Officer Imms serves as the second-in-charge of the Naval Reserve Initial Entry Training Team at HMAS Creswell.
He supports the training and development of all reserve entry officer candidates, and plays a role in the development of new entry officers.
“Interacting with qualified personnel from the civilian sector has been very rewarding as they head into a new way of life as an RAN officer,” he said.
Mr Imms joined the RAN in 1970 as a radar plotter, before switching over in 1979 to become what is now called a naval police coxswain.
His experience includes ships, including the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne, the destroyer HMAS Duchess, the frigate HMAS Canberra, and the patrol boats HMAS Barbette, HMAS Gladstone and HMAS Whyalla, along with many shore establishments.
After promotion to warrant officer in 1995, he became assistant RAN liaison officer in Singapore, before returning to Australia where he was officer-in-charge of several auxiliary vessels.
Between 2001 and 2004 he served as executive officer in three landing craft heavy ships — HMAS Tarakan, Labuan and Wewak, completing six deployments to Bougainville (PNG), two to the Solomon Islands and two to New Caledonia.
In 2004 Mr Imms transferred to the active reserve, so he could remain active in sea going positions, rather than taking a shore posting.
“I still had something to offer as an executive officer at sea in minor war vessels.
“I did not want to serve ashore anywhere and the navy was still my life, as it is now,” he said.
Since becoming an active reservist Mr Imms has completed 17 operational relief postings as an executive
officer in a variety of minor war vessels, including Fremantle Class and Armidale Class patrol boats, along with 21 operational relief postings as boarding officer in a variety of Armidale Class Patrol Boat crews.
In 2013 Mr Imms ‘hung up his sea boots’ and joined the naval reserve initial entry training team.
Mr Imms enjoys being able to balance naval work with being able to spend quality time with his wife, Helen, their seven children and 25 grandchildren.