What they do
Navy sailors occupy a number of administrative, managerial and other non-technical roles in the operation and support of the Royal Australian Navy. They undertake a specific group of duties that relate to their specific role. These may include working in health care, hospitality, transport and logistics and in combat. They support the strategic operations and organisational structures of the navy during both peacetime and combat activities, and may travel across the country and internationally in support of the Royal Australian Navy's general and military operations.
Navy sailors work in a wide range of environments depending on their specific role within the organisation. For example, cryptologic systems sailors and boatswain's mates all work on board marine vessels. However, dental assistants and medical sailors usually work in military medical facilities on shore, in roles that involve medical procedures and dealing with people. Most Navy sailors will be required to spend long periods at sea, in all weather conditions, which may include stormy weather and rough seas.
Tools and technologies
The tools used by Royal Australian Navy sailors vary greatly depending on their specific area of expertise. For example, boatswain's mates use ropes, anchors and other equipment used in operating marine vessels whilst docked or at sea, and Navy writers use computers and other clerical tools to undertake administrative tasks either on board or whilst ashore. All naval personnel are required to wear uniforms.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a navy sailor within the Australian Defence Force (ADF) you must pass the recruitment process and complete recruit training at the Royal Australian Navy Recruit School.
You must be an Australian citizen (although permanent residents may be considered under certain circumstances), have passed Year 10 English and Mathematics and be at least 16 years and six months old to apply. You will undergo a series of written, aptitude, physical, psychological and medical checks and interviews. You will also need to undergo a National Police Check.
Successful applicants are required to complete 11 weeks of recruit training at the Royal Australian Navy Recruit School at HMAS Cerberus in Crib Point, Victoria.
Once you have graduated from Recruit School you will then progress to Initial Employment Training where you will learn about your specific role. The length, location and qualifications required for training will be dependent on your role.
If you are aged between 17 and 24 years old, and have completed Year 12 (or equivalent) and passed Year 10 English and Mathematics, you can join the Navy through the ADF Gap Year program.
You can also join the ADF on a part time basis within the Navy Reserves.